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The Toyota RAV4 is one of the best-selling compact SUVs on the market, offering easy maneuverability, great fuel efficiency, attractive exterior styling, and impressive standard safety features. 

While most RAV4 owners love their vehicle and give the popular SUV good reliability ratings, there is one problem area that, if it were to get fixed, would make current drivers of the Toyota RAV4 very happy.

Is the Toyota RAV4 ready for an overhaul?

Many industry analysts expect the 2024 Toyota RAV4 will undergo a complete overhaul to keep up with competing models such as the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Mazda CX-5.

In the J.D. Power 2022 Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout (APEAL) Study, RAV4 owners ranked the compact SUV in 10 main categories, with its exterior styling, driving feel, and fuel economy scoring the highest among the owners’ “most favorite thing” about the vehicle. Toyota RAV4 owners also enjoyed the feeling of safety, the powertrain, acceleration, ease of getting in and out, the interior design, and driving comfort.

However, the model’s infotainment system landed at the bottom of the list. It was rated as the least favorite thing about the RAV4, according to current owners.

Did Toyota do enough to upgrade the infotainment system in the 2023 RAV4?

As Toyota prepares for several significant improvements in the 2024 Toyota RAV4, J.D. Power expert reviewers report the only “notable changes” for the 2023 model is a new infotainment system. Despite desperately needing the system update, critics agree it does not do enough, saying it merely transformed the experience from “frustrating to agreeable.”

It has been a long time coming for Toyota to upgrade the system, finally adding features such as wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, which have been standard in most other vehicles in the compact SUV segment for a few years.

The new and improved Toyota Audio Multimedia interface is easier to navigate and now includes over-the-air software updates with enhanced voice control capabilities, Bluetooth connectivity, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

According to Edmunds, the new infotainment system has a nice mix of fixed buttons and touchscreen features that are larger and easier to use without needing to consult the owner’s manual. However, despite being relatively new, they note the “touchscreen’s graphics look dated.”

A simple tweak that would make RAV4 owners happy

Now well into the fifth generation, the tech upgrades in the Toyota RAV4 were necessary to stay competitive in a crowded segment. The new interface operates on a standard 8-inch or optional 10.5-inch display and is quick to respond, making it less distracting than the older system for drivers. Accompanying the new infotainment system is a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster that offers full-color displays. While the new infotainment system in the 2023 RAV4 is welcome, it still lacks simple functions such as a home screen to help drivers access features faster.

J.D. Power suggests adding a “well-organized main menu screen could make Toyota’s new infotainment system even better.” The expert reviewers noted, “The number of intuitive, feature-rich infotainment interfaces is only growing, so Toyota’s move feels more like playing catch-up than moving the needle in a meaningful way.”

Autoblog claims the new tech interface has a more modern appearance, is quicker to react to user inputs, and offers more state-of-the-art features not found in previous model infotainment systems. However, the site agrees the new display lacks “the handy physical menu buttons that made the outgoing system so user-friendly.” The reviewer noted the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay interfaces are “particularly annoying” to use without menu buttons docked on the screen or at least having the old home button. While making this change would make RAV4 owners quite happy, if it doesn’t get the fix it needs, Autoblog says, “the systems of most rivals remain superior.”

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