It has been one of the best-selling family cars in the country for many years, and this year its popularity has reached a new high. We find out why.
We checked it out to see what all the fuss was about.
The cheapest RAV4 ticket costs about $38,400 for a front-wheel-drive GX model, but our test car was a Cruiser hybrid for about $50,000. You pay an extra $2,500 for a hybrid engine that has more power and uses significantly less fuel, especially in the city. If you need an additional AWD warranty, that will add another $3,000 to the price.. The Cruiser is well-equipped with luxury touches including heated and cooled leather seats, a sunroof, a great JBL audio system, built-in sat-nav, digital radio and a cordless phone charger. The cabin doesn’t feel as high-tech as its Tucson and Sportage rivals, which have digital driver screens, but it’s comfortable and spacious, with high-quality materials and impressive build quality. Services are cheap—$1,150 for the first five years—and Toyota holds its value better than most competitors.
The driver’s seat is comfortable and supportive, with wide adjustments to suit all body types and sizes. Ergonomics are on point, and heated seats are a welcome addition for winter mornings and back pain on long trips. The air conditioner also keeps you cool in winter on hot summer days. There’s plenty of legroom and headroom in the rear seats, and rear passengers have their own air vents and USB ports. Rear cargo space is larger than most in the class, and the tailgate can be opened and closed with a key fob, which is handy when your hands are full. The Toyota soaks up bumps and sharp edges better than most competitors, and the cabin is quiet at freeway speeds.
All RAV4 vehicles have a wide range of active safety features, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keeping and blind spot assist, automatic high beams, traffic sign recognition and radar cruise control. Rear cross-traffic alert is especially handy when reversing off the roadway, while front and rear parking sensors add another layer of protection. While cheaper models have a standard rearview camera, the Cruiser provides a bird’s eye view of the car and its surroundings. The RAV4 was crash tested in 2019 and received a 93 percent rating for adult occupant protection.
ON THE ROAD
A hybrid engine coupled with a continuously variable transmission isn’t usually fun to drive, but the RAV4’s setup is surprisingly punchy. While it lacks the grunt of a diesel and the power of a turbocharged petrol, it’s a smooth combination well-suited for a family cruise. Fuel economy is exceptional, especially in stop-and-go traffic. We managed about 5.4-5.8L/100km at freeway speeds, where the petrol engine was sometimes cut off while driving to save fuel. It is noteworthy that consumption was about the same when moving from bumper to bumper. The engine will make itself felt under hard acceleration, but overall it’s quiet and refined. The RAV4 is a cornering surprise package. The body of an SUV inevitably rolls when changing direction, but precise steering and well-tuned suspension inspire confidence in corners. The RAV4s rarely unsettle mid-corner bumps, delivering a smooth, controlled ride even on rougher surfaces.
The RAV4 isn’t cheap, but it offers the best combination of space, comfort and fuel efficiency in its class.
Hyundai Tucson Elite, starting at around $49,800. Powerful diesel engine. all-wheel drive and smooth 8-speed machine. More modern cabin, can tow up to 1900 kg.
Kia Sportage SX + diesel, from about $51,100 per wheel. It has the same diesel engine and 8-speed automatic as the Tucson. High-tech interior and solid directional stability.
Mazda CX5 Touring Active diesel, starting at about $50,400 per wheel. Excellent balance of comfort and cornering ability. Punching diesel and all-wheel drive clutch.
TOYOTA RAV4 CRUISER HYBRID 2WD
PRICE Approximately $50,200 on departure
WARRANTY / SERVICE Five years, unlimited km, $1,150 for five years
ENGINE 2.5-liter four-cylinder petrol electric, 160 kW and 221 Nm
SAFETY Seven airbags, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping and blind spot assist, radar cruise, rear cross traffic alert
THIRST 4.7 l / 100 km
BAGGAGE 580 liters
Originally published as Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Cruiser 2022 2WD Overview