Anthony’s Analytics: 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited

Anthony’s Analytics: 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited

by Anthony Fongaro  - Photos via Toyota - 11/25/2022     (Prime Model Shown in Photos)

Toyota has a lot of hybrids in a lot of SUVs. These include the Toyota Venza, Highlander, and of course, the Toyota RAV4. The particular model that I tested this week is the Toyota RAV4 Limited Hybrid. RAV4 comes with three engine choices: regular gasoline, hybrid, and a plug-in hybrid. But I wanted to know where two different things were. First off, how is the Toyota RAV4 as a hybrid?

Second, is it worth getting the Limited trim, or should you choose a lesser trim level? Let's find out!
Looking at the exterior of the RAV4, it is your typical Toyota which means that the styling is good but nothing that is too exciting. When you look at the rear, you will see that there is a silver design element that connects the tail lights. There are all so black badges for the Toyota logo, RAV4, Limited, and hybrid.  You’ll see black cladding on the rear as well as on the wheel arches and two regular tips. This particular RAV4 had 14 Ruby Flare Pearl red paint along with 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels and Michelin Primacy tires. 

I do like that on the side-on profile, there is a silver strip on the top of the doors and some silver trim on the door handles. For some reason, Toyota placed a black AWD badge on the rear doors. Finally, there are some sculpted headlights with more black cladding on the rear, a honeycomb-style grille, and a large black and blue Toyota badge. Although there are other colors available, the red paint plus black badges help the somewhat mundane RAV4 stand out.

When you get into the cabin of the RAV4, you are greeted with a Nutmeg Softex interior with a contrasting black steering wheel and center console. As with most Toyotas, the button for the heated steering wheel is to the left of the driver. This was a part of the $815 Limited Grade Weather Package. You also have a nice Toyota steering wheel with your infotainment and controls for your adaptive cruise control. Above you is a large panoramic. Since this had the Premium Audio Package, this RAV4 had a 9-inch touchscreen with navigation. Stick with using Apple CarPlay and Android since that navigation map is low-resolution, as is the reversing camera. I have to say that it’s nice Toyota included physical buttons for your home screen, menu, audio, media,  phone, and apps. I also really appreciate that the controls for the climate control system were knobs and buttons. My only complaint is that the buttons were kind of small and not illuminated at night.

Below that was a button for the traction control along with the buttons for the heated and ventilated seats. At the bottom of the center was the wireless charging along with your gear shift, a rather large button for your automatic parking, and auto hold. There are a couple of different buttons and knobs for various drive modes. You have a very large button for Trail. There is a rotary knob for Eco, Normal, and Sport. In the middle, you push it to go into normal. What is cool is that when you go into eco mode, the center of this rotary knob turns green. When you push normal, it goes blue, and going into sport turns it red!! Finally, you have a large button for EV mode which I will go into a little later. 

Anthony’s Analytics: 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited

For the most part, the interior was quite nice and I really liked this color combination. The rear seats are heated; a benefit of the Limited trim. Storage space was good, but you’ll notice USB-c ports inside the center console, but a regular USB-a to use for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Also part of that Premium Audio package is 11 JBL speakers including a subwoofer and amplifier. It’s a great sound system and you can really dial up the base! RAV4 may not have the quality of a Mazda CX-5, but it’s plenty useful and practical.

Under the hood is a 2.5 hybrid four-cylinder with 219 horsepower/161 kW and 163 lb-ft/221 Nm. RAV4 Limited combines AWD and a CVT transmission. When you combine all this, the RAV4 hybrid gets from 0 to 60 MPH in 7.3-seconds. One of the cool things about the center display was seeing the energy and gasoline distribution. Sometimes, you'll see that the center display is showing that you're in EV mode with the battery distributing power to either the front or all four wheels. You can also see that the gas is giving power to the front wheels or charging the battery. Now there is that ECO mode I was talking about before, but it only works up to 20 miles an hour. Shame, really.

The gauges are very easy to see on the road. On the left, you have your hybrid gauge which shows your power, eco, and charge. On the road, this is a Toyota hybrid. That means that it is very efficient but definitely not a fun vehicle to drive with body roll and understeer. 

This is a hybrid and it drives exactly like a hybrid. It accelerates quite smoothly and transitions between EV and hybrid quite well. The engine is a little noisy but that is to be expected. I normally drove around in Normal because I really didn't see a reason to drive and Sport. While I was on the highway, I would put it into eco because I would let the cruise control do most of the driving. 

Anthony’s Analytics: 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Limited

Speaking of cruise control, the safety features here include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and blind spot monitoring. It's a very easy SUV to drive in every situation. RAV4 Hybrid Limited came with adaptive headlights, but they didn’t work very well. I've noticed that in the past, a lot of Toyota adaptive headlights will stay on longer than they should and would dazzle other drivers. When I had to use the high beams, I would just use the regular stock. In terms of fuel economy, The engine returned between 40 to 42 MPG which is really good for an SUV. 

Time to get into pricing and the options this RAV4 Hybrid Limited had. Toyota RAV4 Limited hybrid starting price is $38,000. There were three different packages in this test vehicle, along with the panoramic roof and some little extras. The first one was the $815 Limited Grade Weather Package which has the heated leather trim steering wheel, rear outboard passenger heat, and rain-sensing variable intermittent windshield wipers with a deicer function. Next, the $1,040 Premium Audio 9-inch Touch Screen with Navigation along with 11 JBL speakers with a subwoofer and amplifier.

The most expensive package was the $1,225 Limited Grade Advanced Technology Package with a smart key system on all four doors and lift gate, a hands-free foot-activated power liftgate, wireless charging, bird's eye view camera with perimeter scan, overhead 360-degree view, along with digital rearview mirror with Homelink. Chuck in another $500 for the panoramic glass roof with front power and this RAV4 Hybrid Limited came to $43,000. That's pretty much on point with other compact hybrid SUVs including the Ford Escape and the Honda CRV.

So what are my overall thoughts about the Toyota RAV4? Well, I think it's a great SUV and a great hybrid. It has all of the technology that you would want and I would get all the packages that are on this vehicle. You can definitely get lower trim levels which can save you $3,000 to $5,000 respectively. This is one of the few cases where I would say this is the trim level I’d get with the red exterior and two-tone interior. RAV4 is a great family SUV with high fuel economy numbers. If you're looking for a crossover SUVr with some great tech, take a look at the Toyota RAV4.