2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
by Ric Green

Toyota continues to lead the charge in the Hybrid vehicle market.  The manufacturer that familiarized the automobile driving public with the term “Hybrid,” with the Prius as the first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle in 1997, continues to lead SUV Hybrid
market segments.

Although the RAV4 has been around for three decades now, Toyota didn’t introduce a Hybrid version until the 2016 model year. The 2022 RAV4 Hybrid offers more power and better fuel economy than the traditional RAV4.  New colors and redesigned headlights, plus the option of an XSE trim level, bring the number of variations of this SUV to 14, which can be a bit overwhelming.

Toyota hybrids have come a long way since the original Prius, and that growth is most apparent in the 2022 RAV4 Hybrid and RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid compact SUVs. These electrified SUVs deliver the same practicality and roominess of a standard RAV4 but add one of two available fuel-sipping power-trains. Both are quicker than the non-hybrid RAV4. Remove the full-sized pickup trucks from America’s Big Three and the Toyota RAV4 was America’s best-selling vehicle, through the third quarter of 2021.

The RAV4 Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that’s assisted by two electric motors for a combined output of 219 horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard with one electric motor powering the rear wheels and the second motor and the gasoline engine driving the front wheels, with a continuously variable automatic transmission. It ripped a 7.4-second 60-mph time in our hands while the gas-only model needed 8.0 seconds to perform the same task, according to MOTORTREND.

On my test drive around town, I noticed the impressive pep from a standing start from the Hybrid set up. Want even more?  The Prime model reportedly zips from 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds thanks to its dual electric motors being more powerful than those used by the RAV4 Hybrid. Total system output climbs to 302 hp. The only drawback for the RAV4 is that while the ride and handling get the job done, the RAV4s are not as smooth as I would hope through the turns.  When it comes to the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, you get a 10-plus mpg advantage over the standard RAV4. For an all-electric driving experience, there is also the RAV4 Prime, a plug-in hybrid version that has an all-electric driving range of about 40 miles.

The 2022 Toyota RAV4 has a lot going for it with the fourteen models to choose from. The 2022 RAV4 Hybrid promises the comfort of a roomy interior and smooth ride with the practical benefits of large cargo space and impressive fuel savings. It delivers where it counts.

Prices began with the entry level 2022 RAV4 LE at $26,525 MSRP. The entry level Hybrid LE starts at $29,075. The XLE Hybrid gets started at $30,545 and features a 7.0-inch touchscreen, a six-speaker audio system, and cloth seats. Buyers can also opt for the Weather package, which adds a heated leather steering wheel, heated front seats, and rain-sensing windshield wipers with a deicer function and the Convenience package, which includes a sunroof, a power tailgate, and a 9.0-inch touchscreen.  The top of the group is the Limited Hybrid at $37,575 and includes All-Wheel Drive Integrated Management (AIM) with Multi-Information Display (MID) monitor, Audio Plus, 11 JBL speakers including subwoofer and amplifier, with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay &
Amazon Alexa compatible, 18-in. 5-spoke Super Chrome-finished sport alloy wheels and SofTex® trimmed seats and power-adjustable driver’s seat.  The XSE Hybrid also gains the vertical LED running lights also  seen on the 2022 XSE Prime. Inside there are minor updates including LED interior lighting and, on all trims besides the LE, illuminated switches.

The RAV4 is very popular all over South Florida. A trip to their website will breakdown the 14 models and explain the differences in style, power, and performance.