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Toyota RAV4 2023: new features, wait times and what to expect


Now in its fifth year on sale, Toyota has a lot planned for the RAV4 for the year ahead and some of it has already arrived

The news is in: the Toyota RAV4 is Australia’s favourite SUV once again, its popularity is showing no signs of slowing down and this much-loved vehicle has some big changes on the way.

Toyota announced last year that it would bring the updated MY23 version of the RAV4 to Australia before the year’s end and more buyers will see their long-awaited and revised midsize SUVs arrive in January.

The Toyota RAV4 is the most popular SUV on sale in Australia

What features are on the way?

The changes are meaningful, too. There’s a strong focus on upgrading the technology package inside the interior to make the RAV4 more competitive with its rivals, arriving with a $2150 to $2820 price hike, depending on the grade.

The entry-level GX and GXL grades are fitted with an 8.0-inch touchscreen matched with a 7.0-inch digital driver’s display and a single analogue dial, up from the 4.0-inch screen that was fitted previously.

The XSE, Cruiser and Edge variants gain a 10.5-inch multimedia touchscreens, seen also on the Corolla Cross, paired in RAV4 with a full-width 12.3-inch digital driver’s display.

Toyota RAV4 2023 interior Europe close
The 10.5-inch display also features wireless Apple CarPlay

Importantly, both of these multimedia systems now feature wireless Apple CarPlay, though Android Auto users will still need to persist with a cable connection for now. 

Other minor updates in the cabin include the addition of USB C ports mixed in with the old-style USB A ports and a better quality reversing camera across the range. Edge and Cruiser grades also nab an underfloor camera, which should be handy for light off-roading. 

Engineers have also improved the forward AEB system to detect incoming collisions with cars and pedestrians when turning across an intersection and added emergency steering assist, designed to smooth out frantic inputs when avoiding a collision.

The safety suite has also been improved for 2023

Toyota has continued its push to integrate its connected services functionality across its lineup, enabling buyers to access vehicle data such as the fuel level, vehicle location and whether their windows are down or doors are unlocked via the myToyota Connect phone app.

The in-built technology also features over-the-air update functionality and will alert emergency services in the event of a crash or drivers can manually be alerted via the SOS button in the interior.

Other subtle changes include a faster motor for the power tailgate and a new Frosted White colour that replaces Crystal Pearl. 

Toyota RAV4 GR Sport 2023 side 3/4 static
The GR Sport grade has been neither ruled in or out for Australia

GR Sport grade could join the lineup

The Toyota RAV4 launched in 2019 with the GX, GXL, Cruiser and Edge grades, with the recent facelift in 2021 adding the mid-spec, hybrid-only XSE to the local line-up. However, the range could soon expand once again.

A new GR Sport grade was announced for the European market back in October, bringing a healthy dose of sporting flair to the midsize SUV with mild exterior modifications including unique 19-inch wheels and black exterior finishings, while the cabin is treated to GR-branded seats.

If you’ve read our review or driven one yourself, you’ll know that the RAV4 is already pretty good to drive, a quality Toyota claims to have enhanced with a new stiffer suspension tune. 

Toyota RAV4 GR Sport 2023 embossed seats
The GR Sports features branded seats and other subtle changes

The engine department has been left untouched, with the 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder and twin electric motors sending a combined 160kW to the front wheels.

Toyota Australia hasn’t ruled the GR Sport in or out for the Australian market, but given that a similar variant is coming for the Yaris Cross and Hilux (and the C-HR and LandCruiser 300 Series already feature the grade in their lineups) we hold out hope for a future announcement.

Long wait times set to continue

While we don’t know for sure, Toyota Australia could be choosing to prioritise delivering more stock of current grades ordered by existing buyers rather than introducing the new GR Sport, with average wait times for some variants said to be at least 12 months in length. 

Long wait times are still common across the car industry and while the situation is said to be improving it’s doing so slowly and not all manufacturers will recover at the same rate.

Wait times are unlikely to disappear overnight

The delays are blamed on a multitude of factors including the semiconductor shortage, logistical bottlenecks and the recent widespread outbreak of Covid-19 in China, just to name a few.

But for those happy to wait it’s still more than possible to get your hands on a new RAV4 with almost 35,000 delivered to Australian buyers in 2022. 

Toyota RAV4 2023: prices in Australia

All prices listed are before on-road costs.

  • GX 2WD petrol: $36,550
  • GX 2WD hybrid: $39,050 
  • GX AWD hybrid: $42,050 
  • GXL 2WD petrol: $40,100 
  • GXL 2WD hybrid: $42,600 
  • GXL AWD hybrid: $45,600 
  • XSE 2WD hybrid: $45,700
  • XSE AWD hybrid: $48,700 
  • Cruiser 2WD petrol: $45,700
  • Cruiser 2WD hybrid: $48,200 
  • Cruiser AWD hybrid: $51,200
  • Edge AWD petrol: $53,020 
  • Edge AWD hybrid: $55,150