Toyota has given the RAV4 midsize SUV a midlife nip-and-tuck three years after coming to market in Australia.
The facelifted 2022 Toyota RAV4 has been revealed overnight courtesy of Toyota’s European operations, with the updated RAV4 expected to arrive in Australia early next year.
Arriving three years after the fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 launched in Australia with a model-first hybrid powertrain option, the facelift shies away from any controversial changes.
The decision to play it safe was the expected move for a vehicle Toyota bills as the world’s most popular SUV. Locally, the RAV4 was Australia’s best-selling vehicle in 2020 with more than 38,000 examples sold – with most of those being RAV4 hybrids.
The aesthetic changes for 2022 are exceptionally subtle, with Toyota retaining the general structure of the front and rear bumpers, while bequeathing the model with restyled headlights with bolder LED running lights integrated into the cluster.
The headlights themselves are a new projector-type LED construction while the fog lights also switch to LED globes.
There is a new matt grey finish option for the 19-inch wheels seen on the European-market Adventure, with this design likely to carry across to the same variant in Australia – where it is known as the RAV4 Edge.
So far, the Edge is the 2022 RAV4 grade that has been be revealed in facelifted form. Focussed on light off-roading, the Edge wears a rugged styling kit outside with exaggerated cladding.
We don’t know whether the RAV4 GX, GXL and Cruiser grades will receive a more dramatic facelift, with European details referencing only a new ten-spoke alloy wheel design for other variants finished in either bright silver or gloss black.
There are some welcome changes inside, though, with electric adjustment being added to the passenger seat – a switch that should correct one of the major complaints we detailed with the long-term RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid AWD run by Chasing Cars, which lacked passenger seat height adjustment.
Other cabin updates include a switch to LED lighting, while USB ports switch to the new USB-C shape for faster charging. The electric window controls are now illuminated while there have also been minor changes to the design of the climate control panel.
European buyers receive the RAV4 Adventure with a 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid engine – a combination Chasing Cars has previously suggested would be a good fit for the corresponding Australian-market RAV4 Edge.
Locally, the RAV4 Edge is the sole RAV4 variant to use a non-hybrid version of the 2.5-litre petrol four-cylinder engine, teamed with mechanical AWD and an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
RAV4 hybrid grades in Australia are available with front-wheel-drive or optional electric AWD, which uses a third electric motor to drive the rear wheels in place of mechanical AWD, while the system utilises a CVT automatic.
The updated 2022 RAV4 Edge hybrid is rated in Europe for 1,650kg braked towing, while in Australia, hybrid versions of the RAV4 are rated for 1,500kg.
It remains to be seen whether the towing rating will be upgraded for the Australian version of the 2022 RAV4 Hybrid – or whether Toyota Australia will include an Edge Hybrid variant in the local lineup next year.
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