The pressure of a long running dynasty like the RAV4 is that the expectation is always there to continue to innovate, improve, and excel, all while keeping true to the spirit of its origin.
As consumer demands shift in the recreational SUV domain, Toyota continues to demonstrate it can, and will, tie the best of both worlds together, and the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid is an exceptional example of modern tech meets fun to drive.
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid has certainly grown too, and from the front you get a sense of a smaller LandCruiser almost, as it sits high, wide, and staunch, with a premium grille to match, and the distinctive Toyota logo.
More pronounced edges and contours gives it a serious look. Projector LED headlamps sit seamlessly on either side of the grille and a set of LED daytime running lamps are built-in to the bumper. That explains why its night vision is spectacular.
The view from the side begins to feel more characteristically like a RAV4. Generous wheel arches with black mouldings house 18-inch alloy wheels, with front and rear mud flaps to keep the body pristine.
Chrome trimmed exterior door handles are a nice touch and add to that premium look and feel. Getting in and out of the RAV4 is a breeze. The height and space of the vehicle minimises the body contortion one typically experiences when crawling into a small sedan.
Large doors and wide clearance also makes entry and exit seamless. A definite boon with anyone with mobility challenges. The same convivence of size and space is afforded in the rear of the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid.
It is from this angle that the RAV4 shows it size. A large rear window is framed nicely across the powered tailgate. Rear headlights are tied together with a silver bezel that also presents an aesthetically pleasing break between tailgate and bumper.
It feels considered, like Toyota has thought about the best way to make it attractive. Inside, space, technology, and comfort are key themes. We spent hours in the driver’s seat and can certainly attest to the comfort of the 10-way powered front seat for long hauls.
A premium steering wheel with all the bells and whistles in terms of audio, infotainment, and cruise control buttons features, with this variant of the RAV4 also coming with leather-accented seats, which is a nice touch.
An 8.0-inch infotainment screen sits on top and centred on the dashboard. The screen could be bigger, but it was sufficient. Wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and there’s a wireless phone charger nearby.
There were no shortages of USB ports either, with three in the front of cabin, and two for the rear passengers. A 9-speaker JBL premium audio system ensures there’s no want for decent sound either. The acoustics were sensational.
Space and storage is well thought out too, with 580-litres of boot space, deep pocket door bins, and cup holders in the centre console. A decent storage cubby doubles as a comfortable arm rest too.
The sunroof allows for a well-lit cabin, giving it a roomier feeling, although that isn’t really needed thanks to the ample legroom available for most passengers. Kids are well catered for as well, thanks to two ISOFIX child restraint anchor points on the outer rear seats.
On the safety front, you’ll find seven airbags, as well as vehicle stability control, front/rear parking sensors, cross traffic alert, a 360-degree birds-eye view camera setup, lane departure and lane keep assist, auto high beam and adaptive cruise control.
Toyota’s pre-collision safety system can spot other vehicles, as well as pedestrians and cyclists. The 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, and scored highly in the adult occupant safety category with 93 per cent.
On the road is where this SUV shines though, and the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid (tested here in front-wheel drive) comes loaded with a 2.5-litre petrol 4-cylinder engine, paired to an electric motor, with the duo generating up to 160kW.
No need to plug in for that hybrid power either, as the engine charges up the battery as you drive. Paired to a CVT, there’s 221Nm of torque on tap. As you might expect too, fuel efficiency reigns supreme.
With a 55-litre fuel tank, we figured we should test out just how economical the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid really is. We started our journey with a run to Coogee beach, providing a friend with the opportunity to experience its style and comfort.
He was thoroughly impressed, so from there we took ourselves all through Sydney, and up into the mountains to Bilpin. The RAV4 handled things majestically and despite some decent steep inclines, neither fuel efficiency or power delivery took a hit.
It accelerated well, and handled like a dream up and down a heap of windy, steep hills. But it’s the fuel economy that blew our mind. At the end of the week of driving, literally all over the place, the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid clocked just 5.5-litres/100km.
Technology inclusions, the premium feel, fuel efficiency, and that much needed fun driving factor all come together to make this a car that’s definitely worth a look. There’s plenty of colour options too, including Glacier White, Crystal Pearl, Silver Sky, and Graphite.
You can also choose Atomic Rush, Eclipse Black, Mineral Blue, and Saturn Blue. Interior colour choices are either Black or Nutmeg for your leather-accented trim. You can pick one up for $50,881 drive away, complete with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty.
Our test vehicle was provided by Toyota Australia. To find out more about the 2022 Toyota RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid, contact your local Toyota dealer.