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Toyota expands RAV4 range with more hybrids and new XSE variant

TOYOTA has significantly upgraded its best-selling RAV4 medium SUV range, introducing the new mid-level XSE variant, expanding the availability of the hugely popular 2.5-litre hybrid powertrain and improving specification across the line-up.

The newly introduced XSE variant will slot into the range between the GXL and Cruiser grades when the updated range arrives in the first quarter of 2022, and be offered with both 2WD and AWD hybrid powertrains.

Hybrid power has also been added to the range-topping adventure-focussed Edge AWD variant, now providing customers with the option of the efficient hybrid powertrain across the entire RAV4 line-up.

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The new mid-range XSE is distinguished from the rest of the RAV4 line-up thanks to its stylish black accents, applied to the front and rear bumper, grille, fog light garnish, fenders, exterior mirrors, door mouldings and two-tone roof.

The 18-inch alloy wheels are also finished in gloss black, with a new eye-catching twin-spoke design and fitted with 225/60R18 tyres. Inside, it continues the darkened exterior theme with a black roof headliner and pillar garnish.

Seats are upholstered in ‘Softex’ premium material, with two-stage heating for the driver and front passenger and 10-way power adjustment including lumbar support for the driver.

Leather-accented door trims and unique mood lighting gives an added premium ambience. A 7.0-inch multi information display in the instrument cluster is paired with the 8.0-inch display audio touchscreen infotainment system as well.

It features satellite navigation, smartphone compatibility and wireless charging. A power rear hatch rounds out the list of additional features.

Available in either front or all-wheel drive, the XSE is offered exclusively with a 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid powertrain (160kW in 2WD, 163kW in AWD). The latter also adds Trail mode function that alters the throttle, wheel braking and torque distribution.

In addition to the new XSE variant, Toyota will offer the dual-electric motor 163kW hybrid powertrain, mated to a continuously variable transmission, in the top of the range AWD Edge version for the first time.

The hybrid powertrain joins the 2.5-litre petrol engine in the Edge that produces maximum outputs of 152kW 243Nm, driving all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission with on-demand 4×4 capability.

Edge variants also gain extra safety equipment with the addition of rear cross-traffic alert and parking support brake that feature autonomous braking capability for static objects when moving forward or backward, or for cars crossing behind the vehicle when reversing.

The updated RAV4 line-up sees a number of range-wide exterior changes too, with a new projector LED headlamp design for hybrid variants that houses the high/low beams, the turning lights, and the combined daytime running, parking and clearance lights.

LED fog lamps have also been introduced across the range as standard, and nine different exterior paint colours are available, with Mineral Blue Metallic replacing Eclectic Blue.

The XSE is available with four colours – Crystal Pearl, Silver Sky, Graphite and Mineral Blue – all paired with a black roof.

New alloy wheel designs have been introduced on all variants bar Cruiser petrol, with the 17-inch alloys on the GX now finished in light grey, and new design 18-inch wheels on GXL, XSE and Cruiser hybrid, and 19-inch alloys for Edge.

GXL wheels have changed to a five dual-spoke design with a dark silver finish, Cruiser now sports a similar gloss black design to XSE, and Edge grades incorporate a new design with matte grey finish.

Inside the cabin, GX grades gain DAB+ digital radio for the display audio system, rear seat-belt reminder and LED interior lights, replacing halogen lights. On GXL and above, new illuminated door switches have been added, bringing extra convenience to the cabin.

Cruiser grades gain a digital rear-view mirror, which uses the rear parking camera to provide a clearer and wider field of view while also reducing glare. This can be activated and disabled via a lever at the bottom of the mirror.

Cruiser variants also add three-stage front seat heating and ventilation, with eight-way power adjustment for the front passenger seat.

In addition to the 2.5-litre hybrid powertrain that is available across the range, the RAV4 is available with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine for 2WD GX, GXL and Cruiser versions.

The petrol engine generates a maximum 127kW of power and peak torque of 203Nm, and is teamed to a continuously variable transmission. All petrol grades now feature engine stop-start technology to maximise fuel efficiency.

The six-speed manual transmission offered on GX has been discontinued due to low customer demand. The Toyota RAV4 is covered by Toyota Service Advantage, which offers capped price servicing for 5-years or 75,000 kilometres (up to the first 5 services).

For 2022, the RAV4 GX 2WD petrol opens the 13-variant range at $34,300 plus on-roads. The GXL kicks off at $37,825 plus on-roads for the 2WD petrol variant, and the XSE in 2WD Hybrid is priced at $42,825 plus on-roads.

The Cruiser 2WD petrol is $42,500, with the Edge AWD petrol at $49,820 and AWD hybrid at $52,320 – all plus on-roads. Optional extras include premium paint, navigation and a full-sized spare on the GX Hybrid, and a panoramic roof on the Edge petrol.

2022 Toyota RAV4
Inside the 2022 Toyota RAV4 (overseas model shown)
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The News Desk is the hub of Exhaust Notes Australia. It's from here that our team of writers journalists and photographers bring you the latest happenings from the world of motoring.

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