- New SE version of the RAV4 Hybrid offers a sporty look at a lower price.
- Call in the Cavalry! New paint, wheels and lighting debut.
- Front passenger comfort improves for 2022.
Ever wondered what RAV4 stands for? Originally, when the first Toyota RAV4 went on sale in the U.S. way back in the mid-1990s, the acronym stood for Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-wheel drive. Among the first models to spark the consumer shift away from sedans and toward crossover SUVs, the RAV4 is now the best-selling vehicle in America if you cross full-size pickup trucks off the sales charts.
Though Toyota recently acknowledged 25 years of selling the RAV4 in the U.S., don't expect any special editions with new features or fancy badges. Instead, the automaker is making minor but meaningful changes to the 2022 Toyota RAV4.
If you've always liked the look of the RAV4 XSE Hybrid but not its lofty price tag, Toyota has just the thing to match your budget: the new 2022 RAV4 SE Hybrid. Based on the LE Hybrid trim, the new SE Hybrid adds larger, gloss-black alloy wheels and matching-color bumper trim. The result is a trendy and sporty look at what should be a more affordable price (Toyota hasn't announced the MSRP of the SE hybrid just yet).
Toyota will offer a couple of option packages for the SE Hybrid if you'd like additional features. A Convenience package equips the SUV with a larger 9-inch touchscreen, a power sunroof and a power liftgate. Certain to prove popular in cold-weather climates, the Weather package installs heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and rain-sensing windshield wipers with a de-icer.
A popular paint color on other Toyota models, Cavalry Blue is now available on the 2022 RAV4. According to Toyota, this non-metallic hue is available exclusively on the SE Hybrid, XSE Hybrid and RAV4 TRD Off-Road trim levels. Most RAV4 trims also get new LED headlights with a more technical and aggressive look as well as what Toyota says is improved performance. Several versions of the SUV also receive new LED foglights.
2022 Toyota RAV4
Wheel designs and finishes are updated, too. New styles arrive for the XSE Hybrid, XLE Premium Hybrid and Limited Hybrid, while the LE Hybrid, XLE Hybrid and XLE benefit from a new dark silver wheel color. The RAV4 Adventure model's wheels are now finished in a trendy matte gray.
Automakers seemingly forget that front passenger comfort is frequently just as important as that of the driver. A glance through Edmunds' RAV4 consumer reviews from the past few years reveals plenty of complaints about the front passenger seat's lack of adjustability and comfort. Toyota takes a step to resolve this issue with the 2022 RAV4 Limited, which gets an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger seat — height adjustment included. Unfortunately, lesser trims still have to make do with, well, less.
Additionally, all versions of the RAV4 add a locking glove compartment and LED interior lighting, while the XLE and trims above get additional nighttime illumination for secondary switchgear. Seems like another upgrade that Toyota should expand across the entire lineup.
To dent its own sales, Toyota would really need to screw up the RAV4. We're pretty confident that Toyota has not screwed up the 2022 RAV4. From what we know so far, the features that are new for 2022 should only make the RAV4 even more appealing and popular than it already is.