2022 Toyota RAV4 SE Hybrid AWD Review: Quick Take
|2.5-liter four cylinder + electric motors
|US fuel economy (MPG):
|CAN fuel economy (L/100KM):
|Starting Price Hybrid (USD):
|$31,560 (inc. dest.)
|As-Tested Price (USD):
|$35,645 (inc. dest.)
|Starting Price Hybrid (CAD):
|$30,880 (inc. dest.)
|As-Tested Price (CAD):
|$40,040 (inc. dest.)
Unlike some of the brand’s competitors, Toyota offers the RAV4 Hybrid in a variety of trims, starting with the low-level LE. Arriving for our evaluation is the mid-level SE trim that adds some features and style to the vehicle, including black badging and matching black wheels.Get a Quote on a New Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Hybrid Tech Without the Added Cost
Toyota has been at the hybrid game a long time and the brand has really nailed down the formula. The price to upgrade from gas only to a hybrid-electric powertrain isn’t as steep as it once was. Although there is no equivalent SE gasoline version, most Hybrid versions of the RAV4 only command a $2,700 price premium.
The RAV4 Hybrid SE AWD starts at $34,255 ($40,040 CAD) after destination charges and rang in at just over $35,000 ($40,040 CAD) as tested. That made it the second least expensive entry in our 11 small SUV comparison and easily the most affordable hybrid.
Hybrid Efficiency and Power
It’s also the most efficient hybrid in the comparison as well. With a combined fuel economy rating of 40 mpg (6.0 L/100 km), no other vehicle could equal the RAV4’s efficiency – not even the plug-in hybrids. Giving the RAV4 lacklustre levels of power to ensure the best fuel sipping capability would have been an easy out for Toyota, but that’s not the path the manufacturer took.
Instead, Toyota positions the RAV4 Hybrid as an efficiency and performance upgrade. Whereas some manufacturers offer turbocharged options to increase straight line performance, Toyota offers this hybrid. With a combined 219 hp on tap, it’s quite responsive and shockingly quick at highway speeds. Simply mash the accelerator on the freeway and the Toyota just keeps pulling well beyond legal limits.
The RAV4 Hybrid excels at neither ride comfort or handling. It toes the line between the two, offering adequate responses and acceptable ride comfort.
Costs Saved Elsewhere
But there are some drawbacks to the RAV4 Hybrid, specifically the SE. To make it so affordable, money had to be saved elsewhere. In our comparison we found the Toyota to offer least amount of features, lacking items like leather seating surfaces, fog lights, and a power passenger seat. To Toyota’s credit though, even at this price point, there is a heated steering wheel, dual zone climate control, and heated front seats.
The rear cargo area is one of the larger ones in the segment and can swallow up a lot of gear. An impressive feat on its own, but even more impressive considering the RAV4 includes hybrid batteries. The rear seats also don’t compensate for the battery pack and have class competitive accommodations. Two adults fit in the back without issue.
Easy to Use, Mundane Interior
The interior layout is clean, and in the grandest of Toyota traditions, very user friendly. The large buttons and knobs are straight forward and make navigating the infotainment system’s menus a breeze. We appreciate the various cubbies and trays, as it makes it easy to find a home for items likes phones, wallets, and keys while driving.
The downside to this straight-forward, user-friendliness is that the RAV4 is devoid of any real design flair. It’s simplistic layout consists of some low-quality materials that can’t match the premium finishes used by the competition. Part of this is due to the SE Hybrid’s price point as there are more premium interiors in higher grade RAV4s.
The standard infotainment screen in our test vehicle drew some ire as it looks like a bit of an afterthought. We also wish the front door panels had a bit more softer touch material on them, especially at the top. The front cloth seats didn’t receive much praise either during our evaluation as most felt it didn’t match their body type.
2022 Toyota RAV4 SE Hybrid: The Verdict
Still, it’s hard to ignore the value proposition the 2022 Toyota RAV4 SE Hybrid all-wheel drive offers. For those that value fuel economy, power, and pricing above all else, and can overlook a few lower end materials and live without a few premium features, this is a solid small SUV that should provide years of trouble-free driving.
Is the 2022 RAV4 Hybrid available?
Yes it is, but better act fast as the 2023 models are already hitting dealerships.
Is hybrid RAV4 worth it?
With a price premium in the $2,700 range, we do recommend that the RAV4 Hybrid is worth the price over the regular RAV4.
Does 2022 RAV4 Hybrid require premium gas?
No it does not. Regular 87 octane fuel is recommended for the vehicle.
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- Fuel Efficiency
- Engine Power
- Price Point
- Interior Quality
- Front Seat Comfort
- Average Handling/Ride Comfort
A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.
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