Exciting E-FOUR Variants Bolster the Toyota RAV4 range

Launched in 2021, the RAV4 Hybrid in front-wheel-drive (FWD) GX-trim garnered widespread acclaim for its combination of practicality, fuel efficiency and performance. Combining the proven TNGA platform with a punchy 2.5-litre hybrid powertrain, the RAV4 Hybrid delivers a driving experience in tune with the needs of the modern consumer.

Revised Grades

For 2022, the RAV4 Hybrid line-up has been revised, with a new two-grade strategy comprising the familiar GX-R and VX. With the adoption of the new higher-tier grades (versus the outgoing GX), the accompanying specification levels (and visual drama) have been amplified too.

Styling & Aesthetics

In terms of character, the GX-R delivers a stylish yet rugged exterior with prominent black cladding, black over-fenders and a silver bumper protector. A large trapezoidal grille, with two parallel cross-bars, and wide-set fog lamps frame the blue-hued Toyota insignia – a hybrid exclusive. The interior on the GX-R features leather trim (which extends to the steering wheel and shift lever), as well as striking orange detailing on the stitching, seatback and console surround areas – adding a dash of flair to the cabin.

The VX variant adopts a stylish and sophisticated exterior package, with unique front grille treatment, deeper apron and vertically-mounted fog lamp bezels. The leather interior is accompanied by blue interior illumination.

Specification & Features

The GX-R features LED headlamps and daytime running lights, aforementioned fog lamps, roof rails, rear spoiler and new smoked 18″ alloy wheels. Convenience specification is ample with auto air-conditioning, rain-sensing wipers, smart entry, a touchscreen infotainment system (with CarPlay and Android Auto functionality), five USB ports, a wireless charger, reverse camera, rear park distance control (PDC) and cruise control. Both seat heating and ventilation are on offer, as well as power seat adjustment for the driver.

VX variants are further bolstered with power-seat adjustment for the front passenger with driver memory function (while foregoing seat ventilation), front and rear park distance control, auto high-beam functionality and auto-fold operation for the exterior mirrors. A highlight of the VX model is the panoramic view monitor which is newly joined by a digital rear-view mirror. The digital rear-view mirror uses rear-facing cameras to project a wide-angle image onto the mirror surface. This function is user-selectable, allowing the driver to toggle between traditional and camera views, at the touch of a button.

Both models feature a semi-digital instrument cluster, which incorporates a broad spectrum Multi-Information Display (MID). Dedicated screens are provided to monitor eco-driving performance (including an EV-mode usage infographic) and E-FOUR operation, alongside the usual MID parameters.

All RAV4 models (petrol models included) now boast LED interior illumination, an upgrade from three to five USB ports (with dedicated charging outlets) and two 12-volt accessory connectors.

Safety & Security

The GX-R models come equipped with a full suite of driver aids; ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Control, Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Hill Start Assist and Downhill Assist Control (DAC). The VX grade adds Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), which encompasses Pre-Crash, radar cruise control, lane trace assist, blind-spot monitoring (BSM) and rear cross traffic alert (RCTA).

A full complement of airbags is present, including side and curtain variants, as well as an anti-theft system.

Hybrid E-FOUR Power

All RAV4 Hybrid models employ Toyota’s 4th-generation hybrid system which in RAV4 E-FOUR execution combines a 2.5-litre Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor (on the front axle) while adding a rear-mounted electric motor (MGR). The power units are coupled to a CVT transmission to seamlessly integrate power sources and deliver smooth acceleration. This not only provides the vehicle with new energy credentials, but adds on-demand AWD to the powertrain matrix.

The electric motor is connected to a two-stage gear reduction mechanism, which utilises a parallel shaft to reduce gear engagement losses. This results in highly responsive power distribution between the front and rear wheels. The electric E-Four system automatically optimises the torque distribution ratio according to driving conditions, which can vary between 100% in the front, to a 20/80 front-rear split.

When turning, the power distribution is controlled to be more ‘rear-wheel drive-like’, which helps inspire driver confidence and adds to superb steering feel. For driving in slippery conditions, an Auto LSD/Trail Assist mode can be used to improve traction. Enhanced acceleration, traction, driving stability and regenerative braking performance are some of the E-FOUR benefits.

Drive Mode Select allows the driver to tailor vehicle dynamics to usage conditions (Eco/Normal/Power) which in turn are joined by EV-mode and Trail Assist switches, for condition-specific operation.

In terms of performance figures, the A25A-FXS engine delivers 131 kW and 221 Nm of Torque in pure ICE trim. The electric motors pitch in 88 and 40 kW respectively (front/rear) with the complimentary torque numbers registering at 202 and 121 Nm. The total system is rated at 163 kW, while top speed is specified as 180 km/h.

Fuel efficiency remains one of the key hybrid credentials, with the RAV4 E-FOUR Hybrid being no exception. A combined cycle figure of 4.8 l/100 kilometres certainly validates this statement. A 55 litre fuel tank allows a theoretical range of 1145 km on a single tank.

Towing Capacity

E-FOUR models can tow up to 1000kg braked and 750kg un-braked.

Colours & Trim 

GX-R models are offered in five exterior colours; Graphite Grey, Cinnabar Red, Urban Khaki, Tidal Blue (new) and Attitude Black. VX models in turn can be ordered in a total of nine hues, including Pearl White, Chromium Silver and Moonlight Ocean metallic.

Both grades are equipped with leather-trimmed interiors, with a choice between Black and Orchid Brown on the GX-R and an option of Black or Beige in VX guise.

Model Line-up & Pricing

In-line with market trends and product line-up rationalisation, the previously offered GX models have been deleted from the RAV4 line-up (with the addition of Corolla Cross), leaving GX-R and VX in both conventional petrol and hybrid configuration.

RAV4 2.0 GX-R CVT AWD – R 606,600

RAV4 2.5 GX-R CVT Hybrid E-Four – R 644,100

RAV4 2.0 VX CVT 2WD – R 617,000

RAV4 2.5 VX AT AWD – R 702,300

RAV4 2.5 VX CVT Hybrid E-Four – R 723,200

Peace of Mind

A six-services or 90 000 km service plan is standard with service Intervals pegged at 15 000 km / 12- months. Toyota’s standard 3-year/100 000 km warranty is included and hybrid customers have the additional peace of mind of an 8-year / 195 000 km Hybrid battery warranty. Service and warranty plan extensions can also be purchased from any Toyota dealer (220 outlets).

Picture/s: Motorpress