Toyota RAV4 Adventure 2022 UK review:

What is it?

Toyota has a knack for keeping types of cars alive that other manufacturers have given up on. Not in a behind-the-times kind of way – they just manage to make things work that others can not. Affordable sports cars, rally-refugee hot hatchbacks and city cars are no longer viable because of emissions and rising costs. The Toyota GR86, Toyota GR Yaris and Toyota Aygo X all beg to differ.

The Allroad-Cross-Country-Alltrack-type look went from big to forgotten in the last two decades, but here we have the RAV4 Adventure, with black plastic trim, beefier skidplates, redesigned bumpers and standard four-wheel drive.

Granted, Toyota keeping the manual rear-wheel drive sports car alive is more exciting, but it’s still worth taking a look at this new version of Toyota’s range staple, partly to see if it still makes sense next to the more recent plug-in hybrid Toyota RAV4.

Along with the Adventure grade, the 2022 RAV4 gains redesigned LED projector headlights, electric adjustment for the passenger seat on some trims and… drum roll… four USB-C ports in the interior. All good things, but just a half-hearted tad.

The current RAV4 has been around since 2018, so we would have liked to see a more full-featured facelift bringing proper matrix LED headlights and an update for the badly dated, slow infotainment system. The latter now has (wired) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but Toyota has a more modern interface in the latest Corolla and some US-market models, so now would have been a great time to introduce it to the RAV4 as well.

What’s it like?

Adventure is the most expensive trim on the RAV4, at £ 42,750. Compare that to Dynamic, which costs £ 39,010 with front-wheel drive, or £ 41,390 with all-wheel drive. Unless you really like the outdoorsy styling and panoramic sunroof, other grades offer much better value.

To drive, it’s much the same as any other RAV4, other than perhaps the plug-in hybrid RAV4, whose greater curb weight may have prompted some suspension changes that improve the ride comfort. The regular hybrid RAV4’s chassis feels quite soft but underdamped, meaning it’s neither particularly dynamic in the corners nor perfectly comfortable. At least the cabin is quiet on the motorway.

Toyota knows how to do hybrids by now, though. Sure, it has the typical CVT drone under hard acceleration, but the two electric motors in this four-wheel drive version – 118bhp working with the engine in the front and 54bhp electric motor on the rear axle – give plenty of torque to make the powertrain perfectly relaxed and quiet in most scenarios, while also returning an easy 43mpg.

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