More than 25 years ago, Toyota introduced a new vehicle segment to the world called the RAV4. It was designed to appeal to customers looking for a sports vehicle but demanded a slightly smaller car to get better mileage. Now fast forward two and a half decades, many people favor the updated 2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE.
In the 5th generation, the RAV4 model has become Toyota’s best-selling vehicle, with the company moving nearly 450,000 units in America back in 2019.
Toyota has made enough changes to the 2022 Toyota RAV4 hybrid XSE model to keep this vehicle a significant consideration if you’re looking for a compact crossover.
The compact crossover segment is one of the hottest markets to play in, and Toyota knows that they have to keep the RAV4 fresh to attract new buyers. The customers are constantly looking for a vehicle in this segment that has essentially replaced the midsize family sedan as America’s most popular vehicle. So, this generation Toyota RAV4, when it came out in 2019 already, had a lot of power.
2022 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE Body Design
So many changes are not needed for the RAV4 2022 version. But as the market is constantly changing, Toyota should provide options in RAV4 to keep it fresh with many consumers. A new color option is called calvary blue. We have seen this blue in other Toyota products, especially the Toyota Tacoma and some other trucks. The 2022 Toyota RAV4 XSE hybrid model has a very handsome-looking color.
The hybrid is one of the most popular options that Toyota offers, as are four or three different powertrain configurations. The first thing you will notice with the 2022 model is the new headlights, and all rav4s come standard with full headlights. However, you can see that Toyota has updated the headlights’ look with new LED daytime running lights.
You have an LED turn signal. Now you have low and high LED lights, and these are upgraded headlights. I believe that the XSE model has the same front bumper as the Toyota prime that introduced the front bumper a few years ago when they first introduced the Prime.
It has a vertical running LED daytime running light that matches the one in the headlights. You miss the fog lights, but the new gloss black accents can be seen. Galv Calvary Blue Plate Paint is a very attractive-looking SUV that continues to be the right size vehicle for many consumers.
Toyota did not change the silhouette or overall dimensions. 2022 Toyota RAV4 hybrid XSE is about 106 inches, and wheelbase is 181 inches. Overall, compared to the original RAV4, introduced in 1996, it’s about 20 inches long. So it’s incredible to see how big the new version or current generation is.
You can see there are new wheel options available. The XSE version also has 18-inch black wheels wrapped in 225 60 tires. Also, the wheels will be reminiscent of the 19-inch ones you find on the RAV4 Prime, which, again, you can still get on the Prime. All RAV4s have fender flares, and the gloss black on the XSE makes it look a little sportier. The XSE will once again serve as a sportier option.
You get about 8.4 inches of ground clearance. The black contrast roof that Toyota introduced a few years ago looks good with calvary blue paint when you go for the hybrid model. You can get an optional panoramic sunroof, black painted mirrors, and integrated turn signals. A lot of people love 4runner miniatures.
Check out the toys introduced when they introduced this redesigned RAV4 selling out on the market. The 2022 RAV4 Hybrid is the best-selling compact crossover you can find today in America. On the back, you can’t see many other changes. You still have the same design with the LED taillights. No full LED turn signals like the ones you get upfront.
You still have the silver-painted bar that connects the two tail light modules. You have the XSE hybrid badge toy, but it also offers a black badge. The rear bumper doesn’t seem to have changed. You’ve still got the dual chrome exhaust tips. The beauty of the hybrid is that you don’t have to compromise on the cargo area. It’s still one of the most spacious you’ll find in this segment as the battery doesn’t interfere with actual floor space.
New Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Interior
You get about 35 cubic feet of space with the seat on top folding down. The second-row seats expand it to about 72 cubic feet of space which is excellent.
Under it, you can see the temporary spare tire, and it also gives you the jack and whatnot. The RAV4s are not available with third-row seats but remember this continues to be one of the most practical vehicles and the right size vehicle for many American families. Let’s move on to the interior of the RAV4 2022.
The current key fob for the vehicle hasn’t changed. It’s still Toyota’s Smart key access system. of course, they have the latest version of their Toyota connected services app. However, it lacks the latest technology like digital button functions that you can find on some of the newer Toyotas.
The XSE version has a soft interior and a 10-way powered driver’s seat with two-person memory, and this seat is heated only. I can’t believe you can get a cooled seat in a hybrid. You can be on your way to Prime and Limited, but the XSE version, I’m not entirely sure if it offers cooled seats. I know Toyota affords it on the adventure and maybe even an off-road performance of the TRD.
I love the contrasting blue stitches with the interesting perforation in the middle. The seats are roughly unchanged, and you still have the same soft-touch material with the original stitching on the door panels, soft-touch on the right, and lots of window control knobs.
You can see they haven’t changed even though Toyota has finally added backlit functionality. So at night, these are now really ON and trying to improve night driving visibility basically by adding some features they should have had before. Toyota is refreshing their new RAV4. With a ground clearance of about 8.5 inches, the stride in height is relatively easy with the rav4. That’s one of the reasons why people love this so much. Also, when you close the door, it has a relatively solid sound.
To start with, you can see the button hasn’t moved yet. It’s still here behind the wheel, although it’s a bit blocked by the steering wheel. When you guys sit in the driver’s seat, you can see the XSE version has the same gauge display as you’d find on the RAV4 Prime. I will constantly refer to it as it is the top end of the hierarchy for the RAV4 trim structure.
You get a 7-inch auxiliary display, a traditional analog dial, a fuel gauge, and a temperature display. The Prime will essentially replace the temperature display with the battery percentage for the 18.1 kWh battery pack. The rest of the dashboard hasn’t changed. You can see the material is solid by the soft-touch injection molded plastic. You have a softer touch with faux seams on the dashboard and hard-touch plastic with fewer storage shelves.
You have dual-zone climate control with the same chunky knobs, which are excellent. If you guys like to wear gloves, you try to adjust the climate, and you can look at the two-level heated seats. You can get cooled seats in some upscale trims, which this one doesn’t, and you do have a wireless phone charging pad. You still have to plug in your phone to access Apple Carplay or Android Auto, but it has no wireless function.
Toyota upgraded the infotainment system to a nine-inch screen at the top end before the largest eight-inch, seven-inch is the smallest screen. The bezels are practically motionless, staying here in a tablet-style orientation. So this is an old Toyota system they don’t even call Entune anymore. It doesn’t include wireless updates, but you can see a pretty basic display.
It’s also relatively easy to use and comes with a factory built-in GPS. If you have to use it, it has GPS, and the quality is terrible. If you press the button slightly to the side, you can see the heated steering wheel, power liftgate, heated windshield, and more.
Press a button, and it gives you a 360 perimeter scan which has pretty crummy graphics. I would love it if Toyota gave us a new infotainment system in the 2022 version, but this one is relatively easy to use.
You will feel right at home when you log in to this system for those unfamiliar with it. It’s very capable, just a little dated. The gear selector doesn’t change.
You get a full 360 camera with the same crappy graphics and resolution. There is a drive mode selector, and you turn it to the left goes to ECO, it turns green. Push it in; it becomes Normal. If you turn it to the right, it goes to Sport.
The plug-in hybrid Prime will give you a few other options for both EV and hybrid modes. An EV mode lets you drive at very low speeds with a light throttle on electric only. When the battery is sufficiently charged, it doesn’t need to be plugged in, and it will recharge the battery every time the gasoline engine starts.
You have cup holders that don’t change. The nice padded area doesn’t change either. You have two USB charging ports which are excellent. Also, you get a standard USB charging port.
The seat is quite comfortable and supportive. You’ll love the colors, but I wish they had offered cooled seats on the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE. I’m not entirely sure if they’ll do it for 2022.
The glove compartment is also where Toyota puts a little love. There is now a lockable function for the glove compartment. When you open it, it’s still in bin style, and it was muffled but not lined with felt.
Toyota has also added LED lights to the cabin. So there are LED lights up front, which is nice. You have a panoramic roof available in higher trims, and then there is the woven material on the top.
You can also get Toyota digital rearview mirrors on the top trim, a nice tech feature.
You can get a heads-up look on the upper-end trim of the Limited or Prime versions.
So overall, the interior hasn’t changed much. Toyota added some excellent touches to address some of the complaints owners have. But it’s still one of the more excellent cabins in the business, offering good space, visibility, and great technology for the money.
The rear seats of the 2022 RAV4 haven’t changed much. You still get about 37.5 inches of legroom. The seat also still gives you the ability to lean back a bit. You can also fold it when you can’t slide the seat back and forth. But regardless, it’s still a pretty good place to spend some time. It’s not the most prominent rear seat in its segment.
However, as you can see, they brought the same soft-touch material as the window switch controls, which are now backlit, which is excellent. Then you can see that it is effortless to get in and out of this vehicle when you get in and close the door. The door had a similar thunk that sounded the same.
The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE version gives you one storage pocket on the passenger side. Also, there are rear-seat air vents, two USB-C, and a charging port. But, there are no heated rear seats on the XSE trim. However, one sure is nice to find. But Toyota has also added more LED lights at the rear. So they don’t skimp and give it upfront. You can see an armrest that folds down, giving you two cupholders.
So overall, the rear seats haven’t changed much. Still relatively roomy, but some competitors offer more interior space in the second row. Now Toyota has made some changes to the exterior and interior of the 2022 RAV4. However, they all carry under the hood, and that changes are necessary.
The RAV4 already has one of the most diverse engine lines in its segment. Now you can see this one under the hood, and it’s an XSE hybrid.
RAV4 Hybrid Powertrain
So it’s right in the middle among all the powertrain options. It mated to a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder running on an Atkinson cycle that produced around 176 horsepower, paired with three electric motors and a tiny 1.5 kWh lithium-ion battery combined output is 219 horsepower.
While Toyota doesn’t rate torque, it’s more potent than what you’d get from just a base 2.5. but of course, if you want more power, the RAV4 Prime is still available with the same update that gives you an 18-kilowatt-hour battery pack that also boosts power by 83 to 302 horsepower.
Now fuel economy is the best part about the hybrid. It’s rated to get around 40 mpg for most models, again topped in this segment. The Prime will be 300-400 pounds heavier. So that’s a small change Toyota made. I didn’t anticipate the RAV4’s driving dynamics to change this year. There’s no need for the RAV4 to continue to be a pretty capable car.
I’ll spend my time driving the hybrid version because most people get hybrids, a complete vehicle. If you mainly drive around town or drive on long trips, this car offers a lot of power and acceleration. In addition, it has excellent ride quality wrapped in a very easy to maneuver package.
With 219 horsepower, in Sport mode, if you put your feet down, the CVT quickly adjusts the ratio and allows the gas engine to accelerate.
If you put your feet down in Sport mode, the CVT quickly adjusts the ratio and allows the gas engine to accelerate. Others do have the ability to glide electrically only at lower speeds.
But as soon as you ask for more than a quarter throttle, the petrol engine will fire up. Remember, you don’t get the Prime with a full 18.1 kWh battery. So I would recommend it if you guys want the whole EV experience. But apart from this, it will help you get much better and faster mileage than standard 2.5.
Yes, this engine still produces a bit of a slurred noise. But the fact that you get electrification helps it here. Remember, these are three electric motors, and the rear axle is not connected directly to the motor, a separate 53 horsepower electric motor powers it.
You can see the petrol engine die, and it feels like you’re driving a full EV which is fun. There’s also an EV mode that allows you to put it in an EV as it says the battery has enough charge to enable you to do so.
If you cycle through this mode, it will show you the battery’s state of charge and the proportion of the drive source you are using. Visibility in this vehicle is still excellent. The hood has a nice protrusion inside with a cut line. The pillars are pretty thin, and you also have a sizeable rearview mirror.
Plus, you have Toyota’s safety sense 2.5, which is standard on this vehicle on all versions of the RAV. You get optional rear-traffic braking and a full 360 camera.
Now, if you don’t like the digital rearview mirror, you can flip it over, and it goes back to the traditional rearview mirror.
You’ll love the seating position. It’s nice and high so you can see very well. Toyota says the hybrid version will hit 60 in about 7.3 seconds.
It offers a lot of power, and you need to get used to the buzzy engine. It isn’t the most fun of things; that is why you love your RAV4 Prime, which does a great job.
Of course, it only keeps it in all-electric mode while the battery is charging. So you feel like you’re driving an actual electric vehicle as opposed to this noisy hybrid.
Toyota’s hybrid system has gotten much better. The current generation is one of the best in the industry with a smooth ride, excellent CVT responsiveness, and good mileage.
It should get closer to 40 mpg on a full tank, nearly 500 miles of cruising range. So again much better than all-electric vehicles.
Toyota has their bZ4X coming out next year, with roughly a 250-mile range. So this car can theoretically cover twice the mileage, which is why Toyota sold over 400,000 units. It’s a fantastic all-in-one vehicle.
When going through some corners, the RAV4 has a steering that is not very fast but precise. The body also feels quite soft. There are a lot of lean bodies. I mean, the XSE has sport-tuned suspension.
But this is sport-tuned for Toyota, nothing super aggressive. The XSE Hybrid doesn’t have enough power to trip the front tires like Prime wheels.
Prime will roast the front tires and have some hilarious wheel hops. But the 2022 RAV4 only has enough power, so this should suffice.
So if you’re looking for Prime but can’t seem to find it, I think hybrid is a good choice. You can also pick this up a lot easier than Prime.
So overall, I’m impressed with the way the RAV4 keeps going. The 2022 RAV4 Hybrid is my favorite crossover in the segment because it’s so complete, a little boring, and feels like something that will last for 10+ years.
If you’re the kind of person who buys a new car and keeps it for at least ten years, this is one you’ll still want to look at. So, of course, the current generation RAV4 continues to be the right-sized crossover that many Americans love.
After spending some time with the 2022 Toyota RAV4 hybrid XSE version, there’s still a lot going on. I like some of the changes that Toyota has made, especially the new headlights, updated wheels, and the interior, which have some additional features.
Even though they’re pretty small, Toyota wants to listen to all the pre-refresh model complaints and address them here in the 2022 version. One of those significant gripes is adding a lower-priced SE hybrid version, which will appeal to more price-conscious buyers.
Now that the RAV4 isn’t perfect, the interior isn’t the most luxurious. It is not the most extensive, but it is one of the most complete.
It gives you genuine off-road capability and real space in the back seat.
Also, it provides you with many technological features such as a pano sunroof, 360-degree camera, head-up view, and heated and cooled seats. All that wraps it at an inclusive price.
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE Prices
So for those of you who want to spend around $ 26,000, you can choose the basic version. Or you can spend up to $50,000 if you select a Prime, which is still eligible for the 7,500 tax credit as long as you can find one of those vehicles at a Toyota dealer.
I don’t have a final price, but I’ll update when Toyota releases that this 2022 model isn’t even for sale. Currently, they are heading to dealerships in late or mid to late December. With a chip shortage, COVID 19, and others, Toyota has slowed down production as they try to get the parts they need.
So I will update the price every time I have it. Right now, the 2021 RAV4 hybrid is roughly starting at around $29,000, and this one is probably approximately $42,000.
I’d expect it to stay at the same price tag, and it’s an excellent price to pay if you’re looking for a compact crossover SUV that gets 40 mpg with outstanding acceleration and a car that’s very easy to live with on a day-to-day basis. But with all that in mind, I hope you guys enjoyed my complete overview of the 2022 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid.
Ryan Daniel is a car enthusiast, and he has years of experience in the automotive field as an engineer. Now he is also active as an automobile blogger and member of the auto community.