2023 Toyota RAV4 Review

By Alexi Falson on 27 Mar 2023
image for 2023 Toyota RAV4 Review When it comes to family-friendly SUVs, there’s no bigger name in the game than the iconic Toyota RAV4.

Now in its fifth generation, Toyota offers hybrid engines across the RAV4 lineup, accompanied by a generous equipment list and a hugely practical interior design that makes it perfect for growing families.

The only problem with being at the head of the pack is that there’s a heap of rivals looking to snatch the throne from the RAV4, so with that in mind, let’s take a closer look at how it performs and stacks up against its main rivals.

Starting Price: $36,550

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Toyota RAV4 - EDGE (AWD) HYBRID Specifications

Model Date 2023
Model RAV4
Series AXAH54R
Drive AWD
Engine DIRFI
Engine capacity 2487
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 5700 / 3600
Cylinders 4
Torque 221
KW 131
Fuel tank size 55.0
Fuel usage specs 4.8 / 0
CO2 110
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Toyota RAV4 car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

Toyota’s RAV4 lineup kicks off from $36,550 for the entry-level GX 2WD, with prices rising to $39,050 for the GX 2WD Hybrid, and up to $42,050 for the GX AWD Hybrid.

Stepping up to the GXL 2WD brings the price to $40,100, while the GXL 2WD and AWD Hybrids are priced at $42,600 and $45,600 respectively.

The RAV4 XSE Hybrid is priced at $45,700 for the 2WD Hybrid variant and $48,700 for the XSE AWD Hybrid, while the Cruiser 2WD is priced at $45,700 with prices rising to $48,200 for the Hybrid and $51,200 for the Cruiser AWD Hybrid.

Finally, the RAV4 range is topped by the Edge AWD petrol and Hybrid variants, which are priced at $53,020 and $55,150 respectively.

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What Features Does the Toyota RAV4 Have?

Toyota’s entry-level RAV4 GX comes fitted with 17-inch alloys, automatic LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, a rear-view camera with parking sensors, cloth upholstery with a leatherette steering wheel, LED interior lighting, a 4.2-inch driver’s display and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with DAB+, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, atop a 12-month subscription to Toyota’s Connected Services.

Stepping up to the RAV4 GXL adds a set of 18-inch alloys, keyless entry & start, dual-zone climate control, roof rails, premium front grille design, wireless smartphone charging, rear privacy glass and a self-dimming rear-view mirror.

The RAV4 XSE gains an upgraded 10.5-inch infotainment system and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, as well as upgraded Softex upholstery with power-adjustable, heated front seats, a two-tone roof with black exterior highlights, a powered boot lift, ambient interior lighting and leather interior accents.

Upgrading to the RAV4 Cruiser adds a set of 19-inch alloys for the petrol, with the Hybrid variant sticking to 18-inch alloys, as well as a powered sunroof, surround-view camera, leather upholstery with heated and ventilated front seats, a digital rear-view mirror and an upgraded nine-speaker JBL sound system.

Finally, the range-topping RAV4 Edge gains a set of LED projector headlights, off-road driving modes with hill-descent control, and a unique body styling package.

2023 toyota rav4 edge instrument cluster

Range Features:

  • 17-inch alloys

  • Automatic LED headlights

  • Adaptive cruise control

  • Rear-view camera with parking sensors

  • Cloth upholstery with leatherette steering wheel

  • 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

  • 18-inch alloys (GXL)

  • Roof rails (GXL)

  • Keyless entry & start (GXL)

  • Wireless smartphone charging (GXL)

  • 10.5-inch infotainment system (XSE)

  • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster (XSE)

  • Powered boot lift (XSE)

  • Powered sunroof (Cruiser)

  • Heated & ventilated seats (Cruiser)

  • Off-road driving modes with hill-descent control (Edge)

Toyota RAV4 Colours

The Toyota RAV4 range is available in seven colours, including Glacier White as a no-cost finish, while Graphite, Silver Sky, Atomic Rush, Saturn Blue, Mineral Blue and Eclipse Black are listed as optional colour finishes.

Is it Comfortable to Drive?

The main selling point of the updated RAV4 range is the addition of hybrid engines across every price point, which gives buyers a heap of variety within the range that performs wonderfully on a mix of town and country driving.

The RAV4 petrol comes powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit producing 127kW of power and 203Nm of torque, and is paired with a CVT automatic transmission, while the more powerful petrol engine - only available in the RAV4 Edge - produces 152kW of power and 243Nm of torque and gains an eight-speed automatic.

The base petrol unit produces a decent amount of power to kick off the line and get up to speed seamlessly thanks to its CVT automatic, while the more powerful petrol gives the RAV4 a spring in its step and a much more sophisticated transmission.

The most popular engine option, though, comes in the form of the 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid, which produces 160kW of power in the 2WD Hybrid range, increasing to 163kW of power in the AWD’s dual electric motor setup.

Toyota’s hybrid engine performs wonderfully both around town and on long-distance stretches of highway, with a seamless switch between electric and petrol power while pushing off the line at low speeds that make it feel smooth and sophisticated.

Underneath, the RAV4 gains a sturdy suspension setup that is impressively smooth and eats up bumps around town while offering some high-speed stability, while the AWD variants gain some extra sturdiness for the rear-end thanks to the rear-mounted electric motor and all-wheel-drive platform.

In terms of everyday driving, the RAV4 is impressively user-friendly thanks to its lightweight steering rack that makes parking and low-speed turns a simple task, while offering the driver more feedback as you pick up speed.

All up, the RAV4 is a very complete package and remains approachable for all drivers, while the range of smooth and fuel-efficient engine options available are sure to please buyers.

2023 toyota rav4 edge touchscreen

Is the RAV4 Good for Towing or Off-Road Driving?

We’ll kick off with the towing specs, with Toyota’s entry-level RAV4 GX Petrol having its braked towing capacity capped at 800kg, which drops to just 480kg in the RAV4 2WD Hybrid range.

Be aware the AWD Hybrid range have had their braked towing figures capped at 1500kg, which is something to keep in mind if you’re looking to use your RAV4 for towing.

In terms of off-roading, it’s worth noting that while the flagship RAV4 Edge variant picks up a series of adjustable off-road driving modes, a hill-descent control system and an all-wheel-drive platform, you’ll need to be realistic as to its off-road abilities.

While the RAV4 Edge can creep up and down some significant inclines - 19 and 21 degrees respectively - the limited ground clearance of 190mm means that it’s far from a true off-road SUV package.

The lack of significant ground clearance, combined with the absence of a locking differential means that the RAV4 is not a true off-roader, although it is undoubtedly an SUV with an adventurous spirit that can indeed tackle some light off-road driving.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

Designed primarily with families in mind, the RAV4 package is impressively spacious and receives a heap of practical touches that are perfect for growing families.

Up front, the driver and front passenger are treated to a relatively clean dashboard design, with a heap of headroom on offer for taller drivers and an adjustable driving position to help you get comfortable.

The dash is headlined by an 8.0-inch infotainment in base models, expanding to a 10.5-inch unit in the XSE and above, with a set of air vents and climate dials sitting below that offer a straightforward and uncrowded design.

Practical touches in the front of the cabin include a decent amount of storage behind the gear lever with USB ports and a wireless charging pad in higher-spec variants, a pair of cupholders, storage inside the folding armrest and above the dashboard, and large door bins on either side of the cabin.

Move to the second row of the RAV4’s cabin and there’s a bench seat with a generous amount of leg and headroom for those seated in the rear, with absolutely no problems for tall adults sitting behind the driver.

This means you won’t hear any complaints from kids in the second row, who gain a set of air vents and USB chargers, as well as a folding armrest with a pair of inbuilt cupholders.

The second row of the RAV4 also gains two ISOFIX anchors with three top tether mounts for forward and rear-facing child seats.

Finally, the RAV4 rounds out its impressively practical package with the help of a large 580L boot with a space-saver spare tyre sitting in the rear, which drops to 542L with the full-size spare tyre offered in the entry-level GX.

Is it Safe?

The Toyota RAV4 has picked up ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, scoring 93% for adult protection, 89% for child protection, 85% for pedestrian protection and 83% for safety assist.

As standard, the RAV4 comes fitted with autonomous emergency braking with intersection, cyclist and pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, emergency steering assist, blind-spot monitoring, a rear-view camera with parking sensors, lane departure warnings, traffic sign recognition, trailer sway control and curtain airbags throughout the cabin.

Upgrading to the RAV4 adds a forward and reverse autonomous emergency brake system that works at low speeds, as well as rear cross-traffic alerts.

Is it Fuel Efficient?

The RAV4 Hybrid range offers some impressive fuel economy figures for the midsize SUV segment, and dramatic improvements over the standard petrol RAV4.

This is best illustrated by the sizable drop from 6.5L/100km in the RAV4 2WD petrol to just 4.7L/100km in the equivalent RAV4 Hybrid 2WD.

Opting for Toyota’s more powerful 2.5-litre petrol brings fuel economy figures up to 7.5L/100km on a combined cycle, which drops to just 4.8L/100km in the AWD Hybrid.

Our Verdict: Is the Toyota RAV4 Worth it?

Far from getting complacent, Toyota has continued to produce one of the most enticing all-round packages for Australian families with the latest RAV4 lineup.

Inside, it remains a practicality hero thanks to the spacious platform and clever interior designs, while the addition of hybrid engines across every member of the range means that price-conscious buyers can still upgrade to Toyota’s fuel-efficient engine range.

As a result, we can’t help but recommend you add the RAV4 to your shortlist if you’re tossing up your best options within the midsize SUV segment.

On that note, if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925

2023 toyota rav4 edge rear

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year, unlimited KM warranty

  2. Hybrid engine options available across the full range

  3. Five-star ANCAP safety rating

  4. Fuel economy of 6.5L/100km drops to 4.7L/100km in 2WD Hybrid

  5. 580L boot drops to 542L in entry-level GX with full-sized spare tyre


  • Supportive and comfortable ride quality

  • Fuel-efficient and smooth hybrid engine

  • Spacious and practical interior packaging


  • Infotainment system showing signs of age

  • Prices steadily creeping north

OnlineAuto Rating: 9/10

Toyota RAV4 Competition

Mazda CX-5
Hyundai Tucson
Kia Sportage
Ford Escape
Honda CR-V
Subaru Forester
Volkswagen Tiguan


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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