The Toyota RAV4 has always been at the cutting edge of the car market since it originated the concept of the easy-to-drive, highly versatile recreational SUV almost 30 years ago. Today, it consistently ranks not just as the world’s best-selling SUV, but also as one of the best-selling cars across all types and genres. The ACross is alternative for the Toyota RAV-4 and shares its powertrain options as well.
Year after year, Toyota has made sure the RAV4 keeps ahead of the game where customers’ tastes and preferences are concerned, adopting new technologies and design thinking to keep the car’s appeal and its capabilities up to the moment. The latest chapter in the RAV4 story is the new RAV4 GR SPORT, an addition to the range that comes with styling and equipment features that express sportiness and sophistication that are inspired by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing – the cradle of Toyota’s mission to create ever-better cars through motorsport.
The GR SPORT theme has already been successfully applied to a wide range of other Toyota models, ranging from Yaris, Yaris Cross, C-HR and Corolla to the mighty Hilux pick-up. The RAV4 now picks up the baton in its own inimitable style.
A series of exterior design details distinguishes the new RAV4 GR SPORT, broadcasting its sportier character.
The car’s front end makes a statement with the prominent grille finished in the GR-exclusive G-mesh pattern, which creates a deeper 3D-effect. The same pattern is applied to the enlarged fog light bezels, which also have distinctive boomerang-shaped frames, giving added prominence to the vehicle’s strong stance. Adding to this effect, the lower bumper has a dark grey metallic finish, in place of the silver featured on other RAV4 models.
At the rear, the back window’s appearance has been thrown into sharper relief by a gloss black garnish that extends the width of the vehicle, between the glass and the licence plate. The G-mesh pattern appears again in the rear bumper, which also has air-bleeding openings to improve aerodynamic performance. Further emphasising the RAV4’s purposeful look, the lower bumper has a dark grey metallic moulding across its bottom edge.
Discreet GR logo badging on the front grille and back door also signifies the grade.
GR SPORT Wheels
The exclusive GR SPORT 19-inch alloy wheels are engineered for reduced weight and higher rigidity. Their robust, five-double-spoke design stands out with a gloss black finish and a fine line-cutting technique, applied for the first time which creates eye-catching pinstripe detailing around the spokes’ margins.
The principal paintwork options for the RAV4 GR SPORT follow the famous white, red and black livery of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s competition stable. In the case of this road-going model, the options are Platinum White Pearl, Flame Red and Attitude Black. Customers can also opt for Silver and Grey metallic and Dark Blue mica.
The same colours – apart from Attitude Black – are available in a bi-tone finish, combined with a gloss black roof, front and centre pillars and rear spoiler.
The GR SPORT’s interior likewise features styling details exclusive to its status.
The principal colour theme for the upholstery and lining is black, creating an atmosphere that puts the focus firmly on driving. The seats are upholstered in a combination of a grippy, body-holding suede-like materials for the shoulder, back rest and cushion sections and synthetic leather for the bolsters. Silver grey stitching adds a smart contrast on the seats, steering wheel and shift lever. The front seat head rests are embossed with the GR logo in black-on-black.
The sophisticated cabin look is enhanced by dark grey metallic trim details on the steering wheel, air vent bezels and the centre console frame around the shift lever. The GR logo is also applied to the steering wheel and the carpet mats.
The GR SPORT’s high equipment specification includes power adjustment for the front seats and a new version of Toyota’s Panoramic View Monitor, which includes an underfloor view to help the driver check the terrain surface and precisely locate the wheels when manoeuvring at low speed. Further assistance is provided by a new digital reversing camera that provides higher quality real-time images compared to the previous analogue system.
Digital Driver’s Instrument Display
The 12.3-inch driver’s instrument display is fully digital with pin-sharp graphics and the option to customise content to suit the driver’s mood or the journey through four themes: Casual, Smart, Tough and Sporty. The options include three different layouts for the principal meters, while each version keeps a central digital speedometer and shift indicator. The background illumination automatically changes with the selected drive mode.
The display has three distinct multi-information zones. The central section presents the most frequently used information, such as indicators of the car’s advanced safety systems. Those to the left and right provide details of fuel consumption, audio selection and other data; the driver can also personalise the display with a widget highlighting their preferred information.
The RAV4 GR SPORT is fitted with the latest Toyota Smart Connect multimedia system operated using a 10.5-inch touchscreen display. Mounted centrally on the dashboard and shaped to harmonise with the angles of the car’s interior design, the monitor has a seamless black surface and presents graphics in high definition for sharpness and clarity in all lighting conditions.
A permanent, icon-based menu is presented on the driver’s side of the display. Users can also connect their smartphone or tablet to the system – both wired and wirelessly if using Apple CarPlay® or with a wired link for Android Auto®.
The multimedia package includes access to cloud-based journey navigation, which uses constantly updated real-time traffic event information for accurate and efficient route planning. There is also an embedded navigation system that can be used when no data connection to the cloud is available. This has additional functions including highway sign recognition, local weather information and driver alerts when the vehicle is approaching restricted low emission zones (LEZs).
Using voice commands has been made easier with a new “Hey Toyota” on-board voice agent. This will respond to spoken requests to adjust the climate control, choose multimedia options, make a phone call, or open and close the windows. “Hey Toyota” is designed to understand conversational speech, so if you say “I’m cold” it will respond by closing the windows or raising the cabin temperature. With two microphones installed in the instrument panel, the system will recognise and respond to commands from both the driver and front seat passenger. It will also recognise commands amid background noise, so there is no need to turn off the audio.
There is further convenience with any future software tweaks or upgrades delivered seamlessly over the air, via the car’s data communications module (DCM). This means there is no need for the car to be taken to a workshop for a system update. Likewise, the system can be used to update software in the Toyota T-Mate/Toyota Safety Sense.
Remote Services via the MyT App
The driver can access a number of useful functions remotely, via the MyT smartphone app. The familiar worries about whether you have left a window open, the doors unlocked or the lights on after you’ve walked away from your car are addressed with remote notifications to confirm the vehicle is secure. This feature is standard on all RAV4 models.
You can also lock and unlock the doors – a handy feature if someone without a key needs access, for example to drop off a parcel or to clean the car. The hazard lights can also be flashed, making the vehicle easier to spot in a big or busy car park. These features are newly standard on mid-grade models, together with remote operation of the climate control to warm up or cool the cabin before making a journey.
Vehicle status can be checked, including the fuel level and cruising range, health warnings and details of the latest vehicle health check.
The RAV4 GR SPORT goes beyond styling and equipment features to deliver an enhanced driving experience with a more handling-tuned suspension.
The front and rear coil springs have been stiffened to put the focus on agility and responsiveness. Changes to the spring coefficient are matched by appropriate adjustment of the shock absorbers’ damping force. On the plug-in hybrid electric model, the spring rates have increased from 30 to 36 N/mm at the front and 49 to 55 N/mm at the rear; on the hybrid electric GR SPORT the respective increases are 28 to 30 and 40 to 46 N/mm.
The well-proven suspension set-up on the RAV4 uses front MacPherson struts with rear double wishbones – both with anti-roll bars.
The hybrid electric RAV4 GR SPORT features Toyota’s well-proven fourth generation full hybrid technology, engineered with lighter and more compact components to help deliver sharper performance and higher efficiency. Full system output is 222 DIN hp/163 kW, enabling 0-100 km/h acceleration in 8.1 seconds.
The powertrain marked the introduction of a 2.5-litre Hybrid Dynamic Force four-cylinder petrol engine. Achieving world-class thermal efficiency, this Atkinson cycle unit delivers a strong balance of fuel economy and power. In the new RAV4 GR SPORT, WLTP combined cycle fuel consumption is 5.8 l/100 km with CO2 emissions of 132 g/km.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric
Toyota delivered the most powerful RAV4 yet with the introduction of a plug-in hybrid electric system that produces a maximum 306 DIN hp/225 kW. This level of power enables acceleration from rest to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds; raw speed apart, the powertrain is engineered for driveability, with 50% more power available at 60 km/h. Even when driving in all-electric EV mode, performance is brisk, with acceleration comparable to a 2.0-litre petrol vehicle.
Its efficiency is maximised by the car running in EV mode by default, then switching to self-charging hybrid electric running when the charge in the lithium-ion battery is depleted. On a full charge, the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid GR SPORT can cover up to 75 km (WLTP combined cycle) and reach speeds of up to 135 km/h.
Intelligent, Electric All-Wheel Drive
The RAV4 GR SPORT models are equipped as standard with an intelligent, electric all-wheel drive system – AWD-i. This returns better fuel economy in urban driving, quieter performance at high speeds and improved traction in slippery conditions. It is also more compact and lighter in weight than mechanical AWD systems, so fuel consumption and space inside the cabin and load compartment are not compromised.
AWD-i efficiently generates drive torque using power from the vehicle’s hybrid system and an additional electric motor on the rear axle. This format reduces energy losses, saves weight and optimises all-wheel drive performance in different driving conditions.
Toyota’s development of the technology delivers more torque to the rear wheels, to a maximum 1,300 Nm – matching or surpassing the typical torque achieved with a mechanical system and giving the RAV4 more sure-footed performance, for example when pulling away on loose, slippery surfaces. The front/rear drive torque split can vary from 100:0 to up to 20:80, according to the driving conditions. The ratio is automatically optimised to give improved handling, stability and off-road performance. In particular, the driver will notice more faithful line-tracing through bends in slippery conditions.
AWD Integrated Management
All-wheel drive performance is further improved with AWD Integrated Management (AIM), a unique feature in the RAV4’s class. This automatically adjusts different vehicle systems – steering assist, brake and throttle control, shift pattern and drive torque distribution – according to the drive mode selected, NORMAL, ECO or SPORT. In SPORT mode, AIM modifies the steering assist, throttle control shift schedule and drive torque distribution to gain better on-road performance.
“Escape” Capability with Trail Mode
First introduced with the current generation RAV4, the RAV4 GR SPORT with AWD-i has the added benefit of automatic limited-slip differential control – Trail Mode. This ensures the best possible grip and control on slippery surfaces. It can also provide valuable assistance when tackling challenging off-road conditions.
This counters the risk of the vehicle becoming stranded if a driven wheel loses contact with the ground on very uneven terrain. In this scenario, the driver can engage Trail Mode using a button on the centre console, braking the free rotating wheel and directing drive torque to the grounded wheel. Throttle control and the transmission shift pattern are also adapted to help the driver keep the vehicle moving.
Advanced Safety and Driver Assistance
The new GR SPORT benefits from the enhanced Toyota T-Mate package of safety and driver assistance features introduced across the model range for 2023. This includes additional functions that can warn the driver and help avoid a wider range of common road accident risks.
The Toyota Safety Sense’s Pre-Collision System (PCS) gains intersection support that can help with safer turns at junctions. Provided on both the hybrid electric and plug-in hybrid electric models, this will detect if the car is about to cross the path of any oncoming traffic, and if there are any pedestrians crossing the road into which the vehicle is moving, alerting the driver and, if necessary, initiating braking control to help avoid an impact.
Emergency Steering Assist (ESA) is also newly provided, helping the driver avoid a pedestrian who has stepped into the road, while keeping the car under control and within its traffic lane. On the plug-in model, ESA can additionally detect and respond to a cyclist or a stationary or preceding vehicle,. On the RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid, the system will also recognise and react to bicycles and parked vehicles. The RAV4 Plug-in Hybrid’s PCS also gains the ability to detect oncoming vehicles in the car’s traffic lane in daytime driving and reduce the risk of a head-to-head collision.