Today we put the RAV4 in the spotlight for a closer look. We know there are tons of great things to say about it. It’s capable, roomy, and reliable. But is it old? Is his age starting to show?
Is the 2023 Toyota RAV4 obsolete?
2023 may require more upgrades than recently acquired to stay ahead of the competition. Rivals like the Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V and Kia Sportage just got new facelifts, more power and advanced technology.
noted that the 2023 RAV4 is a senior in its class. It was radically redesigned in 2019, but it doesn’t feel like that long ago. It’s in its fourth year of its current generation, so a solid mid-cycle update should help it.
For 2023, the RAV4 got an updated infotainment system with an available 10.5-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. These items should provide a more modern and premium feel.
The older 8.0-inch and 9.0-inch infotainment screens looked pretty dated in the 2022 model. They didn’t have the best graphics and looked blurry. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were preferred to the built-in system.
Let’s also hope that the bigger screen is linked to updated cameras. The old backup camera was small and hard to see. The optional 360-degree camera is useful with the 2022 model, but your surroundings are so tiny on the screen that you might have to squint.
Does the RAV4 have a dated interior?
The 2023 has a simple yet elegant layout that isn’t cluttered with tons of buttons. There’s plenty of access and space. However, the infotainment screen can seem a bit difficult to reach.
Also, the rivals have higher quality materials. The base model of the RAV4 is very basic with hard plastics. It could benefit from fresh textured trim pieces and more durable items. Accent stitching and ambient lightning bolts could spice things up too.
The seats are roomy and well padded, but the back cushion is a bit flat. Additionally, the driver’s seat could use more adjustment controls to find the perfect driving position. The passenger seat doesn’t even have controls for electric adjustment. It also has only faux leather upholstery.
Rivals offer more comfort and adjustment features. But on a positive note, the RAV4 offers heated and ventilated seats. The rubberized floor and features are also easy to clean.
Does the RAV4 need more power?
It has a 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine with 203 HP and 184 Nm of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in around 9.1 seconds, making it slower than rivals in its class. It’s a bit crude, loud and awkward.
But it gets an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city and up to 35 mpg on the highway. If only it had a little more power for sportier acceleration. Also, it sounds a bit hoarse under hard acceleration.
Luckily RAV4 Hybrid and Rpime are faster and sportier. But the RAV4 is starting to fall behind the pack in interior quality, technology, power and comfort. May need a mid-cycle refresh.