2023 Toyota RAV4, All you want to know & watch about a Great Car
2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition Gets Bronze Wheels, No Critters
Plus, all RAV4s get Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 for 2023.
Here’s a fun fact about the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition: It’s the first hybrid off-road special edition SUV for Toyota. In conjunction with this special outdoorsy adventure special edition, Toyota will donate $500,000 to the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) to support local outreach projects, education programs, and accessibility improvement efforts for our public lands.
The Woodland Edition RAV4 Hybrid has TRD-tuned suspension with the coil springs, bump stops, and uniquely valved twin-tube shocks tailored to help subdue rough terrain, dips, bumps, and ruts. Strong, flow-formed bronze wheels are wrapped in Falken Wildpeak all-terrain tires, a good addition for traversing off-road with confidence. This wheel and tire package looks to be a bronze version of what’s on the TRD Off-Road.
Some other exterior goodies join the distinct bronze wheels of the Woodland Edition: special black Woodland and RAV4 badging, black mud guards, black roof rack cross bars, and dual black chrome exhaust tips. It has standard LED projector headlights and integrated fog lights. It’s available in three exterior colors: Midnight Black Metallic, Cavalry Blue, and Ice Cap.
The roomy interior has custom Woodland-themed all-weather floor and cargo mats and a 120V inverter to make camping trips a little more comfortable. The rear cargo area has a reversible cargo floor insert and storage side nets.
The Woodland Edition RAV4 Hybrid is powered by Toyota’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine in conjunction with the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II), backed by a CVT that’s paired with an Electronic All-Wheel Drive system. There’s an independent electric motor at the rear wheels instead of a torque-distribution system in the transmission and additional driveshaft. Note that the 2022 RAV4 TRD Off-Road and Adventure trims do not have hybrid availability.
The fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 crossover, built on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform, received design inspiration from Toyota trucks. All 2023 RAV4s get the new Toyota Audio Multimedia system that delivers enhanced connectivity and convenience features, including over-the-air updates, Intelligent Assist, Cloud Navigation, Destination Assist, dual Bluetooth connectivity, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4G connectivity for up to five devices, and Integrated Streaming.
The 2023 Toyota RAV4 comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 (instead of 2.0), a whole suite of active safety systems that includes Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, emergency steering assist, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Tracing Assist, Road Sign Assist, and more. The RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition has Toyota’s Star Safety System consisting of Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
There’s a standard 8.0-inch multimedia screen display, with a new 10.5-inch screen coming standard on TRD Off-Road, Hybrid XSE, Limited/Hybrid Limited, and Prime XSE for 2023. Also new, a 12.3-inch Multi-Information Display (digital instrument cluster) is standard on Limited/Hybrid Limited and Prime XSE, while a 7.0-inch version is standard on LE/Hybrid LE, XLE/Hybrid XLE and Hybrid SE grades.
The 2023 Woodland Edition will arrive in dealerships this fall.
2023 Toyota RAV4
2023 Toyota RAV4 Review
- Quiet interior and comfortable ride quality
- Abundant cargo and passenger space
- Easy-to-use controls
- Extra off-road capability of the TRD Off-Road trim
- Lackluster acceleration
- Vague steering
- RAV4 is likely to receive updated styling for 2023
- New features or revised feature availability are also likely
- Part of the fifth Toyota RAV4 generation introduced for 2019
Year after year, the Toyota RAV4 is one of the best-selling SUVs on the market. Toyota’s reputation for reliability certainly has a lot to do with its success. But we also praise this small SUV for its roomy interior, comfortable ride and easy-to-use technology features. There are also a wide array of available trim levels to suit your budget or interests. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road trim, for example, is one of the few models in its class to offer enhanced off-road capabilities by way of its all-terrain tires and special suspension alterations.
There’s a good chance that the 2023 Toyota RAV4 will undergo some changes. This generation RAV4 debuted back for 2019, and 2023 seems like a likely year for some updates. At this time, we don’t have any official information from Toyota, but we wouldn’t be surprised if Toyota makes some mild styling updates, adds a few new features, and revises standard and optional feature availability. We’ll update our review once we know more.
However, we don’t expect these changes to dramatically improve the Toyota RAV4’s standing among other small SUVs. It’s certainly a likable SUV but we’ve found rivals such as the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan Rogue to be better all-around picks. You can learn more about the RAV4’s hits and misses by reading our test team’s Expert Rating below.
How does the RAV4 drive? The RAV4 doesn’t impress here, unfortunately. The engine is willing around town, and passing and merging are drama-free. But if you’re in a huge rush, you might notice the engine’s ultimately modest power delivery. In Edmunds’ testing, our RAV4 Adventure test vehicle needed 9.1 seconds to cover 0-60 mph, which is slightly slower than the class average.
Another gripe we have is with the steering, which is vague at the center point and doesn’t have appropriate levels of feel and heft. As such, it’s easy to misjudge your level of input. In better news, the RAV4’s optional upgraded all-wheel-drive system includes rear-axle torque vectoring and more advanced traction control systems with selectable terrain settings and hill descent control. These systems, plus respectable ground clearance, give the RAV4 Adventure above-average off-road ability for a small SUV.
How comfortable is the RAV4? The RAV4’s suspension is tuned to strike a good balance between control and softness. The body doesn’t bound or float when you drive over bumps, and small to moderate impacts are absorbed without much drama. As for the front seats, they are nicely sculpted and padded appropriately, but the seat bottoms begin to feel flat on longer drives. The passenger side’s lack of adjustment can also make it difficult to find a comfortable position.
At highway speeds, the RAV4 is generally quiet. The exception is when you hit the gas for a burst of speed, at which point the engine sound gets rather coarse. We do like the climate system’s performance. Air distribution is ideal, with forward vents that can be closed off completely and vents for the rear seat.
How’s the interior? The driving position, roominess, and ease of getting in and out are all good. But the RAV4 would score higher if the front passenger seat wasn’t set so high or could be adjusted down on most trims. Only the RAV4 Limited gets a power-adjustable front passenger seat. The driver’s seat and steering wheel have a good range of adjustment, but tall drivers might want a smidge more adjustability. Outward visibility is praiseworthy.
The control layout is intuitive with large, easy-to-read labeling. The audio system and climate system controls are islands unto themselves, and everything else is right where you expect it to be. The big rubberized climate control knobs are nice too. Our only gripe is that the touchscreen is too far away from the driver. The tuning knob, in particular, requires a reach to twist.
How’s the tech? The RAV4’s interface has a mix of touchscreen and fixed buttons, and both are easy to learn without consulting the owner’s manual. But even though the RAV4 is relatively new, the touchscreen’s graphics look dated. The sound system works well enough, but it’s nothing special. You do get standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. It’s a good thing too since Toyota’s native Entune software remains clunky.
The standard suite of driver aids is impressive. It includes adaptive cruise control that works down to 0 mph, automatic emergency braking, drowsy driver detection, automatic high beams, lane keeping assist and something called Line Tracing Assist, which is an active (but not hands-free) steering aid.
How’s the storage? The RAV4’s cargo hold is nearly the biggest in its class. You get 37.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 69.8 cubic feet with them stowed. The RAV4 is also easy to load thanks to a low cargo floor. Up front, the cabin has numerous shelves and bins to handle assorted road-trip paraphernalia. If you’re planning on towing, certain versions of the RAV4 can pull up to 3,500 pounds, which is above average for a small SUV.
Parents with young kids will appreciate the RAV4. It’s easy to locate and connect safety seats to the lower car seat anchors. Likewise, tethering to the three upper anchors is straightforward. Forward-facing seats and boosters fit readily, but installing a rear-facing infant seat on the passenger side will likely require scooting the front seat up. The too-high front passenger seat is the issue.
Which RAV4 does Edmunds recommend?
Toyota RAV4 models
[Editor’s note: The following information is based on last year’s RAV4. We expect the 2023 model will have a similar lineup and we’ll update this section once we have complete information.] The RAV4 is available in six trim levels: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, TRD Off-Road and Limited. All come with a 203-horsepower four-cylinder engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Front-wheel drive is standard on most of the trim levels, with all-wheel drive offered as an option. The Adventure and the TRD Off-Road come standard with an upgraded all-wheel-drive system that can enhance traction on loose and slippery surfaces. Standard feature highlights include:
Starts you off with:
- LED headlights
- 17-inch wheels
- 7-inch touchscreen interface
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity
- Six-speaker sound system
- Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of safety features:
- Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
- Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the RAV4 and the car in front)
- Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
- Automatic high beams
- Traffic sign reader
Adds more convenience features such as:
- Keyless entry and ignition
- Power-adjustable driver’s seat
- Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Additional USB charging ports
Dresses up the RAV4 with:
- LED foglights
- 19-inch wheels
- Slightly raised suspension
- Power liftgate
- Simulated leather upholstery (Toyota’s SofTex)
This trim goes without the sunroof and power liftgate but adds some off-road appearance and mechanical elements that include:
- Fender flares
- Taller roof rails
- Selectable terrain drive modes
- Hill descent control
It gets the sunroof and liftgate back and adds more capabilities with:
- 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires
- Off-road-tuned suspension
- Unique black trim elements and interior trim
Builds on the XLE Premium equipment list and adds:
- Power-adjustable front passenger seat
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- 9-inch touchscreen
- 11-speaker premium JBL audio system
Some features are available as options on supporting trims. Other notable options are dependent on trim level and include:
- Surround-view camera system
- Panoramic sunroof
- Heated steering wheel
- Wireless charging pad
- Digital rearview mirror (allows you to see out the back even with a fully loaded cargo area)
- Integrated navigation system
2023 Toyota RAV4, On Youtube