After Yaris, Yaris Cross, Corolla, C-HR and Hilux, the Rav4 also gets the set-up inspired by the Gazoo Racing team. Already available with both full hybrid petrol engines and plug-in hybrid technology

    Matthew Solinghi


    February 09

    – Luleå (Sweden)

    The latest model to gain the GR Sport trim at Toyota is the Rav4. Well yes, after Yaris, Yaris Cross, Corolla, C-HR and Hilux, even the SUV of the Japanese house can be ordered in the sportiest of trims. The style clearly inspired by Gazoo Racing – the official Toyota team engaged in the Wrc, in the Wec and fresh winner of the Dakar with Nasser Al-Attiyah – lands on the Rav4 with aesthetic elements to underline the sporting spirit. The visual aspect is joined by the standard 12.3” digital cockpit, the new multimedia system and a slightly stiffer suspension setting for greater driving involvement. The Rav4 GR Sport is already available from the official Toyota Italia network at a list price of 50,300 euros for the version with a 222 HP full hybrid engine and 58,700 euros with plug-in hybrid technology of 306 HP overall (turnkey prices). The full hybrid is the protagonist of the test on the snow and ice of Sweden in the territory of Lulea, the city considered the gateway to Swedish Lapland, located about a hundred kilometers south of the Arctic Circle.

    How it’s done, the exteriors

    How to distinguish the GR Sport trim level on the Rav4? First of all thanks to the glossy black tinsel package that characterizes both the front of the car and the rear. In addition, wheel arches, side and tailgate moldings in piano black finish and the appropriate ones GR badges on the tailgate and in the grille area can only confirm the impressions of being in front of the sporty set-up. All this is complemented by sharper fog lamp bezels with the same G-mesh pattern as the radiator grille and new front spoilers, finished in dark silver on the full hybrid and gunmetal gray on the plug-in hybrid. The new Rav4 GR Sport is the first model to feature alloy wheels finished with a new high-precision cutting technique. The standard 19-inch wheels are finished in gloss black with machined white accents and feature a five double-spoke design.

    How it’s done, the interior

    The sporty and sophisticated look of the exteriors is echoed in the interiors, where the front sports seats (containing just the right amount, heated on two levels and with an appreciable design) are characterized by a covering that resembles suede to the touch, with side supports in synthetic leather : materials, therefore, that do not derive from animals. The headrests – integrated into the seat itself – are characterized by GR logo embossing, black on black, while silver stitching on the seats, steering wheel, gear lever and gunmetal moldings on the doors and steering wheel bring grit to the cabin. The GR logo is also featured on the floor mats and steering wheel. For the rest it is a Rav4 through and through, with a customizable 12.3″ digital cockpit and a 10.5″ touch infotainment system compatible with Apple Car Play and Android Auto. Toyota T-Mate safety and driver assistance features include the additional features of the latest generation of Toyota Safety Sense. The package includes the new emergency steering assistance system and the improved pre-collision system. In addition, all GR Sport models are equipped with electric front seat adjustment (with memory function for the driver) and Panoramic View Monitor with 360° view.

    How it’s done, the technique

    Toyota Rav4 GR Sport is equipped with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that works in synergy with a second 120 HP electric motor mounted on the rear axle. Overall power thus reaches 222 HP, taking the car from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.1 seconds, with the top speed self-limited at 180 km/h. The electric motor at the rear thus ensures the intelligent all-wheel drive: in practice there is no mechanical joint that connects the front axle with the rear one and therefore the internal combustion engine supplies traction to the front wheels and the electric one to those behind. In conditions of maximum grip and low effort, the car works like a normal front-wheel drive, only to then “send” up to 80% of the torque to the rear when the road surface conditions require it. The GR Sport trim also includes a specific suspension setting, with slightly stiffer springs and shock absorbers with a dedicated setting, for greater driving involvement.

    Toyota Rav4 GR Sport – how it goes

    Toyota Rav4 GR Sport turns out to be a comfortable and thrifty SUV, suitable for everyday driving in both urban and extra-urban contexts. Indeed, if it is true that inside the passenger compartment you live in a relaxed and comfortable environment thanks to a more rigid setting of the suspension package but still designed to guarantee relaxation on board, it is equally true that the consume of the full hybrid system are among the most interesting in the category, very close to the declared 17.2 km/l. It is no coincidence that Toyota has one of the best hybrid technologies on the market. And even when the controls are deactivated, in extreme conditions such as those encountered on the snow and ice of Sweden, the car remains in its own comfort zone beyond which you cannot go, thus guaranteeing safety for drivers and passengers. The set-up remains communicative and the suspension digests the roughness of the terrain without problems, while by sinking the foot on the accelerator, the purists of driving pleasure will not appreciate the absence of the gear change due to the E-Cvt gearbox which turns out to be not very involving.

    Toyota Rav4 GR Sport: pros and cons


    • Design: the already excellent starting point, from an aesthetic point of view, of the Rav4, here is accentuated by references to Gazoo Racing
    • Dimensions: plenty of space on board, even for those sitting behind, and a very large luggage compartment
    • Handling: when you drive it you don’t perceive excessive dimensions or a particularly significant weight, everything seems to be balanced
    • Interior: good choice of materials, even for the occupants of the second row. Synthetic leather and suede-like leather are as pleasing to the eye as they are to the touch. And where there is plastic, it is often soft. The heated seats on 2 levels and electronically adjustable then have a refined design and contain just the right amount.
    • Digital cockpit: some controls and functions on the steering wheel relating to the digital dashboard are not very intuitive
    • Gearbox: the E-Cvt works well and – in synergy with the hybrid system – allows you to consume little. However, if driving pleasure is sought, the absence of a traditional gearbox is felt
    • Price: more than 50 thousand euros for the full hybrid version and almost 60 thousand euros for the plug-in are important figures, even if with exchange or scrapping you can get good discounts.

    Data sheet

    Toyota Rav4 2.5 Hv (222 Hp) E-Cvt GR

    Motor4 cylinders in line, 16 valves, Euro 6d
    Displacement2,487 of the civil code
    Maximum power178 HP at 5,700 rpm
    Maximum torque221 Nm between 3,600 and 5,200 rpm
    Electric motorpermanent magnet synchronous
    Maximum power120 hp
    Maximum torque202Nm
    Battery capacity4.3 Ah
    Overall power222 hp
    Tractionintelligent integral
    ExchangeContinuously variable E-Cvt
    Dimensionslength 461 cm, width 186 cm, height 169 cm, wheelbase 269 cm, minimum ground clearance 19 cm
    Front suspensionMcPherson type independents
    Rear suspensionindependent with 2 wishbones
    Boot capacity580 litres
    Tank capacity55 litres
    Wheels235/55 R19
    Full speed180 km/h
    Acceleration 0-100km/h8.1 seconds
    Consumption declared17.2 km/l
    CO2 emissions132 g/km
    Price50,300 euros turnkey