Toyota inaugurated the GR lineup four years ago with GRMN at the top of the food chain, followed by cars carrying the GR suffix and the lower tier GR Sport. Only the Yaris pocket rocket has received the full-fat GRMN treatment so far, while GR has been used for the Corolla, 86, and Supra. As for GR Sport, it's used extensively across the automaker's lineup as you can even get a minivan in this specification at home in Japan.
The latest entry in the GR Sport family is the RAV4 for Europe where the compact crossover joins GR Sport versions of the Yaris, Yaris Cross, C-HR, and even the Hilux pickup truck. Essentially, it's a styling package combined with minimal mechanical changes. The engineers have retuned the suspension with stiffer springs and sport-tuned shock absorbers. Toyota promises these enable better handling and a "more engaging driving experience."
2023 Toyota RAV4 GR Sport
The RAV4 in GR Sport flavor can be had with both hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains and can be visually distinguished courtesy of wheel arch trims painted in piano black. The same finish has also been applied to the side moldings and back door garnish. In addition, the front spoiler has a dark silver look on the hybrid and a gunmetal appearance on the PHEV.
Subtle "GR" badging and updated fog light bezels are also reserved for the new trim level. Toyota mentions the RAV4 GR Sport is the automaker's first model to ride on alloy wheels that were conceived using an "ultra-precise line-cutting technique." The set measures 19 inches and has a glossy black finish with a five-double-spoke layout and bright machined pinstripe detailing.
Exclusive to the new grade, sportier front seats come wrapped in suede-like upholstery with bolsters covered in synthetic leather. "GR" logos adorn the headrests while contrasting silver stitching has been applied to the seats, shift lever, and steering wheel. To spruce things up furthermore, Toyota installs a gunmetal trim on the door cards and steering wheel. A panoramic view monitor is standard, as are electrically adjustable front seats with a memory function for the driver's seat.
Since it's based on the 2023 RAV4 sold in Europe, the GR Sport gets the latest 12.3-inch driver's display and 10.5-inch infotainment. The model year change also comes along with an upgraded array of safety features, which now includes a new Emergency Steering Assist system and a better Pre-Collision System.
Toyota will have the RAV4 GR Sport on sale in Europe before the end of the year.