Toyota inaugurated the GR lineup four years ago with the GRMN at the top of the food chain, followed by cars with the GR suffix and the lower-end GR Sport. So far only the Yaris Pocket Rocket has received the full-fat GRMN treatment, while the GR has been used for the Corolla, 86, and Supra. As for the GR Sport, it’s widely used in the automaker’s lineup because you can even get a minivan in this specification right at home in Japan.
The latest entry into the GR Sport family is the RAV4 for Europe where the compact crossover joins the GR Sport version of the Yaris, Yaris Cross, C-HR, and even the Hilux pickup truck. Basically, it’s a styling package with minimal mechanical changes. Engineers have reworked the suspension with stiffer springs and sport-tuned shock absorbers. Toyota promises that these provide better handling and a “more engaging driving experience”.
The GR Sport flavor can be had with both the RAV4 Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid powertrains and features wheel arch trims painted in Piano Black. The same finish is also applied to the side moldings and back door garnish. Also, the front spoiler has a dark silver finish on the hybrid and a gunmetal finish on the PHEV.
Subtle “GR” badging and updated fog light bezels are also retained for the new trim level. Toyota touts the RAV4 GR Sport as the automaker’s first model to ride on alloy wheels that were designed using “a highly precise line-cutting technique.” The seat measures 19 inches and has a gloss black finish with five double-spoke layouts and bright machined pinstripe detailing.
Exclusive to the new grade, sportier front seats are wrapped in suede-like upholstery with bolsters covered in synthetic leather. “GR” logos adorn the headrests while silver contrasting stitching is applied to the seats, shift lever and steering wheel. To make things even better, Toyota adds gunmetal trim to 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.
As it is based on the 2023 RAV4 sold in Europe, the GR Sport gets the latest 12.3-inch driver display and 10.5-inch infotainment. The model year change also comes with an upgraded array of safety features, which now includes a new emergency steering assist system and an improved pre-collision system.
Toyota will have the RAV4 GR Sport on sale in Europe before the end of the year.