There are reports Toyota Canada is simplifying the product offering for its uber-popular RAV4 SUV for 2023. The Canadian division of the Japanese auto giant could be planning to drop the base LE FWD version from its lineup. This is according to French-language media outlet rpmweb.ca.
The rationale for the move is that, for one thing, Canadians really like their RAV4 in all-wheel-drive format, and it’s not really hard to figure out why, this even as we currently enjoy the August weather. Sales of the FWD LE have been sluggish compared to other models in the range.
For another, the company believes that for those who want a small or compact-sized SUV with front-wheel drive, there’s the Corolla Cross FWD variant that can fill that role now, at a lower cost to consumers.
Meanwhile, the outlet also reports that a source has confirmed to it that Toyota Canada is also going to remove the TRD Off-Road package from its RAV4 offering next year. That package currently costs $4,900 as an add-on to the Trail version of the RAV4, and for many consumers that may be deemed a high price to pay for what amounts to some cool extra accessories but little in terms of upgraded off-road capabilities.
Toyota Canada has neither confirmed nor denied any of this; a representative told Auto123 no announcement is ready yet regarding the 2023 lineup of the RAV4. So we remain in the realm of rumour. Remember as well that as recently as the end of May, Toyota announced the debut of a new RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition for the 2023 model-year. Perhaps this will be the adventure-focused torch-bearer for the brand and the model going forward.
Either way, it’s to be expected that automakers will be looking for ways to streamline their offerings given the current ongoing supply-chain problems and microchip shortages. We may see more such trimming of the hedges in the industry over the next year or so.