I love my 21 XLE Hybrid but I wanted the bigger screen. $1700 or whatever it was on Audio Plus from the factory was way too expensive so I passed on it and decided to upgrade the radio later.
If you go on eBay or car-part.com you might be able to find an audio plus radio for $500. I didn't want to get a possibly unreliable chinese radio so instead I decided to get a Corolla radio. I found one for $190 shipped and what do you know, it works! The only things that don't work are the connected services (don't care because I installed an aftermarket remote start anyway) and when I plug in my iPhone it says it's a Corolla not a Rav4. Even the hybrid stuff works and I know the radio came out of a gas corolla.
(Why does Toyota sell the corolla LE with a nice radio but you have to splurge to get that on a rav4???)
Interesting things I found while researching this radio upgrade:
- Most modern toyotas use almost identical radio hardware even though the model numbers are slightly different
- The only difference in firmware between the 86140-0R350 (7" base 2021 rav4 radio) and 86140-12610/02E70 (8" 2021 corolla radio) is the last few characters of the version number and the signature at the top of the file, everything else is identical
- The mounting hardware is cross compatible, with one exception. There are 2 tabs at the back of the corolla radio that attach to the corolla harness that aren't on the 7" rav4 radio. Corolla radio fits fine in the rav4, but you may need to modify the rav4 radio a bit if you want to stick it in a corolla
- I have not tested installing a radio without sirius XM or with HD radio or navigation, but it would surprise me if that didn't work. I also haven't tested installing a JBL radio but I've heard those don't have the built in amp at all, so would not suggest it
- If you want to keep the actual radio and just replace the screen (i.e. you want carplay to say it's a rav4 or don't want to transfer your sirius subscription), it looks like the screens use the same ribbon cables to connect. However you'll have to swap the backplate as some of the screws go in different spots. I haven't tried this but it's probably just removing the 5 screws and disconnecting the antenna. Might be an option if you can find a cheaper radio with JBL or without sirius or from a 2019 model that doesn't have android auto.
Looks just like I bought the car with audio plus
Hybrid stuff works
you'll have to remove the corolla mounting hardware and move the rav4 hardware onto it