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Toyota Rav4 Backup Camera: Does This Compact SUV Have One?

The incorporation of driver-assisted technologies like backup cameras is something drivers are finally starting to get used to. Some of us fought it for a while and some still are, but when it comes to safety features, the backup camera has played a pretty vital role in keeping drivers, passengers, and pedestrians safe.

The Toyota Rav4 has a backup camera on all of its trim levels. Backup cameras have been a factory option in upper trim levels of the Rav4 since around 2010 and have been a standard option by law in all American-made vehicles, including the Rav4, since May 2018.

If anyone is continuing to argue that backup cameras aren’t useful, we’ll end the argument for you here by reminding you that they were made a lawful requirement in all American-made vehicles in 2018.

Read on below to find out more about the rearview camera in the Rav4 and some additional fancy technology features that you can find in the upper trim levels of this favorite compact SUV.

Does the Toyota Rav4 Have a Backup Camera?

Every American-made vehicle since 2018 will have a backup camera as required by law.

The Toyota Rav4 is manufactured in the Georgetown plant in Kentucky America and therefore has backup cameras as a standard feature in every Toyota Rav4 and any other Toyota made in America.

Toyota has since implemented two backup safety camera features in the Rav4

What Earlier Models of the Toyota Rav4 Have a Backup Camera?

If you purchased your Rav4 before May 2018 or you’ve recently purchased a used Rav4 you might also be happy to know that your Rav4 might have a backup camera installed!

Backup camera installations became popular with third-party cheaper alternatives and many factory cars that never came with a backup camera could well have one installed without it being in the car’s manual. If the seller forgot to tell you, you’d never know, right?

Aside from third-party and outsourced rearview cameras, Toyota started implementing backup cameras in the Rav4 in its second/third generation around 2009 along with some other new and cool features people hadn’t seen before in the Rav4.

So, if you have a Rav4 pre-2009, you’d be looking for a backup camera not installed by Toyota.

A Brief History of the Backup Camera in the Rav4

Although Toyota first started using rearview cameras in 1991 on their Soarer Coupe, it wasn’t until demand for backup cameras became more popular among American drivers that they implemented backup cameras in the Rav4.

Considering the American population went from 249.6 million in 1990 to 326.8 million in 2018, popular demand makes sense.

Without further ado, here is a brief history of the rearview camera in a Rav4:

  • 2009 – Toyota implement a rearview camera in the rearview mirror, and this is an optional feature in upper-level trims
  • 2010 – a backup camera is optional for all Toyota Rav4 models but is not a standard feature on any
  • 2011 – The rearview camera is still available as an option for all Rav4 trims, but the reviews aren’t the best regarding the quality
  • 2012 – The backup camera is still found in the rearview mirror and this technology is slowly starting to get old with drivers complaining it’s too small and doesn’t offer enough parking assistance
  • 2013 brought in a new generation for the Rav4 and drivers now find that all models and trims come with a 6.1-inch touchscreen media system with a rearview backup camera which continued into 2014, and 2015
  • 2016 introduced the latest technology in camera and safety equipment to the Rav4 with the Bird’s eye view 360-degree camera. This is not standard on all Rav4s and is offered as a package option for an additional price in the upper trims. Again, this carried into 2017 and still applies in Rav4 trims today
  • 2018 brings us to the new America-wide law that all American-manufactured vehicles must have a safety backup camera

How Does the Toyota Rav4 Backup Camera System Work?

Reversing has only become easier and safer with the implementation of reversing (backup) cameras, but it does take some getting used to, we won’t deny that!

There are numerous tutorials on YouTube available for you to see how the backup camera in the Rav4 works but we recommend this one by Morozov Automotive.

  • The backup camera automatically switches to your touchscreen monitor when you put the car in reverse.

There are no buttons to press and no complicated way to try and switch it on when you need it, it’s ready to go when you are.

  • The monitor shows your immediate surrounds

Through the monitor, you will see a clear view of any obstacles that might be behind or just beside the car that might otherwise be in your blind spot. It’s also great for checking there are no children, pets, and kid’s bikes, and other toys behind the car

  • The monitor will also show yellow and red grid lines.

The red lines indicate where the car is too close to other objects or is close to hitting the edge of the parking area while the yellow indicates a “safe” zone for the car park.

  • Taking your car out of reverse (R) will exit the rearview camera screen

Once you’re confident that your reverse or parallel parking is accurate and you put the car into park mode, the backup camera automatically turns off and the touchscreen goes back to the display that it was on before the camera view took its place.

You can find this information in your Toyota Rav4 manual also which may be similar to this one depending on your Rav4 trim.

What Are the Benefits of a Review Camera?

In the words of the American Toyota manufacturing brand, “the journey towards a safe road never ends”. Toyota continues to strive for safety in each of its vehicles and brings out new and innovative safety and technology advancements in their cars every year.

Along with numerous other safety developments, the backup camera is an incorporated safety net to help prevent crashes and to protect people.

Here are some of the benefits of rearview cameras:

  • Increases driver visibility
  • Improves driver confidence
  • Reduces the blind spot zone
  • Allows drivers to be aware of surroundings and obstacles
  • Can save money by preventing accidents
  • Can save lives by improving driver’s vision
  • Aids in difficult parking situations

What is the Rav4 Digital Rearview Mirror?

The original backup camera in the Rav4 was placed in the rearview mirror, making it a digital rearview mirror.

Today, the rearview mirror remains a mirror, but with some epic enhancements.

Available from 2019, the digital rearview mirror system in the Toyota Rav4 allows drivers to see more clearly, without any distractions, through their rearview mirror.

The digital review mirror comes standard on the following models on the Toyota Rav4:

  • Rav4 XSE Hybrid
  • Rav4 Limited
  • Rav4 Limited Hybrid

And can be purchased as an optional package in these Rav4 trims:

  • Rav4 XLE Premium
  • Rav4 XLE Premium Hybrid
  • TRD Off-Road

But is not available as either standard or optional on any other rav4 trim.

The digital rearview mirror provides an increased field of vision, nighttime clarity, and glare reduction.

If you want to know more about this digital display rearview mirror you can check it out here!


Toyota’s backup cameras are providing drivers with more safety on the road every day with its enhanced driver assistance capabilities.

By law, all vehicles made in America must have a backup camera installed. If you purchase a new Toyota Rav4 you will be delighted with the backup camera safety system and if you purchase an upper-level trim you will be even more impressed with the digital rearview mirror that accompanies the backup camera.