2019 Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 was among one the top-five best-selling vehicles in the U.S.A. This was a feat driven by consumer trends meeting their needs and wants, along with a well-designed and engineered vehicle from a brand that delivers high quality and customer trust.
For 2019, Toyota introduced an all-new version of their top-selling vehicle. We had the chance to drive the Adventure version of the RAV4 to see whether the changes made to the popular vehicle actually make it the best in class.
Toyota has been developing their vehicles on the New Generation Architecture platform, engineered to provide a solid footing for everything the company produces. The new platform works extremely well with a new design language inside and out. The RAV4 is bolder and appears to be bigger than its predecessor.
While you can see elements from other recent Toyota models on the new RAV4, it embodies its own character. The bold front end lends to a taller roof silhouette, a flatter side surface, and a strong rear end design. Our Adventure model stood out with its own grille design apart from the rest of the RAV4 lineup and a two-tone paint job that may remind us of more rugged Toyotas of the past – such as the FJ Cruiser and older Land Cruiser models.
Stepping inside also yields a new cabin design for the RAV4 with elements from other current Toyotas. The combined digital/analog instrument binnacle is a simplified version of one out of the Camry, while the new tablet-like infotainment pod has been seen recently on the newest Corolla. All around, you can feel each control and surface made of the highest quality, and excellent touch/logic.
There are a few new things in the RAV4 to discuss. For example, the Adventure model offers a Multi-terrain Select knob and associated buttons. You can choose from Normal, Snow, Mud & Sand, and Rock & Dirt, along with an Eco and Sport button for transmission mapping.
The front seats in the Adventure model offers deeper bolstering for the backrest and cushion on SofTex surfaces. The upholstery has an aggressive texture in black with orange accents and stitching. You will also find the same pattern and orange finishes throughout the cabin. Space is excellent for families five or four adults. Behind the second row of seats, there is 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space, expandable to 69.8 cubic feet with the rear seats down.
Only one engine powers the RAV4 at this time. The reworked 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine now offers 203 horsepower with 184 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is matched to this new engine with a choice of front- or all-wheel-drive. The Adventure model has the latter as standard. In all, we averaged 29.3 MPG in the RAV4 Adventure.
Though we never took the RAV4 Adventure off-road, we know that many owners will never do the same. Nonetheless, the RAV4 offers a smooth ride along with solid agility. It is also well-controlled in evasive maneuvers but look for some lean and roll through some turns.
As for the brakes, the pedal feel is solid and stopping power is very good in both normal and panic situations. Turning the RAV4 is quite easy with a solid turning radius and wheel response. On-center feel is also solid.
Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 provides the basis of a range of life and vehicle saving technologies, which now includes Road Sign Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Road Edge Detection, and Automatic High Beams.
Pricing for the 2019 RAV4 lineup starts at $25,500 for an LE model with front-wheel drive. Our Adventure model came with a sticker price of $39,634. In all, there are five different trim levels to choose from. Arriving into showrooms now is a new Hybrid version with uprated performance and standard all-wheel-drive. The Hybrid version adds for more trim level choices to the RAV4 lineup.
As a segment leader, the Toyota RAV4 faces a tough crowd of competitive vehicles in its class. The vehicles for which the RAV4 are compared to include the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Ford Escape, Volkswagen Tiguan, Chevrolet Equinox, Jeep Cherokee, and Dodge Journey.
Which brings us to this question: Is the Toyota RAV4 worthy of its position in its class? The answer is “yes.” The improvements are great, and the overall execution is outstanding. With the widest choice of models in its class, it would be very easy to find a RAV4 to fit your needs.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors