2019 Toyota RAV4 – First Review

2019 Toyota RAV4 – First Review

When car makers introduce a new vehicle
for the press they’ll often embargo driving impressions until a certain date.
This is the 2019 Toyota RAV4, and according to this handy little card, I’m
not supposed to tell you about specs, driving impressions, MPG or pricing, but
here’s what we can do. You can check out the interior and exterior. We can talk
about the infotainment system, and you can watch me drive the thing with a
totally blank embargo-respecting expression. Sounds like fun, right? Let’s
start outside we’re the fifth-generation RAV4 is lower and wider with a longer
wheelbase, while also measuring slightly shorter overall. Out in the real world
it looks handsome, if not outrageous. Though Toyota has spiced up each trim
level with distinct styling touches, this XLE trim is pretty straightforward, but
the Hybrid and Limited trims amp up the visual interest well, and the Adventure
trim looks appropriately adventurous. Inside it’s not particularly daring
stylistically, but there are some cool bits if you look around. This grated
surround near the sunglass holder, the ridges on the inside of the door handle
that make you want to keep touching them, this snow like pattern that appears on
these trim pieces and also along the seats, and rubberized knobs for the
climate and audio controls. I wonder how those are gonna wear, but they feel
really good right now. This is the all-wheel-drive model, and it includes a
drive mode selector down here, which is this grouping of six buttons. I wonder if
a rotary knob like every other SUV would have made a little bit more sense. Love
to see how that one works in action. There’s also a torque display in the
gauge cluster that shows you where power is being sent front and back, and I
imagine also left and right in versions that have the torque vectoring all-wheel
drive system. This one doesn’t have it that’s why I’m
not showing it to you. Right now for infotainment we have Entune 3.0 a 7-inch
screen comes standard eight inches is optional, and it’s placed nice and high
pretty close to the drivers field of view. Entune 3.0 includes Amazon Alexa
functionality as well as smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay but not
Android Auto. One thing I really like about how Toyota
is doing their infotainment systems, like here in the RAV4, is that to combine
physical buttons along the edges with super simple displays. This could not be
simpler. Oh, my wife just sent me a text. Get out of here. Don’t, stop, stop, stop looking. Interior storage consists of door nooks, a center console area, a spot
for your phone near this USB port, and a Highlander-inspired slot along the dash
for passengers. The front seats are comfortable and unsurprisingly free from
pressure points. Toyota does a bang-up job with seats. Elsewhere soft materials
appear in critical spots like the armrest instrument panel and other
welcome details include extendable sun visors, parallel cupholders, up to 5 USB
ports, soft outboard rear armrest that could use a little bit more padding, and
rear seat vents, which were previously unavailable on the RAV4. With the front seats set for my utterly
average five-foot ten-inch build, there’s a lot of clearance for my feet down low,
knees right here, and headroom. Move to the middle position, headroom is still
great, and there’s a good wide spot to put my feet, and then outboard, soft
armrests two-position recline function, and notice this window here gives a nice
open airy feeling. If you’ve ever sat in the back of a Toyota C-HR then you know
how claustrophobic that feels. This is the opposite. Outback there’s a large
cargo area, and what I really like is that it has a repositionable floor, so in
the upper position you can just slide bags in and out, but you can also slide
it to the lower position and things won’t roll out the back, if you go to get
let’s say all the cans you could possibly need for a hurricane or zombie
apocalypse. Toyota revealed a fair number of details at the 2018 New York Auto
Show, so I should be safe talking about safety. On that front
all RAV4’s include eight airbags and Toyota’s safety sense 2.0, which bundles
roadsign detection, full-speed dynamic cruise control, pre-collision warning
with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, and lane departure alert with
steering assist. As for the powertrain, a 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine of
indeterminate output comes standard, as does front-wheel drive, but there’s also
a presumably more efficient hybrid variant and all-wheel drive for those
who need enhanced traction. Reserved for gasoline-powered Limited and Adventure
trims is an upgraded torque vectoring all-wheel-drive system that can send up
to 50-percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, or disconnect the rear
driveline for improved efficiency, which I’m not allowed to tell you about. I also
can’t tell you how much this 2019 RAV4 will cost when it goes on sale, but I can
highlight some of its more intriguing options like heated and ventilated seats,
wireless phone charging, up to five USB ports, a hands-free power tailgate, and a
proper 360-degree camera system, Though our XLE trim didn’t come with it, so I
can’t show it to you. From a feature perspective the 2019 RAV4 looks
well-positioned versus a competitive set that includes,
among others, the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Chevy Equinox, Mazda CX-5, and Nissan
Rogue. That’s pretty much all I can say for now, but I promise we’ll have a full
review at the end of November 2018, whenever you’re watching this,
and now back to another taste of me driving expressionless-ly

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. It's too big. Rav 4 shouldn't be like the Highlander! They're supposed to be small beautiful SUVs. What you doing Toyota

  2. No way. Never going back to foreign vehicles. Been well over 12yrs since i've bought one. Since then ive owned numerous new Ford trucks & Ford SUVs ..all were awesome! Zero issues. Now have newer Lincoln.. it's my favorite car I ever owned. Family gettin '19 F150 Lariat 4wd shortly (JD Powers #1 rated most reliable vehicle OVERALL). We can buy any vehicles, we now own the best. 🇺🇸

  3. It has the same engine as the Camry, which makes 203 hp. Which is 15% more than last year, which toyota said at their event.

  4. The only automobile known to have been in accidents involving falling off an overpass landing on all fours with the occupants shaken but not stirred.

  5. The Hyundai Tucson and VW Tiguan not notable competitors in this segment? Arguably two of the best looking compact SUVs out there now..also given it seems Toyota ripped off the tail lights from the Tiguan.

  6. I don't understand the embargo so close to the 2019 launch. It's one of the best selling SUVs in North America. Considering most issues seem to have been dealt with and this redesign isn't throwing a curve ball, I'd bet this is going to sell like hot cakes. I foresee a price starting at $27k if not $28k

  7. They really want it to look like a lexus. I wonder why they started making them more similar. I know they own Lexus, but Toyota is not lexusy they should just keep their old style

  8. I never liked RAV4 until having a 2018 XLE Rental for a weekend. Been waiting for the 2019's because the front end looks much better. I love the new features. However, with so many cars & SUV's no longer coming with CD players, if this new model does not have one I will be scratching it OFF my Test Drive list. If anyone knows, please drop me a note and let me know.

  9. This new model looks great and I like it's many new features. But no Android Auto is a deal killer. Back to the CRV Honda dealer I think.

  10. What's with cars dumbing it down with rock mud or sand selection. I have no idea what the difference is supposed to be on those settings

  11. Хорошая машина, хорошо, что гибрид, можно добавить спортивности, красные строчки, вставки, и с черными дисками будет еще лучше .

  12. I don't really like the front of the new Rav4, everything else is fine as far as the exterior goes, but I feel like they should have kept the front design. It looks like a Ford Explorer from the sides and a better Toyota Tacoma from the front. The gage's for the 2018 Hybrid Rav4 looks better (with the blue), this one seems lackluster to me (honda feels looks more premium in the interior, just ugly on the outside). The seats definitely seem nice though, but I think I like the old Rav4 a little more.

  13. The early generation RAV4s always looked better than what I’ve been seeing up until now. This is the best looking of them all. Looks like they took some inspiration from their 4Runner and the Lexus RX

  14. It is likely to receive love from the people all over the world. Congratulations:
    We expect to launch in Korea as soon as possible.

  15. In person, one of the UGLIEST vehicles made today. We walked away (ran) and bought something else. YUCK.

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