2019 Toyota RAV4 Quick Drive | Consumer Reports

2019 Toyota RAV4 Quick Drive | Consumer Reports

[SNAP] The redesigned 2019 RAV4
has new exterior styling to make it look more rugged. It also comes with the more
powerful four cylinder engine, hooked up to an eight speed
automatic transmission. The engine is noisy, and suffers
from an irritating drone. This was one of the major
downsides of the redesigned RAV4. Non hybrid all
wheel drive models have a multi train
select system that allows the driver to choose
modes for snow, mud, sand, and rock and dirt. Those modes optimize the
all wheel drive system to deliver the best traction
for a given surface. We also found that
the ride was too taut, with some stiff
impacts coming through. We think that Mazda
CX5 and Subaru Forester drive more comfortably. At least the Toyota’s
handling and steering response improved, making the
new RAV4 a bit more agile than the last version. The new RAV4 is a bit
shorter, wider, and lower than its predecessor. And with increased ground
clearance and a lower roof, it’s not as easy to get in. This new body layout also
limits rear headroom. We’ve got our RAV4
with the optional eight way power driver’s seat, which
also comes with two way lumbar support. The seat works well for
people both short and tall, and gives a good
view out of the hood. Visibility is likewise
good to the sides, but thick rear pillars create
significant blind spots to the rear. The padded dashboard
has tasteful stitching, and the leather wrapped
steering wheel’s a nice touch for the segment. But the interior
feels bland thanks to a wealth of
hard plastic trim. Most controls are
clear and easy to use, except for tiny buttons located
around the infotainment screen. The stereo is Apple
CarPlay compatible, but it does not
support Android Auto. Extending the cargo area
is easily done by folding the rear seat backs forward. The RAV4 comes standard with
forward collision warning with pedestrian detection,
automatic immersive braking, lane departure warning,
lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. Blind spot warning and
rear cross traffic alert are optional. When it comes to buying,
we’d get the XLE trim, which does a good job balancing
price and feature availability. We’d be sure to get the
optional powered driver’s seat with lumbar support adjustment,
heated seats, and a power lift gate. Buyers living in
cold climates should consider the all
wheel drive versions and get the weather
prep package, which includes a heated steering
wheel and rain sensing wipers. A hybrid version
is also available. For more on SUVs check
out consumerreports.org.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Modes for "Rock and Dirt"…..talk about a gimmick. I wish Toyota could make a RAV that doesn't sound like a lawn mower.

  2. how SOFT Do you guys expect suspension to be? I swear it seems like y'all are expecting the Lincoln town cars of yor… You say most vehicles are Steph, I've driven some of these vehicles and it's decent, sheesh

  3. I look forward to the hybrid first drive to compare the gas model to it as it is super to be quiter and have a softer ride.

  4. The Rav4 suddenly became alot more truck-like. Whether that is a good or bad thing really depends on your taste.

  5. Drove one of these during the Twin Cities Auto Show a few weeks back. Personally, I really like the looks and could probably tolerate the buzzy motor but the pricing for the Adventure trim that I’d want was way out of line.

    What’s acceptable and tolerable for a $30k vehicle becomes much less so on a $40k one.

  6. All these look the same. Wheres the boxy rav that sat high with great visibility? The old boxy rav was easy to get into, reliable, fun, roomy and could fit anywhere. Why make a rav look like every other smal suv????

  7. Sorry, to everyone who likes the this design. I think it's FUGLY!!. I liked the last generation better. As an owner of a new 2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature model, I agree that the Mazda drives and handles better, looks better and it's interior is superior and more upscale. However, Toyota will sell a million of them to the normal follow the leader car buyer. BTW, check Consumer Reports the CX-5 has been very reliable!!

  8. CR reviews have deteriorated so much after Tom Mutcher has left.

    This review is not useful unless you compare the rav4 to its competitors such as the Forester, CX-05 and CRV.

    The safety features are standard unlike the Forester and CX-05. That should be highlight of the review and not what trim to choose!

  9. Lower than the one before? And increased ground clearance so it’s harder to get in 😂 how does that make sense consumer reports

  10. Can Mr Quincy please take some classes in elocution? No offense, just tone down the over-emphasis on each syllable. It sounds a bit silly. Keep up the good work!

  11. Hybrid drivetrain has the most power, is proven to be more reliable than ICE-only vehicles, and completely blows out all other mainstream compact SUVs with nearly 40mpg, and all it gets is "a hybrid version is also available"? Seriously CR?

  12. I bought an 18 RAV4 XLE Hybrid and I think I made the right choice. Looks are subjective. The 18 looks refined and the 19 rugged. Again, a personal thing. In my 18 I like old fashioned things like a parking brake I operate manually, and the shifter that has the notches so you know what gear you are in. I like the in dash screen with the nav system and upgraded stereo and think the "stick on" screen on the 19 looks cheap. Also the 18 XLE styled wheels are much nicer. One of the reasons the 19 is louder is that they left out the underhood sound deadening blanket. The new engine adds more HP but more complexity with boith direct injection and port fuel injection. Just more complexity and why you need an 8 speed transmission is beyond me,. A final note, Motor Trend tested seven similar 19 SUVs and Honda came in first in front of the Mazda and the Toyota fourth. That doesn't say too much for Toyota and a new model

  13. Consumer Reports, your reviews are getting ridiculous! Engine noise seems fine from what I hear and did you expect the vehicle to ride like a Mercedes? Seems like all the vehicles you review are full of negatives. And btw, you said the new one is lower and shorter, but has more ground clearance? Does not make any sense, big screw up there.

  14. CR is the equivalent of an 80-year-old at a diner who complains that their soup is too cold. Then when they get it warmed up, they complain that it’s too hot.

  15. The 2013 RAV-4 was renowned for being too stiff riding and led me to buy a CR-V. A year or two later Toyota addressed this issue . Now they're back to stiff ride again in 2019…don't they learn.

  16. Hmm… The Subaru Forester sounds like a winner for me.
    And for the brutal price of the Adventure, I could consider a Honda Passport, at least it has a V6 engine…

  17. toyota 4 cylinders are always buzzy. that has been a weakness of otherwise very nice engine. that is why i like the v6 more because it super smooth, quite, and powerful.

  18. Dude! What's with the weird voice inflection? The hybrid is the first RAV4 I would consider buying in years. Sure the Road Warrior looks leave a little to be desired but I actually think it's an improvement to the stiff lower lip of the previous model. For those of you CX-5 lovers come and see me in 5 to 10 years. Mazdas break down and repairs are extremely expensive. There's a reason Toyota sells so many of these things.

  19. I like the exterior design except for the fender flares. They look chopped off and should connect to the black cladding along the bottom edge of the vehicle.

  20. Personally, I don't like the orange dash inside or the squared off wheel wells. Certainly its no match for the Honda CRV – its main competitor.

  21. Unfortunately Toyota is choosing form over substance, which is a big turn off for me. I've owned many Toyota over my lifetime and am becoming disappointed in direction Toyota is headed. Seriously, what company reduces it's interrior space from one model year to the next as Toyota has done with this vehicle and made the ride more choppy and the engine noise more unbearable? And no Android Auto? Seriously??? No thanks

  22. I have a 17 Corolla I like the noise it's only 1.8 but doesn't lack in power with the cvt super fun amazing ride 👌 once k&n filter is on sounds awesome

  23. Too bad the Rav4 got too big, and is now the size of the original Highlander. It is getting into the size of a mid-size SUV. Here's hoping for some improvements:

    1- Toyota needs to introduce a new compact size SUV
    2- An optional more performance oriented engine in the Rav4, perhaps a 2.0T that many others have (and don't reserve it only for the NX300). At the top end of pricing for the Rav4 this engine is pure vanilla ice cream, and not worth that sort of money compared to the turbos from the Jeep Cherokee and Mazda CX-5.
    3- Add Android Auto as most other have
    4- Refine the engine noise

  24. The engine is quiet once it warms up. The ride is firm but not harsh. Overall I am happy with my 19 RAV4 LE AWD. I paid 25.9k out the door. The mpg is surprisingly good. I am averaging high 30s.

  25. Toyota stripped all driver assist features in Mexican versions. I would have liked to have at least emergency braking and blind spot monitoring

  26. Improve ground clearance = YES
    Improve driver sitting position = YES
    Improve power and performance = YES

    More Noise = YES
    Less interior volume = YES
    Reflector headlamps = YES
    Ride comfort rough = YES
    Hybrid is now a hatchback camry = YES

    Subpar upgrade tbh

  27. BTW all Rav4's come with standard Blind spot and rear cross traffic alert. Only limited trims get rear cross traffic brake, not sure what CR is saying. But even the base gives u an option to use blind spot mirrors or the sensors themselves which are included.

  28. Engine noise is overwhelm when you hit the accelerate pedal! I did the test drive on it and totally disappointed.

  29. Reliability and longevity mean more today than ever before with our rapidly changing economy.

    Toyota is the shrewd choice.

  30. Ugly! And noisy, you say.
    My Android and I will look elsewhere.
    Apple only? Yawn.
    I prefer inclusion. Nyet to the Rav….

  31. Can the Subaru Forester be that good that in every review CR has to mention it? its been going on for a while, whats going on here between CR and Subaru?

  32. BTW all Rav4's come with standard Blind spot and rear cross traffic alert. Only limited trims get rear cross traffic brake, not sure what CR is saying. But even the base gives u an option to use blind spot mirrors or the sensors themselves which are included.

  33. Toyotas & hondas are the most reliable. Peopl are still driving those nineties camry's. Or accords. They maybe boring. But long lasting. Cr maybe trying to get people to buy those other cars that have so many recalls

  34. Toyota is slowly joining the 21st century. Finally offering Apple car play in 2019, but yet to offer Android Auto. I find it fascinating when it comes to electronics, they lag the industry but when it comes to hybrids they led the industry.

  35. The engine is noisy and has to be at high rpm to get the power.
    And the only way that you will see anywhere neat the advertised mpg is to slow down everyone behind you when the light turns greed.

  36. Video should be called “Here’s what we hate about the new RAV4”. So negative. As a consumer, I LOVE the all new design. It’s the first RAV4 that I’ve found appealing in a long time.

  37. "It's not as easy to get into and this new layout doesn't leave a lot of Headroom"
    Shows video of a man easily getting into the car with plenty of Headroom. LOL

  38. I just test drove one and had to agree with most everything he said. It does have a loud growl whenever you hit the gas but handles pretty well. The worst thing for me, in a time when makers are knocking it out of the park, is the bland dashboard. The infotainment screen was angled so that people in the back seat could probable appreciate it much more than I could driving it. I wish Toyota had styled the dash more like the Highlander which I find very appealing.

  39. Complain all you want about CR but literally every point they got right….and I work for Toyota and have driven them enough to know. Hybrids trickling in now and hoping for quieter drive experience since it’s quicker with the electric motors.
    Poke around reviews on the net and your gonna find similar complaints with the exception of those that are just giddy and wowed because it’s something new and they can’t or won’t see the forest through the trees. So many complaints about the noisy engine Toyota is already implementing changes for 2020. Wonder how many heads rolled after letting that happen to what Toyota called “their most important car launch in history” Of course they will sell a ton, will be interesting to see if they can beat the 400,000+ they sold last year. Screw a turbo for those who want it. Best thing Toyota could do is put a small little V6 into it, at least as an option. They predict 25% sold will be Hybrids. My hunch it will be more as it’s only $800 more, quieter, faster and gets stellar MPG. Still can’t get a power passenger seat in any trim level. Come on Toyota. How about a sunroof delete option across the board? Yeah front head room is tight and a bit claustrophobic for tall people with the raked windshield. Do your homework people before commenting on things you know jack about.

  40. I am a bit taller (6'2").. So I sit higher in the drivers seat.. I like actually like to sit higher to improve visibility, I think a higher driving position lets me see better and thus is makes driving more enjoyable and safer because of better visibility. I can tell just by looking at the RAV4 that Toyota made the roof line too low and the front windshield too layed back. A higher roofline and a more upright windshield would really improve visibility and comfort. Toyota kinda did the same unfortunate thing to the Highlander a few years ago.. Toyota is not the only one making the mistake of lower rooflines and layed back windshields – I know they are trying to do this to improve aerodynamics and gas mileage.. But I would rather pay a bit more at the pump to improve comfort, visibility and safety when driving.
    Also, I know there are people who say that the RAV4 has plenty of headroom, sure you probably can lower the seat all the way and then you are almost sitting on the floor.. wouldn't be comfortable and acceptable (at least not for me)..

  41. Just your opinion. You should stick the facts and let the consumer decide if the interior or the overall look is nice

  42. My 19 rav4 isn’t noisy at all, no idea where they’re getting this from???
    I’ve heard it more than once from reviews but honestly I just don’t find it to be true.

  43. I love the CX5, yes it may be smoother. But the whole point of feeling the bumps and hearing the engine is about interacting with your Car. Drive a luxury car with no feeling, it has no passion exact a smooth drive. I would rather drive a car I would like to be engaged with, and this Rav4 accomplished their goal. I think these car journalist compare their cars to luxury. The new Rav4 drive amazing, if you want more comfy, get the CX5

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