The All-New 2019 Toyota RAV4 Is Better, but Will it Be the Best? | Edmunds

The All-New 2019 Toyota RAV4 Is Better, but Will it Be the Best? | Edmunds


[MUSIC PLAYING] JASON KAVANAGH: This is the
all-new 2019 Toyota RAV4, and it’s the replacement
for the best-selling vehicle in the United States that’s
not a full-size pickup. Now, the previous generation had
been getting a little bit long in the tooth, but it’s
still been a strong seller. I’m here in Carmel,
California to find out if the new RAV4 can improve upon
the attributes of the old one to maintain its status
at the top of the heap. SPEAKER: To see how the 2018
RAV4 measured up to its rivals, check out our recent
comparison test video. And while you’re at
it, click Subscribe. [MUSIC PLAYING] JASON KAVANAGH: The RAV4
is on a new platform, and it’s not that much
different size-wise than the outgoing RAV4. The biggest difference
is the wheelbase, which is just over an inch
longer than the old RAV4. In terms of height and
length, it’s pretty similar. It’s a little bit
wider than the old one. There is about 2 inches more
ground clearance in this car, so if you’re going
to go off-road, this one has you covered
better than the old one does. Speaking of off-road, there are
three all-wheel drive systems available. There’s a standard on-demand
all-wheel drive system. And some trim levels offer what
they call a torque vectoring all-wheel drive
system, which has a fancy rear differential
which can portion torque left and right across the axle. This is a system that’s intended
to help handling as much as it can help off-road as well. So if you’re going to go
off-road, look at an Adventure trim, and you’re going to
get the torque vectoring all-wheel drive. The third all-wheel
drive system is the hybrid, which drives
the rear axle strictly electrically. It doesn’t have a drive
shaft from the front going to the rear differential. The RAV4 I’m driving right
now is an XLE premium trim, which is sort of in the
middle of the range. You can get a more
affordable one, an LE, or an Adventure trim, which
is further up, all the way up to a Limited, and then there’s
a hybrid model as well. The XLE and the XLE
Premium is going to be the heart of RAV4 sales. This is where most people land
when they get a RAV4, at least that’s the expectation. So what is it like to drive? It’s a new 2.5
liter four-cylinder, which is the same displacement
as the old engine, but it’s a different engine. It’s about 200 horsepower. And it’s not going to
blow your hair back. This is not a super
powerful car by any means. It makes most of
its power up high, and around town if you
stand on it down low, you’re going to be waiting
a little bit for this thing to get going. The eight-speed transmission,
however, is quite good. It’s got smooth shifts. It makes good decisions. It even holds gears when
you’re climbing a grade. So the eight-speed
transmission is really good. The four-cylinder needs high
RPM to really feel powerful. And if you’re just
kind of cruising around and you step on the gas,
you might be wanting for a little bit more power. Which if you do, you’re in
luck because the hybrid model is a lot torquier down low. I mean, just around town, you
can feel the hybrid’s torque pushing you around a lot better
than the gas engine does. But it’s true that the four
cylinder needs revs, really, if you want to get
going anywhere. And when you give this thing a
lot of throttle, if you really need to make that
freeway pass for example, the engine gets
pretty vocal as well. But once you’re cruising
around, the engine quiets down and then the only thing
you’re really hearing is a bit of road noise. Wind noise is pretty well
banished in this car. The Mazda CX-5 is the
benchmark in this class when it comes to steering and handling. And the new RAV4, while it
takes a step closer to the CX-5 it doesn’t unseat
it from that perch. The steering’s quick and it’s
a little on the light side, but overall it
turns in nicely, it feels pretty nimble,
pretty agile. It doesn’t roll a lot when
you steer it into a bend. But it’s not the most
sporty SUV out there. And to be honest,
this is the right way to go with a vehicle like this. It does what you want
when you want it to do it. Expectations for ride
quality in this segment are pretty high because you
have to satisfy a lot of people, given how popular
this segment is. And the new RAV4 meets
that high expectation. It’s got enough
feedback to let you know the texture of the
road that you’re on, but not so much that it’s too
busy or it gets tiresome. So it strikes a nice balance,
and I’m happy with the ride. [MUSIC PLAYING] Like the rest of the RAV4,
the interior is all new too. And one of the features I like
about it is the visibility. It has these slim
pillars and the mirrors are now attached
to the door, which makes a big difference in
terms of seeing pedestrians that are on street corners
and things like that. It’s got better
materials throughout. It’s definitely an
upgrade compared to the outgoing RAV4,
where the interior was one of its weak points. This console here
is wider than it was before because the
vehicle’s a bit wider, and that leaves more
room for cup holders and a console storage bin. Toyota has added a whole lot
of infotainment capability to this generation of RAV4. A 7-inch touchscreen
is standard, as is Apple CarPlay, Amazon
Alexa, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi. An 8-inch touchscreen and Qi
wireless cell phone charging is optional. Like the exterior, there
are more aggressive features even on the interior too–
these big grab handles with a rubberized coating on
the inside, this slim structure on the dashboard. It’s got a little bit
more design appeal than the outgoing RAV4. Is it as good as the CX-5? Mmm, maybe not, but I think
that this is a big step up from the old RAV4. It’s pretty spacious
in the back seat. I’m 6′ 1″ and I have
lots of headroom. I have a pretty good
amount of legroom. However, the back
seat is pretty flat, and I don’t have a lot of
thigh support in this seat. And when you consider
that most trim levels have vents for the back
seat passengers, overall, they are going to be
pretty happy on a long trip. The cargo area has always been
a strong point for this vehicle. However, it is about a cubic
foot smaller than the old one. It’s still near the top
of the class, though. [MUSIC PLAYING] The new RAV4’s improved fuel
economy, sharper styling, and improved driving
dynamics are only going to help its
chances in this segment. And while the engine’s a bit
weak and prices have gone up, the list of features
available is really long so the value is actually
stronger than ever. And because of that, I think the
new RAV4 is poised for success. SPEAKER: If you’d like to see
more videos like this one, subscribe. And be sure to visit Edmunds
to find your next car, truck, or SUV. [MUSIC PLAYING]

About the Author: Michael Flood

100 Comments

  1. It sounds like the host think highly of the steering/handling and the interior of the Mazda CX5 such that it was uses as the bench mark for those areas in the review.

  2. The death of the automobile as we know it continues. As coupes and sedans continue to go by the wayside it takes minimal imagination to style a box on wheels. Americans have become fat, lazy, and arrogant and now the car designers have to style cars that fits those attributes. After all look at who they elected as their President. At least the majority didn't vote for Comrade Donnie!

  3. I don't think the V6 is a dying breed of engine.

    I think what's happening is the old V6 will still be offered but with,or without a turbo and in a higher priced vehicle/segment.

    i.e. Lexus LS (V8s) Lexus ES (V6) Lexus IS (i4 + turbo). / Camry (V6) (we're lucky it's still offered) / Avalon (V6).

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say most people buying these vehicles above aren't as price sensitive to fuel cost as those buying Rav4's, CR-V's,CX-5 etc.

  4. Mazda must be paying this guy off, quality is just not there like a Toyota. Who cares if it rides a bit better? Mazda's begin deteriorating faster than you can finish a 5 year finance payment.

  5. "Q: What does it compete against?
    A: The 2019 Toyota RAV4's main rivals are the Honda CR-V, the Mazda CX-5 and the Nissan Rogue". REALLY?  Did someone forget the Subaru Forester?  They almost look ALIKE!

  6. This is the size of the old Highlander….. Toyota, plastic seats on the Limited trim????? Can you please release a hybrid AWD Platinum package with real corrected leather seats?????

  7. Hmmmm idk, I’m trying to find ways to love it… not much of a fan. My opinion the back of the RAV reminds me of a Tiguan.

  8. Other car manufacturers will dominate in features, price and performance but one thing this will be the best among the rest RELIABILITY.

  9. I enjoyed how the car was described from the upgrades to how the vehicle handles. This review as well as the comments listed will help in my decision. I am in the market for a smaller SUV. I still wish the RAV4 came in a 6 cylinder. I drive a V6 sedan and I would love to have that same power in a smaller SUV.

  10. You get an hour to maybe a week with a test car that the manufacturer let your borrow. I’ll take an anonymously purchased vehicle that’s tested by the experts at Consumer Reports and not your 5 minute drive.

  11. Do you know if the 2019 Toyota Rav4 is available for the IIHS test yet? It's not on their top picks list, but I know it's also not officially on the market yet. I'm hoping the front passenger overlap test results improve.

  12. $40,000+ for anything with a NA 2.5l 4 cyl doesn't make much sense. Hopefully people just stick with the low and mid range trims

  13. I’m 5’2 which one would fit me better between 2019 RAV4 or 2019 Mazda CX- 5? Which one I’ll get better view from the driving position?

  14. I juts got my new 2019 RAV4 XLE love it very nice 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼from my previous 2016 RAV4 XLE..
    Great job Toyota has done

  15. We prefer the look of the 2018 RAV4 over the 2019 RAV4, especially the front. Hope Toyota go back to the 2018 RAV4 look in 2020!

  16. The mirrors are attached to the door…..Hmmm……I seem to remember every car I've ever driven in the past 30 years having the mirrors attached to the doors……This dork is a dork.

  17. 200bhp in a family suv and you say it wont blow your hair back 200bhp is a respectable amount of power in any family car.sorry sir i think somewhere along the line you got that one wrong.

  18. I just drove the Adventure….what a POS!!…so thin…tinny….loud…and still plastic….in no way shape or form comes close to the CX5 GTR, or Signature….Slow too… Toyota sucks…so many recalls…if u like plastic…get one…if u want upscale, refinement, real leather[Signature], and driving quality…and a VERY quiet interior…go with the Mazda GTR or Signature…and also…stay away from the gay brand…for lesbians…the Subaru's….if u are a dude

  19. I’ve been thinking about get a 2019 rav4 standard, cheapest one I can afford… but is it worth the $28k total?
    Seems like it is but I’d be financing 6 yrs. at $440/month no down. I know nothing about a “good deal”. Are my monthly payments looking good orrrrr??? Are there better standard cars for around the same price?

  20. Edmunds does such a good job with their reviews. I never cared for the old Rav 4 body style but this new one looks pretty sharp!

  21. Every reviewer out there loves Mazda so much, the 6 is the best sedan, the CX5 is the best compact cross over, they handle the best, they feel the best, they look the best, the best materials, the best feeling on the road, the best of the best… CR-V and Rav-4 cannot even dream to look, feel, sound and handle as good as the CX5,…yet… Mazda cannot even dream of selling as many Rav-4s and CR-vs… I wonder why people won't buy the apparent better vehicle?!

  22. I thought that the previous RAV4 was the ugliest RAV4 ever but, that wedge-shaped cross-over look, on the previous generation RAV4, helped to double RAV4 sales in North America. I still prefer the all new 2019 RAV4 with it's truck like body design.

  23. Glad to see an 8-speed and not a useless CVT like Honda has.  We have a 2015 Rav4 and it's so small, next time it will be as least a Highlander or bigger.  I wish Toyota made a Dodge Durango sized SUV that's truly up to date and has a large info screen.

  24. Folks, the wife & I did another early Sunday AM cruise (no annoying salespeople who don't understand the meaning of "We're just looking today) of our local Toyota dealer's lot.  After checking out a RAV4 XLE, Adventure and Limited (we've seen them before), we were at the point of scratching them off our short list.  We were not impressed with the seat comfort, bogus Pleather seats (I actually thought the cloth seat was bit more comfortable), and I didn't care for the bang-your-head clearance getting into the passenger side's seat.  We were definitely no fans of the older RAV4's interior, but I can't say a whole lot about the new one, either.  Meh – rental car? But – we came back later and took a ride in the XLE w/free Toyota jabbering chaperone who instructed us where to drive (about 2 miles total), and returned us to the lot where he expected us to just pay up $34k for a meaningless drive.   Our take: The SUV's engine noise was surprisingly high with any meaningful acceleration. Handling was OK, but couldn't begin to put it through any paces with Juan "Turn here, and turn here.." in the back seat.  The ride wasn't great, but the car maintenance jockeys love to crank up the tire pressure to near max, and that can really make a vehicle ride hard – that may have been the case here.  Seats?  Dunno.. I have my concerns, especially with the non-adjustable head rests that lean forward, but you don't know until you spend some significant time behind the wheel. What we DID like was the visibility: Toyota is one of several manufacturers that have cleared the clump of driver's view blocking crap at the A-pillars, and moved the outside rearview mirrors back onto the doors.  Really cuts down on the blind spot.  Kudos to Toyota on that.  As far as room goes, it's better than the Mazda CX-5, didn't feel like I was packed into a fighter plane's cockpit.  The movement of the infotainment screen up out of the top of the dash – my wife and I haven't been big fans of it, but when I think about the trips I've taken with a TomTom and radar detector hanging off the windshield in the same area…. why not out of dash?  It's one helluva lot more convenient, and has far more capabilities.  I like the way the system responded and was set up. Good job!  So – we dunno.  I saw that two of our local Enterprise Rental locations now have '19 Toyota RAV4 XLEs, so we just might rent one for a couple of days & wring it out.  At least we'd give it a fair chance!

  25. I really like it, but no android compatibility, its a deal breaker for me and my family which are all android users. Noisy engine too. Got the new CRV instead. Cant be happier

  26. Yes, just test drove the 2019 RAV4 Adventure Trail version. Unfortunately engine noise is too loud and really didn’t settle down on highway. Toyota totally neglected to put any insulation on the underside of the hood, let alone the engine bay and firewall. I liked the vehicle in general during my 30 minute test drive, including 10 minutes in fairly deep snow where the RAV4 handled very well, with no sounds of traction control or VSC deploying. A few complaints. 1. The digital display is hard to read in bright sunlight, especially with sunglasses on. I cranked up the lighting on the digital display but it was quite limited compared to other Toyota’s that I’ve driven in the past. Also the numbers on the speedometer are simply too small, which may cause me to receive speeding tickets. I wish Toyota would put a larger digital number, similar to the Honda CRV, so that one could see the speed at a glance. Either that or a heads up display similar to the CX3. Otherwise the digital display has relatively small font, really hard to apprehend what is happening at first blush and would require more memorization of the layout.

    2. The backseat only folds down 90-95% and did not offer a fully flat surface such as the Honda CRV.
    3. Front seat access is somewhat cumbersome due to the forward slant of the A pillars. I wish one could just simply step/slide into it like a pick up truck. I found myself ducking my head which I don’t know if I want to do an ongoing basis.

    4. Road noise and engine noise, as mentioned earlier, was surprising and disappointing. I seriously wanted to buy a RAV4 but I will hold off till the fall of 2019 with the hope that Toyota implements actual insulation in the engine bay in the 2020 version to quiet down the engine. I simply think it’s not fair that I should have to spend $1000-$1500 for aftermarket sound insulation to be installed by an outside vendor. Otherwise, I will have to look at a Subaru product (CVT might be a disappointment?) or the Honda CRV (also a CVT plus tiny little 1.5 turbo engine that may not last beyond 6-8 years without major maintenance?). The CX 5 was nice but cargo space was limited.

    I really wanted the RAV4 to work as it, and the Subaru, are largely the only mid-priced models with more advanced AWD systems versus simply conventional front/rear AWD systems. I travel lots of long road trips across USA and Canada, so I want peace and quiet, not a whole lot of engine noise and road noise coming up through the body of the vehicle. Hopefully Toyota will remedy this for 2020. Otherwise sadly I will have to look elsewhere.

  27. Just test drove a new XLE model it's nice, but it's kind of slow for 202hp – what's up what that Toyota?

  28. Noisy, lacks power… wife bough a 2019 Rav4 hybrid after taking a Rad4 SE test drive. No comparison… the hybrid has a quiet engine, powerful and less road noise. "Won't get out of it's own way" was her last comment about the SE with three of us in the car. An Edge 2.0T was way better, but needed high test gas. No insulation on the hood.. really for a $32K car !

  29. I test drove this and the Hyundai Santa Fe…. Santa Fe went home with me… free 5 year financing and a 100,000 mile warranty…. Toyota needs to step up their game… I think the Santa Fe was quieter than the Toyota… and the interior was nicer with all safety features standard on the lowest price model…. just no comparison….

  30. I seen the rav 4 edge the other day in gunmetal grey. Looked amazing!
    It had even better interior design than this one.

  31. Great review! The red color is gorgeous. Toyota will need to add Android Auto, though. The rear brake lights and turn signals are really small. Are the faux leather seats comfortable?

  32. I'm 6'1 and the console panel is way to wide, digs right into my knee making it painful and difficult to keep the foot on the gas pedal. Very uncomfortable.

  33. I kinda hate it that both Toyota & Honda got rid of the full-sized spare tire over the years. I've liked these vehicles from afar and more & more over the years.

  34. The amount of noise the engine cannot be understated. A lot of these reviewers mention it as a side note. Believe me— its a deal breaker. The Adventure trim was probably the worst thing I've ever driven. Horribly noisy and the transmission is a nightmare. Too bad…they look so cool. Have to pass until they get that under control.

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