The original Toyota RAV4 arrived in the United States 22 years ago, casting the mold for a whole new industry segment, which evolved into the compact crossover SUV. With the all-new, fifth-generation 2019 Toyota RAV4, the vehicle premieres, yet again, at the forefront – both for the Toyota brand and for the segment.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is, in essence, disrupting the segment it created. It is bringing more sport and more utility back while enhancing the agile handling, everyday comfort and exemplary fuel efficiency that made RAV4 the segment leader it is now. All told, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 is designed to tackle urban, suburban and great outdoor adventures with equal aplomb. The look is tougher, and there’s greater capability with a new type of all-wheel drive, yet the ride is smoother and quieter, with new comfort touches inside.
NEW FOR 2019:
All-new robust design and highly refined driving experience
New dynamic force 2.5L engine offering more power and improved MPG
Standard second-generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0)
Off-road capabilities with available Multi-Terrain Select and available Segment- and Toyota-First, Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect
Standard Entune 3.0 with Wi-Fi Connect Powered by Verizon, Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay compatibility
Starting MSRP of $25,500
On sale in december 2018
TRIM LEVELS & FEATURES
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 models is offered in five trim levels: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure and Limited. A hybrid RAV4 model is also available and is covered in a separate review.
The RAV4 LE trim standard equipment list includes features that one might expect in an upgrade model: Multi-LED headlights and taillights, dual exhaust, color-keyed exterior door handles, low-profile roof rails, privacy glass on side, quarter and liftgate windows, 4.2-in. Multi-Information Display (MID), power windows with automatic up/down and jam protection on all doors, soft-touch dash and armrests, a 12v auxiliary power outlet in the instrument panel storage tray and another in the second row, plus front reading lights and a cargo area light.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 XLE trim is a major upgrade and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, Multi-LED headlights with chrome bezels and auto on/off headlamps, fog lights, color-keyed heated power exterior mirrors with LED turn signals and blind spot warning indicators, power tilt/slide moonroof with one-touch open/close and new mesh wind deflector, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear air vents, Smart Key System on front doors and liftgate with push button start, remote keyless entry and remote illuminated entry, rear cargo area cover, four additional USB charging ports, and more.
The new XLE Premium trim builds on that, adding 19-inch super-chrome-finish alloy wheels, SofTex-trimmed seats with 8-way power driver’s seat and 2-way lumbar, power liftgate, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift handle with sequential mode.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure equipped for all-weather urban, suburban, and trail exploring. Inheriting design features from Toyota off-roaders, the Adventure represents the pinnacle of the design team’s Robust theme. It is distinguished by standard high-rise roof rails and larger over-fenders, more aggressive bumper, grille design and fog light surrounds. The 19-inch, split five-spoke wheels with matte-black accents are exclusive to the Adventure and wear 235/55R19 tires. The Adventure trim backs up its tough stance with 8.6 inches of ground clearance and rugged functionality for any road. The Adventure and Limited models are equipped with active grille shutters to help enhance fuel economy.
To maximize the adventurous look, the RAV4 Adventure has an available Ice Edge-colored roof that is paired with one of three exterior colors: Midnight Black Metallic and Blue Flame - both of which are new for RAV4, while Lunar Rock is new to the Toyota lineup and makes its first appearance on RAV4.
Heated and ventilated front seats are available on the Adventure trim, and interior seat finishes come in either black or a grade-exclusive Mocha-colored SofTex, the latter a brand-new interior finish in the Toyota lineup. Orange stitching accents the interior, with additional orange appointments placed throughout the dashboard.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Limited trim takes into luxury territory. Outside, front and rear bumpers with silver accent garnishes, large black over-fenders, gray metallic-colored grille, 19-inch alloy wheels and chrome accents set it apart from the other models. Inside, premium comfort and style come to the forefront with a standard power moonroof and 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory and 2-way lumbar support. Heated and ventilated perforated front seating, heated perforated rear outboard seating and panoramic sunroof are also available.
The RAV4 Limited comes standard with a new 7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) in the instrument panel, which can, among other functions, display turn-by-turn directions in navigation-equipped vehicles and serve as a digital speedometer. A power liftgate is standard, and a hands-free power liftgate is available in an option package. The Entune Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation system is standard, which includes an 8-inch touchscreen and six speakers.
The Digital Rearview Mirror makes its debut on the 2019 Toyota RAV4 and comes standard on Limited trim. By default, the display is a conventional rearview mirror but with the flip of a switch, drivers can have an increased field of vision coming through the rearview mirror, showing what is behind the vehicle thanks to a high-mounted, adjustable wide-angle, high-definition camera on the rear of vehicle. At night, the image is brightened. At the same time, glare from headlights and other light sources is eliminated to help enhance visibility and reduce eye fatigue.
Power and efficiency both make a leap in the 2019 Toyota RAV4 thanks to the new Dynamic Force 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine paired with an 8-speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission. The other eye-opening numbers, of course, are for output: 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.
The combination of a very high compression ratio (13:1, which uses Atkinson cycle), D4-S fuel injection (combining direct and secondary port injectors), high-speed combustion, VVT-iE intelligent variable valve-timing and ultra-low internal friction yield a maximum thermal efficiency of 40 percent, making it the ideal powerplant for the new RAV4 to meet the demand of providing a highly responsive, yet fuel efficient driving experience.
The new Direct Shift-8AT transmission provides a much wider ratio spread than the 6-speed automatic it replaces (7.8 vs. 5.425), resulting in quicker and smoother acceleration, getting drivers from 0-60 mph in 8.2 seconds (Limited trim). The new transmission provides torque converter lock-up in gears 2 through 8 to help eliminate power loss and the execution of ultra-smooth shifts. The driver can choose from Eco, Normal and Sport modes to tailor vehicle responses.
In addition to standard front-wheel drive, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 offer two types of available all-wheel drive. The new, segment- and Toyota-first, Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect comes standard on AWD-equipped Limited and Adventure models. It can direct up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, as well as distribute it to the left or right rear wheel to enhance handling on or off pavement.
When AWD isn’t required –on long stretches of highway, the RAV4 can help achieve better fuel economy thanks to the Rear Driveline Disconnect system. The system uses the world’s first ratchet-type dog clutches to stop the rear-axle driveshaft rotation, thus helping to significantly reduce energy loss and improve fuel efficiency.
Standard on all AWD-equipped RAV4 models, Multi-Terrain Select gives drivers the ability to maximize traction when driving through mud, sand, rocks, dirt and snow. The system is easy to use thanks to control buttons or a control dial (depending on the grade) positioned to the left of the transmission shift lever. The driver can select Mud & Sand mode for beach driving, or Rock & Dirt mode for trails. Using the Multi-Information Display (MID), the driver can view torque allocation and slip control, which will fluctuate depending on driving and road conditions.
In addition, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 models include the following features for optimal on-road and off-road performance and safety: Hill Start Assist Control, Trailer Sway Control and Downhill Assist Control (standard on Adventure and Limited AWD only).
2.5-liter Dynamic Force 4-cylinder, aluminum alloy block with aluminum alloy cylinder head
16-valves (four-valve/cylinder), Dual Overhead Camshafts (DOHC) with Variable Valve Timing-intelligent system by Electric motor (VVT-iE) on the intake camshaft, and Variable Valve Timing-intelligent system (VVT-i) on the exhaust camshaft
151.7 cu. in. / 2,487 cc
Bore x Stroke
87.5 x 103.4 mm
203 hp @ 6,600 rpm
184 lb.-ft. @ 5,000 rpm
Toyota Direct Ignition (TDI)
87-octane unleaded or higher
EPA Fuel Economy (city/highway/combined MPG)
27/34/30 (LE AWD)
Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD (TV-AWD) with Multi-Terrain Select and Rear Driveline Disconnect
Direct Shift 8-speed Electronically Controlled automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) with sequential shift mode and Snow Mode
Zero to 60 mph
8.2 sec (Limited AWD)
16.6 sec @ 85.2 mph
Maximum Towing Capacity
1,500 lbs. (LE, XLE, XLE Premium and Limited)
3,500 lbs. (Adventure)
Cargo Volume behind 2nd row
37.6 cu. ft.
The new TNGA-K platform forms the foundation for exemplary collision protection in the 2019 Toyota RAV4, while a suite of standard driver-assist technologies is designed to help prevent collisions, or to mitigate their impacts.
Fulfilling a goal announced in 2016, Toyota has made active safety technology with automatic front braking standard on most new models. The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is equipped with the second generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0), which adds new active-safety technologies and capabilities. The roster includes: Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beam, Lane Tracing Assist and Road Sign Assist.
Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Braking system is standard on XLE trim and above, and optional for LE. The Limited trim adds standard Intelligent Clearance Sonar, which is available on XLE and above. The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is equipped with eight airbags, along with a backup camera with projected path, and Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology.
Available safety technologies include a panorama backup camera with customizable dynamic grid lines, and, on the Limited trim, a Bird’s Eye View Camera with perimeter scan, overhead 360-degree view, and curb view.
MSRP for 2019 Toyota RAV4