Unveiled at this year’s New York International Auto Show, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 marks the popular Japanese SUV’s fifth generation. Introduced in Canada in 1997, the RAV4 is constantly among the best-selling vehicles in the country not only in its class, but in the industry as a whole.
A new RAV4 is a big deal. It’s Toyota’s cash cow, and failure is not an option. That said, no one can accuse Toyota of playing it safe with their all-new 2019 RAV4. The design has changed considerably and is now more rugged and aggressive, and there’s a new off-road package in case you want to take your compact Toyota SUV off the beaten path.
The rest of the changes made to the 2019 Toyota RAV4 follow the recipe used to cook up the new Camry. A more powerful engine that is also more efficient is used to power a vehicle built on Toyota’s TNGA platform. It will be more spacious while also being more fun to drive. That’s of course if Toyota get its right. They probably will.
A new engine and more space inside the 2019 Toyota RAV4
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is more spacious thanks to a longer wheelbase (+ 30 mm) and a wider overall body (+ 10 mm). It’s shorter, however, which gives it a more muscular overall look. How we feel about a vehicle’s design is quite subjective, but personally I think the new RAV4 looks good.
The previous RAV4 was one of the most spacious compact SUVs in its segment, but it wasn’t as versatile and welcoming as a Honda CR-V or Nissan Rogue. The new RAV4 will probably narrow the gap in that regard although we don’t have the final specs yet.
A 2.5-liter, Dynamic Force four-cylinder engine will once again power the RAV4, but horsepower numbers increase exponentially. The improved engine will develop 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful entry-level engine in the segment.
If what happened with the Camry holds true with the RAV4, fuel economy will also improve. That’s certainly good news because the outgoing RAV4 had a way to go before it could compete with the fuel economy numbers of its main competitors. A standard 8-speed automatic gearbox is partly to blame for making the new RAV4 more efficient.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is also coming back. It has been improved in every way and will be more powerful and more efficient, but it will also get a sportier suspension and a more dynamic personality.
Every 2019 Toyota RAV4 will get Toyota Safety Sense P, a suite of driver assistance technologies that include emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning and prevention. An off-road version will be available with a more robust all-wheel drive system. The hybrid version will get its own AWD system as well which will be capable of sending 30 % of the engine’s power to the rear wheels.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 will hit the market before the end of the year.