The 2019 Toyota RAV4 will be a major player on the Canadian automotive market this year.
It’s one of the most popular models in one of the most popular segments, and it’s just been redesigned. Expect to see a lot of them on the roads in the next few months as sales begin and units start rolling off the dealer lot.
Eric mentioned in his RAV4 review that Toyota had done a good job overall in redesigning its new compact sport utility vehicle, although he did have a few issues with the interior design. He also mentioned that the drive and performance hadn’t improved that much over the previous generation.
On the other hand, he praised the RAV4’s engine and performance, his only complaint concerned the sound of the engine that he found to be a bit too loud under hard acceleration.
In any case, the RAV4 is definitely an SUV we’d recommend in the compact utility vehicle segment. And now, let’s look at how we would configure it.
The 2019 RAV4 gets a hybrid version for this new generation, but you can’t configure it just yet on Toyota’s website in Canada. Given that we want our RAV4 now, we’re going to go with the new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that now makes 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.
More powerful than any other entry-level engine in this segment, it can also be found in the Toyota Camry where it does a great job of balancing efficiency and performance. With a posted fuel economy rating average of 8.3 liters per 100 kilometers, the RAV4 is among the most efficient compact SUVs you can buy.
It can tow 1,500 pounds in most versions but opt for the Trail model and you can tow up to 3,500 pounds. Every new RAV4 gets an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
There are currently six versions of the new RAV4 available that are priced from $27,990 to $40,690.
The 2019 RAV4 comes standard with heated front seats, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-trafic alert and Toyota’s Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of active safety and driver assistance technologies.
That’s a mouthful to say that safety-wise, the 2019 RAV4 gives you a ton of bang for your buck. You’ll get automatic braking with pedestrian detection, radar-based active cruise control, and lane departure warning at no extra cost.
You also get standard Apple CarPlay (no Android Auto, however) and the new Entune 3.0 infotainment system.
You have step up the XLE version ($31,590 with FWD, $33,690 with AWD) to get a heated steering wheel, moonroof, dual-zone climate and a smart key, and that’s just what we will do.
Our chosen model is the 2019 Toyota RAV4 XLE AWD without the Premium Package. The only thing we really want in that package are the 19-inch wheels, but it adds $2,700 which is a bit much considering we don’t really care for the cargo net and various driver seat adjustments that come with that package.
We will have a moonroof, heated seats and steering wheel, dual-zone climate, all the active safety features we can want, and our 17-inch tires will be cheaper to replace.
We’d love to go with the Trail version which has 19-inch wheels, ventilated seats, and a much more rugged all-wheel drive system, but it’s $5,000 more and we don’t plan to do too much mountain climbing in our RAV4.
The only paid color in the RAV4’s lineup is the Ruby Flare Pearl at $255. We’re not feeling red on a Toyota SUV, so we’ll go with a simple Magnetic Grey Metallic. It’s subtle and elegant.
If we were going for the Trail model, we’d definitely go with the light Blue Flame with the white roof, but again it’s just too much money for the Trail model especially given that, as we’ll see in a moment, Toyota intends to milk the RAV4’s popularity for all its worth.
Lease or finance?
There’s really no good answer here as both options come with a high interest rate. Leasing on 36 months or less is 4.99% while a 48-month lease has an interest rate of 5.49%.
It’s no better if you finance as a 60-month contract will carry a 5.49% interest rate as well. You’ll want to avoid going any higher because you get a 5.99% interest rate on 72 months.
Honestly, I’d look at using a credit line to purchase the new RAV4. If you can get anything under 4%, the buy it on a credit line and call it a day. If that’s not possible, then lease it on 36 months at 4.99% with 20,000 kilometers allowed.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is a great compact SUV, it’s just not great at giving you affordable financing and leasing terms.