2019 Toyota RAV4 Debuts, Revolutionary Styling, Base MSRP $25,500
Toyota claims 2019 RAV4 breaks the mold for the segment it created, over 22 years ago.
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. 2019 RAV4 gas models set to arrive next month, and RAV4 Hybrid models following in late March 2019.
The first RAV4 was a true game-changer, but no one knew at the time just how big of a market shift it would create. Much has changed in the two decades since then. Compact crossover SUVs have grown in actual size, and segment growth shows no signs of abating. RAV4 is the currently the best-selling vehicle in its class, doubling volume over the last five years to sales of nearly 408,000 in the U.S. in 2017. That makes RAV4 Toyota’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S., and the best-selling non-pickup truck in the country.
The 2019 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 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 RAV4 powertrains increase performance while reducing fuel consumption. Second-generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) comes standard, and Entune multimedia is more comprehensive and versatile than ever.
As Capable As It Looks
There will be no mistaking the 2019 RAV4 for anything else in its class. Following the guiding themes of Adventure and Refined, designers drew inspiration from tough Toyota trucks, particularly in front-end and grille design, to create an athletic, chiseled appearance. Sophisticated sculpting with a more dynamic profile and robust shoulders give the 2019 RAV4 a brawnier stance, giving the vehicle a “get up and go” attitude.
With their polygonal motifs, the wheel arches appear to hold the tires from a high position, emphasizing the lifted-up body and drawing attention to the vehicle’s capability. Ground clearance is increased by more than a half-inch over the previous generation RAV4, with LE and LXE grades having 8.4 inches and XLE and above having 8.6 inches. Black-finish lower body protection further emphasizes the lifted-up look, yet RAV4 retains a comfortable step-in height.
The side mirrors are now positioned lower on the doors for increased forward visibility around the A-pillar. Side visibility is increased thanks to a lowered beltline and the redesigned and enlarged rear-quarter glass. Form and function combine in taillights and exterior door handles which have been shaped to contribute to aerodynamic stability.
The 2019 RAV4 105.9-inch wheelbase grows 1.20 inches over the previous model, adding to rear seat legroom. Overall length comes in at 180.9 inches (181.5 inches on Adventure grade). Height is reduced to 67.0 inches (with antenna) on LE and XLE grades and 67.2 inches on XLE Premium and Limited grades. Adventure grade come up just a bit higher with an overall height of 68.6 inches. Width is 73.4 inches on Adventure grade while the rest of the grades measure at 73.0 inches. Front tread width is 63.0 inches on 17-inch and 18-inch wheels and 62.6 inches on 19-inch wheels. Rear width is 63.7 inches on 17-inch and 18-inch wheels and 63.3 inches on 19-inch wheels.
Built Like a Takumi-tuned Brick
Beneath the 2019 RAV4’s bolder sheet metal, the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform provides the robust foundation for capability, comfort and safety. The longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks provide a stable, confident driving platform. Shorter front and rear overhangs aid the RAV4’s trail driving capability.
The 2019 RAV4’s unibody structure is 57-percent more rigid than the previous model, allowing tuning for the front strut and rear multi-link suspension that enhances agility while also providing a smoother, quieter ride. The end goal was clear: create a driving experience that is confident and natural.
The TNGA-K platform allows for lower powertrain placement and lower center of gravity than in the previous RAV4. Using high-strength steel has reduced weight in the upper body, also helping to shift the center of gravity lower. A new saddle-style fuel tank distributes weight of the fuel evenly side-to-side. The previous model had the entire tank on one side of the vehicle.
The RAV4’s exceptional handling performance and ride compliance are not simply the result of engineering the right parts. Throughout vehicle development, a select group of takumi (highly trained master craftsmen), focused on the finest tuning details to ensure a level of vehicle smoothness in most driving conditions, particularly at everyday speeds.
More Power from Less Fuel
Power and efficiency both make a leap in the 2019 RAV4 thanks to the new Dynamic Force 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine paired with an 8-speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission in the gas models. In the RAV4 Hybrid, the engine is teamed with Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) with Electronically-Controlled Continuously-Variable Transmission (ECVT) making it the efficiency leader of the lineup with preliminary manufacturer estimated mpg of 41/37/39 (City/Hwy/Comb).
The combination of a very high compression ratio (13:1 on gas models, 14:1 on HV models, 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 (41 percent for the RAV4 HV), making it the ideal powerplant for the all-new RAV4 to meet the demand of providing a highly responsive, yet fuel efficient driving experience.
Every 2019 RAV4 model is equipped with Entune 3.0 multimedia, including Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant capability, and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
The standard Entune 3.0 audio system uses a 7-inch touchscreen perched atop the center stack for easy access. Entune 3.0 Audio Plus adds an 8-inch touchscreen and SiriusXM Radio. Entune 3.0 Premium Audio enhances the multimedia system with embedded dynamic navigation.
The available JBL audio system rocks music of all genres through 11 speakers in nine locations at 800 watts. The result is an all-access pass to the most intimate music concert, all from inside a RAV4.
Next-Generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0)
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 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 (PCS w/PD)
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)
- Automatic High Beam (AHB)
- (New) Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)
- (New) Road Sign Assist (RSA)
Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Rear
Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system is standard on XLE grade and above,
and optional for LE. Limited grade adds standard Intelligent Clearance
Sonar (ICS), which is available on XLE and above.
The 2019 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 (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
Available safety technologies include a panorama backup camera with customizable dynamic grid lines, and, on the Limited grade, a Bird’s Eye View Camera with perimeter scan, overhead 360-degree view, and curb view.