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. Dealership arrivals can’t come soon enough, with 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.

RAV4, the compact crossover SUV trend-setter, is poised to, once again, change the game.

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.

The driver will feel the benefits when steering into the first corner, or over the first bump. RAV4, with its added capability for 2019, offers crisper on-road handling and an even more accommodating and quieter ride than its esteemed predecessor.

A lighter powertrain and new steering system are major contributors to that cause. The new parallel-type electric power steering system is rack-mounted rather than column-mounted as is the case in the previous model. The new design helps enhance turning response and a natural feel that can help reduce fatigue on long drives. Higher rigidity in the steering mounting and column further enhances steering responsiveness and feel.

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.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Preliminary Manufacturer Estimated Fuel Economy
EPA Estimated Fuel Economy* 26/34/29 (LE and Limited – FWD)
(city/highway/combined MPG) 26/33/29 (LE – AWD)
27/34/29 (XLE and XLE Premium – FWD)
26/33/29 (XLE and XLE Premium – AWD)
24/32/27 (Adventure grade and Limited – AWD)
41/37/39 (all RAV4 HV models)
The other eye-opening numbers, of course, are for output: 203 horsepower for the gas models and 219 combined net total system horsepower for the HV models.

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 grade). 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.

Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive 

In addition to standard front-wheel drive, RAV4 gas models 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 gas and Adventure grade 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, for example– 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’s rotation, thus helping to significantly reduce energy loss and improve fuel efficiency.

Standard on all AWD-equipped gas 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, RAV4 models include the following features for optimal on-road and off-road performance and safety:

  • Hill Start Assist Control (HAC)
  • Trailer Sway Control (TSC)
  • Downhill Assist Control (DAC) (standard on Adventure and Limited AWD only)

RAV4 Hybrid: Enhanced All-Wheel Drive Capability

As with the AWD system in the previous RAV4 HV models, the new AWD version employs a separate rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels when needed. The 2019 system comes standard on all RAV4 HV grades and increases total torque to the rear wheels by 30 percent compared to the previous system.

During on-road driving, distributing more driving force to the rear wheels helps suppress front wheel slip during off-the-line starts for optimal acceleration performance and stability. The system also helps reduce understeer during cornering for enhanced steering stability. Off-road, the increased rear-wheel torque helps provide powerful hill-climbing performance, even on rough terrain.

A driver-selectable Trail Mode helps make it possible to get unstuck by braking a spinning wheel and sending torque to the wheel with traction.

New to the 2019 RAV4 HV models, Predictive Efficient Drive (PED) essentially reads the road and learns driver patterns to help optimize hybrid battery charging and discharging operations based on actual driving conditions. The system accumulates data as the vehicle is driven and “remembers” features such as hills and stoplights, for example, and adjusts the hybrid powertrain operation to maximize efficiency. Operation is transparent to the driver.

Refined, Re-Defined

The Refined theme guided interior design and the word “premium” will come to mind, as well. The dash layout is modern and uncomplicated yet packed with the latest multimedia technology and some thoughtful surprises. “User-friendly” may sound like a cliché until one experiences it in the 2019 RAV4.

The instrument panel’s horizontal layout has a slimmer profile and a lower position than before to enhance forward visibility. Its reduced visible angle conveys a feeling of greater openness in the cabin, as well.

The thoughtful mix of interior materials conveys a higher level of sophistication in the 2019 RAV4, obvious at first look and touch. Solid material used for the upper and lower parts of the instrument panel and door trim grip conveys strength and durability. Soft padding has been added to areas that passengers frequently touch. These contrasting surfaces emphasize the dual nature of this SUV. Stitching that enhances the continuity from the door trim to the instrument panel adds a sense of quality.

Collectively, details large and small show the focus on enhanced everyday comfort and convenience throughout the RAV4 cabin. Front and rear seats are more supportive and more comfortable. Available two-zone front heated seats include a thoughtful touch: greater heat provided in the center of the back and the thighs, which many people typically find comfortable.

The center console is about 1.50 inches wider and more versatile than before. Compared to the previous RAV4, the center armrest sits about 0.70 inches higher to match door armrest height for more natural and comfortable elbow resting. A newly standard Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) helps improve accessibility, and console storage has been increased. The console also provides side-by-side cup holders, an open tray to hold small items and an optional Qi wireless charger.

Convenient, easy-to-reach in-dash trays for the driver and passenger hold such items as electronics, mobile phones, and other travel must-haves. At night, clear blue LEDs illuminate the trays to keep items visible and provide indirect mood lighting for the cabin (on Limited, XSE and Adventure grades). When RAV4 is in motion, the tray lights are dimmed to prevent driver distraction.

In addition, an overhead console offers room for small objects, such as sunglasses. Attention to detail also shows in the way the climate controls can be operated while wearing gloves, greatly enhancing tactility.

Quiet Comfort Throughout

Rear seat passengers get plenty of attention in the new RAV4, starting with access. The larger rear door-opening angle, reduced distance from the hip point to the rocker, and increased distance from the rear seat to the door trim makes getting in and out easier. Once seated, passengers will immediately feel the benefit of the greater left and right couple distance and legroom, as well as the improved seat cushioning.

The rear armrest area is nearly 1.50 inches wider than before, and its cup holders are deeper. There are new air conditioning vents for the rear seat area, which are standard on LE HV and above on hybrids, and XLE and above on gas models.

Previously, RAV4 has been lauded for its quiet ride, but that didn’t stop Toyota from making further improvements. The high-strength TNGA platform is the first defense against noise intrusion. Sound-damping and soundproofing materials have been optimized throughout the vehicle, with a particular focus on minimizing noise in the frequencies that interfere with conversation in the cabin.

Holes and gaps between parts have also been filled in with sound-damping material for an even greater reduction in road noise intrusion. As one example, the floor silencer pad is now one large piece, and its surface area is increased from 60 percent coverage to 92 percent.

High-Style Pack Mule 

In shifting to a more focused SUV design for the 2019 RAV4, Toyota also added emphasis to a key reason people buy these vehicles: carrying capability. The cargo area is more than 2.50 inches longer, and the side surfaces have been shaped for maximum space usage. Side pockets behind the wheel wells provide extra storage. The LE grade features a removable partition to hold items in place, while the higher grades feature nets.

For added convenience, the cargo area deck offers two height levels:

  • Upper level: The heights of the finish plate and deck board surface are aligned, making it easy to store and remove objects. Also, when the rear seats are folded, the rear seatbacks, finish plate, and deck form a nearly flat surface, enabling long items to be carried more easily.
  • Lower level: The height from the deck board to the vehicle ceiling increases by about 2.20 inches to accommodate taller items.
  • The deck board is reversible: Flipping it over brings a plastic surface, ideal for carrying wet or dirty objects.

Advanced Multimedia

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.

Topping the RAV4’s multimedia offerings is an all-new available JBL audio system. This next-generation premium audio setup incorporates enhanced system architecture, new speaker design and an improved tuning process.

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.

Making the Grades

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 gas models will be offered in five grades: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure and Limited. RAV4 HV will be offered in four grades: LE HV, XLE HV, XSE HV and Limited HV.

Toyota’s typical outstanding value is clearly evident in the RAV4 LE grade, where the 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 XLE grade 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 grade 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.

Adventure Grade True to Its Name

The Adventure grade continues in the all-new 2019 RAV4, equipped for all-weather urban, suburban, and trail exploring. Inheriting design features from Toyota off-roaders, the Adventure grade 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 grade and wear 235/55R19 tires. The Adventure grade backs up its tough stance with 8.6 inches of ground clearance and rugged functionality for any road. The Adventure and Limited grades are equipped with active grille shutters to help enhance fuel economy.

To maximize the adventurous look, the RAV4 Adventure grade 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 grade, 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.

XSE HV: The Sportiest RAV4

The HV models are the power and acceleration leaders in the RAV4 line with a 7.8-second 0-60. For those who prefer sportier on-road driving dynamics, the XSE HV leads the charge with its sport-tuned suspension, tauter spring and shock absorber tuning, and 18-inch five-spoke, black-painted sport alloy wheels with 225/60R18 tires, capping off a handling package that makes RAV4 XSE HV hungry for the corners.

The look is unique, too, with piano-black accents across the front end, mirror caps, fender arches, and lower rockers. Exclusive to RAV4 HV models, projector-beam LED headlamps and unique signature LED daytime running lamps (on XLE and above) produce a more premium light source.

A standard two-tone exterior paint scheme gives RAV4 XSE HV a striking presence. The standard black roof is paired with Blizzard Pearl, Silver Sky Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, or Blueprint (a new color to the palette). RAV4 XSE HV’s exclusive interior comes mono-spec with black SofTex material trim and blue accents throughout.

Limited Grade: Journey Into Luxury

The Limited grade takes the RAV4 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 grades. 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.

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 RAV4 for the first time in a Toyota vehicle in North America and comes standard on Limited (gas and HV) and XSE HV grades. 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.

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.

Priced for Value

No matter the grade, every RAV4 is a winning choice, whether it’s for a city exploration, a weekend trip to the countryside, or a jaunt on the trails. With five gas models and four hybrid models, the 2019 RAV4 arrives at dealerships with an option for everyone.

2019 Toyota RAV4 MSRP Starting Prices*
Gas FWD Gas AWD Hybrid
Limited $33,500 $34,900 $35,700
XSE HV $33,700
Adventure $32,900
XLE Premium $29,500 $30,900
XLE $27,300 $28,700 $29,500
LE $25,500 $26,900 $27,700
*MSRPs exclude the Delivery, Processing, and Handling (DPH) Fee of $1,045.

Limited Warranty

Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against corrosion with no mileage limitation.

The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles. In applicable states, hybrid-related component coverage is 15 years/150,000 miles with the exception of the hybrid battery, which is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles.

The 2019 RAV4 also comes standard with ToyotaCare, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance, and 24-hour roadside assistance – both of which are effective for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

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