Why in the world would Toyota change a crossover which sold 400,000 units last year, with a growth rate of over 15%?
To make it better, of course
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 has been revealed at the ongoing New York Auto Show. It was one of the manufacturer’s best selling cars of last year and this made the update not just highly anticipated but also unexpected.
The 2018 Toyota RAV4 is a great crossover but it doesn’t really offer anything substantial over competitors. The 2019 model, on the other hand, can boast of some very exciting features- including three AWD systems and better off-road capabilities. There will be an improved hybrid too!
|Release date||late 2018|
|Engine||2.5-liter four (with hybrid)|
|Transmission||8-speed auto or CVT|
2019 Toyota RAV4 is very different
When compared to the 2018 model, the new RAV4 has changed a lot. It is based on Toyota’s TNGA platform, which not only increases the wheelbase by 1.2 inches but ever so slightly decrease the length and height. The SUV is a tad wider though, and gives impression of added bulk (in a good way).
Design and interior
The 2019 RAV4 has become butcher and arguably in line with some of Toyota’s bigger SUVs. In comparison, the current model can even be described as ‘cute’. It front fascia gets prominent grille, large headlights and is in general, more muscular. The aggressiveness is continued on to the sides and rear as well.
It’s easy to understand if some of you take objection to the new design though – they are that different. Even the base, hybrid and adventure trims are noticeably distinct.
The RAV4’s interior continues with a minimal layout. The standard seven-inch infotainment system is retained but it occupies a floating position in the dashboard. It comes with a number of USB ports, wireless phone charger and Toyota’s latest Entune 3.0 audio system with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa. Optionally, the manufacturer provides navigation, camera aided rear-view mirror and 800-watt JBL sound system.
Toyota offers a number of standard safety features as part of their ‘Safety Sense’. These include dynamic cruise control, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection and emergency braking, lane departure warning and more. Advanced ones like Lane Tracing Assist and Road Sign Assist are also provided.
Engine, AWD and off-road specs
Power for the 2019 Toyota RAV4 comes from the same 2.5-liter four cylinder engine. It will be available on both petrol and hybrid variants, with a claim of improved efficiency. However, official figures are not available yet. A new (&improved) eight-speed automatic transmission is also provided for the standard model.
The SUV now comes with three AWD setups- A standard one, AWD-i hybrid and a more advanced torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system. The latter is the off-road focused option and can channel 50% of the engines power to the rear when needed (left or right even). In normal operation, the power to the rear is shut down so as to improve efficiency.
Off-road capabilities are further enhanced by the crossover’s shorter length, and lesser overhangs at the front and rear.
2019 Toyota RAV4 (hybrid) price and release date
The 2019 RAV4 should command a slight premium, especially with all the new equipment on board. The standard model will begin to reach dealerships by winter this year while the hybrid should be delayed till next year.