2019 Toyota RAV4 First Reviews Are In: Is The Best-Selling SUV Back In Top Form?

Toyota has lifted the embargo and we finally get to learn if the new 2019 RAV4 has what it takes to successfully replace one of the market’s best-selling vehicles overall.

The all-new, fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 is based on the TNGA architecture, offering a 1.2inch-longer wheelbase and a body that’s 0.4inch wider and 0.2inch shorter compared to the outgoing model. Another crucial difference is rigidity, as the chassis of the new RAV4 is now 57 percent more rigid than the previous model.

The styling, which was previewed by the FT-AC concept, gives the new RAV4 a more rugged and surefooted appearance, taking inspiration from the carmaker’s trucks up front. Toyota wants you to think of the RAV4 as a more off-road capable SUV than before, that’s why the new model offers more than half-an-inch more ground clearance than before.

Aside from the base front-drive models, the new RAV4 will be offered with three different all-wheel drive systems: the standard on-demand system, the hybrid all-wheel drive featuring an electrically powered rear axle and the range-topping Torque Vectoring all-wheel drive system that can shift up to 50 percent of the torque to the rear, as well as distribute it to the left or right rear wheel.

Petrol-powered RAV4 models use a new naturally aspirated 2.5-liter unit with 203hp and 184lb-ft of torque, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Hybrid models combine the 2.5-liter four-cylinder with a 54hp electric motor for a combined 219hp, providing better acceleration within the city walls and -unsurprisingly- better fuel economy (41/37/39 city/highway/combined).

KBB, Edmunds and others deliver their verdict on the 2019 Toyota RAV4 on the videos linked below.


  • annon

    not a fan on the placement of the navi screen, likewise on the C-HR and also the new Corolla, plus when the sun shines on the screen – forget about seeing anything, still prefere their older “tilt” version screens and I sure hope they upgrade their navigation to a better version cause the current Touch&Go..sorry to say…sucks

  • charlotteharry57

    I like it, except for the fact that it looks like it’s wearing a hat.

  • Craig

    I like the fact that the non-hybrid versions come with an 8-speed auto and not a CVT.

    • Steve McQueen

      YES. Agree 100%. That alone would make it a viable option over other vehicles with a CVT.

  • PhilMcGraw

    The hybrid I think will be a bigger seller this time around. It only costs $800 more than its gas counterpart and has more power while being quieter than the regular gas version. And 40 mpg is pretty good for a vehicle of this size.

    • MarketAndChurch

      Yeah that’s why I want to buy it.

  • Mr_Fanta_Pants

    Back in top form? The Rav has never been a top car, just an average appliance.

  • Paul

    That black roof is going to be a problem in hot climates like the humid south and desert southwest. I think it looks a lot better than the last one, but the grille in front following the other bumper features with that downturn at the outer ends makes it look like it’s wearing a great big frown.

  • paulgdeaton

    “Toyota wants you to think of the RAV4 as a more off-road capable SUV than before, that’s why the new model offers more than half-an-inch more ground clearance than before.”

    A half inch more… I am sure Jeep executives are shaking in their boots…

    And why would you redesign the front grill to look like the ugliest truck on the road? “Rugged” and “decent looking” do not have to be mutually exclusive.

    • brn

      It’s as if the designers were all fired and a newborn was put in charge. I don’t understand what the heck Toyota is doing!!! As annon points out below, the infotainment screen is horrid was well. Why have we moved from screens that look integrated to screens that look like an afterthought?

    • Ken Lyns

      Grille is copied from the Tacoma. Toyota knows how to milk the product. Pretty soon they’ll be selling $400 “Pro” grilles with T-O-Y-O-T-A spelled out in lieu of the regular logo.

  • Honda NSX-R

    It looks angry!

    • brn

      To me, it looks pouty.

  • Thunderbolt

    Get a Hyundai Tuscon instead.

  • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

    Printing money for Toyota
    It looks promising, handling like never before, have a real offroad capabilities as the first generation

    Design wise, beauty is in the eye of the beholder


    This RAV4 looks okay, but the facelift tucson looks a bit meaner. Wish they could reach around 200hp for the sport model.

  • MarketAndChurch

    I’m preparing myself to be disappointed by the upcoming Ford Escape. This will be best in class.

  • TheBelltower

    Lots of aggressive plastic and bad paint.

  • Six_Tymes

    That bottom feeder catfish face is so ugly.

  • Maykel

    Looks like a wild boar. Well at least it looks like an SUV again.

  • klowik

    it lacks a turbo engine as an option.

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