2019 Toyota RAV4 adventure time Car Reviews Games New Cars RAV4 Toyota toyota rav4

2019 Toyota RAV4 First Drive – Choose Adventure Time

2019 Toyota RAV4

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 wouldn’t, at first look, be my first selection for a run down famed California Freeway 1 from simply south of Monterey to the famed Bixby Bridge and again.

It in all probability wouldn’t be yours, both.

So I used to be pleasantly stunned when a mid-morning coastal journey within the RAV4’s Journey trim confirmed me one thing I’d not seen from a RAV4 earlier than — a character. To not point out on-road manners that have been fairly good by crossover requirements. I already had the evaluation written in my thoughts earlier than I even swapped seats with my drive associate. Earlier than lengthy, nevertheless, I used to be reminded that snap judgments are sometimes mistaken.

(Full disclosure: Toyota flew me out to Monterey, California and put me in a lodge room that was uncomfortably near my rental in measurement. The corporate additionally fed me a number of nice meals, and the 2020 Corolla was unveiled throughout considered one of these meals).

This era of the RAV4 is the fifth (makes me really feel previous; I nonetheless keep in mind the first-gen trucklets), and it’s modified rather a lot. The styling not options mild curves, as an alternative going for a extra macho look. The powertrains are new, and an eight-speed automated transmission replaces the six-speed. An all-wheel-drive system with torque vectoring is now out there.

A hybrid model goes on sale in March 2019. Non-hybrid fashions get a 2.5-liter 4 that makes 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, whereas hybrid fashions generate 219 internet system horsepower and be all-wheel-drive solely.

2019 Toyota RAV4

If all-wheel drive is your jam, you’ve gotten two techniques to select from. Each assist you to decide drive modes that match the terrain, however the higher-zoot choice options torque vectoring and disconnects the rear driveline throughout mild cruising with a purpose to enhance gasoline financial system.

You will get your RAV4 in considered one of 5 trims if you choose the common, non-hybrid powertrain, or 4 trims if a hybrid is extra your velocity.

I began my day within the Journey trim, which is the second-highest within the pecking order and presents orange inside accents to go together with exterior styling that features bigger fenders, a unique bumper and grille, and totally different fog-light encompass. It additionally has 19-inch wheels with five-spoke wheels that gained’t be seen on different trims, and eight.6 inches of floor clearance (zero.2 inch greater than different trims).

2019 Toyota RAV4

That floor clearance and the aggressive styling might make it appear to be an off-road trim, and whereas the Journey proved succesful on a comparatively easy-peasy off-road course, it actually shined on street. The steering felt pure and well-weighted, the engine snarled a bit underneath energy, acceleration was faster than anticipated (if not what I’d name quick), and the experience was sporty with out being stiff on California’s principally pristine roads. I’ll notice that the Sport mode didn’t actually make a lot of a distinction.

After that, I hopped in an XLE Premium. Regardless of having the identical wheels and steering ratio because the Journey, and even though non-hybrid RAV4s all have the identical unbiased MacPherson strut with hydraulic shock absorbers and stabilizer bar (entrance) and trailing wishbone multilink suspension (rear), the XLE Premium didn’t really feel as partaking to drive. The steering felt extra distant and synthetic, the journey softer, the dealing with additionally softer. As soon as once more, Sport mode didn’t make a lot of a distinction. I yearned for Journey.

I took two turns in a hybrid – one in an XSE HV, and one in an XLE HV. The XSE has a sportier tune to its suspension (the hybrid suspension provides a rear stabilizer bar and loses the entrance shocks, however in any other case is identical as on non-hybrid fashions), and the distinction is delicate however noticeable. That stated, the hybrid drove very similar to the previous-gen mannequin, with steering that’s slightly synthetic in really feel however not too far within the fallacious course (it felt just a little extra pure than what’s on faucet within the non-hybrid XLE) and a journey that may sometimes get a bit of too tender. The most important distinction is that it feels lighter on its ft beneath acceleration than earlier than, though it nonetheless might use extra oomph.

2019 Toyota RAV4

Like earlier than, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder fuel engine combines with the electrical motor, and a CVT stays the one transmission out there. Gasoline financial system is listed at 41 mpg metropolis/37 mpg freeway/39 mpg mixed.

Whereas management format modifications a bit relying on trim, the RAV4’s cabin is a pleasing place to be. The entrance seats are all-day snug, and rear-seat room is sufficient even for my taller body. A wheelbase extension of simply over 1 inch could also be chargeable for this, although general size shrinks barely. Visibility is a lot better than it was earlier than, and I dug the digital speedo on the Journey trim whereas nonetheless liking the extra conventional gauge cluster on the opposite trims.

The radio knobs and drive-mode selector knob are adorned with a cool rubber-like materials, however as per normal, I’m irritated with an infotainment display that stands above the middle stack as an alternative of being built-in. Inside storage trays abound – you’ll have loads of locations to place your cellular phone when you attempt to keep away from calls out of your boss.

2019 Toyota RAV4

Additionally pleasing is the aggressive exterior styling. I mocked the next-gen RAV4 a bit after first seeing one months in the past, however I’ve come round … considerably. It’s not fairly, precisely, nevertheless it makes a stronger assertion than the earlier RAV. At the very least it seems rugged, even when few RAV4s will ever see a very difficult off-road state of affairs.

We obtained to “off-road” a RAV4 – considered one of every powertrain – however the course was fairly straightforward; it was principally meant to point out off the car’s hill-descent management, which options an in-dash graphic displaying you which of them wheel is slipping and by how a lot (that graphic could also be helpful within the Snow Belt).

Function-wise, there’s an excessive amount of to record right here – we’re speaking about 9 trims, for Pete’s sake. The listing is LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Journey, and Restricted on common fashions, and LE, XLE, XSE, and Restricted (all of which get a HV tacked on) for hybrid fashions.

2019 Toyota RAV4

Key out there or normal options embrace Apple CarPlay (however NOT Android Auto), a number of USB ports, premium audio, fog lamps, dual-zone local weather management, energy moonroof, energy liftgate, navigation, in-car Wi-Fi, heated entrance seats, cooled entrance seats, heated rear seats, and panoramic sunroof. Out there wheel sizes are 17- and 19-inch on common fashions, with hybrids providing 17-inch or 18-inch wheels.

Obtainable security tech consists of digital rearview mirror, lane-departure alert with lane-keep help, rear cross-traffic braking, blind-spot monitoring, pre-collision system, and rear-cross visitors alert. The digital mirror works properly, projecting a transparent image, however the lane-departure alert irritated. At the very least the lane-keep help system wasn’t too intrusive.

Gasoline financial system numbers for non-hybrid fashions ranges from 24 to 27 mpg metropolis, 32-34 freeway, and 27-29 mixed. Costs begin at $25,500 for a non-hybrid LE and work as much as $33,500 for a Restricted. All-wheel drive tacks on $1,400, and the AWD-only Journey hits at $32,900. Hybrid pricing ranges from $27,700 to $35,700, and all have AWD. D and D provides on one other $1,045.

2019 Toyota RAV4

If my cash have been on the road, I’d choose the Journey trim with out hesitation. It was probably the most partaking to drive, and whereas a few of the fashion parts are cheesy – I appreciated the orange accents nicely sufficient, however I might take ‘em or depart ‘em – it does look slightly bolder than the others within the lineup.

The remainder of the RAV4 line leaves me feeling combined. I nonetheless like the general exterior look, and I respect the larger visibility from contained in the cabin, however the driving dynamics are an incremental enchancment, at greatest. The content material combine is ok, however Toyota stays behind the occasions by not having but made Android Auto obtainable.

Toyota has taken an opportunity with the 2019 RAV4. It appears totally different from any that got here earlier than (no extra cute ute), and I give the notoriously conservative firm credit score for opening up the playbook a bit. Toyota has additionally confirmed lately that it CAN make its automobiles partaking to drive – I usually really feel good issues concerning the present Camry, Corolla hatch, and even the most recent Avalon. That doesn’t imply there isn’t room for enchancment, however the “equipment” label is being shed bit by little bit.

2019 Toyota RAV4

Sadly, from a driving standpoint, the RAV4 hasn’t absolutely shed its commuter previous. The Journey will get there, and the XSE hybrid hints at it, however there’s nonetheless work to be executed.

Give me an Journey or don’t give me a RAV4 in any respect. Okay, nice, that’s not precisely true, and it doesn’t have the identical ring as that extra well-known phrase. Nonetheless, if the RAV4 tickles your fancy and also you fancy your self somebody who cares about driving, that’s the trim to go for.

Let the soccer mother and father who assume they’ll take their RAV to the Rubicon scoop up the remaining. Based mostly on earlier gross sales numbers, you understand they’re going to.

[Images: © 2018 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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