The Toyota RAV4 was the best-selling passenger vehicle (a vehicle that is not a pickup truck) in America. If you include pickup trucks, the RAV4 was the fourth best-selling vehicle in the United States in 2017, only to be outsold by Ram, Silverado, and Ford F-Series pickups. So there is no reason to change the winning recipe on a vehicle that sold 407,594 models last year, but Toyota did just that. Toyota wants to continue the success of their ultra-popular compact crossover SUV, so the Japanese automaker gave the 2019 RAV4 a brand new redesign.
Toyota unveiled the all-new, fifth-generation RAV4 at the 2018 New York International Auto Show on Wednesday. The 2019 RAV4 looks a lot more like a truck, but Toyota kept enough car-like aspects that made the SUV a top-seller. But it isn’t just a new appearance that makes it look more like a truck, the new RAV4 will actually have more off-road capabilities than previous generations.
The standard powertrain for the 2019 Toyota RAV4 is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, but an all-wheel-drive model is available for more. AWD models have the option of Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect, which sends 50% of engine torque to the rear wheels. When traveling on smooth driving surfaces, the power goes to the front wheels for enhanced fuel economy. For those looking for even better fuel economy, Toyota will also release a Hybrid XSE model that is expected to be the most powerful of the range and also have a sport-tuned suspension.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 has a lower and wider stance compared to the outgoing model, but it has shorter front and rear overhangs to avoid scraping the bottom of your car while traversing rough terrain. The chassis of the 2019 RAV4 will have the multi-link suspension in the rear and utilize the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), which the Camry and C-HR already use.
Inside the new RAV4, you’ll find a 7.0-inch or 8.0-inch infotainment screen on the dashboard. The Entune infotainment system integrates WiFi, Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay but will not accommodate Android Auto. There is also a Qi wireless charger and an 800-watt JBL sound system will be an available option. The standard Safety Sense system will offer Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) that will keep the vehicle between the lane markers. However, you must keep a hand touching the steering wheel to engage the feature. Toyota did not reveal the price or the full specs for the 2019 RAV4, but will give details closer to when the car hits showrooms at the end of this year.