Experienced by Adrian McQueen
Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles
The Rav4 is been one of Toyota’s popular vehicles for a long time. It is a compact crossover SUV (sport utility vehicle) that debuted in the US in 1995. It is the industry’s first compact SUV, due to the fact that consumers wanted a vehicle that had the benefits of SUVs, such as increased cargo room, higher visibility, and four-wheel drive but give them the maneuverability and fuel economy of a compact car. The RAV4 stands for “Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-wheel drive” even though all Rav4’s are not 4 wheel drive. In most markets, the RAV4 is the only compact SUV or crossover available from Toyota. In other markets, it is the crossover counterpart of the Toyota FJ Cruiser.
My tester for the week was the Blueprint colored 2019 Toyota Rav4 XLE Premium AWD SUV. The redesigned 2019 Toyota RAV4 is currently Toyota’s best-selling model. It slots below the three-row Highlander and above the subcompact C-HR. Upon first look, you are enticed by the 19-inch super chrome finish alloy wheels. The redesigned RAV4 offers a couple more inches of ground clearance than the previous model, nudging you to take it off road. The hood slopes down to the fierce grill with the embossed Toyota symbol. The color-keyed heated power outside mirrors, power liftgate and the low-profile roof rails are great touches.
The upgraded RAV4 Interior is comfortable and spacious. This Toyota crossover seats five people with ample head and legroom for all. The seats are comfortable as well, and they provide plenty of support for longer drives. The cabin is sleek and clean with a lot of soft-touch materials. There is SofTex leatherette upholstery, an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a soft-touch dash. As a parent, space for the car seats are very important. There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats. The Cargo space is reduced in this Rav4 but it still has more than its’ competitors. The RAV4 provides 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space. Once you fold down the rear seats you get 69.8 cubic feet of space.
The infotainment system has truly been stepped up in the Rav4. Standard features in the RAV4 include the Entune infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a USB port, Siri Eyes Free, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot – powered by Verizon, and a six-speaker audio system. You can either get a moonroof or panoramic glass roof, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, wireless device charging. The upgraded Entune system comes with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, four additional USB ports, HD Radio, and satellite radio. Every 2019 RAV4 model is equipped with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant capability. The Entune infotainment has a responsive touch screen and is easy to use. There are physical buttons for some functions as well. Hopefully Android Auto is in the plans for upcoming models.
The 11-speaker JBL with Clari-Fi audio system was a great addition to the vehicle. This 800-watt audio system features tweeters located for optimal high-frequency performance, an HiD8 Amplifier, wide-dispersion instrument panel speakers, wide-dispersion front door speakers, Full range rear door speakers and a ported subwoofer in rear cargo area for a powerful deep-bass response. The Clari-Fi technology adjusts to every audio format to match the source quality.
Getting the behind the wheel of the Rav4 was fun and refreshing. The Rav4 comes with a new 2.5-liter I-4 with 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. It is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Some competing vehicles are coming in with turbocharged engines and this is not that. The Rav4 provides ample power and acceleration whether you are blazing the highway or zipping through town. When accelerating, the Rav4 can be a bit noisy. The steering felt accurate and there was little body lean around turns. The RAV4 felt composed through curvy back roads. The Rav4 has three drive modes that you can choose between. The three modes are Sport, Eco, and Normal. These drive modes alter the driving dynamics. All-wheel-drive models come with a terrain selection feature that lets you choose between Mud and Sand, Rock and Dirt, and Snow modes.
In terms of gas mileage, the Rav4 ranks among the best. The RAV4 earns 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway for the AWD model that I tested. Not many in the compact SUV class can match the RAV4’s gas mileage. Toyota does well in delivering you bang for your buck.
Toyota has safety covered in the Rav4. Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0 suite of driver assistance technology. The suite comes with tools such as 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), a 360-degree parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, low-speed collision warning, drowsiness monitoring and rear cross traffic braking. As technology is everchanging, so is the levels taken to keep drives safe.
The Rav4 goes up against some stiff competition such as the 2019 Honda CR-V, 2019 Mazda CX-5, Chevrolet Equinox, Nissan Rogue, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Cherokee and the Subaru Forester. Toyota covers the RAV4 with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. The 2019 Toyota Rav4 is an easy to drive, family-friendly vehicle. It’s more powerful and more fuel-efficient than the outgoing model. Please enjoy our photo gallery.