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The 2019 Toyota Rav4 is a crossover that may be a contender for SUV of the year. There's a hybrid version for those environmentally-minded drivers or for anyone who wants to save money at the gas pump. This four-door SUV offers plenty of room for passengers or cargo. If you want the utility of an SUV in a smaller package, Toyota's Rav4 might be the right vehicle for you.
What's New For 2019?
The Toyota Rav4 has been totally redesigned for 2019. The exterior look gets a complete overhaul. The wheelbase is longer this year, coming in at 105.9 inches. The total length is actually shorter for 2019 at 180.9 inches long. This results in a better ride and easier maneuverability. The cabin provides more room than the 2018 models too. Overall, the interior and ride quality seem more comfortable than in previous models.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2019 Toyota RAV4 – The Pros
1. The Only Hybrid in its Class
The fact that the Toyota Rav4 is the only hybrid in its class makes it truly unique among crossover SUVs. This makes the Rav4 an especially appealing option for those who are concerned about the environment. It also provides good fuel economy to help you save money at the pumps. The hybrid engine also provides plenty of power and good performance.
2. Real Off-Road Capability
Off-road ability is another thing that sets the 2019 Toyota Rav4 apart from the competition. It has truly great off-road capability for a crossover vehicle. It features great ground clearance, high-rise roof rails and huge over-fenders. The Adventure trim package is the best of the bunch when it comes to off-road fun. All-wheel drive and fog lights come with this trim to further help make the Rav4 an off-road beast.
3. This Crossover SUV Can Tow
Crossovers often lack some of the more robust utility advantages of their bigger SUV brothers. Not so with the Toyota Rav4. The Adventure trim package allows you to tow an impressive 3,500 pounds. Not only is this model of the Rav4 great over rough terrain, but it can also haul along a boat or trailer for your outdoor adventures.
4. Great Engine Performance
The 2019 Toyota Rav4 provides excellent performance from either of the power-train options. You get the choice of two different 2.5 liter, inline, 4-cylinder engines. The standard is paired with an 8-speed, automatic transmission. The hybrid version is mated to Toyota's Electronically-Controlled, Continuously-Variable Transmission. Both provide a surprising amount of power and torque.
5. Impressive Steering and Handling
Toyota engineers put a lot of thought into making the Rav4 aerodynamic, stable and easy to drive. Steering is responsive and accurate. It's easy to steer the car as intended even in bad weather or over rough terrain. This is even more true for the AWD models. The XSE Hybrid model is perfect for those who love a sporty feel to steering and handling. This is an SUV that handles like a performance-minded sports car.
6. An Awesome Infotainment System
The 2019 Toyota Rav4 offers an amazing sound system and infotainment center. Toyota's Entune 3.0 system provides hands-free operation. It also connects you to Alexa, Apple CarPlay and WiFi Connect by Verizon. The standard touchscreen is 7 inches with the option for an 8-inch version. You can opt for up to five USB ports throughout the vehicle. This allows all of your passengers to enjoy multimedia and internet access. An audio system by JBL is new for 2019. It comes with an amplifier, updated tuning system and enhanced speakers.
7. Full Package of Standard Safety Features
The amount of high-tech safety features for the Rav4 is impressive. Best of all, many of them come standard as part of the Toyota Safety Sense, or TSS system for short. A lane-departure warning gives you a heads up if you wander too far from the path. Steering assist makes slight corrections to keep you your own lane. A road-sign assist can give you an advanced warning of stop signs, yield signs and more. You also get Toyota's pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.
8. Plenty of Passenger and Cargo Space
The extra room you get from a crossover SUV is one of the main reasons to own one. The 2019 Toyota Rav4 doesn't disappoint in this area. Every row of seats provides ample headroom. Even your tallest passengers will have plenty of legroom as well. The back cargo space is easy to access and offers just the right load height. The rear seats can be let down to provide even more cargo space.
9. Excellent Reliability
One of the best reasons to own any Toyota is for the reliability. There aren't any ratings on the reliability of the 2019 Rav4 of course. It's just too new at this point. Still, we can safely assume it should be equal to or better than the 2018 model. That model has some of the best reliability ratings of any crossover SUV on the road today.
10. Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive
Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect is standard on AWD models. This system helps to keep the car stable and to provides great traction. It can send up to 50% of the torque to your rear wheels. It can then distribute it between the left and right wheel as needed. This is one of the reasons why the 2019 Toyota Rav4 feels so great to drive. It also helps the vehicle's off-road performance.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2019 Toyota RAV4 – The Cons
1. Hybrid only has CVT Option
The continuously variable transmission isn't bad by any means. It's just something that may take getting used to if you've never had a vehicle with one before. A CVT system means there are no gears. Acceleration is one smooth flow with no shifting. This is a commonly used transmission system on hybrids. It's also becoming more common on 4-cylinders in general. The benefit is that it helps provide quicker acceleration from smaller engines.
2. Curiously Angry Front End
The 2019 Toyota Rav4 has a very aggressive looking front end. Many will love the rugged, aggressive look. Still, it won't be for everyone since it is on the extreme side of vehicle designs. Something more subtle would have widened the base of potential buyers.
3. Still No Android Auto
The 2019 Toyota Rav4 upgraded a lot of the high-tech equipment and features that were available in 2018. The infotainment system received a lot of nice updates. Unfortunately, there is still no connectivity to Android Auto. This won't bother Apple fans, but for everyone else, it may be an inconvenience.
How the 2019 Toyota Rav4 Stacks up to the Competition
2019 Toyota Rav4 has three main competitors in the crossover-SUV market. These are the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and the Mazda CX-5. The Honda has been the arch nemesis of the Rav4 for a while now. It's a heavy hitter in the industry. The engine performance is on par with the Rav4 with the exception that there's no hybrid version. The Rav4 has a much nicer interior and overall ride quality.
The Nissan Rogue is close to the Rav4 in many specs and performance stats. Like the Honda, it too suffers from a very basic interior design. The Toyota Rav4 once again wins out in the comfort and interior-quality categories. The Toyota wins here with overall engine performance. The Nissan only cranks out around 170 hp which makes it feel a bit anemic. The Rav4 leaves it in the dust when it comes to performance.
Last of all, we have the Mazda CX-5. The CX-5 is the first of the three competitors to give the Rav4 interior a run for its money. It's classy, high quality and comfortable. Its performance isn't as good as the Toyota though. The Rav4 beats it on the road and it's no contest when it comes to off-road performance. The Rav4 has more cargo space too.
The 2019 Toyota Rav4 is an excellent choice for anyone looking to purchase a crossover SUV. If you want a hybrid, it's really your only choice for a vehicle in this class. It can tow and handle some off-road duties. It provides plenty of cargo space and a comfortable ride for a bunch of passengers. Best of all, it's a safe and reliable vehicle for you and your passengers.
• Why buy a 2018 Toyota RAV4? w/ pros vs cons