The Toyota compact ute’s hybrid powertrain delivers better fuel efficiency and greater refinement—for a price. Adventure is gas-engine-only, all-wheel-drive-only, with raised roof rails. The Adventure, Toyota says, is equipped for all-weather urban, suburban, and trail exploring.” It will give a Subaru a run for its money, but this is not a Jeep Wrangler. Still, check out the photos of a RAV4 on uneven terrain. The cockpit has orange-lined storage trays and orange stitching. Base price is $33,945.
Two Basic GUISES
The RAV4 2019 comes in two basic GUISES. A 2.5 in-line 4-liter power LE, Adventure, XLE, and limited settings and can be equipped with front-wheel drive or on all wheels. The RAV4 Hybrid channels it’s Prius brother with gasoline-electric power but releases into an electric motor and a nickel-metal hydride battery to motivate the rear wheels for standard all-wheel drive.
The Safety System
For safety, the 2019 RAV4 is standard with eight airbags and the Toyota STAR Safety System, which features Electronic Brake-force Distribution, an Anti-lock Braking System, Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Smart Stop Technology, and Brake Assist. Available safety tech includes the Bird’s Eye View Camera, Rear Cross Traffic Braking, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Intelligent Clearance Sonar.
The LE base model will start at $28,745; the XLE will go for $30,545; and XSE and Limited will start at $34,745 and $36,745, respectively. Our XSE model was equipped with the Advanced Technology package ($640), the Weather Prep Package ($375, heated steering wheel and rain-sensing wipers), the Premium Audio Package with Navi & JBL ($1,620), and a panoramic moonroof ($200) leaving an estimated as-tested price of $38,024 (our tester also had a few accessories, the prices of which were not yet available). Depending on the trim, the premium for going hybrid may not be as much as you think, but as we said before, this powertrain is worth it. Plus, over time, you’ll save more money when you hit the gas station.
The Interior Design
Inside, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is comfortable and roomy. The controls are easy to find, and the cabin design has more visual appeal than the outgoing model. Apple CarPlay comes standard on every RAV4. Toyota’s Safety Sense Suite 2.0 is also standard and includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and forward collision mitigation with automatic braking. Blind-spot monitoring is equipped on all but the base trim. On many competitive SUVs, you have to upgrade to the more expensive trim levels to get these safety features.
The new platform is 57% stiffer with a lower center of gravity. The result is an easy and enjoyable ride with a nice, planted turning radius. The XSE comes with a sport-tuned suspension and tauter shocks which gives it a different ride feel from the Limited, along with sportier handling. However, the RAV4 XSE’s driving dynamics do not deliver the sharp, reflexive handling of the Mazda CX-5 I did notice some cabin noise although Toyota says it added some sound deadening material to make it quieter than the previous generation.
That’s because the 2019 RAV4 lineup is all-new for the new model year, which means it’s been fully upgraded and improved with a comprehensive suite of new features and capabilities. These new features and capabilities include an all-new 2019 RAV4 XSE Hybrid trim level, best-in-class cargo space, newly standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 safety and driver assistance systems, and the newly standard Entune 3.0 infotainment system which itself features Wi-Fi Connect capabilities, Amazon Alexa compatibility, and Apple CarPlay connectivity.