The Toyota RAV4 has long been overlooked – but it’s one of the brand’s more capable models. Vying for the same attention as other tough SUVs, the RAV4 brings a splash of boldness to an otherwise utilitarian design.

If you’re in the market for a new SUV, take a look at the 2019 RAV4. Let’s take a closer look at the powerplant fueling the 2019 RAV4 and the all-new hybrid powertrain available this year.   

Performance Specifications

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is available in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, with either a gas or hybrid powerplant. While front-wheel drive is standard on all gas-powered variants, all-wheel drive is standard on the hybrid model. Standard towing capacity is 1,500 pounds. Hybrid models are capable of towing up to 1,750 pounds while Adventure models are the strongest at 3,500 pounds.

The base 2.5-liter inline-4-cylinder engines are capable of 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque and are available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Hybrid variants draw power from the 2.5-liter engine along with two electric motors, making a combined 219 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque. Power is transmitted to the wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission for gas-powered engines and a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) on hybrid models.  

Entertainment and Safety Features

If safety is your priority, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 should be at the top of your shortlist. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded it a “Good” rating in all categories. Per Kelley Blue Book, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rated it 5 out of 5 stars for the crash test rating, side barrier, and side crash ratings. Frontal crash and rollover ratings earned the 2019 RAV4 4 out of 5 stars.  

Here’s a closer look at the trim levels available on the 2019 Toyota RAV4:

  • Base LE models are available with either gas or hybrid (LE Hybrid) powerplants. Standard features on this model include a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, cloth seating, and the Entune infotainment system. Pricing starts around $25,500. Safety features include a rearview camera, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, and adaptive cruise control. Driver drowsiness monitoring comes standard as well. This model rides on 17-inch wheels standard.
  • For about $27,300, you can afford the XLE and XLE Hybrid models, which feature a moonroof, dual-zone climate control, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. Adding the Convenience Package for another $1,300 will get you heated front seats and a power liftgate. For the 8-inch touchscreen, it’ll cost you around $2,335 more.
  • The XLE Premium model comes in just under $30,000 and takes the power liftgate for standard equipment. Customers who choose this trim level will also receive simulated leather seating and a powered driver’s seat. Adding on a Weather Grade package for around $1,000 more adds on heated front seats and steering wheel. The 8-inch touchscreen on this model costs $1,620 more.
  • Choose the Adventure trim level for around $32,900 and you’ll enjoy all-wheel drive standard, along with the 8-inch touchscreen. HD Radio and satellite radio are also available. A moonroof will cost you $850 more but heated and ventilated front seats and the heated steering wheel are just about $1,200.
  • For a sporty hybrid model, choose the XSE Hybrid at $33,700. This model rides on 18-inch wheels and sees via LED headlights. A moonroof and roof rails are standard equipment, along with a power liftgate, dual chrome exhaust tips, leather seating, and heated front seats.
  • Limited and Limited Hybrid models start around $33,500 and heat the front seats standard. Other standard equipment includes navigation, rear cross-traffic braking, and low-speed collision warning. The Limited Grade Weather package adds on the ventilation for the front seats as well as heat for the rear seats, along with the heated steering wheel.

Fuel Efficiency

All 2019 RAV4 models technically share the same base engine, though hybrid models pair it with dual electric motors. Alone, the 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder makes 26 city and 35 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon (MPG) when purchased in front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive models make 27 city and 34 highway MPG when equipped with the stop-start feature, but only achieve 25 city and 33 highway MPG without this feature.

Hybrid variants equipped with the 2.5-liter motor and dual electric motors achieve an estimated 41 city and 37 highway MPG.

How the 2019 RAV4 Stacks Up

Expectations are high for the 2019 RAV4, which has quite a legacy to live up to for such a compact SUV.

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) reviewers praise the model. With “one of the finest interiors in its class” and comfortable seating, the RAV4 earned high marks for interior quality. As a package, it offers a potent mix of “tough new looks, newfound driving flair, added value, standard advanced safety features, greatly increased fuel efficiency and more.”

The folks at U.S. News and Edmunds were a bit harder sell. They found the 2019 RAV4 “generally rides smoothly” and the infotainment controls “are easy to use.” While U.S. News reviewers were happy with the overall package found in the XLE trim level, Edmunds experts recommended the Adventure trim.

Pros

Cons

  • Real leather seating unavailable
  • Average base towing, sportiness, and off-road capabilities

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 blends together the off-road capabilities found in many Jeep models with the creature comforts more utilitarian vehicles are known for. With the availability of options on almost every trim level, it’s hard to go wrong with the 2019 Toyota RAV4.

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