2019 Toyota RAV4 grows up with more style, new powertrains
David Booth - Driving.ca - Sprint Marketing
March 28 2018,
Toyota's best-seller gets some new connectivity features and platform ehnancements, too
What is it? The fifth-generation replacement of Toyota’s most popular model in Canada
Why does it matter? Did you not see that bit about being Toyota Canada’s largest volume seller? The RAV4 is also credited as one of the vehicles that started the small sport utility craze. Last year, the company sold more than 50,000 RAV4s here, not to mention the 400,000+ Americans scooped up in 2017. So yeah, it matters.
Longer (the wheelbase is up 300 millimetres), wider by 10 millimetres and lower – down by five millimetres – the 2019 RAV4 is powered by a Dynamic Force 2.5-litre inline-four mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Toyota brags that the base engine offers an incredible (for an internal combustion engine) 40 per cent efficiency. Mated to Rear Driveline Disconnect system, which routes all the AWD system’s power to the front wheels for greater fuel efficiency, Toyota claims significant fuel consumption gains, though it doesn’t say how much.
As for the Hybrid version, it combines the 2.5L engine — now with 41 per cent efficiency — and Toyota promises class leading fuel economy and “no compromise” performance.
On the dynamic front, Toyota claims a whopping 57 per cent increase in the unibody’s rigidity, which should translate into better handling and ride qualities. There’s even a Trail version of the RAV4, which Toyota says has a “stout stance, standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD, and a reliable and tough functionality that’s apt for any road.” The Trail also a more rugged exterior, thanks to its more aggressive grille, fog light surrounds, and unique wheel design.
Inside, Toyota is pushing the new RAV4’s multimedia abilities. Every model, for instance, is equipped with Entune 3.0 with Apple CarPlay. The system uses a seven-inch touchscreen that is perched atop the center stack. Add the Audio Plus package and you get a larger eight-inch touchscreen and satellite radio. Entune Premium adds a dynamic navigation system. Enhancing all this, uhm, multimedia-ism are up to five USB ports in the front and rear rows, and an all-new JBL audio system.
When is it coming? Late 2018 for the base gas version and early 2019 for the Hybrid.
Should you buy it? If you don’t, you’ll be the only one. But seriously, if you’re shopping the compact crossover segment and you’re not at least looking at the RAV4, you’re not doing your job.