The popular SUV gets a complete makeover, but some things are familiar.
Making changes to your best-selling vehicle is always a little pucker worthy for automakers. In this case, the RAV4 isn’t just Toyota’s most popular offering. Over 400,000 units were sold in the U.S. last year, which equates to a 15 percent improvement from 2016. In other words, Toyota is offering up a completely new model while its current RAV4 is selling like hotcakes. To say there’s a lot riding on this next-generation model, then, is a colossal understatement.
Now that we have full disclosure, it looks as though Toyota is following the generally accepted rule book for improving a modern day SUV. The 2019 RAV4 is all-new, riding on the automaker's TNGA platform that extends the wheelbase slightly (1.2 inches to be exact) while actually decreasing overall length, albeit by just a quarter of an inch. It’s also slightly wider and just a smidge shorter than the outgoing RAV4, with the end result being an SUV that certainly looks bigger and more macho. Optional two-tone body/roof paint schemes – a fad which has become quite popular in the crossover/SUV realm – adds a bit of flavor to the RAV4’s new look.
In theory, the stretched wheelbase should give the SUV better road manners, while shorter front/rear overhangs help with off-road prowess. Its manners will further be helped by a new torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system that can send 50 percent of the engine’s power to the rear wheels while also channeling power left or right – hence where the vectoring comes in. The system also uses a trick set of dog clutches to completely disconnect the rear wheels under normal operation for better efficiency. It’s one of three AWD systems available, along with a more traditional arrangement and Toyota’s AWD-i hybrid setup that now creates 30 percent more torque for the electrically driven rear wheels.
Speaking of which, the RAV4 continues to offer a familiar 2.5-liter four cylinder for both standard and hybrid models, though Toyota says the mill now delivers better efficiency. Horsepower and mileage figures aren’t yet available, but there is a new eight-speed automatic transmission in the mix for standard models. Hybrids will continue using a CVT.
Inside the new RAV4 things take on something of a minimalist look. The standard seven-inch infotainment screen moves up to a “floating” position – an eight-inch screen is optional – and Toyota’s Entune 3.0 audio system with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility is also standard. Step up to the Entune Audio Plus option and you get the bigger screen with Sirius XM radio, while the Entune Premium option adds navigation. There is of course a plethora of USB ports, wireless phone chargers, and for booming stereo fans there’s an optional 800-watt JBL sound system. There’s even a new rearview mirror display that can show a wider-than-normal field of vision behind the SUV thanks to a high-mount camera. That’s also an optional extra, unless you opt for the range-topping Limited model which also gets you 19-inch wheels and plenty of chrome accents.
You won’t have to pay extra for a plethora of safety systems, however. Standard-issue on every RAV4 is Toyota’s Safety Sense, which includes familiar items like forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and emergency braking, dynamic cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist, and auto high beams. New for 2019 is Lane Tracing Assist – a pseudo-autonomous system that will steer the RAV4 and provide hands-on driver assistance that Toyota says “reduces driver burden and supports safe driving, especially in traffic congestion or long highway trips.” Also new is a Road Sign Assist that can identify certain road signs and alert drivers who presumably aren’t paying attention. It should be noted, however, that Toyota steers clear of using the word autonomous for either of these new offerings.
The new RAV4 won’t go on sale until this winter, with hybrid models due in 2019. Pricing will come later as well. Whether or not it will be as big a sales success as its predecessor will also have to wait until next year.
Gallery: 2019 Toyota RAV4
ALL-NEW 2019 TOYOTA RAV4 SERVES UP A BREAKTHROUGH DEBUT AT NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
All-New Robust Design and Unparalleled Driving Experience
- 2.5L Inline-4 and Toyota Hybrid System Powertrains Offering More Power and MPG
- TNGA K Platform with Multi-Link Rear Suspension
- Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0)
- Debut of All-New Sporty Hybrid Grade, XSE Hybrid
- Standard Entune 3.0 with Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon, Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay Compatibility
- True Off-Road Capabilities with Available Multi-Terrain Select and an Available Toyota-First, Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect
NEW YORK, March 28, 2018 – All the stops have been pulled for the world debut of the all-new 2019 Toyota RAV4. The vehicle that created the small sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment makes its fifth-generation debut at the New York International Auto Show.
Over the years, Toyota has listened to owners and dealers and it has paid off. Over the last five years, RAV4 volume has doubled, which speaks profoundly to the segment’s attractiveness and growth, and ultimately, RAV4’s popularity. RAV4 currently ranks as the number-one-selling vehicle in the Toyota lineup, as well as the best-selling non-pickup-truck in the country.
No matter the grade, every RAV4 is a winning choice, whether it’s for a city exploration, a weekend trip to the countryside, or a jaunt on the trails. When it becomes available in the winter at the end of 2018 (with hybrid models right behind in early 2019), we predict that the all-new RAV4 will premiere, yet again, at the forefront – both for the Toyota brand and the segment.
Get Up and Go!
For the all-new RAV4, designers kept in mind design elements of Adventure and Refined to allow owners to get up and go in their RAV4, no matter the time or place. An emphasis was placed on maximizing the presence of a small SUV while maintaining high levels of finesse inside and out.
Each body panel has a sophisticated twist to it, with a chiseled appearance that is a perfect
combination of athleticism and charisma. The stronger nose leads into a more dynamic profile,
robust shoulders, and available 19-inch wheels, making for a powerful stance ready to tackle
any road, any time.
The implementation of the TNGA platform allows RAV4 to adopt the charisma of a bolder and
tougher SUV, but in a package that is lower and wider. The longer wheelbase and wider front
and rear tracks provide a stable, confident driving platform. For off-road prowess, the shorter
front and rear overhangs will aid in RAV4’s ability to overcome rugged terrain.
The unibody chassis is 57-percent-more-rigid than the outgoing version. RAV4 incorporates an
optimally-tuned multi-link rear suspension, providing ideal damping for handling, minimum
interior cabin noise, and the utmost ride comfort. Ground clearance has been increased by
more than half an inch, yet RAV4 is able to achieve improved aerodynamics.
The relocated side mirrors are now positioned lower on the door for increased forward visibility
around the A-pillar. Side visibility is increased thanks to a lowered beltline and the redesigned
and enlarged rear-quarter glass assists with rear-diagonal visibility.
2019 RAV4 LIMITED PRELIMINARY EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (vs. 2018) [difference]
Wheelbase 105.9 in. (104.7 in.) [+1.2 in.]
Overall Length 180.9 in. (181.1 in.) [-0.2 in.]
Overall Width 73 in. (72.6 in.) [+0.4 in.]
Overall Height 66.9 in. (67.1 in. *with roof rail) [-0.2 in.]
Unparalleled Driving Experience with More Power, MPG and Capabilities
Engineers worked for about four years to fine-tune every aspect of RAV4’s performance,
handling stability, and ride comfort. The end goal was simple: engineer a driving experience
that is Confident and Natural.
This unmatched performance was realized thanks to a group of takumi – or, highly-trained
master craftsmen – who strived to develop a vehicle that acts and reacts as the driver intends,
even in extreme weather and road conditions. Including the takumi in the development process
was just another layer of enhancement to the overall design approach led by the Toyota New
Global Architecture (TNGA) philosophy. These master craftsmen focused on working together
to improve vehicle performance at various stages of the development process to deliver an
The power source for RAV4’s driving abilities comes from one of two powertrains:
- Dynamic Force 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine with VVT-iE mated to an 8-speed
Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission, which motivates the five gas models
- Dynamic Force 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) engine with
Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT), which activates the four hybrid models
The takumi were precise with the development of RAV4’s structure and configuration to achieve
an increase in performance as a whole. The engine utilizes high-speed combustion technology
and a variable control system for greater thermal efficiency output, which reduces energy
losses associated with exhaust and cooling systems and the movement of mechanical parts,
among other factors. With a 40-percent thermal efficiency (41 percent for hybrids), the 2.5-liter
4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine is the ideal powerplant for the all-new RAV4 to meet the
demand of providing a highly responsive, yet fuel efficient driving experience. The Direct Shift-
8AT transmission provides direct-lock up from gears two through eight to eliminate power loss
from the torque converter, executing ideal smooth shifts.
The Toyota-first, Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect, is
nothing short of impressive, and enables drivers to steer the vehicle as intended – even atop
the toughest of roads.
Standard on AWD-equipped Limited gas and Adventure grade models, Dynamic Torque
Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect can send 50 percent of engine torque
to the rear wheels, plus, distribute it to the left or right rear wheel for improved handling. When
AWD isn’t required (on long stretches of highway, for example), RAV4 can achieve better fuel
economy thanks to the Rear Driveline Disconnect system. The disconnection features the
world’s first ratchet-type dog clutches on both the front and rear wheel shafts. These clutches
stop the driveshaft’s rotations, thus transmitting the driving force to the front wheels when AWD
isn’t required, significantly reducing energy loss, improving fuel efficiency, and reducing
rotational vibration making for a smoother ride.
This all-new AWD system is one of three available on the all-new RAV4; it joins the AWD-i
system available on hybrid grades and the (non-Dynamic Torque Vectoring) AWD system
available on core gas grades.
When paired with the new All-Wheel Drive with Intelligence (AWD-i), RAV4 Hybrid increases
the total torque to the rear wheels – which is electrically driven – by 30 percent compared to
the current generation AWD-i system. By adopting a new control system that optimally
distributes torque to the rear wheels based on the driving conditions, the new AWD-i system
offers high off-road performance, handling, and ability.
RAV4’s unparalleled driving experience is just one of the ways the all-new RAV4 exceeds
expectations for owners, the segment, and the industry.
XSE Hybrid: The Sportiest RAV4
For those who prefer sportier driving dynamics, XSE Hybrid stays ready with the perfect
conflation of sport and utility. XSE is an all-new addition to RAV4’s Hybrid family.
The piano-black accents across the front end, mirror caps, fender arches, and lower rockers set
the stage for XSE Hybrid’s sporty appeal. Unique to RAV4 Hybrids, projector-beam LED
headlamps flank each side of the grille (on XLE and above) for a brighter, sharper, and ideallyangled
Standard on all RAV4 Hybrid models, the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) works in sync with the
2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine for an impressive balance of energy efficiency and
supreme power output. Performance-wise, XSE Hybrid is truly the “no compromise” grade
thanks to its enhanced power and acceleration. When paired with its sport-tuned suspension
having tauter shock absorbers and springs, RAV4 XSE Hybrid takes the throne as the quickest
– and best-handling – RAV4 in the lineup.
While driving thrills behind XSE Hybrid’s steering wheel are standard, that’s not all guests get:
In any RAV4 Hybrid, drivers can look forward to anticipated class-leading fuel efficiency and
increases in horsepower and acceleration, respectively.
On- and Off-Road Fun
For explorers looking to satisfy their outdoorsy cravings, RAV4 Adventure has the capabilities
for all types of off-road fun.
RAV4 Adventure is distinguishable among the other grades with its standard high-rise roof rails
and large over-fenders. Inspired by Toyota’s off-road vehicle heritage, RAV4 Adventure grade
has a more rugged exterior, thanks in part to its more aggressive grille, fog light surrounds,
and unique wheel design. It answers the call designers had of Robust with its stout stance,
standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect, and a
reliable and tough functionality that’s apt for any road.
The fun ratchets up once pavement blends into dirt thanks to Multi-Terrain Select. Standard on
all AWD-equipped gas RAV4 models, Multi-Terrain Select gives drivers the ability to maximize
traction when driving through snow, mud, sand, or rocks. The system is easy to use thanks to a
control dial (or buttons) positioned in the center console to the left of the shift knob.
RAV4 XSE Hybrid’s striking personality screams sporty thanks to its standard two-tone exterior
paint scheme. The black roof is paired with either Blizzard Pearl, Silver Sky Metallic, Magnetic
Gray Metallic, or Blueprint (a new color to the palette). RAV4 XSE Hybrid’s exclusive interior
comes mono-spec with black Softex material and blue accents throughout.
RAV4 Adventure grade can be had with an Ice Edge-colored roof that is paired with one of three
exterior colors: Midnight Black Metallic or Blue Flame, both of which are new for RAV4; or Lunar
Rock, an all-new color to the Toyota lineup that makes its first mission on RAV4. Inside, interior
seat finishes come in either black or a grade-exclusive, Mocha-colored Softex, with the latter
being a brand-new interior finish in the Toyota lineup. Orange stitching accents the interior
with additional orange appointments placed throughout the dashboard.
RAV4 keeps admirers star-struck even when its fitted with additional full-body color options
like Super White and Ruby Flare Pearl.
Premium Limited Style
Blissful weekend retreats are the ideal destination when behind the wheel of RAV4 Limited. As
the top grade, drivers and passengers will enjoy amenities and features befitting its premium
style. At first glance, RAV4 Limited’s 19-inch alloy wheels and chrome accents set it apart from
the other grades. Once inside though, Limited’s essence truly takes the stage.
Standard features include a front-row moonroof and 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with
memory and 2-way lumbar support. Tech-wise, RAV4 Limited comes standard with a newlydesigned
7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) and, for the first time in a Toyota vehicle in
North America, a Digital Display Rearview Mirror. By default, the display is a conventional
rearview mirror but with the flip of a switch, drivers have an increased field of vision coming
through the rearview mirror, displaying what is behind the vehicle thanks to a high-mounted,
adjustable wide-angle high-definition camera affixed on the rear of vehicle.
Optional content that enhances the ambiance includes ventilated front seats, heated rear
seats, and a panoramic moonroof. When the weekend’s gear fills both hands, the available
hands-free power liftgate helps considerably by opening with a wave of the foot below the rear
Elevated Cabin Atmospheres
Designers applied the theme of Refined to every detail of the interior cabin, resulting in an
impressive arrangement that suits a wide variety of driving experiences and preferences. The
interior atmosphere represents an elevated sophistication with a premium, modern design, and
Between front passengers sits a center console having a repositioned standard Electronic
Parking Brake (EPB) for easier accessibility. Ergonomics have been further enhanced by an
increase in the console’s volume, side-by-side cup holders, and an open tray capable of
holding small items, with optional Qi wireless charger. The in-dash tray within arm’s reach of
front passengers will see its share of electronics, sunglasses, and travel must-haves. A standard
smooth boot adorns the top of the shifter, and the HVAC knobs in the center panel are
redesigned for improved tactility.
Rear seat passengers will appreciate the spacious back cabin thanks to an increase in left and
right couple distance, as well as legroom. The rear cargo area adopts a reversible liner as well
as side nets for storing small items and the 60/40 folding rear seats are ready to accommodate
essentials like surf boards, suitcases, or camping gear.
Advanced Media with Precise Harmony
Every RAV4 is equipped with Entune 3.0 multimedia including Wi-Fi Connect powered by
Verizon, hands-free access to Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
The standard Entune 3.0 audio system houses a 7-inch touchscreen that is perched atop the
center stack. Entune 3.0 Audio Plus adds an 8-inch touchscreen and Sirius XM Radio. Entune
3.0 Premium Audio enhances the multimedia system with embedded dynamic navigation to
help drivers chart their course.
Enhancing onboard multimedia features, RAV4 can be had with up to five USB ports between
the front and rear rows and an optional Qi wireless charging tray positioned at the front of the
RAV4’s multimedia setup is complemented by an all-new available JBL audio system. The nextgeneration
premium audio setup incorporates an enhanced system architecture, new speaker
design, and an improved tuning process. The result is an all-access pass to the most intimate
music concert, all from inside a RAV4.
The available JBL audio system provides harmonious audio via 11 speakers across 8 channels at
- Two Horn Tweeters
▪ Located in the A-pillar for optimal high-frequency performance
- HiD8 Amplifier
▪ Next-generation amplifier powering the 800 watts
- Two Wide Dispersion Instrument Panel Speakers
▪ Providing greater sound and alert functionality
- Two Wide Dispersion Front Door Speakers
▪ Enhanced sound quality for front passengers
- Ported Subwoofer with Enclosure
▪ More powerful deep-bass response tucked away in the rear quarter
- Two Full Range Rear Door Speakers
▪ Enhanced sound quality for rear passengers
- Clari-Fi Technology
▪ Intelligently adjusts to every audio format to match source quality with the
precise level of audio restoration necessary
Next Generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS)
Toyota continues to lead the pack when it comes to safety, and the all-new RAV4 provides
drivers and passengers with standard safety technologies that help move Toyota one step
closer to achieving the ultimate goal of zero casualties from traffic accidents.
RAV4 comes standard with TSS 2.0, the second generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). The
updated safety package adds new active-safety technologies and capabilities that enhance
Breakdowns of each technology are as follows:
- Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD):
▪ Capability to detect a preceding vehicle or pedestrian in daytime or with better
low-light recognition capabilities, or daytime bicyclist (new), and alert the driver
(audible and visual warnings) and/or apply brakes to help mitigate or avoid the
collision in certain cases (using Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Brake Assist
(BA), and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)).
- Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC):
▪ For highways/freeways only – an adaptive cruise control that functions at speeds
between 0 to 110 mph and enables low-speed speed matching, stopping, and
acceleration/deceleration relative to a preceding vehicle traveling at a slower
speed. Speed, cut-in, and distance control enhanced, as well as Turn Signal
Linked control added, for a more natural response.
- Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA):
▪ Newly added to LDA w/SA is the capability, under some circumstances, to detect
the road’s edge, in addition to the pre-existing capability to detect visible lane
markers and the vehicle’s position in the lane. If unintentional lane deviation is
detected, the system alerts the driver with audible and visual warnings. Steering
Assist can provide small corrective steering inputs to help the driver prevent the
vehicle from unintentionally leaving its lane.
- Automatic High Beam (AHB):
▪ Capability to automatically activate and deactivate high beams based on driving
environment and preceding vehicle’s lights.
- (NEW) Lane Tracing Assist (LTA):
▪ For highways/freeways only and can be enabled when using DRCC – Capability
to recognize white or yellow lane markings or the path of a preceding vehicle if
lane markers are temporarily unavailable; to identify and actively track the center
of the lane by providing steering assistance to the driver (hands-on, driver-assist
system). Reduces driver burden and supports safe driving, especially in traffic
congestion or long highway trips. The LTA system can be turned on/off.
- (NEW) Road Sign Assist (RSA):
▪ Capability to identify certain Stop, Yield, Do Not Enter and Speed Limit signs and
display a warning (visual and audible alerts). Alerts vary based on sign type and are
displayed on the Multi-Information Display.
Eight airbags come standard on the 2019 RAV4, and so does Toyota’s Star Safety System, which
includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brakeforce
Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop
Technology (SST). Available safety technologies include Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear
Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Bird’s Eye View Camera, Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), and Rear
Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system. RAV4 comes equipped with a standard backup camera and
standard Electronic Parking Brake (EPB).
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000-mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other
than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the
powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation.
The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery control module, hybrid
control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles. In
applicable states, hybrid-related component coverage is 15 years/150,000 miles with the
exception of the hybrid battery, which is covered for 10 years/150,000 miles.
Standard ToyotaCare covers complimentary normal factory-scheduled maintenance for two
years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. Two years of roadside assistance coverage is also
provided with each new purchase.