Toyota Reveals the All-New 2019 RAV4

Toyota finally took the wraps off the 2019 RAV4, and it's even better than what we expected.

We got our first glimpse of the 2019 Toyota RAV4 at the 2018 New York Auto Show this past week, and it certainly showed up.

2019 marks the model's first major overhaul since 2013. Despite this, the RAV4 still "currently ranks as the number-one-selling vehicle in the Toyota lineup, as well as the best-selling non-pickup-truck in the country."

With that in mind, it's no wonder that Toyota decided to have a little fun with its redesign, which now includes nine trims—five gasoline and four hybrid.

To begin with, it sits atop an entirely new structure. The 2019 RAV4 implements the TNGA platform, Toyota New Global Architecture, which provides the SUV with a lower and wider stance for better handling. With more than a half an inch increase in ground clearance, the RAV4 is just as—if not more—capable traversing terrain as previous models.

A 57-percent-more rigid chassis and a finely tuned multi-link rear suspension are additional elements integrated to optimize driving feel.

The 2019 RAV4 even boasts Toyota's first dynamic torque vectoring all-wheel drive system with rear driveline disconnect, which "enables drivers to steer the vehicle as intended."

When AWD isn't required, the rear driveline disconnect comes into play.

According to Toyota, "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."

As a result, energy loss is lessened, fuel efficiency is increased, and vibration is reduced.

That's not it, though. Toyota pulled out all the stops in this redesign, including putting in an all-new powertrain: the Dynamic Force 2.5-liter I-4 with VVT-iE. Hybrid models house the same engine along with the Toyota Hybrid System II.

In short, the new RAV4 is sportier yet more agile than its predecessor. "This unmatched performance was realized thanks to a group of takumi—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."

Performance is just a sliver of what's been changed in the 2019 Toyota RAV4. Technology is another element that's been upgraded, which was expected, and we are thoroughly impressed.

The new RAV4 features the second-generation Toyota Safety Sense bundle, which is being referred to as TSS 2.0. Below is a list of what's included:

  • Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection
  • Full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control
  • Lane departure alert with steering assist
  • Automatic high beams
  • Lane tracing assist
  • Road sign assist

The last two are the new additions to the package. Lane tracing assist contains the intelligence to follow yellow/white lane markings and help you stay on path, while road sign assist features the capability to recognize Stop, Yield, Do Not Enter and Speed Limit signs and produce a warning via the multi-information display.

It's important to note, too, that the TSS 2.0 comes standard in all RAV4 models.

The Entune 3.0 system is a standard amenity in all trims as well, featuring a seven-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa connectivity and Wi-Fi. An eight-inch center display is also available.

The Toyota RAV4 is, without a doubt, the pioneering SUV for its segment, and there are no signs of that changing any time soon.

This small SUV is set to go on sale at the end of 2018—hybrid models will then be made available in early 2019.