The all-new 2019 RAV4 is now on sale. And that’s a big deal. A very big deal.
Toyota’s small SUV has always been popular, pretty much from the day it burst on the scene in 1994 and created an entirely new vehicle segment with its four-wheel drive, higher ground clearance, compact body and larger tires.
But in recent years, as customers have shifted away from cars to SUVs and trucks, RAV4 has become much more. It’s now the brand’s No. 1 selling vehicle. And it’s the best-selling non-pickup truck among all
Look for that trendline to continue with the rollout of this fifth-generation RAV4. It’s an all-new design that builds on the strengths of its past as well as the Toyota New Global Architecture. The more you look, the more you’ll like.
To get acquainted, check out this short list of the five features that are likely to attract customers’ attention and help keep RAV4 at the head of a very competitive segment.
A RAV4 Hybrid isn’t new. But this version of the Toyota Hybrid System most certainly is. You expect exceptional fuel economy, and this blending of gas and electricity delivers.
But you also get more horsepower and better acceleration with the RAV4 XSE HV grade. In fact, the quickest RAV4…is now a hybrid!
The new RAV4 is the second Toyota vehicle, after the Corolla Hatchback, to include the second generation of Toyota Safety Sense as standard equipment. This suite of advanced active safety technologies employs a millimeter wave radar sensor and a monocular camera to take the original TSS to the next level.
For example, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) now functions across the vehicle’s full speed range, from zero to 110 mph. Designed for use on highways/freeways only, the system is designed to automatically maintain a preset distance between RAV4 and the vehicle in front of it. Once the way forward is clear, DRCC is designed to accelerate the vehicle to a preset speed.
In other words, those crawls along a gridlocked freeway just got a lot less stressful — among other benefits.
The new RAV4 comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility. That will be welcome news to those of us who rely heavily on our smartphones.
So if, say, you have an iPhone, you can use your voice to invoke Siri and say, “Navigate me to the nearest gas station.” Siri will find the station and configure RAV4’s nav screen to take you there — all without you ever having to take your hands off the steering wheel. Nice.
The new RAV4 is the first Toyota vehicle to offer Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect. Available on Limited and standard on Adventure grades, it can send 50 percent of the driveline’s torque to the rear wheels and then distribute it left or right as needed for improved handling and enhanced traction, both on- and off-road.
When all-wheel drive isn’t required, like when cruising along an open stretch of dry highway, the rear driveline disconnect automatically kicks in. That helps RAV4 achieve its best fuel economy.
This all-new model is the first RAV4 to get Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select, a system that was introduced on such vehicles as Land Cruiser, 4Runner and Tacoma to bump up their off-road capabilities. It’s standard on all AWD-equipped gas RAV4s.
At the turn of a dial in the center console, you can choose among five different modes that give you the ability to maximize traction when driving through snow, mud, sand or rocks. So, this new RAV4 should be able to boldly go where previous generations have not gone before.
By Dan Miller