2019 Toyota RAV4 Review: Why It Will Hit 500,000 Sales Per Year in No Time

2019 Toyota RAV4

Toyota drove the boring out of the 2019 RAV4. The sales leader among compact SUVs is likely to soar past a half-million sales by 2020 and extend its dominance as the best-selling vehicle in America that isn’t designed for a gun rack. It’s that good. The 2019 RAV4 looks better outside and feels better inside. Toyota has a nearly complete driver assist/safety system standard on all trim lines. A hybrid RAV4 is just $800 more than its gasoline counterpart. The Adventure RAV4 will make Subaru Forester owners sit up and take notice.

The RAV4’s faults are few: The four-cylinder engine gets buzzy when pushed, there’s no turbo for added oomph, and the V6 RAV4 remains gone and will not be coming back. Instead, for performance, Toyota points you to the hybrid trim lines that use the electric motor as a turbo to make the RAV4 hit 60 mph quickly and then settle down to return 40 mpg at steady highway cruising speed.

Drive the new RAV4 and you’ll be taken immediately by the big step up in cockpit quality, noise control, and — yes — driving enjoyment. Back seat passengers are comfortable even on medium-long trips, although tall rear-seat passengers make take issue with Toyota’s lowering the roofline (and the roof rack above) by an inch for a sleeker look.

I was impressed by how well all the all-wheel-drive RAV4s handled unpaved roads and undulating terrain, even the hybrids with gas-engine power in front and electric drive in back. The non-hybrids have mechanical torque vectoring to distribute power the wheels that need it. On the higher trim lines, the driveshaft decouples to reduce friction. Toyota estimates fuel economy will range from 41 mpg city, 37 mpg highway, 39 mpg combined for all hybrid RAV4s down to 24/32/27 for the Adventure and Limited AWD grades. All other models should get about 29 mpg combined.

The Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite has a measure of self-driving on highways between adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and what Toyota calls lane tracing assist, which essentially steers the vehicle toward the center of the lane. It’s useful on road trips and in dense commuter traffic. TSS 2.0 also includes a pre-collision warning and braking system, automatic high beams, and road sign recognition. TSS lacks blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert (and braking), but it’s standard on all but the entry trim line, where it’s a $500 option. Toyota (and Honda) are taking the lead in providing key safety features standard or near-standard, and embarrassing premium automakers.

Toyota also has embedded telematics, which includes the ability to track your car from your smartphone, or to query battery state of charge or gasoline levels from Amazon Alexa, but only on Android phones. Conversely, Toyota offers Apple CarPlay but not Android Auto. Toyota believes Android needs more robust security.

Toyota RAV4 sales doubled in five years and were up l6 percent in 2017. Only three cars in the top 50 had bigger 2017 gains than the RAV4 and all were new models. Note: The Nissan Rogue entry is a conflation of sales reported for the regular Nissan Rogue, comparable to the RAV4, and the subcompact Rogue Sport.

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 may well be the best compact mainstream SUV overall without being best in any one category other than predicted reliability and predicted hybrid reliability. The Mazda CX-5 is better at handling and providing a class-above cockpit. The Subaru Forester has been (in the past, at least) a more capable light-duty off-roader and snow-country vehicle. The Honda CR-V and the Kia Sportage/Hyundai Tucson are desirable all-around vehicles; the CR-V in the past has been seen as sportier than the RAV4 until now. Nissan Rogue is one of the price leaders and offers ProPilot Assist semi-autonomous driving.

In the past, the RAV4 gave you appliance-like reliability and good fuel economy. Toyota stepped up the game with generation five: a sportier feel, much-improved interior, better ride and handling, onboard telematics, and the safety suite. If you want performance, there’s no turbo-four, but the hybrid’s electric motor does the same thing and you’ll likely top 40 mpg on the highway.

If you’re comparison shopping in the compact SUV market, the RAV4 is a must-drive. Which one? If you’re a bargain-hunter and look at the entry LE, make sure you get one with the $590 blind spot detection option; every other trim line has it standard. But you probably should start with the XLE for $1,800 more. The RAV4 Adventure is a reasonable off-roader — here, off-roading doesn’t mean rock-crawling — that competes with the Subaru Forester and Jeep Cherokee (as well as the less-regarded Jeep Compass). Among US-flagged automakers, the Ford Escape and Chevrolet Equinox/GMC Terrain are worth looking at. If you’re looking at a performance RAV4, that would be the XSE.

Toyota was the pioneer in the compact SUV market 22 years ago, back in 1996. It took 10 years to hit 100,000 sales per year, eight more to get to 200,000, and just five more (to 2017) to double sales to almost 408,000 last year. Now, the RAV4 is poised to be the first vehicle in a long time to sell more than 500,000 units a year, other than the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Suburban, and (formerly Dodge) RAM pickups. The RAV4 is riding the wave from sedans to crossovers/SUVs, downsizing from large to medium, and even more so from medium (usually a sedan) to compact.

Original article here: https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/280997-2019-toyota-rav4-review-why-it-will-hit-500000-sales-per-year-in-no-time

To get a no headaches car buying experience you can reach me:
Gabriel Rosentall – Product Advisor at Regency Toyota Vancouver
Cell: 236 863 2192 – call or text

2019 Toyota RAV4 Takes Spotlight As Japanese Automaker’s Top Seller And New Show Horse In U.S.

2019 Toyota RAV4

Toyota Motor Corp.’s has bet a tall pile of chips on the new fifth-generation RAV4 compact SUV, making it the most important single Toyota model in the U.S. since anyone can remember.

Twenty-two years ago, while Bill Clinton was still president, Toyota Motor Corp. brought a new small SUV to the U.S., a fusion of car and truck with the odd acronym, RAV4. The look was a bit odd, too, and its role in the product lineup was rather minor compared to Toyota’s stars, the Corolla and Camry sedans or the fast-growing Lexus luxury franchise.

RAV4 unexpectedly evolved into quite a popular model because – with the benefit of hindsight – 1) it came from Toyota, an automaker with a solid and growing reputation for quality and reliability; and 2) it was a light, useful, affordable, fuel efficient and fun-to-drive SUV at a moment when the SUV trend was just taking off.

Fast forward to today. SUVs and crossovers have grown to dominate the non-pickup truck vehicle market in the U.S. while the popularity of sedans is falling. RAV4, to the astonishment of many, has turned into Toyota’s number-one model, selling more copies than either Camry or Corolla, the two top-selling sedans. Indeed, sales of the fourth-generation RAV4 doubled in 2017 from four years earlier to 407,594.

To double down with the GenV RAV4, Toyota has created a number of different powertrain, appearance, option and convenience packages designed to reinforce its hold and widen the lead as the number-one compact SUV in front of other strong sellers such as Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue and Ford Escape.

RAV4 (Recreation Activity Vehicle – 4WD) will come in thirteen variations of three body styles, gas versions powered by a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine with an eight-speed automatic and a gas-electric hybrid with a continuously variable transmission.

In a test drive through Carmel Valley near Monterey and along the Pacific Coast Highway, as well as a dedicated off-road course with several different terrains and obstacles, the new RAV4 performed well, delivering a quiet, competent ride on a variety of surfaces. Power was adequate, though if power is important, the gas-electric hybrid version did better than the gas engines.

In some configurations, such as the Adventure model designed for off-road performance, RAV4 will feature dynamic torque vectoring, which directs more power away from a wheel that is slipping toward one or more wheels that have traction for better grip in snow, mud, sand or gravel. Built on Toyota’s TNGA global platform that underpins Prius, Camry and Corolla, the new model will offer Safety Sense 2.0, a series of safety features such as Lane Departure Alert and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control on all models.

Toyota’s expressive and angular styling themes make RAV4 extremely distinctive and recognizable – a somewhat polarizing design language that definitely has its fans as well as foes.  (Personally, I like it a lot.)

Toyota’s Entune Audio system, with a 7-inch touchscreen and six speakers, is standard on all models, includes Apple Car Play and is Alexa and Bluetooth capable. An enhanced Entune 3.0 Audio plus is available is an option several configurations that has an 8-inch touchscreen, SiriusXM and other features.  A premium JBL system and dynamic navigation is also an available option on some models. Wireless charging for capable smartphones also is available on some models.

The hybrid version is rated at 39 mpg combined, while the gas versions will deliver up to 29 mpg.

To get a no headaches car buying experience you can reach me:
Gabriel Rosentall – Product Advisor at Regency Toyota Vancouver
Cell: 236 863 2192 – call or text


All-New 2019 Toyota RAV4 Wins Compact SUV of Texas at 2018 Texas Truck Rodeo

2019 Toyota RAV4

Toyota took home two awards at the Texas Auto Writers Association’s (TAWA) Texas Truck Rodeo. The all-new 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure grade won top honors in the Compact SUV of Texas category, and the 2019 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro was named Texas’ Mid-Sized Truck of the Year for the fourth consecutive time.

“Bringing home awards for the all-new 2019 RAV4 and 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro validates why Toyota’s vehicles are chosen for the next generation of off-road dominance,” said Lisa Materazzo, vice president, vehicle marketing and communications, Toyota Motor North America. “Performing on the courses this year with new and highly capable vehicles showcases exactly how Toyota has developed its lineup of trucks and SUVs to conquer a variety of driving situations.”

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure grade and Toyota RAV4 XSE HV grades were introduced to TAWA members showcasing the versatility of the line-up. The 2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE HV, the sportiest RAV4 yet, offers greater horsepower, faster acceleration, a sport-tuned suspension and, of course, higher MPG. But the journalists’ votes gravitated toward the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure grade which features a rugged exterior, thanks in part to its more aggressive grille, fog light surrounds, and unique wheel design, while also featuring an optimally tuned multi-link rear suspension, providing ideal damping for handling, minimum interior cabin noise, and the utmost ride comfort. With the segment- and Toyota-first Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system with Rear Driveline Disconnect, combined with Multi-Terrain Select, the RAV4 Adventure grade can handle it all, from city exploration to a jaunt on the trails. The 2019 RAV4 Adventure grade, as well as all 2019 RAV4 gas models, will be available in dealerships by the end of this year.

Designed by engineers at Toyota Racing Development (TRD), the 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro impressed TAWA members with the most eye-catching Tacoma upgrade – the all-new TRD Desert Air Intake. Designed to sustain consistent off-road performance no matter how silty or dirty the terrain gets, the TRD Desert Air Intake takes the 278-horsepower 3.5L V6 engine’s air intake away from dust that hovers inside the wheel well (where traditional air intakes are located) during off-road operation. Its suspension, made up of 2.5-inch TRD Pro-exclusive Fox Internal Bypass shocks, is tuned specifically for each vehicle by the engineers at TRD. The aluminum-bodied Fox shocks offer impressive performance and supreme damping for a wide variety of driving situations including high-speed desert running, slow-speed rock crawling, or simply driving to and from work.

This year’s Texas Truck Rodeo brought together 69 journalists to test drive 57 vehicles in 18 different categories in Bee Cave, Texas. Trucks and SUVs from the world’s top manufacturers were evaluated on their performance, value and design. The Tacoma TRD Pro and RAV4 Adventure grade defeated two days of tough competition against competitors.

TAWA is a Texas-based nonprofit association for automotive journalists promoting professionalism and quality in journalism for more than two decades. TAWA has grown to become one of the most influential and recognized automotive journalist associates in the United States. The group produces two annual events – Texas Auto Roundup and Texas Truck Rodeo – that allow members to experience vehicles from various manufacturers in one place, at one time.

To get a no headaches car buying experience you can reach me:
Gabriel Rosentall – Product Advisor at Regency Toyota Vancouver
Cell: 236 863 2192 – call or text