The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is a plucky little SUV that offers car buyers extra cargo space while fitting comfortably inside most garages. Despite it being responsible for the compact-crossover trend, the vehicle became a little tired over the years. With the release of the 2019 model, Toyota is looking to undo this. The new model is sure to capture your attention with its perfect amount of visual styling and a new platform that’s designed to improve the SUV’s driving dynamics. There’s also more variety within the RAV4’s different trim levels.

A Complete RedoToyota went forward with a complete redo when it designed the 2019 RAV4. The exterior is eye-catching with its stout, squared-off appearance that blends inflated wheel arches with a bold presence. There’s also a good amount of aesthetic variation within the vehicle’s different trims. For instance, the Adventure model has a Jeep-like outdoorsy air about it while the luxurious Limited comes with plenty of chrome. The vivid color palette that includes two-tone color combinations is another refreshing change that Toyota added to the list of options for the RAV4.

Inside the cabin, the automaker clearly focused on functionality before considering fashion changes. With the 2019 RAV4, Toyota created an interior that is ergonomically sound, one that includes a prominent infotainment screen placed conveniently in the dash. The infotainment system is flanked by the tuning and volume knobs that are as user-friendly as they are convenient. Storage areas are everywhere due to a two-tiered dashboard and a large center console. The packaging system is solid, and the vehicle comes with a roomy backseat while the SUV’s low floor makes it easy for you to use the cargo space.

About the Powertrain

Toyota gave the 2019 RAV4 more mechanical variety than what was available in earlier models. You can choose from two different powertrains with the SUV. The first option is the base 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder that’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. This engine has more power and torque than the one included in last year’s model. It gets 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

The second option is an Atkinson-cycle version that is partnered with a hybrid transaxle. This engine produces 219 horsepower. Toyota tweaked the torque in the hybrid so that it feels more responsive when you’re in everyday traffic. This engine is quieter than the gas one, and it gets 39 miles per gallon combined. The hybrid is environmentally friendly, and it costs just $800 more than the gas model, making it a good value.

Driving Systems

With the 2019 Toyota RAV4, front-wheel drive is standard. You can upgrade to all-wheel drive in the LE and XLE models. There is a more sophisticated setup that is available as an optional upgrade if you go with the Limited model. This upgraded all-wheel drive setup comes standard with the Adventure trim. It uses torque vectoring, and it has the ability to disconnect the rear axle when needed. This system is included on all RAV4 hybrids. To power the rear wheels, the system uses an electric motor, one that’s mounted to the rear axle. Toyota is offering an XSE trim that features a sportier suspension tune.

Regardless of the trim model and setup that you choose, the 2019 RAV4 rides and steers much better than any of the earlier versions. When you take it for a test drive, you’ll notice that the SUV has a solid and pleasing feel. The steering rack is nicely weighted, and the vehicle exhibits controlled body motions.

A Solid Lineup

Five trims are available with the 2019 RAV4. These are the LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure and Limited. The lower trim levels come with 17-inch alloy wheels while 19-inch ones are added to the higher models. Toyota is equipping every trim with safety gear like:

• Adaptive cruise control
• Lane-departure warning
• Automated emergency braking
• Lane keeping assist

You can also upgrade your SUV to include blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic automatic braking and rear cross-traffic alert. Apple CarPlay comes standard while a number of luxury upgrades are available with the 2019 RAV4. These include:

• A power liftgate
• A panoramic glass roof
• Heated and cooled front seats
• Leather interior

The vehicle is competitively priced. Toyota set the base LE at $26,545 while a few of the upper trims are in the mid-$30,000 range. If you add optional upgrades, you’ll be looking at a price tag in the high $30s. Toyota is charging about $40,000 for a fully loaded Adventure RAV4.

A Good Value

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is a quality vehicle. From its fair pricing down to the included features, you’ll appreciate the value that the SUV offers. With this year’s model, Toyota diversified the lineup to broaden its appeal instead of making up for something that it missed in past versions. While you might see the vehicle model often when driving down the road, you’ll definitely be seeing different versions of it.