37.6 ft3 Cargo
Completely redesigned for 2019, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has received U.S. News and Business Week’s #1 ranking for Hybrid and Electric SUVs, and was a finalist for the 2019 Best Compact SUV for Families Award.
The Rav 4 hybrid has sold 29,319 units through June 2019, just beating out the Toyota Prius, which sold 29,241 units. This makes the RAV4 hybrid Toyota's best-selling hybrid overall so far this year. The hybrid model is 15% of overall RAV4 sales.
The outgoing 2018 Rav 4 was not only Toyota's biggest seller, it outsold every other vehicle in the United States except for the three most popular full-size pickup trucks. The top-selling SUV’s dynamic exterior redesign, plushier interior, more sophisticated ride-and-handling balance, and far better fuel efficiency are improving its sales in 2019.
Now in its 22nd year, the Toyota RAV4 was the first compact sport utility vehicle introduced in the United States. It debuted in 1996 with its acronym meaning “Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-wheel drive.” Sales of the RAV4 have increased every year. 2017 was its best-selling edition ever, with 407,594 units sold, including more than 50,000 hybrid models.
The 2019 hybrid sits on a chassis created by Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA-K) platform technology. In 2015, when the world’s largest automaker decided to completely reinvent itself for the next generation of auto making, it devised a program of structural innovation to modernize and simplify the basic architecture and powertrains of its vehicles. Making them more cost-effective to produce, the new designs improve performance, enhance product appeal and create major cost-savings which are passed on to customers.
The massive improvement is part of Toyota’s philosophy called “aisha” – “making cars that will be loved by Toyota’s customers.” The TNGA-K technology in the Rav 4 Hybrid is shared with the eighth generation Camry, fifth generation Avalon and seventh generation; three other highly successful Toyota vehicles.
The 2019 hybrid comes in four trims: LE Hybrid ($27,850 MSRP), XLE Hybrid ($29,650 MSRP), XSE Hybrid ($33,850 MSRP), and Limited Hybrid ($35,850 MSRP).
All trims come with a 2.5-Liter Dynamic Force 4-Cylinder gas/electric hybrid engine; Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD); 5 driving modes designed for city, highway and off-road terrain: SPORT, ECO, NORMAL, TRAIL, and EV; and All-Season Mud-and-Snow-rated radial tires.
Also standard: an Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT), and an Electronically Controlled Braking (ECB) system with integrated regenerative braking, which sends power to the car’s batteries every time braking occurs.
The Hybrid System II advance engine produces 219 combined net horsepower, creating impressive acceleration. The smart and powerful grip of the vehicle’s Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive provides an excellent all-weather capability and impressive on-road driving dynamics. The system uses a dedicated electric drive motor to auto-supply power to the rear wheels for an instant improvement in traction when it’s needed. For enhanced power, acceleration and all-circumstances handling, Toyota has given the SUV a sport-tuned suspension with tauter shock absorbers and springs.
Kelley Blue Book considers the Rav 4 Hybrid a better choice than the Rav 4 non-hybrid models: “While the Toyota RAV is all-new from the ground up for 2019, the bigger story is how impressive the hybrid version is. It may prove to be the better choice for many RAV4 buyers, which aligns with the company’s goal to increase the take rate for the hybrid from 11 to 25 percent. Because the 2019 RAV4 hybrid offers such a good mix of power, acceleration from a stop and fuel economy, we expect its share to be higher than what Toyota anticipates.”
For the redesigned Rav 4 Hybrid, Toyota has added two electric motors; smaller and lighter than past e-motors, they create less friction and improve efficiency and fuel economy. The sealed nickel-metal hydride battery pack providing the e-motors with power is small enough to reside under the rear seats instead of taking up space in the cargo area and improves fuel efficiency.
The hybrid has received a 41/38/40 city / highway / combined EPA rating and has a 580-mile total range. The U.S. Department of Energy (www.fueleconomy.gov) calculates Rav 4 Hybrid drivers will save $2,500 in fuel costs over 5 years compared to driving an average new fossil fuel vehicle. All 3 trims are SULEVs – Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicles. SULEVs are 90% cleaner than the current average year's models, emitting substantially lower levels of hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides and particulate matter than conventional vehicles.
The 2019 Rav 4 Hybrid received a 5-star NHTSA safety rating – the best possible.
Safety features include: Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0) which includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Automatic High Beams (AHB), Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) and Road Sign Assist (RSA). Also standard is the Star Safety System which offers Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
All 4 trims come with a complimentary 3-years subscription of Safety Connect, which includes Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Locator, Roadside Assistance and Automatic Collision Notification.
In-Car Entertainment for the LE trim includes: Entune 3.0 Audio, which includes six speakers, a 7-in. touch-screen, AM/FM, Scout GPS Link compatible with up to 3-year trial, Siri Eyes Free, Apple CarPlay & Amazon Alexa compatible, a USB media port (plus four additional USB charging ports on XLE and XLE Premium models), hands-free phone capability, advanced voice recognition and music streaming via Bluetooth wireless technology. Connected Services include Safety Connect with 3-year trial and Wi-Fi Connect Powered by Verizon with up to 2 GB within 6-month trial. Upgrades are added to the higher trims.
Discussing the Rav 4 Hybrid’s redesigned interior, Kelley Blue Book reviewers offer this praise: “The interior has gone above and far beyond what the previous RAV4 offered. It now has arguably the nicest-looking interiors in its class. The cabin looks and feels more upscale, with plenty of soft-touch materials on the dash and center armrest. The center stack is dominated by a crisp, bright 8-inch screen (7-inch on base LE models), which serves as the control center for audio, navigation, Apple CarPlay and available apps. If you prefer hard buttons to control these features, they are included on either side of the screen, with grippy volume and tuning knobs sit at the bottom. Temperature knobs, also with a patterned grip surround, flank the climate control buttons just below the air vents. Dual-zone climate control and rear seat vents are standard. Available two-tone SofTex seats give the RAV4 interior a touch of style without sacrificing durability, and the seats are comfortable, even on extended drives – but a passenger-side power seat isn’t available. There have been some changes to the interior dimensions; the front row is just a touch tighter, while rear-seat head- and legroom have increased and there’s more shoulder room in both rows. Thanks to the battery pack’s new design, cargo volume is expected to be comparable to that of the non-hybrid RAV4.”
The car’s Hybrid System is warrantied for 96 months / 100,000 miles.
Anyone looking for an SUV with electrifying good looks, a comfortable, refined new interior highly touted by reviewers, excellent performance, a long list of safety features and major fuel efficiency should check out the Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid. Its high marks in all categories make it a hard choice to beat.
Rewritten August 2019
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