The 2019 Toyota RAV4 represents a bold new direction for what has been the bestselling SUV in America. With characterful styling, best-in-class power and an ulta-efficient Hybrid model, it stands above top rivals in key areas, while at least matching their quality, safety and tech offerings. It's not quite as spacious any more, but few would deem it cramped. It also continues to benefit from Toyota's strong reliability, resale value and included scheduled maintenance program. Really, anyone shopping for a compact crossover would be wise to consider the 2019 RAV4. What's new for 2019? Everything about the RAV4 is new for 2019. The styling is blockier and more SUV-like, while the ground clearance has been raised. Certain trim levels, including the RAV4 Adventure, also get special off-roading drive modes and a more sophisticated all-wheel drive system. Importantly, driving dynamics have been sharpened for 2019 on every RAV4, the powertrains seriously upgraded for both the base gas engine and the more efficient RAV4 Hybrid, and the interior made more attractive and functional. Cargo capacity is a bit down, however, as is headroom. %Slideshow-984968% What's the interior and in-car technology like? Interior materials and finishes are good for the RAV4's compact crossover class, and much better than past versions of the vehicle. Genuine leather is not available, and the SofTex vinyl that comes on up-level models isn't a convincing substitute. Frankly, the RAV4 never achieves the near-luxury vibe that a Honda CR-V or Mazda CX-5 can. Still, we like the colorful trim pieces in certain trim levels, while there are plenty of niceties like ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a panoramic sunroof and soft-touch materials covering the dash and doors. All RAV4's but the base LE get a large, 8-inch touchscreen placed high atop the dash, which makes it easy to see and reach (even if it isn't the best system to use). We appreciate that Toyota has included physical knobs and menu buttons to support this screen as it contributes to the system's overall functionality (but it would be nice if some were bigger). Apple CarPlay is also standard, but Android Auto is not available. We also had trouble charging our phone with the available wireless charging pad. In-car storage is improved over the previous RAV4, and although it doesn't have the uber-practical center console cubbies of the Honda CR-V, there's still a grippy place to store/charge your phone (in theory), large cupholders, a sizable under-armrest bin, and shelves built into the dash. How big is the RAV4? The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is a bit bigger in a few dimensions compared to its predecessor, but in general, it's less spacious and ultimately practical than before, or in comparison to uber-sensible rivals like the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester. The roof is lower and passengers both in front and in the back may find things a little confining (especially with the optional sunroof). Rear seat legroom is basically mid-pack, but full-sized adults and rear-facing child seats should still fit comfortably enough. …
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|MPG||26 City / 35 Hwy|
|Transmission||8-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||203 @ 6600 rpm|
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