Back in 1994, when Toyota rolled out this small SUV, no one had seen anything like it. That original RAV4 had four-wheel drive, higher ground clearance than a passenger car, a compact body and large tires. At the time, some people derided it as an ugly duckling. But it turned out to be a swan.
Today, small SUVs have emerged as the hottest commodity in the automotive marketplace, and RAV4 continues to lead the way. U.S. customers bought more than 400,000 of them in 2017, surpassing the Camry as the best-selling non-pickup truck in the country.
Rather than simply ride that wave, Toyota has once again set out to create a new one, starting with the global debut of the fifth-generation RAV4 at the New York International Auto Show. The best RAV4 yet is arriving exactly when demand for such vehicles is at its highest.
Talk about perfect timing.
“Over RAV4’s life, we’ve listened to our customers and to our dealers and focused on what we do best,” says Jack Hollis, group vice president and general manager of the Toyota Division. “We honed. We improved. And it has worked.”
The Benefits of TNGA
To keep that momentum going, the 2019 RAV4 takes full advantage of the Toyota New Global Architecture’s (TNGA) K platform with multi-link rear suspension. Compared with the current iteration, the new RAV4 has shorter overhangs, a longer wheelbase and a sleeker silhouette. Its unibody is 57 percent more rigid. Its platform is wider and has a lower center of gravity, all of which contribute to a more engaging driving experience. Yet it has more than half an inch more of ground clearance compared to its predecessor, boosting its off-road credentials.
XSE Hybrid is an all-new hybrid grade that makes its debut on the 2019 RAV4. It is the no-compromise maximum blend of sport and utility. RAV4 XSE Hybrid comes standard with a black roof and wheels as well as a sport-tuned suspension. And, it will boast the fastest 0-60 mph time across the RAV4 lineup.
So Many First-Time Features
There’s more. Much more.
For example, the all-new RAV4 will be the first Toyota vehicle to offer a new Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect. It can send 50 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels and distribute it left or right as needed to improve handing. When extra traction isn’t needed – such as when cruising down the highway – the driveshaft disconnect will help optimize fuel economy.
Inside, RAV4’s open cabin has been crafted around the theme of refinement, as evidenced by higher-quality materials and impressive layouts. That will be especially true at the top of the model line, with such available features as panoramic moonroof, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.
Infotainment technology is also seamlessly integrated, with available Qi wireless smartphone charging, up to five USB ports and a newly designed 7-inch Multi-Information Display — not to mention standard Entune 3.0 with Wi-Fi Connect Powered by Verizon, Apple CarPlay, and Amazon Alexa connectivity.
Oh, and every 2019 RAV4 will come standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, a bundle of active safety technologies designed to help protect you and your passengers from harm.
Look for this all-new RAV4 to go on sale toward the end of the year.