It’s no secret that at the moment, the world loves SUVs. Similar to my recent Chevy Suburban review, we will be looking at the cornerstone of the midsized SUV category: The Toyota RAV4. Instead of looking back however, we will look at the 2019 model and see how one of the oldest nameplates in the game has stood the test of time.
The 2019 Toyota Rav4 has a 2.5L inline four cylinder and 8 speed automatic transmission. I was surprised at the lack of an optional V6, since it had been offered in the past, but Toyota has focused on fuel consumption over the ability to pass on the highway. That being said, the 2.5L is not sluggish by any definition of the word. I still wouldn’t call it fast, but I was pleasantly surprised. The 8 speed transmission isn’t obnoxious, which was another worry of mine before I drove the Rav4. I worried that with 8 different gears, the transmission would be shifting gears every second of the drive: this is not the case. The Rav 4 is so smooth I didn’t even notice when it did shift. The last thing about the drivetrain that I liked was the new all-wheel drive options. Eco, normal, and sport mode are nothing new; but snow, sand, and rock mode are. These are all different settings for the Rav4 and offer settings for anything you might throw at the car. This really adds to the capabilities of the Rav4.
The interior was up to par, but there wasn’t a particular feature that blew me away. There is a large display in the center of the car, and the buttons to control it are within reach of the driver and easy to use. My biggest take-away from the interior was the overall quality. Rav4’s in the past have been budget SUVs and they felt like it. The new Rav4 no longer feels like it’s price tag, it feels like it costs more than it does. The road noise is low, which also adds to the feeling of luxury. If you want your cheap car to feel more expensive than it is: add some sound deadening.
Overall I’m really impressed with the re-designed Toyota Rav4. It drives great, has very usable features, and feels more expensive than its actual price tag. If you’re looking for a new mid-sized SUV, take a look at one of the names that help define the category.