The history of the Toyota RAV4 began with a very peculiar model. Under the philosophy "Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-Wheel Drive", the brand created a small SUV with a lot of charisma, you could even disassemble the roof. Its next generations were diluting this rebel character in the form of a much more civilized SUV.
The 2019 model is a return to the original, in a sense. The fifth generation of the Toyota RAV4 reinvents itself with more personality than ever, following the path set by other recent releases of the Japanese firm (think TRD trims). Does the RAV4 Adventure have enough to succeed in the busy segment of compact SUVs? Let's find out.
The design of the new Toyota RAV4 is impressive. When facing it, the high position of the headlights and the size of the grill are striking. There is good height with respect to the floor and, in a way, the front reminds me of Toyota pick-ups, such as the Tacoma. No, it is no coincidence.
To inject character into this new generation, Toyota wants to emphasize the "r" of recreation in RAV4, and does so through a new version called Adventure , true to the prototype that shaped it — the FT-AC . Its off-road style is very well defined. It is reflected in unpainted plastic parts, 18-inch wheels and a very unique color palette, which includes the Blue Flame and Ice Edge roof color combo.
There are other versions with similar equipment and a more elegant appearance , with some chrome decorations and elements to the same tone of the body. In all cases there LED headlights as well as 17 or 18-inch wheels.
The Toyota RAV4 is not only more daring on the outside; The cabin also becomes more outgoing, particularly in this Adventure version, which makes it clear that Toyota wants to conquer - or reconquer - younger consumers, all through a peculiar combination of upholstery tones.
The Toyota RAV4 Adventure combines black plastic with white leather and orange pieces in specific areas , such as the cup holders, the decoration of the seats and some compartments to place objects, getting a vibrant and youthful cabin. If traditional colors are your thing, again, the rest of the versions offer more discreet upholstery.
Whichever version is chosen, the selection of materials in the RAV4 cabin is very successful and radically better than the model it replaces. Most plastics have a rubbery texture, the knobs offer a very nice touch and leather coverings enhance the feeling of quality. We like that even in the back doors - which are usually given little attention - pieces lined in light leather with contrast stitching are preserved.
In terms of space, it qualifies as outstanding. There is a good place to place feet, legs and head. Seating three adults might be tight inthe back seat, but this is , after all, a compact SUV. However, it still remains very competitive within its category. It has air conditioning outlets for the rear bench and two USB charging ports placed almost at floor level in the center console.
The emphasis this particular RAV4's design is reflected behind the wheel only if we talk about off-road capabilities, because in the day to day, its behavior is far from being sporty in favor of a highly comfortable driving . Every reaction is due to the softness and, in fact, its walk is so silky that at times it reminds me of Camry , with whom it shares a platform.
The soft suspension perfectly filters the irregularities of the road, although the high profile of the tires has a lot to do with it. Its behavior in curves tends to present body-roll with ease , which invites you not to go very fast when plotting them; At no time is the feeling of comfort lost, partly thanks to the chassis, but also due to the all-wheel drive system.
The AWD traction of the 2019 RAV4 - included in all versions, except LE and Hybrid - distributes power between the front and rear axles to ensure a good level of grip at all times; In the rear axle, in addition, the system can decide how much to send to the left or right wheel independently.
Its off-road character goes beyond offering four-wheel drive. Toyota included a system that adapts its reaction according to the surface through which we circulate: snow, mud, earth, sand or rocks . Account also with assistant of descent of slopes and electronic blockade of differential to leave better rid in earthworks of medium difficulty.
However, in dynamic terms, the person responsible for moving the RAV4 2019 is a 2.5-liter atmospheric engine , capable of generating 204 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is appropriate as long as you don't want to break any records; It is not slow, but it is not fast either. In fact, those who like agile driving will miss a more powerful option - beyond the hybrid version. With this engine, RAV4 meets, but does not thrill.
The set is operated through an eight-speed automatic transmission - and not a CVT box. Thank you, Toyota — well programmed to make changes smoothly and effectively according to the selected driving mode: Normal, Eco or Sport. During our test, we obtained a consumption of around 27 mpg, which is not bad for a vehicle of its size, its weight and with all-wheel drive.
The previous generation of the Toyota RAV4 was a very interesting SUV as a logical choice: it was spacious, spacious, reliable ... there was no sensible reason to say no. This new generation maintains the attributes of before, but presents them in a much more attractive format for the heart. It has sparkle in its design, charm inside and even off-road capability.
Wannabe 4-Runner-like attitude
Apple Car Play compatibility
Everyday usability and decent fuel economy
Lacking power and torque
Infotainment not compatible with Android Auto
Engine: 2.5L I4
Power: 204 hp
Torque: 185 lb-ft
Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic
Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Comb.): 25/33/28 MPG
Curb Weight: 3,615 lbs
Base Price: $25,500
Price as Tested: $39,900