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2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Overview
While the Toyota RAV4 has enjoyed a 25-year tenure on the market, it did not introduce a hybrid variant until its 2013 redesign. For 2019, the entire RAV4 line introduces a new generation, including the RAV4 Hybrid.
The RAV4 Hybrid’s new exterior goes from mildly-interesting to bold, with chiseled lines and creases that all add up to a cohesive, origami-like form. It’s a look that’s consistent with many of Toyota’s newest wares. Measurements are ever so slightly more flattering than the outgoing model, too: it’s shorter in height and length with smaller overhangs, but wheelbase and width have grown incrementally. The characteristic RAV4 rugged cladding is still there; it’s just arranged in new and interesting ways. This time, the RAV4 Hybrid goes out on its own, though, with a wholly-unique and sportier front clip versus the non-hybrid version.
Inside, the RAV4 Hybrid is a nod to the classic SUV with a high and vertical dashboard and plenty of geometric, trapezoidal shapes that echo the exterior. One complaint about the outgoing RAV4 as a whole was that its interior felt sub-par for the class, but Toyota appears to have addressed that with plenty of interesting materials and colors that look downright luxurious in upper trims. There are also features like an electronic parking brake, and a large instrument panel LCD. As before, the RAV4 Hybrid has room for five occupants, and preserves the 60/40 split-folding rear seat.
Three of the RAV4 Hybrid’s trims, LE, XLE and SE, return, each progressively nicer than the last. But for 2019, Toyota introduces a fourth XSE grade. Situated at the top of the hybrid lineup, it’s the sportiest incarnation of the RAV4 Hybrid and the RAV4 as a whole. It gets a striking two-tone exterior paint scheme as standard, a gloss black roof with pearl white, gray or blue body colors, gloss black exterior accents throughout and unique blue accents on the interior.
Beside that, every RAV4 Hybrid comes with Toyota’s Entune 3.0 system, featuring a 7-inch touchscreen and as many as five USB ports. Entune 3.0 bundles Wi-Fi hotspot capability through Verizon, and Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa integration. Entune 3.0 Audio Plus tacks on a premium sound system and an 8-inch touchscreen. And Entune 3.0 Premium Audio brings Internet-enabled navigation to the driver’s fingertips. Some of the RAV4’s Hybrid’s other options include a panoramic sunroof, a Qi wireless charger, a hands-free power liftgate, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and projector-beam LED headlights.
The RAV4 Hybrid is the performance-oriented variant of the RAV4 line. To that end it gets Toyota’s THS II powertrain, consisting of a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine and a continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT), plus an electric motor, all of which adds up to more power and efficiency than the non-hybrid RAV4. By default, the RAV4 Hybrid is front-wheel drive (FWD), but Toyota offers its All-Wheel Drive with Intelligence (AWD-i) system as an extra-cost option. AWD-i adds a rear-mounted electric motor to power the rear wheels, and the ability to dial in the exact torque split between the front and rear axles based on driving conditions. Up to 30% more torque can be sent to the rear wheels with the latest AWD-i system, versus the previous one. XSE gets further performance enhancements with a sport-tuned suspension and added power. Toyota has not released performance or fuel-economy figures for the RAV4 Hybrid at the time of this writing.
In terms of safety, the comprehensive Toyota Safety System 2.0 (TSS 2.0) suite of technologies comes as standard equipment on the RAV4 Hybrid. It bundles a reversing camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control that operates at speeds between 0 and 110 mph, lane departure warning, lane tracing assist, automatic high beams, and traffic sign recognition. From there, the RAV4 Hybrid adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a surround-view camera system, and rear cross-traffic braking.
The new RAV4 Hybrid benefits greatly from the newest generation of the model, while also stepping out from behind the gas model’s shadow with unique looks and a premium driving experience. Look for Toyota to release performance and efficiency figures later this year, followed by an early-2019 rollout of the model itself.
Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.
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Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Questions
2019 Rav4 Hybrid - High Pitch Noise
Is it normal for the Hybrid to make this high pitched noise (I say it sounds like angels singing) when in reverse?
RAV4 Hybrid Noise
I can’t believe so many people are upset about the backup noise. I think if they reduced the volume it would be better, but I love the RAV4 and I won’t let one small think ruin it for me. I’m waiti...
2019 RAV4 Hybrid Advertised ~550+ Mile Range, But Not True For Mine?
I bought a 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid a couple months ago. I like it for the most part, but one of the primary reasons I bought it was for the advertised ~550 mile range. However, every time I’ve put...
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Vent Noise
My 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid randomly makes a fluttering noise that is coming from the hybrid vent located under the rear passenger seat. It stops when you open the rear passenger door. It happens whe...
Rav4 Hybrid Noise When In Reverse
I was told that the noise while in reverse is to warn pedestrians you are backing out of a space. The noise is very annoying and embarrassing. If someone disconnects the sound are they taking a ri...
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