Updated: Jul 6, 2021
By Woodie Lesesne
We had a blast with the team from Toyota in downtown Ft. Lauderdale on a glorious day. After a brief presentation, we went outside to see what we would be test driving, and we were stunned at the new styling of the RAV4. The fully redesigned 2019 Toyota RAV4 boasts a large cargo hold, a fuel-efficient engine, and plenty of driver assistance features. That’s partly why it finishes in the top third of our compact SUV rankings.
After leaving the host hotel, we cruised down Las Olas, through the neighborhoods, and to the beach and back.
The 2019 RAV4 gets a 2.5-liter engine that produces 203 horsepower, which is 27 hp more than last year’s model. And it’s not just more powerful, it’s more efficient, too. The new engine, plus a new eight-speed automatic transmission and a lighter curb weight compared to last year, help the new RAV4 get an EPA-estimated 30 mpg combined (26 city/35 highway), which makes it one of the most fuel-efficient crossovers available.
The 2019 RAV4 is available in five trim levels: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure and Limited. Every trim level comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (203 horsepower, 184 pound-feet of torque) and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on all trim levels aside from the Adventure, which gets all-wheel drive. Otherwise, all-wheel drive is optional. If you opt for all-wheel drive, the LE and the XLE get RAV4’s standard AWD system. The Adventure and the Limited have an upgraded system with a torque-vectoring feature that can shift power distribution between the rear wheels to enhance traction when driving on dirt or snowy roads.