The 2019 Toyota Rav4 Price and Review
The XLE is an undeniable bargain, coming in under $30,000 and presenting a full roster of safety features, but we’d try and swing the XSE if we could. That move is the biggest price jump between trim levels, but you get a full spectrum of upgrades. From luxuries such as improved interior trim and power driver seat, to technology such as the 8-inch infotainment screen and 7-inch driver information display, to practicalities including a power liftgate and added interior ambient lighting, the XSE is pretty loaded for a reasonable price.
If you live somewhere cold, you’ll want the Weather Prep package with its heated steering wheel and de-icer function for the windshield wipers.
Toyota totally redesigned the RAV4 for 2019, giving it not only more technology and better dynamics but added personality. You might even be excused for thinking it had — wait for it — a little bit of attitude. For the new RAV4 Hybrid model, you get all that plus more power and a lot more efficiency.
EPA-estimated fuel economy is up to 39 mpg combined this year, which is a 6 mpg improvement over the 2018 model. The battery-assisted powertrain now produces 219 horsepower, making this the most powerful RAV4 since the V6 engine was discontinued in 2012.
Inside, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is comfortable and roomy. The controls are easy to find, and the cabin design has more visual appeal than the outgoing model. Apple CarPlay comes standard on every RAV4. Toyota’s Safety Sense Suite 2.0 is also standard and includes adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and forward collision mitigation with automatic braking. Blind-spot monitoring is equipped on all but the base trim. On many competitive SUVs, you have to upgrade to the more expensive trim levels to get these safety features.
Nor are those competitive SUVs actually all that competitive. No other small two-row SUV gives you this much efficiency, utility and power. The Mazda CX-5 has a nicer cabin and offers a more engaging driving experience, but there’s no hybrid option. And while the Honda CR-V is a great all-rounder, there’s no official word yet on when a hybrid model will arrive in the United States.
Alternative-fuel fans might look to the diesel Chevrolet Equinox, which drives well and is relatively efficient, but the diesel is only available in pricier trim levels. You might also consider the Kia Niro or, if you have a place to plug in, the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. However, the Subaru is very pricey for only small efficiency gains, and the Niro — while very efficient — is overall less appealing than the RAV4. Both also offer significantly less passenger and cargo space.
Toyota has this particular market cornered for the moment. It’s almost a bonus that the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid would still be worth considering even if it weren’t in a class by itself.
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid configurations
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a slightly different trim-level setup from the standard model. Gone is the toughened-up Adventure trim. Instead, the Hybrid follows a pretty standard progression from the well-equipped base LE model through the XLE and the XSE and then to the range-topping Limited.
All RAV4 Hybrid models come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired to an electric motor with a continuously variable automatic transmission. And an additional electric motor is used to power the rear wheels in low-traction situations. Total system output is 219 horsepower.
Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is standard on all RAV4 Hybrid models and includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, auto high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control.
The base LE trim comes relatively well equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, a rearview camera, LED headlights and daytime running lights, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seats with adjustable recline, and dual-zone climate control.
Infotainment is handled by a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration (Android Auto isn’t available), Toyota Connected Services (includes onboard Wi-Fi), Bluetooth, one USB port, and a six-speaker sound system.
The XLE trim adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, automatic headlights, integrated foglights, proximity entry with push-button start, a sunroof, upgraded fabric upholstery, sliding sun visor extensions, and additional USB ports (five total, including two for the rear seats).
Options for the XLE include the Weather package, which adds a heated leather-trimmed steering wheel and automatic wipers with a de-icer function. The XLE Convenience package equips a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats and a power liftgate. An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with satellite radio can also be added to the XLE.
Moving up to the XSE gets you the 8-inch touchscreen system and the contents of the Convenience package. You also get black-painted 18-inch wheels, two-tone exterior paint, simulated-leather upholstery (SofTex), upgraded interior trim materials, a digital speedometer, a 7-inch digital driver-information display, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera, and additional interior ambient lighting.
Optional for the XLE and the XSE is a Technology package with front and rear parking sensors, automatic rear cross-traffic braking, an auto-dimming rearview mirror (XLE), and a wireless charging pad (XSE only).
At the top of the range is the Limited. It arrives with 18-inch chrome-finished wheels, the parking sensors and automatic rear cross-traffic braking, an integrated navigation system, and two-position memory for the driver’s seat.
But wait, there’s more! The Limited Grade Weather package adds a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear passenger seats, and the de-icing and automatic wipers. You can also get the Limited Grade Advanced Technology package with proximity-entry sensors on all four doors, foot activation for the power liftgate, the wireless charging pad, and a surround-view parking camera system.
Finally, the XSE and the Limited can be upgraded with an 11-speaker JBL stereo system (bundled with navigation for XSE) and a panoramic sunroof. Adaptive headlights are available as a stand-alone option for the Limited.
The Hybrid’s added low-end torque makes a big difference in city driving, causing the vehicle to feel punchier than the standard gas-only version. The RAV4 goes around turns without issue, but the experience will likely be underwhelming for drivers who want some thrills.
Depending on the trim level you select (and the size of the wheels you opt for), the RAV4 can definitely be a comfortable road-trip car, especially for the driver. But front passenger comfort may suffer over long trips because of the firm, manually adjustable seats.
The RAV4 Hybrid has one of the most spacious cabins in the segment — drivers and adult passengers should have plenty of room. Depending on trim level, there are some nice soft-touch surfaces to be had, giving this relatively inexpensive crossover an upscale feel.
With 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, the RAV4 Hybrid has the same capacity as the regular RAV4. It also happens to be one of the largest cargo areas in the segment. Clever small-item storage gives the driver and passengers several places to stow items such as smartphones, and the center console is adequate for larger necessities.
Even the base LE now comes with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system and Apple CarPlay — the latter is a big improvement for this small Toyota SUV. The Entune app ecosystem can be a hassle to set up, and Android Auto isn’t available at all.