Quick Take: 2019 Toyota RAV4


Not long ago, the Cartrast team got behind the wheel of the all-new-for-2019 Toyota RAV4. Our test vehicle was the Adventure version with torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive, matte-black 19-inch alloy wheels, unique roof rails, a higher ride height, more aggressive exterior design theme, and an available two-tone paint scheme. (The vehicle we drove had “Lunar Rock” exterior paint with an “Ice Edge”-painted roof.) In addition, our RAV4 Adventure had most of the available options, bringing navigation, heated and ventilated front seats, an 11-speaker JBL sound system, Intelligent Clearance SONAR for off-roading, a moonroof, and Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging.

All RAV4s come standard with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine putting out 203 horsepower mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. In the hills of Carmel Valley, the RAV4’s engine was adequate and could accelerate to speed sufficiently, though buyers looking for serious performance will not get it in the RAV4 Adventure. Handling was engaging and compliant in both the corners and on rough roads. Ride quality and comfort were excellent, the seats providing very good support and the suspension absorbing the bumps. The RAV4 is fuel-efficient, with our all-wheel-drive-equipped model rated at 25 miles per gallon in the city, 33 on the highway, and 28 combined.

At $40,263, the as-tested MSRP of our RAV4 Adventure nips on the base price of luxury compact crossovers. The interior of the test vehicle was draped in two-tone SofTex material with orange accents and stitching, providing a welcome contrast to the usual black, grey, or beige interiors. In addition, the controls and infotainment system were very intuitive, unlike other, more premium crossovers. On the whole, the RAV4 makes for a complete compact family crossover, supplying a trouble-free and efficient ownership experience with the ability to comfortably travel across harsh surfaces.