The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid continues Toyota’s tradition of new and innovative hybrid products. The completely redesigned RAV4 Hybrid gets more technology, more power and significantly better mileage than the previous version.
And kudos to Toyota for putting the company’s Safety Sense Suite 2.0 in every 2019 RAV4 Hybrid. That means every RAV4 Hybrid driver will have forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist and automatic high beams, all features that some competitors have as optional equipment.
The federal government gives the new RAV4 Hybrid 5 overall stars in crash tests, and the insurance industry gives it a top score of “good” in every crash test category. The only ding from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was for headlights, which scored “marginal.”
Fuel economy in the new RAV4 Hybrid is excellent at 40 miles per gallon in combined city/highway driving. Like most hybrids, the RAV4 Hybrid gets better mileage in the city than on the highway.
The front end of the new RAV4 Hybrid is chiseled and cut, helping to give the vehicle an athletic stance. During my test week, the RAV4 Hybrid delivered the goods when it came to comfort, technology and fuel economy.
Hybrid RAV4s come in the base LE, XLE, XSE and Limited trims. I drove the XSE with AWD, and it’s the one I’d recommend if your budget can afford it. The test 2019 RAV4 Hybrid with AWD started at $33,700 and wound up at $38,214 with options and freight.
The RAV4 Hybrid is outfitted with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor that delivers a combined 219 horsepower. The transmission is automatic and continuously variable. The RAV4 Hybrid has more power than the previous version, and the 219 horses are enough to run with the big rigs out on the Interstate. The driving experience isn’t what you’d call thrilling, but this hybrid SUV has some pretty decent punch because of the instant torque from the electric motor. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s got enough pickup to make it, yep, “fun to drive.”
Inside, the 181-inch long RAV4 Hybrid is roomy and comfortable with firm, bolstered seats. Headroom in both the front and rear seats is a generous 39.5 inches (37.7 inches with the moonroof), which was fine for my 6-foot-1 frame. In Row 2, legroom is 37.8 inches. Cargo volume is also generous in the new RAV4 Hybrid at 37.6 cubic feet behind the second row.
Toyota puts significant technology in the RAV4 Hybrid; even the base trim has a 7-inch touchscreen with infotainment that supports Apple CarPlay but not Android Auto. My XSE trim had an upgraded 8-inch touchscreen as well as a 7-inch driver-information display. It also had upgraded Entune 3.0 Premium Audio with dynamic navigation and 11 JBL Audio speakers.
The touchscreen sits up high on the dash, allowing the driver to spend less time looking for vehicle information. An electric parking brake is on the center console, as is a knob for the driver to select ECO or SPORT driving settings. There are USB and 12v ports conveniently located at the bottom of the center stack.
Visibility in the RAV4 Hybrid is really good, thanks to a relatively thin A pillar. The panoramic sunroof lets the sunshine in on front seat passengers, and backseat passengers get some love too because the powered sunroof stretches all the way back over Row 2.
On the road, the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid handled well with precise steering and good braking. There was just a hint of body roll in hard corners, but otherwise the RAV4 Hybrid had excellent road manners and felt planted on the pavement. I’m not a huge fan of CVT transmissions, but the one in the RAV4 Hybrid helps significantly with fuel economy.
If you’re shopping for a hybrid, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is an economical, roomy and safe family hauler that deserves to be on your test-drive list.
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE
Engine: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder & electric motor
Horsepower: 219 net horsepower
Transmission: Continuously Variable automatic
Price: $33,700 ($38,214 w/options & freight)
EPA Mileage Estimates: 41 mpg city/38 mpg highway/40 mpg combined
Estimated Highway Range: 580 miles