When it went on sale for the first time in 1994, the Toyota RAV4 effectively became the genesis for the compact crossover SUV. Sales of the RAV4 really picked up as the market became warmer for crossovers. In the years to follow and with Toyota constantly improving it, the RAV4 soon had a huge audience. Today, the all-new fifth-generation model is officially available in the Middle East. With this update, Toyota has made some significant cosmetic and mechanical alterations to the RAV4.
But before we discuss the styling, let’s get the pricing out of the way: the base GX trim of the 2019 RAV4 starts at AED 99,000, while the mid-option GXR and fully-loaded Adventure variants retail for AED 119,900 and AED 129,900, respectively. Finally, there’s also the RAV4 VXR HEV, which is the most expensive and costs AED 139,900. Compared to the previous-gen model, the new RAV4’s design is far more compelling as a tough, urban crossover SUV.
The front features a flat bonnet, sweptback headlamps, unique grille design, sculpted bumper with deep-set fog lamps, loads of black plastic cladding and a faux skid plate. The chiselled side profile gets stylish 17-inch alloy wheels, squared-off wheel arches, vividly flared fenders, and even more black protective plastic all around. The rear of the 2019 RAV4 looks sharp with its 3D-design LED tail lamps, protruding roof-mounted spoiler, sculpted tailgate and a beefed-up bumper, underlined by twin exhausts.
The snazzier Adventure trim sports a meaner, more aggressive look. Its elevated ‘off-road’ appeal comes from its remoulded bumpers, restyled front grille, different alloy design for the wheels, and larger roof rails. Being the top variant of the petrol-powered new RAV4, the Adventure trim also features 19-inch wheels, a power tailgate, panoramic sunroof, leather seats, 7-inch colour multi-information display, power-operated driver’s seat, wireless smartphone charger, and Down Hill Assist Control (DAC). However, all variants come with keyless-entry with push-button start, automatic LED headlamps, fog lamps, dual-zone climate control, electronic handbrake with auto hold, drive mode selector, cruise control, all-round parking sensors, touch-infotainments system, and Bluetooth audio with hands-free telephony among others.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4’s interior has also been thoroughly revamped and made up-to-date. The design is positively modern, and the textures and finish have been brought up to speed as well. Build quality was never an issue, but even that has been improved along with the overall fit-and-finish. The new RAV4’s five seats offer plenty of head, shoulder, and knee and leg room. The Japanese automaker has certainly made this cabin feel far premium and upscale over some its rivals, but especially in comparison to the previous avatar.
Doing duty under the bonnet of the regular models of the 2019 RAV4 is a 2.5-litre four-cylinder motor. This naturally-aspirated unit sports dual variable-valve timing and dual overhead cams, generating 203hp and 242Nm of torque. It employs a new 8-speed automatic, replacing the older 6-speed unit, and can send power to all four wheels via a permanent all-wheel drive system (except in the base variant). Fuel economy for the petrol models vary between 6.4 L/100 km (for the base FWD trim) to 6.7 L/100 km (for the AWD variants).
However, if fuel economy is on top of your list, then the RAV4 HEV is worth looking at. It comes equipped with the same 2.5-litre mill as the regular models, but is now assisted by two electric motors – one on each axle. So, now you get a combined system output of 221hp and an electronically-controlled CVT gearbox. Despite producing more horsepower than the petrol-only RAV4s, this hybrid variant is rated at a stellar 4.5 L/100 km. The 2019 Toyota RAV4 offers vital safety gizmos such as seven airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), ISOFIX anchors, and a reversing camera.