2019 Toyota RAV4 - The Future of Popular SUV

The Toyota RAV4 was perhaps the pioneer of the SUV movement, all the way back in 1994, or in the case of America, 1995.

RAV4 - Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-Wheel Drive is now somewhat of a misnomer – depending on the market, it is only available in two-wheel drive, but everyone knows the RAV4 brand.
Since 2006, Toyota have offered the RAV4 in both short and long wheelbase versions, although here in the U.S., we only get the longer version.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Rumors and Myths

There’s plenty of rumor and speculation regarding the 2019 Toyota RAV4, but very little fact available; Toyota haven’t released much information surrounding the release of the new RAV4, but we’ve spoken to a number of industry sources to try and identify what is or isn’t true.

First up, we know that the Toyota RAV4 had a large update recently, so it’s doubtful that we’ll see anything significant for the next couple of model years, we think that the 2019 Toyota RAV4 will change that – significant updates will be the order of the day.

Carbon Fiber?

We do know that the RAV4 is going to lose some weight, this will come mainly from the adoption of the TNGA modular platform being used. Rumors say that the platform will be constructed from aluminum and carbon fiber materials – we can totally understand the aluminum rumor, but it is very doubtful that carbon fiber will make up the rest of the chassis – even today, it’s too expensive to be used in a vehicle that sits in the sub $35,000 bracket, and despite its many great qualities, manufacturing complex parts easily isn’t one of them.

2019 Toyota RAV4 New Engine

We’ve also been told that a new engine is on the way. Whether that turns out to be true or not, only time will tell. So far, we have heard a few different rumors regarding the powertrain, we are fairly certain that the engine coming to the U.S. will be a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder gas engine with a turbo charger fitted. It should be good for 235 BHP and will be mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission or a brand new CVT style transmission. A manual option won’t be listed.

It's possible that other markets will get a 1.5 liter with about 180 BHP (so that would also be turbo charged) and it would make sense for Toyota to deliver a hybrid at the same time. If the hybrid happens, it could be based on the 2.0 liter engine or may even be a new 2.5 liter inline four coupled to a single electric motor.

It’s said that overall fuel efficiency should be increased by as much as 15% - that’s the updated engine and lighter weight.

Bigger Size

Although the 2019 Toyota RAV4 will be lighter than the current model, we believe that it is going to grow very slightly as well – more leg room is going to be a priority for the 2019 model, as is an increase in cargo carrying. It will also be capable of towing a heavier payload.

Even if the updates are mainly mechanical, without too much influence in the styling department, you can guarantee that the regular (and easy choices) get updated to give the 2019 Toyota RAV4 an updated look – without doubt, the grille, bumpers, fenders and possibly hood will be redesigned – if it’s a new model year, Toyota (as with every other manufacturer) will want to capitalize on that.

Safety First

Toyota already load their vehicles with excellent safety equipment, what we don’t yet know is what will come as standard and what will be offered on the higher trim levels or as options on a new build.

Expect to see the Toyota Sense-P on all but the base model, this includes forward collision warning with auto emergency braking, lane departure with lane keeping assist, automatic high beam headlamps and what Toyota call ‘flexible trip management’. No, we don’t know what that is either.

Other equipment will include a full 360o camera system, parking assist, rear cross traffic alert and the usual forms of smartphone integration with Bluetooth. No word yet on whether Apple CarPlay or Android Auto will be fitted. For our money, it would be a mistake not to include this functionality.

Price Range

Toyota haven’t said where the price will be, but we think that the 2019 Toyota RAV4 will start just under $28,000 and go on to about $35,000 for the fully loaded flag ship model – the current model starts at under $25,000; add in a little inflation and some extra for the updates and we think that $27,750 would be about right.

The 2019 RAV4 is expected to arrive in the showrooms in the later part of 2018, perhaps as late as September, just in time for the 2019 Model Year.

2017-03-24 by Luke Widmeyer