Review: 2019 Toyota RAV4 banner

Review: 2019 Toyota RAV4

Posted in Vehicle Reviews

Review: 2019 Toyota RAV4


  • Class leading safety features
  • Hybrid option across the range
  • Flashy looks


  • Top of the line Edge only available with 2.5L Petrol
  • No option for full size spare
  • Base model only has one USB port

As Toyota's first hybrid SUV the all-new RAV4 is a milestone. It's powerful and fuel efficient. The sharp edged design modern and stylish. And it comes with all the possible safety features. We explored the Cruiser to get all its insights.​

It’s a funny abbreviation actually ‘Recreational Activity Vehicle: 4-wheel drive’, but that’s what RAV4 stands for. According to Toyota the car is meant to recapture your sense of adventure and though you won’t take it the same places a Prado or LandCruiser would go, it’s definitely capable to get you to some secluded place at the end of a dirt road or through some bushy scrubs. And with the new hybrid technology the RAV4 allows you to do this with improved fuel economy


The fifth-generation of the Toyota RAV4 is definitely refreshing. At first glance you’ll spot the sharp lines and aggressive, bold stance. Everything seems to have grown on this all-new RAV4, yet it’s 5mm shorter and 25mm lower, which is due to the new design. It’s wider than its predecessor though, which is noticeable inside. It’s roomier, with more head and leg space without growing out of proportions. The cargo area (580L) has enough space to take the whole family for a road trip and when you fold the rear seats you can also take it for an IKEA-trip without a problem. Within the crowded world of SUVs the RAV4 stands out because of its hybrid technology, but its macho looks and driving characteristics shouldn’t be given a second spot. They’re definitely a major selling point for this pioneer of their segment. 

Toyota RAV4 GX
Toyota RAV4 Cruiser Hybrid


Because the Cruiser we’re driving is making use of a hybrid drivetrain, you immediately notice the punch when accelerating. No lag whatsoever – direct and instant electric power. In fact, 6 of the 11 models in the new line-up are petrol-electric versions with better fuel economy than the now-discontinued diesel. And more power with a combined 163kW plus an additional on-demand 40kW/121Nm from the electric motor.

Our AWD version feels sturdy at any speed and handles almost identical to the new Corolla – like an SUV with the driving characteristics of a hatchback. It’s sharp through the corners as well, showing little overhang and tight steering. We didn’t get to try the 1,500kg towing capacity, but trust that even with a load the RAV4 will get off the line quickly enough. And because it’s fitted with seven airbags and the full suite of Toyota Safety Sense, including autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control that maintains a gap to the car ahead, lane departure warning, blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert for shopping centre car parks, speed-sign recognition and a rear-view camera there is little to worry about in regards to safety.


It’s surprising how easy it is to get in and out of the all-new RAV4. It’s got a slightly taller seating position, but especially when getting the bub in its seat you’ll notice how this helps. Supposedly the same goes for anybody who cannot bend their knees as far anymore. Once inside you’ll notice the ample storage – 4 cup holders, 4 bottle holders, small pockets in the centre console, a small shelf for the front passenger and map pockets for the rear passengers.

It shows that Toyota has thought of the RAV4 as a true family vehicle, which shows in the amount of creature comforts. 5 USB ports and wireless charging for the mobile phone generation, a 7-inch multi-information display that supports Siri Eyes Free and Google Assistant (and will receive Apple CarPlay and Android Auto later this year for free) and a smart entry and start system. Not unimportant either is the fact that the electric seats are comfortable – heated and cooled in our Cruiser – and give ample support. The fit and finish in the RAV4 is of high quality, putting it on par with some luxury rivals.


With the all-new RAV4 being available in four different trim levels, either 2WD or AWD and a choice of three different drivetrains, the prices obviously vary. At the moment the base model GX with the 2.0-litre petrol and automatic transmission ($2000 over the manual option) starts around mid-$30k. For any hybrid model you can add $3000 to the price.

The same model with AWD sits around the $40k mark: it’s $5000 more to have all wheels powered. The Cruiser model we drove – AWD with 2.5-litre hybrid – comes close to $50k, where the top-of-the-line Edge (only available in AWD and with the 2.5-litre petrol) just tips over the $50k mark and comes with an 8-speed automatic instead of the CVT.

All models have service intervals of 15,000km/12 months, capped price servicing for the first five routine services and come with a minimum five-year unlimited kilometre warranty that gets an additional 2 years of engine protection when serviced annually. The hybrid battery even gets up to 10 years as long as you undertake the scheduled inspections. And if you buy a new RAV4 and register for MyToyota, not only can you start saving on fuel and will be getting exclusive rewards as you go, you'll also get a special reward: $500 Fuel Ecard from any participating Caltex Service Station, $500 of Toyota Genuine Accessories or 5 years of Toyota Roadside Assist Plus. Activating your offer is easy: Login or register to myToyota, head to the Rewards section and select the All-New RAV4 offer and let us know which one you'd prefer. Show us your confirmation email and purchase the All-New RAV4 to receive your reward.


The latest generation RAV4 Hybrid is the best new vehicle available on the Australian market, according to judges of the prestigious Drive Car of the Year Awards. The hybrid RAV4 - also named the best mid-size SUV - won the Drive award ahead of 19 other category winners, three of which were also Toyota vehicles. Drive editor Trent Nikolic said Toyota's RAV4 had moved the game forward significantly in a segment that attracted the biggest number of new-vehicle buyers. "Medium SUVs show no signs of losing popularity and the RAV4 is the best of the current crop," Mr Nikolic said. "Always a strong performer, the redesign, and especially the hybrid drivetrain, put the RAV4 right at the pointy end of the field," he said.


There is no doubt the new Toyota RAV4 will once again be a best-seller. Not only is the new RAV4 better looking, it also drives sportier than its predecessor, and has been fitted with the latest features. The safety technology that comes standard across the range shows that Toyota is forward thinking; the same goes for their hybrid technology. Saving money on fuel while providing a smoother ride and helping the environment are good reason to opt it in. Add the wonderfully smooth automatic and the package is complete. The RAV4 works in every grade level with any upgrade making the investment worthwhile. No matter what you choose, make sure to get it in a flashy colour like Silver Sky, Eclectic Blue or the sparkling Crystal Pearl. Brighten up the day while driving down the street and being kind to the environment.

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