For its fifth generation, Avalon received an all-encompassing makeover by Toyota’s U.S.-based design, engineering, and manufacturing entities at Calty Design Research Inc. (Calty) in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Toyota Motor North America Research and Development (TMNA R&D) in Saline, Michigan; and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK) in Georgetown, Kentucky, respectively. Spearheaded by Chief Engineer, Randy Stephens, and Calty President, Kevin Hunter, the brain trust masterminded an Avalon that represents multilateral progressiveness – for itself, its diverse group of drivers, and, for Toyota.
The teams minded two keywords throughout their development paradigm: Authenticity and Exhilaration. Both were applied in every area of Avalon’s sophisticated essence, and throughout the four available grades: the athletic XSE (all-new) and Touring, as well as the more opulent XLE and Limited. HV grades include XLE, Limited, and XSE.
The original Toyota RAV4 arrived in the United States 22 years ago, casting the mold for a whole new industry segment, which evolved into the compact crossover SUV.
With the all-new, fifth-generation 2019 Toyota RAV4, the vehicle premieres, yet again, at the forefront – both for the Toyota brand and for the segment. Dealership arrivals can’t come soon enough, with 2019 RAV4 gas models set to arrive next month, and RAV4 Hybrid models following in late March 2019.
The first RAV4 was a true game-changer, but no one knew at the time just how big of a market shift it would create. Much has changed in the two decades since then. Compact crossover SUVs have grown in actual size, and segment growth shows no signs of abating. RAV4 is the currently the best-selling vehicle in its class, doubling volume over the last five years to sales of nearly 408,000 in the U.S. in 2017. That makes RAV4 Toyota’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S., and the best-selling non-pickup truck in the country.
The 2019 RAV4 is, in essence, disrupting the segment it created. It is bringing more sport and more utility back while enhancing the agile handling, everyday comfort and exemplary fuel efficiency that made RAV4 the segment leader it is now. All told, the 2019 RAV4 is designed to tackle urban, suburban and great outdoor adventures with equal aplomb. The look is tougher, and there’s greater capability with a new type of all-wheel drive, yet the ride is smoother and quieter, with new comfort touches inside.
New RAV4 powertrains increase performance while reducing fuel consumption. Second-generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS 2.0) comes standard, and Entune multimedia is more comprehensive and versatile than ever.
RAV4, the compact crossover SUV trend-setter, is poised to, once again, change the game.
The smaller, midsize truck segment as it is now called is red hot again with a trio of new entries about to shake things up. But no matter what the competition throws at it the Tacoma is the mainstay best-seller.
In full disclosure, I own a Tacoma; a 2001 Prerunner that’s been in my family ever since I reviewed it for the show 18 years ago and then bought it out of the press fleet. So I have particularly high standards for this truck. It has been the segment’s sales leader for 12 years running so I can’t really blame Toyota for their if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it approach. But…
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