This is the nicest, most modern new Toyota cabin in a long time, but is it just a fancier RAV4 Hybrid? Fact is they do share the new Toyota platform like several other of their sedans and crossovers. This new Venza feels like a completely different vehicle; much more luxurious and upscale. And I’m really digging this Limited grade. With a starting price of $33,645 including delivery, the Venza slots in between the RAV4 and the Highlander occupying the space of a quasi-midsize 5-seater but in reality its interior dimensions are more compact. Going into my test week I can’t say I was really expecting too much – Toyota has been the target of my criticism of late – which is why I’m so surprised at how well they’ve executed the Venza’s return. It’s as smartly crafted and perfectly positioned as any model in their vast lineup.
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.
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