2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review

Written by Anqoinette Crosby

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s sportier styling elevates the whip appeal of this compact crossover. The black wheels, black grille and contrasting black roof all give  this five-seater a cool athletic vibe.


The RAV4 Hybrid is offered in four trim levels: LE, XLE, XSE, and Limited. All models are equipped with the same hybrid powertrain, which includes a continuously variable automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.


Inside, my higher trim RAV4 Hybrid XSE tester had me surrounded by high-quality materials. A client that was riding with me to a business meeting was quite complimentary about the roominess, comfort and overall nice aesthetics the Toyota offered.


During my 50 mile round trip commute to work, I was quite content in the driver’s seat. That was due in part to the Hybrid XSE’s eight-way power adjustments which made it easy to find a good seating position. For passengers riding in the second row, they’ll find that there’s also adequate head and legroom, even if they’re over six feet tall.


As for the other interior offerings, the list isn’t too shabby when it comes to standard features. On the base model, there’s Apple CarPlay and a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot. If you can spring for an upper trim, like the XSE, you’ll be afforded such pleasures as leatherette upholstery, a seven-inch digital driver-information display, satellite radio, an eight-inch, user-friendly infotainment system and heated front seats.


Speaking of seats, behind the second row there’s up to 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space to assist with your hauling needs. To expand it, just fold the second row down flat to give you 69.8 cubic feet of space. Another handy feature on my XSE trim, especially when I was struggling with a big case of bottled water, was the hands-free liftgate which allowed me to wave my foot under the bumper to open the hatch.


One morning while driving to work, I came upon a multi-vehicle accident and breathed a sigh of relief knowing that the RAV4 Hybrid was equipped with a host of standard  safety technology.  All models come with a rearview camera and the Toyota Safety Sense suite.


These features include lane keep assist, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, automatic high beams, and lane tracing assist, which works to keep you centered in your lane on the highway. This remarkable technology gave me some relief when I was caught in heavy traffic congestion.


The XSE Hybrid includes a sport-tuned suspension. I also like the peppier and swift acceleration, which was noticeable and appreciated in varying driving situations.


A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 176 horsepower delivers power to the front wheels of the all-wheel-drive crossover while an electric motor drove the rear, giving it a total of 219 horsepower. That’s compared to the regular RAV4 which only produces 203.


More efficient than ever, the RAV4 Hybrids all achieve a daily commuter’s dream of 41 miles per gallon in the city, 38 mpg on the highway and 40 mpg in combined driving.


Pricing for the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid begins at $27,850.

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