NY Auto Show: 2019 Toyota RAV4 Reimagined, Loaded with Tech

Toyota has broken the mold they first created nearly two decades ago with the new 2019 Toyota RAV4. The vehicle that created the small sport utility vehicle segment makes its fifth-generation debut at the New York International Auto Show.

Over the years, Toyota has listened to owners and dealers and it has paid off. The 2019 RAV4 promises to delight no matter which trim level buyers go for. It arrives in dealerships at the end of 2018 (with hybrid models right behind in early 2019), and we know it’ll please existing RAV4 owners and those looking for something with more utility, luxury, tech, and efficiency.

Get Up and Go!
Designers made sure each body panel has a sophisticated twist to it, with a chiseled appearance that is a perfect combination of athleticism and charisma. The stronger nose leads into a more dynamic profile, robust shoulders, and available 19-inch wheels, making for a powerful stance ready to tackle any road, any time.

The implementation of the TNGA platform allows RAV4 to adopt the charisma of a bolder and tougher SUV, but in a package that is lower and wider. The longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks provide a stable, confident driving platform. For off-road prowess, the shorter front and rear overhangs will aid in RAV4’s ability to overcome rugged terrain.

The unibody chassis is 57 percent more rigid than the outgoing version. Ground clearance has been increased by more than half an inch, yet RAV4 is able to achieve improved aerodynamics.

The relocated side mirrors are now positioned lower on the door for increased forward visibility around the A-pillar. Side visibility is increased thanks to a lowered beltline and the redesigned and enlarged rear-quarter glass assists with rear-diagonal visibility.

Unparalleled Driving Experience with More Power, MPG and Capabilities
Engineers worked for about four years to fine-tune every aspect of RAV4’s performance, handling stability and ride comfort. The end goal was simple: engineer a driving experience that is Confident and Natural.

The power source for RAV4’s driving abilities comes from one of two powertrains:

  • Dynamic Force 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine with VVT-iE mated to an 8-speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission, which motivates the five gas models
  • Dynamic Force 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) engine with Electronically-Controlled Continuously-Variable Transmission (ECVT), which activates the four hybrid models

The engine utilizes high-speed combustion technology and a variable control system for greater thermal efficiency output, which reduces energy losses associated with exhaust and cooling systems and the movement of mechanical parts, among other factors. With a 40-percent thermal efficiency (41 percent for hybrids), the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine is the ideal engine for the all-new RAV4 to meet the demand of providing a highly responsive, yet fuel efficient driving experience. The Direct Shift-8AT transmission provides direct lock-up from gears two through eight to eliminate power loss from the torque converter, executing smooth shifts.

The Toyota-first, Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect, is nothing short of impressive, and enables drivers to steer the vehicle as intended, even atop the toughest of roads.

Standard on AWD-equipped Limited gas and Adventure grade models, Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect can send 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, plus distribute it to the left or right rear wheel for improved handling. When AWD isn’t required (on long stretches of highway, for example), RAV4 can achieve better fuel economy thanks to the Rear Driveline Disconnect system. The disconnection features the world’s first ratchet-type dog clutches on both the front and rear wheel shafts. These clutches stop the driveshaft’s rotations, thus transmitting the driving force to the front wheels when AWD isn’t required, significantly reducing energy loss, improving fuel efficiency, and reducing rotational vibration making for a smoother ride.

This all-new AWD system is one of three available on the 2019 RAV4; it joins the AWD-i system available on hybrid grades and the (non-Dynamic Torque Vectoring) AWD system available on core gas grades.

When paired with the new All-Wheel Drive with Intelligence (AWD-i), RAV4 Hybrid increases the total torque to the rear wheels—which is electronically driven—by 30 percent compared to the current generation AWD-i system. By adopting a new control system that optimally distributes torque to the rear wheels based on the driving conditions, the new AWD-i system offers high off-road performance, handling, and ability.

RAV4’s unparalleled driving experience is just one of the ways the all-new RAV4 exceeds expectations for owners, the segment, and the industry.

XSE Hybrid: The Sportiest RAV4
For those who prefer sportier driving dynamics, XSE Hybrid combined perfect conflation of sport and utility. XSE is an all-new addition to RAV4’s Hybrid family.

The piano-black accents across the front end, mirror caps, fender arches, and lower rockers set the stage for XSE Hybrid’s sporty appeal. Unique to RAV4 Hybrids, projector-beam LED headlamps flank each side of the grille (on XLE and above) for a brighter, sharper, and ideally angled light source.

Standard on all RAV4 Hybrid models, the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) works with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine for an impressive balance of energy efficiency and supreme power output. When paired with its sport-tuned suspension having tauter shock absorbers and springs, RAV4 XSE Hybrid takes the throne as the quickest—and best-handling—RAV4 in the lineup.

RAV4 Hybrid is set to lead in fuel efficiency.

On- and Off-Road Fun
For explorers looking to satisfy their outdoorsy cravings, RAV4 Adventure has the capabilities for all types of off-road fun. RAV4 Adventure is distinguishable among the other grades with its standard high-rise roof rails and large over-fenders. Inspired by Toyota’s off-road vehicle heritage, RAV4 Adventure grade has a more rugged exterior, thanks in part to its more aggressive grille, fog light surrounds, and unique wheel design. It answers the call designers had of Robust with its stout stance, standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect, and a reliable and tough functionality that’s apt for any road.

The fun ratchets up once pavement blends into dirt thanks to Multi-Terrain Select. Standard on all AWD-equipped gas RAV4 models, Multi-Terrain Select gives drivers the ability to maximize traction when driving through snow, mud, sand, or rocks. The system is easy to use thanks to a control dial (or buttons) positioned in the center console to the left of the shift knob.

Two-Tone Magnetism
RAV4 XSE Hybrid’s striking personality screams sporty, thanks to its standard two-tone exterior paint scheme. The black roof is paired with either Blizzard Pearl, Silver Sky Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, or Blueprint (a new color to the palette). RAV4 XSE Hybrid’s exclusive interior comes mono-spec with black Softex material and blue accents throughout.

RAV4 Adventure grade can be had with an Ice Edge-colored roof that is paired with one of three exterior colors: Midnight Black Metallic or Blue Flame, both of which are new for RAV4; or Lunar Rock. Orange stitching accents the interior with additional orange appointments placed throughout the dashboard.

RAV4 keeps admirers star-struck even when its fitted with additional full-body color options like Super White and Ruby Flare Pearl.

Premium Limited Style
Blissful weekend retreats are the ideal destination when behind the wheel of RAV4 Limited. As the top grade, drivers and passengers will enjoy amenities and features befitting its premium style. At first glance, RAV4 Limited’s 19-inch alloy wheels and chrome accents set it apart from the other grades. Once inside though, Limited’s essence truly takes the stage.

Standard features include a front-row moonroof and 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory and 2-way lumbar support. Tech-wise, RAV4 Limited comes standard with a newly-designed 7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) and a Digital Display Rearview Mirror. By default, the display is a conventional rearview mirror but with the flip of a switch, drivers have an increased field of vision coming through the rearview mirror, displaying what is behind the vehicle thanks to a high-mounted, adjustable wide-angle, high-definition camera affixed on the rear of vehicle.

Optional content includes ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, hands-free power liftgate, and a panoramic moonroof.

Elevated Cabin Atmospheres
Designers applied the theme of Refined to every detail of the interior cabin, resulting in an impressive arrangement that suits a wide variety of driving experiences and preferences.

Between front passengers sits a center console having a repositioned standard Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) for easier accessibility. Ergonomics have been further enhanced by an increase in the console’s volume, side-by-side cup holders, and an open tray capable of holding small items, with optional Qi wireless charger.

Rear seat passengers will appreciate the spacious back cabin thanks to an increase in left and right couple distance, as well as legroom. The rear cargo area adopts a reversible liner as well as side nets for storing small items and the 60/40 folding rear seats are ready to accommodate essentials like surf boards, suitcases, or camping gear.

Advanced Media with Precise Harmony
Every RAV4 is equipped with Entune 3.0 multimedia including Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon, hands-free access to Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

The standard Entune 3.0 audio system houses a 7-inch touchscreen that is perched atop the center stack. Entune 3.0 Audio Plus adds an eight-inch touchscreen and Sirius XM Radio. Entune 3.0 Premium Audio enhances the multimedia system with embedded dynamic navigation to help drivers chart their course.

RAV4 can be had with up to five USB ports between the front and rear rows and an optional Qi wireless charging tray positioned at the front of the center console.

RAV4’s multimedia setup is complemented by an all-new available JBL audio system. The next-generation premium audio setup incorporates an enhanced system architecture, new speaker design, and an improved tuning process. The result is an all-access pass to the most intimate music concert, all from inside a RAV4.

The available JBL audio system provides harmonious audio via 11 speakers across 8 channels at 800 watts.

Next Generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS)
RAV4 comes standard with TSS 2.0, the second generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). The updated safety package adds new active-safety technologies and capabilities that enhance protection.

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD):
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC):
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA):
  • Automatic High Beam (AHB):
  • Lane Tracing Assist (LTA):
    • For highways/freeways only and can be enabled when using DRCC – Capability to recognize white or yellow lane markings or the path of a preceding vehicle if lane markers are temporarily unavailable; to identify and actively track the center of the lane by providing steering assistance to the driver (hands-on, driver-assist system). Reduces driver burden and supports safe driving, especially in traffic congestion or long highway trips. The LTA system can be turned on/off.
  • Road Sign Assist (RSA):
    • Capability to identify certain Stop, Yield, Do Not Enter and Speed Limit signs and display a warning (visual and audible alerts). Alerts vary based on sign type and are displayed on the Multi-Information Display.

Available safety technologies include Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Bird’s Eye View Camera, Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), and Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system. RAV4 comes equipped with a standard backup camera and standard Electronic Parking Brake (EPB).

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