All New and Improved RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 sets a new benchmark.

The all-new Toyota RAV4, the popular model’s fifth generation, represents a major step forward over the retiring model and for the first time gives Australian buyers the choice of a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain in a Toyota SUV.

New RAV4 is available in a choice of 11 variants across four grades, the option of 2WD or AWD, and three powertrains – two petrol engines and a petrol- electric hybrid system (arguably, the ‘pick’ of the three powertrains). Diesel power is no longer offered.

The range hits the road from $30,640 with the 2WD GX 2.0-litre petrol with intelligent six-speed manual box with rev-matching function. A CVT auto adds $2000 to this price. The 2.0-litre engine delivers 127kW and 203Nm, 20kW and 16Nm more than the previous model’s 2.0-litre engine. The 2.0-litre petrol engine is also offered in mid-spec GXL and high-spec Cruiser grades all in 2WD and standard CVT format.

The 2.5-litre petrol- hybrid models can be had in 2WD or AWD and in the same three specifications, all with CVT. A Cruiser hybrid AWD will set you back $44,640. At the top of the heap is the RAV4 Edge with a new 152kW/243Nm 2.5-litre petrol engine, eight-speed auto and AWD, priced at $47,140.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Edge33

The AWD system in the more adventure-focussed Edge features a selectable multi-terrain system to optimise progress in mud and sand, rock and dirt and snow environments. There’s also dynamic torque vectoring on the rear axle and it’s the only model with a hill descent control system.

Our launch drive included a not-too-challenging off-road circuit for the AWD versions, that showed light duty adventuring was within its abilities.

Toyota is confident the new model will score five stars in soon-to-be-finalised crash testing by independent testing authority ANCAP. All models are well-equipped with safety features and Toyota Safety Sense driver assistance technology too.

Increased occupant and cargo space, new and more supportive seating, improved visibility, plus a new interior with a more premium look and feel, should increase the new RAV4’s attractiveness to buyers.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will be standard from the 4th quarter of 2019 and retrofitted on request at ‘no cost’ to new RAVs sold before then.

The RAV4’s sharper and bolder new body styling is underpinned by the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform with lower centre of gravity, longer wheelbase, and wider track, plus revised front suspension, and new rear suspension.

In keeping with its more dynamic looks, the new model offers significantly better steering and handling than before, balanced with good ride quality.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Edge33

*manufacturer’s list prices excluding on road costs quoted.