Popular Tags Cars

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

$27,850 - $35,850
Price Range (MSRP)
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Review: A True Hybrid

by Adam Lynton

With an all-new design for the new year, the RAV4 looks hungrier than ever for a slice of the compact crossover segment, and the hybrid is certainly worth consideration - not just if you're looking for a hybrid vehicle, but if you're looking for any compact crossover. Competing SUVs like the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V present better-appointed cabins and more engaging driving experiences, but at present neither can be had in hybrid form, with the CR-V Hybrid joining the arena only from 2020. So the RAV4 Hybrid exists almost in isolation, providing the benefits of a hybridized powertrain with the convenience and cachet of a crossover.

It's this unique combination of competing ideals that makes the Toyota RAV4 so eminently desirable, so it's no big surprise that the previous generation sold so well. The latest edition of this popular hybrid crossover comes well-equipped, especially at the higher trim levels, without asking you to break your piggy bank either. So, we expect it to stay true to trend and continue performing well in the market.

Read in this review:

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 RAV4 Hybrid?

Everything is new for 2019, with a bold new design and a long list of features coming standard across the range - with even more unlocked on the upper trim levels. This is the fifth incarnation of Toyota's popular RAV4 compact crossover.

Pros and Cons

  • Highly competitive fuel economy
  • Superior ride quality
  • Spacious trunk
  • Affordable price tag
  • Has the segment all to itself
  • Low-grade infotainment interface
  • No Android Auto
  • Engine doesn't like being pushed

RAV4 Hybrid Exterior

A bold and stylish body frames the capable mechanics of the newly redesigned RAV4. Aggressive angles give the SUV an adventurous stance that belies its comfortable interior. The front grille lies low between a pair of full LED headlights, with discreet fog lights available on the upper trim levels. The liftgate in the rear sports wide LED taillights and an LED strip within the rear spoiler. As standard, the crossover rides on 17-inch wheels, with available 18-inch variants.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Front View Toyota
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Rear View Toyota
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Front Angle View Toyota
See All 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Exterior Photos

Dimensions

In typical compact SUV fashion, the RAV4 has town-friendly dimensions. It measures 180.9 inches long with a 105.9-inch wheelbase, and a width of 73 inches, not accounting for mirrors. But it does stand quite tall at 57.2 inches with a ground clearance of 8.1 inches. It weighs in on the heavier side, with the base model starting at 3,710 lbs, while the top trim maxes out at 3,800 lbs - around 340 pounds heavier than its gas-only sibling.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Exterior Colors

  • Super White
  • Blue Flame
  • Midnight Black Metallic
  • Silver Sky Metallic
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic
  • Ruby Flare Pearl
  • Blueprint
  • Blizzard Pearl
  • Lunar Rock
  • Silver Sky Metallic w/Black Roof
  • Magnetic Gray Metallic w/Black Roof
  • Blueprint w/Black Roof
  • Blizzard Pearl w/Black Roof

RAV4 Hybrid Performance

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Front View Driving Toyota
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Rear View Driving Toyota
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Wheel Toyota

Engine and Transmission

The RAV4 Hybrid is powered by a combination engine comprising a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a 650-volt electric motor, producing a combined 219 hp. This power is regulated by a continuously variable automatic transmission and directed towards all four wheels. An additional electric motor sends extra power towards the rear wheels in circumstances of low traction. While this powertrain is designed to optimize fuel efficiency, it still manages to give the crossover a surprising spring to its step. It can make the 0 to 60 mph sprint in a leisurely, but not disappointing, eight seconds and offers enough power to pass on the highway, even at speed. The transmission is smooth, for the most part, but if you put your foot down when you need a burst of speed, the engine can whine in defiance.

  • Engine
    2.5-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

While the Toyota SUV is not as athletic as some of its competitors, it is no slouch either. With its zippy engine, you might expect the cumbersome crossover to lose its composure too readily, but that's not the case, especially when equipped with the sport suspension found on the XSE. However, this alteration also gives the RAV4 a noticeably stiffer ride, which can detract from its generally good ride comfort. But, even so, the cabin seldom suffers from disruptions caused by poor road conditions.

The steering fails to impress to the same level, sadly. It lacks any sense of weight when traveling at speed, sapping confidence from the driver. And while it feels a bit more engaging around turns, it never supplies any real feedback from the wheels. The brakes can be just as disappointing; tragically, this is exacerbated during panic stops. At regular town speeds, they feel just fine, but the moment you engage them in earnest, they feel unresponsive and do no maintain composure as the SUV comes to a halt.

RAV4 Hybrid Gas Mileage

While the Toyota hybrid presents buyers with significantly better fuel economy than its non-hybrid option, it is still quite far from class-leading in the hybrid segment. The regular gasoline RAV4 is able to cover 26/35/30 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. This is in line with segment leaders like the Honda CR-V, which gets a 28/34/30 mpg. By comparison, the RAV4 hybrid manages 41/38/40 mpg, which is a significant improvement. SImilar hybrid SUVs, like the Nissan Rogue only get 33/35/34 mpg, while the Infiniti QX60 Hybrid gets 26/28/27 mpg. With a 14.5-gallon regular gas tank and a 1.6-kWh battery pack, the Toyota crossover can cover up to 580 miles between refuels/recharges.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    14.5 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 41/38 mpg
* 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid LE AWD

RAV4 Hybrid Interior

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Dashboard Toyota
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Steering Wheel Toyota
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Front Seats Toyota
See All 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The crossover is as stylish inside as it is outside. It is easy to enter and exit, despite the inconsistent seat heights, and the cabin is more than spacious enough. Surprisingly, the rear seats offer even more space than the front seats, accommodating full-size adults with relative ease, but trying to fit more than four adults is still inadvisable. The upper trims do sacrifice a bit of headroom as they come with a built-in sunroof. The base model comes standard with a six-way manual driver's seat, which is upgraded to eight-way with lumbar and memory on the upper trims. This makes it relatively easy to find a suitable driving position, even if the seats are a bit high to start with, and rear visibility isn't amazing.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

RAV4 Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space

The Toyota RAV4 offers an impressive amount of cargo space despite being a hybrid model. This is due to the impressive height of the vehicle accommodating the battery pack below the rear seats without infringing on any of the interior dimensions. Behind the rear seats, you will find an already spacious 37.5-cubic-foot trunk (37.6 on the LE), which can be expanded to 69.8 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. Either way, there is enough space for all your daily needs, be it grocery shopping or hauling larger items around town.

The cabin isn't quite as generous when it comes to small-item storage, with the center console and door pockets offering most of the space. The glove compartment is average-sized, but there is a tray set above it in the dashboard that can accommodate cellphones, wallets, keys, or sunglasses.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Trunk Space Toyota
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Rear View Toyota
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Rear Angle View Toyota

RAV4 Hybrid Infotainment and Features

Features

The list of standard features isn't overly long on the base-model RAV4, but it grows steadily through the upper trims. The LE comes equipped with dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, two 12-volt power outlets, a rearview camera, a 4.2-inch driver information display, six-way manually-adjustable driver's seat, cloth upholstery, a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. Available features include an eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support and memory, simulated-leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front and rear seats, keyless ignition, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency rear braking, and a surround-view camera.

Infotainment

While the infotainment system in the SUV may be brand-spanking-new, it certainly doesn't look that way, with somewhat dated graphics being the order of the day. However, it runs smoothly and is easy to operate. The standard Entune 3.0 system comprises a seven-inch touchscreen interface, which operates the Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Wi-Fi hotspot. The six-speaker sound system can also channel music via the auxiliary input jack or the USB port. The upper trims add an additional four USB ports for charging, while the infotainment suite receives an eight-inch touchscreen display, SiriusXM, HD Radio, and built-in navigation. An eleven-speaker sound system is available as part of an optional package.

RAV4 Hybrid Problems and Reliability

The Hybrid RAV4 places in the top five SUVs within J.D. Power's dependability ratings with a score of 79 out of 100. Toyota recalled the vehicle in 2019 for a fault in the stability control system, and again for an improperly functioning rearview camera. Overall, the hybrid has been subject to a fair number of complaints. Toyota offers the hybrid with free maintenance for 25,000 miles/24 months, while the basic warranty is valid for 36,000 miles/36 months, and the drivetrain for 60,000 miles/60 months. The hybrid components are covered by a 100,000-mile/96-month warranty.

RAV4 Hybrid Safety

The NHTSA rates the SUV at five stars for safety, while it gets the IIHS' top safety pick plus award with an overall rating of Good. Standard safety features include ABS, EBD, traction control, and eight airbags: dual front, front knee, front side, and side curtain. Toyota Safety Sense comes equipped on every model and comprises forward collision alert, pedestrian detection, lane departure alert, lane-keeping assist, automatic high beams, and road sign recognition. Available features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, intelligent parking sensors, and rear cross-traffic braking.

Verdict: Is 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid a good SUV?

The latest incarnation of the RAV4, fully redesigned for 2019, continues to impress with a perfect amalgamation of cost-effectiveness, driveability, and daily utility that makes it eminently suited to a variety of applications.

If all you want is an affordable vehicle that will get you and your family where you're going safely, then the Toyota crossover has you covered. The spacious cabin can accommodate a full family of five or up to four full-size adults, and a host of available advanced safety features will keep those precious to you safe. Similarly, the generous trunk means you can move copious amounts of cargo without too much strain, and the fold-down rear seats open up an impressively large area for unwieldy items.

Despite this family-friendly attitude, the SUV isn't disappointing to drive, with the combination engine delivering better acceleration than the non-hybrid RAV4. And while it may not handle as well as smaller hybrid sedans, or similarly sized non-hybrid compacts, the Toyota isn't actually unpleasant to drive. So long as you keep its limits in mind, you can easily find yourself enjoying this zippy hybrid.

And all this it offers for a reasonable price tag, coupled with competitive fuel efficiency. The last generation RAV4 sold remarkably well, and we expect the latest addition to the Toyota family to follow in the footsteps of its predecessor.

What's the Price of the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid?

The RAV4 Hybrid sizes up quite well against the competition when it comes to initial outlay. Equipped with a fair number of features and a competent powertrain, the base-level LE has a starting MSRP of $27,850. Thereafter, each model adds a few extra features and steps the price up by a few thousand dollars. Getting behind the wheel of the XLE will cost you $29,650, while the XSE will set you back $33,850. The top-of-the-range Limited, with all the advanced driver-assist features available to the range, asks for $36,850 unmodified. These prices exclude tax, registration, licensing, and destination charges.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Hybrid LE
2.5-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$27,850
Hybrid XLE
2.5-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$29,650
Hybrid XSE
2.5-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$33,850
Hybrid Limited
2.5-liter Inline-4 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$35,850
See All 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Trims and Specs

What Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Model Should I Buy?

If you're looking at a hybrid, then saving on money is probably a salient factor in your purchase decision. As such, you may want to avoid the upper-most trims, which break the $30k mark barrier. With its standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, the XLE seems like the smartest option. It doesn't gain that much in features over the base LE trim, but what it does get is worth the extra $2k.

Check out other Toyota RAV4 Styles?

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Comparisons

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Honda
2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Toyota

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V naturally comes in a bit cheaper than the Toyota, since it is not a hybrid vehicle, but, even then, it's only by a few thousand dollars. Even so, the CR-V offered quite impressive mileage figures, getting up to 28/34/30 mpg on the 190-hp turbocharged four-cylinder. It is a lighter SUV, too, allowing it to be agile around town while still delivering a more engaging driving experience than the RAV4. It doesn't lack for interior space and the trunk is even bigger than the Toyota's. However, the CR-V doesn't offer that many standard features for its relatively high cost - although they are more readily available on the upper trim levels. Overall, the RAV4 is the more economical compact, and it doesn't sacrifice much usability over the CR-V to achieve better efficiency.

See Honda CR-V Review

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs Toyota RAV4

There are only choice differences between the standard RAV4 and its hybrid variant, chief among them being price and engine options. The standard SUV will cost you a couple thousand less on the standard trim and comes equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder than produces 203 hp and 184 lb-ft for the front wheels. However, while this engine offers decent fuel economy, it is nowhere near as good as the hybrid's. On top of that, the RAV4 Hybrid has a bit more zest to it, with the electric motor giving it superior acceleration both from a standstill, and when passing on the highway. To seal the deal, the hybrid model sacrifices almost nothing in terms of interior space and cargo area to accommodate its hybrid components, meaning that it maintains its excellent utility. The RAV4 Hybrid may ask for a larger outlay of cash initially, but it will save you in the long run, and you won't miss the gas engine of the normal RAV4.

See Toyota RAV4 Review

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Popular Comparisons

2019 Toyota RAV4 Video Reviews