In an era where crossovers are displacing sedans, the Toyota RAV4 is an extremely important vehicle. Given that it hasn’t seen a full redesign since the 2013 model year, it’s about time Toyota comes out with a new version.
Fortunately, the fifth-generation 2019 Toyota RAV4 will debut at the New York auto show on March 28. The automaker released a teaser image leading up to the debut, but all we can see is the crossover’s shadow. The grille appears more upright than before, as does the rest of the body, and the rear windshield is more raked.
Toyota hasn’t provided any further information on the new TNGA-based RAV4, but we think it’s likely to receive a more powerful naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine. The RAV4 currently makes 176 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque from its 2.5-liter I-4, but the new model could receive numbers closer to the new Camry’s base engine with 203-206 hp and 184-186 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed transmission will likely replace the model’s current six-speed automatic, and improved fuel economy is also expected. A hybrid version should top the range.
The RAV4 is Toyota’s best-selling vehicle in the U.S. by a large margin now. Toyota sold 407,594 copies last year, ahead of its next best-seller, the Camry, at 387,081 units. Although we generally like the way the RAV4 drives and rides, we hope Toyota improves the steering feel and interior materials to help it better compete against stellar competitors including the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5.
Current-generation Toyota RAV4 pictured below.