Road Test: 2019 Toyota RAV4 Trail AWD

Road Test: 2019 Toyota RAV4 Trail AWD


Price: $38,690

Engine: 2.5L VVT-I DOHC 4-cylinder

Trans: 8-speed auto

Power: 203 hp@ 6,600 rpm

Torque: 184 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,615 lbs./ 1,640 kg

Fuel Consumption: (L/100km – City/Hwy) 9.2/7.1


New for 2019: The Toyota RAV4 is completely brand new for 2019 and is the first RAV4 to benefit from Toyota’s New Global Architecture platform. The new model features an all-new design both inside and out and a new powertrain that delivers more power and better fuel economy. Many of the same models return from the previous generation including the slightly off-road oriented Trail model which is featured here.

Segment Competitors: Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Cherokee, Nissan Rogue, Volkswagen Tiguan, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Subaru Forester, Kia Sportage, Mazda CX-5

The Skinny: The RAV4 is the best-selling model in Toyota’s lineup here in North America, and that’s really saying something when it comes from a lineup that also includes the Tundra, 4Runner, Tacoma, Camry, Corolla and Highlander. The small crossover was one of the first of its kind and now entering its 5th generation in 2019, it’s poised to continue that success.

The RAV4 now features new looks both inside and out and has seemingly borrowed many of its design cues from the much more rugged Tacoma and 4Runner, especially when it comes to the Trail model as our test unit was. Inside is a quirky, well-laid out interior that was both parts practical and stylish and did everything I’d expect without too many headaches.

Under the hood is a redesigned 2.5L 4-cylinder that pushes out adequate power with a respectable 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque but is far from quiet or refined. The engine is paired to an 8-speed automatic and seemingly produces better fuel efficiency than the outgoing model.

In terms of drivability, the RAV4 performs fine. As I said, it doesn’t feel as refined as some of its closest competitors, however it’s not enough to take away from an overall well performing vehicle in all situations including tight city driving and highway settings.

If you were wondering about the Trail moniker, this is earned with appearance items only as it does not receive any mechanical upgrades in the name of off-roading but if this is something that would peak your interest, Toyota is rolling out a RAV4 TRD Off-Road version for 2020.

Pros: The RAV4 is both comfortable on the road and very spacious inside for all passengers while still providing plenty of room for cargo.

Cons: The engine is rather loud, and while quirky I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the orange interior trim pieces found throughout the Trail model.

The Verdict: As I said, the Toyota RAV4 is one of, if not the best-selling compact crossover of all time and its clearly for a good reason. Each previous generation has featured the winning formula of practicality, functionality, efficiency and value and after spending some seat time in the newest iteration, this has not changed in the least.