Written by Marco Carvajal
The Rav4 is the founder of the compact SUV segment. Toyota’s vision ahead of time, created a small SUV that started a very fast-growing segment for drivers who want a city SUV like the Rav4. Today. several years after the creation of the RAV4, hybrid versions are taking over and becoming more popular with new car buyers.
The first RAV4 version we know was manufactured about 26 years ago in 1994. This first compact SUV for Toyota has been very successful since its beginning. Markets like Japan, the United States, and the European Union keep buying the Toyota RAV4 and the RAV4 Hybrid is not an exception on the sales success.
The name RAV4 stands for “Recreational Activity Vehicle 4-wheel drive”. As a compact SUV is a great plus to have 4WD, an important feature when going out of the city into the suburbs, country or any adventure onboard the RAV4.
The RAV4 Hybrid is the result of two decades of success and leadership in hybrid technologies. High performance with low fuel consumption.
2019 New RAV4 5th Generation
The RAV4 was completely redesigned in 2019 creating the 5th Generation RAV4. This new version comes with more technology and better dynamics, but also more personality and performance. The new RAV offers a new platform, Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) and two new engines creating better performance and more power.
For the RAV4 2020 and 2021 there are exciting new enhancements and a new plugin version available soon, the RAV4 Prime.
The RAV4 2020 includes standard compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in all the RAV4 lineup.
The RAV4 and RAV4 Hybrid were completely redesigned for 2019 with a better exterior look and a new interior with more technology. Satellite radio is standard throughout the line by 2020, with an optional paid subscription sold separately. New for 2020, some RAV4 hybrids are equipped with premium JBL audio as standard equipment.
The RAV4 attracts people with its unique distinct design combined with a good reasonable price and great hybrid technology.
RAV4 Hybrid Trim Models
The RAV4 2019 and 2020 Hybrid are available with the following models:
- XSE (the one I am test driving)
- Limited Hybrid
Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid
The XSE Hybrid trim that I am test driving is efficient and powerful. This trim level XSE is only available on the RAV4 Hybrid lineup, not on the regular RAV4. The exterior is enhanced by a two-tone color with a black roof on certain colors. Dual chrome exhaust tips enhanced the look of the XSE making sportier.
The XSE Hybrid is the Sportiest RAV4
The RAV4 XSE hybrid is supercharged with its sport-tuned suspension, tauter spring and shock absorber tuning, and 18-inch five-spoke, black-painted sport alloy wheels with 225/60R18 tires.
The Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD) will give you traction power when needed in off-roads. It produces 219 HorsePower combined system net to take you on any adventure. As a compact hybrid SUV, the RAV4 is very flexible to perform in the city, suburbs or countryside.
The RAV4 XSE Hybrid includes great performance and efficiency. Drive mode dial with SPORT, ECO, and NORMAL Modes; TRAIL Mode and EV Mode to adapt to any type of road and weather.
The XSE exclusive interior includes mono-spec with black SofTex material trim and blue accents to produce a unique look in the inside.
The RAV4 XSE Hybrid offers great fuel efficiency with an average 40 miles per gallon combining city and highway.
MPG Mileage estimates
City / Highway / Combined
41 / 38 / 40
The RAV4 XSE Hybrid is priced with an approximate MSRP of $34,050
All Hybrid-related components, including the hybrid battery of the RAV4, battery control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered with a fabulous 8 years/100,000 miles warranty.
Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid highlights
- 2.5-Liter Dynamic Force 4-Cylinder engine with DOHC 16-Valve with D-4S Dual Injection and Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (Dual VVT-i)
- Multi-electric motor assist with power output of 118 hp, 149 lb.-ft., 650V maximum electric motor voltage and 244.8V sealed Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) traction battery
- Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive (AWD)
- 219 HorsePower combined system net
- Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT)
- Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0)
- Optional Available Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL — includes 8-in. touch-screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay & Amazon Alexa compatible, and SiriusXM with 3-month All Access trial
- Sport-tuned suspension
- 18-in. 5-spoke black-painted sport alloy wheels
- 7-in. digital Multi-Information Display (MID)
- Standard two-tone exterior color with Midnight Black Metallic roof
- Active Cornering Assist (ACA)
- Drive mode dial with SPORT, ECO and NORMAL Modes; TRAIL Mode and EV Mode
- Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA), includes color-keyed heated power outside mirrors with turn signal and blind spot warning indicators
The RAV4 hybrid only competitor within the same segment and the price range, is the Subaru Crosstrek hybrid, with similar fuel economy to the RAV4 hybrid. However, for the benefit of Toyota, the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is slower and less stylish on the outside, and also does not have an interior as spacious as the RAV4.
The RAV4 hybrid is considered the best hybrid SUV compact on the market.
The Kia Niro offers great efficiency and can also compete, but the RAV4 offers more space for passengers and cargo. The Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5 are very popular in the same segment but the Toyota RAV4 hybrid wins with exceptional fuel economy and better reliability.
There are many new hybrid compact SUVs emerging into the market, making the competition for the RAV more difficult. Only time will tell if the RAV4 will continue winning the battle on the compact SUV crossover market.
For the first time in a decade, Toyota won 2019 Japan’s Car of the Year award with its RAV4.