The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE AWD crossover has more than a little resemblance with Toyota’s lineup that includes the Tacoma, 4Runner and SUV. It’s grille suggests its off-road proclivity, while its low-sitting roof gives it a compact feel.
The design of this year’s RAV4, which comes in six trims, suggests inspiration from the Tacoma more than anything: There’s a shift towards a rugged appeal with a chunky body styling. The RAV4 features larger unpainted fender flares and seemingly oversized roof pillars that may obstruct the driver’s rear-view.
But, the good news overall is that the RAV4 has a forward-thinking styling and even its taillights, mounted higher and connected by a panel featuring contrasting colors, are very appealing.
The hybrid RAV4 trims sport a slightly modified appearance on the front end and the XSE trim features an attractive black trim in lieu of paintless plastic on its steel exterior areas.
The interior presents a clean extension of the body language, featuring an appealing dashboard and angular design. A touch screen resembling a tablet anchors the dash, situated above the air conditioning vents. Thoughtfully placed pocket is on the passenger side of the dashboard for items such as pens and phones.
The RAV4’s center console is a bit bigger and places higher, making it feel more sedan-like than a crossover SUV. Each trim offers its own unique upholstery patterns to match the interior’s plastic design and stitching.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE AWD excels in the fuel economy regard, offering up 41 MPG in the city, 38 MPG on the highway, and 40 combined. These figures are segment-leading and improve on the outgoing model by 15, 5, and 11 MPG, respectively. These numbers also best rivals, including Nissan Rogue Hybrid (33/35/34) and the smaller Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (23/29/25).
The RAV4 Hybrid proves to be more efficient and that is attributed in large part to the 2.5-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine. It’s paired with two electric motors that distribute power across all four wheels. A nickel-metal hydride battery under the RAV4 Hybrid’s rear seat feeds power to these motors.
The RAV4’s hybrid drive system features an electric motor integrated into the rear axle and the total output registers at 219 hp. This is an improvement by 16 over the standard trim, and while Toyota doesn’t release a combined torque figure, the power route to the wheel does have a continuously variable transmission (CVT). This feature of Toyota’s much-utilized system integrates the two motors, one of which assists the engine and helps recapture energy during braking.
The MSRP for the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE AWD is $33,700. With options added on, the price is $37,899.
Photo Credit: Toyota