2019 will be the year of the redesigned Toyota RAV4. Last year the Japanese automaker made sales of 400,000 RAV4 SUVs in the US, double-digit (15%) sales growth for the model.
As impressive as these figures are, they become even more astounding when you consider that this is an outdated model. Clearly, the revamped fifth-generation 2019 RAV4 will be the car to watch out for in 2019.
The Rising Popularity of SUVs
When it comes to cars, the king of cool has always been the sports car. However, a strange phenomenon has been manifesting in the motor world of late: SUVs trumping sports cars in popularity.
In 2015, Sports Utility Vehicles pushed ahead of lower medium segment cars and became the world’s largest automotive segment. Fast-forward to 2017, and SUV sales had a 12% rise globally, doing far better than the overall industry which only rose by 3%.
When we compare the SUVs made in the 90s with the SUVs paraded in showrooms today, it becomes apparent why they have become so popular. While SUVs back then were a performance nightmare, the modern SUV gives you just as much driving excitement and performance as a sedan.
In addition, SUVs have extra ground clearance, which enables a better view of the road and greater spaciousness.
Keeping this rising popularity of sports utility vehicles in mind, it’s a safe bet that the RAV4 SUV will be Toyota’s best-performing model in 2019 and beyond.
The Popularity of the RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 dominated 2017, and was the bestselling non-pickup in the US, outdoing its rival, the Honda CR-V in sales. It also defeated a fellow Toyota model, the Camry Sedan.
Considering that the RAV4 has been around for two decades and that the outgoing fourth-generation was rolled out in 2013, this is beyond impressive.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4
The 2019 RAV4 will be the first RAV4 based on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), a new design platform Toyota began using in 2015 with the Prius.
In comparison with the current model, the wheelbase of the 2019 RAV4 is slightly extended (1.2 inches) but with a slightly decreased overall length (1/4 of an inch). The vehicle is also just a bit wider and shorter than the outgoing model. Overall, the new model looks bigger and more intimidating.
The 2019 RAV will be the first higher-trim, non-hybrid Toyota model to feature Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with rear Driveline Disconnect. Not only can all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicles send up to 50% of the engine’s available power to the rear wheel, but they can also route the power to the particular wheel that has the best traction.
When AWD is no longer required, the system disconnects the rear axle and reverts to front-wheel drive.
Other features of the new RAV4 include a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine, 8-speed automatic transmission, an Entune 3.0 multimedia system, Verizon-powered Wi-Fi, Amazon Alexa Integration, and Apple CarPlay integration. It’s also notable that the new model’s battery does not eat into cargo space, which is a bit of a problem with the outgoing generation.
The 2019 RAV4 will be rolled out for sale before the end of the year – in December. Not long afterwards, the RAV4 hybrid will be released for sale in early 2019.