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MSRP: $25,500 - 34,900

8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.5
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 8.2
Safety: TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 Toyota RAV4 Review

The redesigned 2019 Toyota RAV4 finishes in the top half of our compact SUV rankings. It's more powerful and more fuel-efficient than the outgoing model, and it's a solid contender in this crowded class.

Pros & Cons

  • Great gas mileage
  • Lots of cargo space
  • Many standard driver assistance features
  • Comfortable ride
  • Above-average predicted reliability rating
  • Loud engine
  • Some rivals are sportier

Is the Toyota RAV4 a Good SUV?

Yes, the Toyota RAV4 is a good SUV. It handles well, rides smoothly, and gets great gas mileage. Though some rivals are more athletic, this Toyota has ample power for most driving situations. It may not be the most upscale SUV in the class, but the new RAV4 has a good-looking interior with plenty of room for people and cargo. It also has a lengthy features list that includes a lot of driver assistance technology, as well as a decent predicted reliability rating. It was also named a finalist for our 2019 Best Compact SUV for Families award. 

Should I Buy the Toyota RAV4?

There are some strong contenders in this class, including the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5. Neither can match the RAV4's predicted reliability rating (though they both have solid ratings), but both are worth exploring if you're looking for a small crossover SUV. That said, the RAV4 brings a lot to the table, and while it has a higher-than-average starting price, this Toyota delivers plenty of bang for your buck.

Compare the RAV4, CR-V, and CX-5 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Toyota RAV4?

Toyota rolls out a redesigned RAV4 for the 2019 model year. The 2019 model doesn't have quite as much cargo space as the outgoing model, but it's more powerful (by 27 horsepower) and more fuel-efficient (by about 4 mpg). New standard features for 2019 include a larger infotainment screen (7 inches, up from 6.1), Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, traffic sign recognition, and driver drowsiness monitoring. For 2019 Toyota also drops the number of available RAV4 trims from six to five.

You can potentially save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used RAV4, but you'll miss out on the redesigned model's upgrades. If you're interested in a used model, check out our reviews of the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Toyota RAV4, and browse our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on a used vehicle.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 RAV4 »

We Did the Research for You: 13 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Toyota RAV4 Cost?

The RAV4 sports a base price of $25,500. That's one of the highest starting prices in the class. There are four higher trims, with the range-topping RAV4 Limited starting at $33,500. That's above average for the class, but it's in line with many competitors' upper-end prices.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

Toyota RAV4 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V is an annual contender for the top spot in our compact SUV rankings. It's got a well-built interior, two rows of spacious seats, and more cargo space than almost every rival, including the RAV4. It offers plenty of features, including some the RAV4 doesn't, like Android Auto. The Toyota is a bit more powerful, however, and it gets slightly better gas mileage. These are both good SUVs, but the Honda provides more bang for your buck because of its lower starting price.

Which Is Better: Toyota RAV4 or Mazda CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 is arguably the most athletic vehicle in the class. The RAV4 is a bit more fuel-efficient, but the CX-5 handles better and is definitely more fun to drive – plus, Mazda is introducing a turbocharged engine option for the 2019 CX-5. The Mazda also has one of the nicest interiors in the class, complete with two rows of spacious seats and lots of tech features. The RAV4 provides much more cargo space and a better predicted reliability rating, however. These are two good options, and you should let your personal preferences make the choice for you.

Compare the RAV4, CR-V, and CX-5 »

RAV4 Interior

How Many People Does the RAV4 Seat?

This Toyota crossover seats five people. Whether you're up front or in the back, you'll have ample – though not class-leading – head- and legroom. The seats are comfortable as well, and they provide plenty of support for longer drives.

RAV4 and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing car seats.

RAV4 Interior Quality

The redesigned RAV4 has made noticeable strides in terms of interior quality. Its cabin looks clean and sleek, and there are plenty of soft-touch materials. There are still some hard plastics that keep this Toyota's cabin from ranking among the most upscale in the class, but this is still an attractive, well-built interior.

RAV4 Cargo Space

Though it doesn't have as much cargo space as the outgoing model, the 2019 RAV4 still provides more than most competitors. With the rear seats up, the RAV4 provides 37.5 cubic feet of cargo space – enough room for the family's vacation luggage or your tailgating gear. Fold down the rear seats, and you get 69.8 cubic feet of space.

RAV4 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the RAV4 include the Entune infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a USB port, Siri Eyes Free, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a six-speaker audio system.

Available features include a moonroof or panoramic glass roof, dual-zone automatic climate control, wireless device charging, and an upgraded Entune system with an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, four additional USB ports, satellite radio, and an 11-speaker JBL audio system.

The Entune infotainment system ranks among the best in the class. Its intuitive interface and responsive touch screen make it easy to use, and there are physical buttons for some functions as well. Though it doesn't offer Android Auto, Apple CarPlay is newly available.

Read more about interior »

RAV4 Performance

RAV4 Engine: A Good Fit for This SUV

This Toyota features a 203-horsepower four-cylinder engine. It's not as peppy as some rivals' turbocharged engines, and it's occasionally a bit loud, but it provides ample power and acceleration whether you're driving around town or on the highway. We cover the RAV4 Hybrid in a separate review.

RAV4 Gas Mileage: Among the Best

Hybrids notwithstanding, few compact SUVs can match the RAV4's fuel economy ratings. According to Toyota estimates, the RAV4 earns 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. For comparison, the Honda CR-V gets 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with its base engine (it gets slightly higher estimates with its optional turbo engine), while the Mazda CX-5 gets 25/31 mpg city/highway.

RAV4 Ride and Handling: Easy to Drive

With accurate steering and little body lean around turns, the RAV4 feels composed on drives across town and through curvy back roads. It generally rides smoothly, and few road imperfections are felt by occupants. And while you wouldn't necessarily call the RAV4's off-road abilities impressive, this compact crossover can at least hold its own away from the pavement.

Read more about performance »

RAV4 Reliability

Is the Toyota RAV4 Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2019 RAV4 an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five.

Toyota RAV4 Warranty

Toyota covers the RAV4 with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

RAV4 Safety

RAV4 Crash Test Results

The 2019 RAV4 has not yet been put through crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

RAV4 Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features include automatic high beams, a rearview camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and driver drowsiness monitoring. Some of these features are part of Toyota's Safety Sense suite of driver assistance technology.

Available features include a 360-degree parking camera, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, low-speed collision warning, and rear cross traffic braking.

Read more about safety »

Which Toyota RAV4 Model Is Right for Me?

The RAV4 comes in five trims: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, and Limited. All trims feature a 203-horsepower four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. All trims but the Adventure come with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive comes standard in the Adventure and is available in the others for $1,400.

The XLE makes a great choice for most buyers. It comes with a few more features than the base trim and offers many of the comfort and convenience features that come standard in the higher trims.

Toyota RAV4 LE

The RAV4 LE sports a base price of $25,500. Standard features include front-wheel drive, cloth upholstery, and the Entune infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a USB port, Siri Eyes Free, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a six-speaker audio system.

Standard driver assistance features include automatic high beams, a rearview camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and driver drowsiness monitoring.

There aren't a ton of options for the base trim, but you can add blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert for $590.

Toyota RAV4 XLE

The RAV4 XLE has a starting price of $27,300. In addition to the base trim's features, the XLE comes with a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, four additional USB ports, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

The XLE Convenience package ($1,295) adds a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, and a power liftgate. For $2,335, you can add the XLE Convenience Package with Options. This setup includes the convenience features as well as an upgraded Entune infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, and satellite radio.

Finally, you can add another XLE Convenience Package with Options setup for $3,200. It includes everything from the above packages plus low-speed collision warning and rear cross traffic braking.

Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium

The RAV4 XLE Premium starts at $29,500. The XLE Premium comes with a power liftgate, synthetic leather upholstery, and a power-adjustable driver's seat.

The XLE Premium Weather Grade package ($1,075) adds heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. For $1,620, you can add an upgraded Entune infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, an 11-speaker JBL audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, and four additional USB ports.

The Entune 3.0 Audio Plus with JBL w/Clari-Fi with Options package ($2,885) adds the upgraded infotainment system plus wireless device charging, low-speed collision warning, and rear cross traffic braking.

Toyota RAV4 Adventure

The RAV4 Adventure has a starting price of $32,900. This is the only trim that comes standard with all-wheel drive. Other standard features include downhill assist control and an upgraded Entune system with an 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, and satellite radio.

You can add a moonroof for $850. The Adventure Grade Weather package ($1,185) adds heated and ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel. The Entune 3.0 Audio Plus with Dynamic Navigation and JBL w/Clari-Fi with Options ($2,470) adds a moonroof and an upgraded Entune system with navigation and an 11-speaker JBL audio system. A $3,735 version of the same package tacks on wireless device charging, low-speed collision warning, and rear cross traffic braking.

Toyota RAV4 Limited

The RAV4 Limited starts at $33,500. The Limited comes with heated front seats, navigation, low-speed collision warning, and rear cross traffic braking.

For $580, you can add an upgraded Entune system with an 11-speaker JBL audio system. The Limited Grade Weather package ($1,015) adds ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. The Limited Grade Advanced Technology package ($1,620) adds a JBL audio system, wireless device charging, a hands-free liftgate, and a 360-degree parking camera.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Toyota dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Toyota deals page.

See 2019 Toyota RAV4 specs and trims »

The Final Call

Toyota rolls out a redesigned RAV4 for 2019, and while the changes are plentiful, this SUV retains a lot of what has made it incredibly popular for years. It's easy to drive and family-friendly, providing plenty of space for people and cargo. These traits and more propel the RAV4 into the top half of our compact SUV rankings. It deserves a look from small-SUV shoppers.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "In spite of its advancing age, the outgoing Toyota RAV4 was an enormously popular compact crossover SUV. Now, for 2019, the RAV4 is new and improved, offering more power, greater efficiency, extra off-roading capability, and added technological sophistication – all wrapped up in a more rugged looking package." -- New York Daily News
  • "Certainly the last-generation RAV4 was a stand-out vehicle for Toyota. But with the 2019 redesign, it's likely destined for even greater success." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Moms, dads, doctors, retirees, adventurers, humanities majors, human-resources managers, acolytes, activists, zealots, and zombies will like this vehicle. Sales are going to grow, maybe because the category is expanding but also because the 2019 RAV4 is so appealing." -- Automobile Magazine

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: April 5, 2019

Dominant Sales: The RAV4 is one of the top-selling compact SUVs. Dealerships have sold 8.4 percent more RAV4 models in 2019 than they did in the same period the year before. The class sales leading Nissan Rogue is outselling the RAV4 by almost 12 percent.

Research more buying advice »
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