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2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.4

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has good overall performance, with swift acceleration, controlled handling, and a composed ride. It also delivers excellent fuel economy.

  • "Without question, the Hybrids have a sportier driving feel, at least in terms of acceleration. While gas models provide a decent full-throttle jump off the line and good kickdown response after stabbing the throttle at speed, the Hybrids are notably more spirited in both scenarios. Toyota quotes a 7.8-second 0-60-mph time for the Hybrids, which is fairly quick for the class, and they feel every bit that fast. This nearly instant throttle response combined with a huge fuel-economy advantage make the Hybrids stand out, not only among RAV4s, but among compact crossovers in general." -- Consumer Guide
  • "On the road, every iteration of the new RAV4 impressed with high levels of composure, substantiality, and refinement." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "But back to the effort to make the RAV4 more distinctive. A big part of that is the driving experience. The TNGA platform yields a 57 percent stiffer structure, a lower center of gravity and a new electric power steering system mounted to the rack as opposed to the column. The result is a compact SUV that's more involving than the rather indifferent transport pod it replaces. It doesn't engage like a Mazda CX-5, but there is still an eagerness to its turn-in, and it demonstrates impressive poise." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The 2019 RAV4 Hybrid comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 176 horsepower. With the electric motors, the hybrid system produces a total of 219 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission is standard. According to Toyota, the RAV4 Hybrid gets 41 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, which are the best figures in the class. The RAV4 has peppy acceleration, and the transmission feels smooth and refined.

  • "The RAV4 Hybrid receives a unique version of the regular RAV4's new engine plus a revised continuously variable transmission (CVT). In addition to being even more miserly with fuel, it's more powerful — peak power rises to 219 combined hp compared to 194 hp in the previous Hybrid. … While this represents only 16 hp more than the gasoline RAV4, the hybrid has significantly more thrust in day-to-day situations. It's torquier down low and punches forward with more urgency despite weighing roughly 250 pounds more than the gasoline model." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2019 RAV4 hybrid feels a little peppier off the line than its gas-only counterpart, but really, both drivetrains deliver more than adequate oomph for everyday driving. The CVT in the RAV4 hybrid works as expected." -- Left Lane News
  • "If thriftiness is what you're worried about, though, there's always the RAV4 hybrid. It gets up to 39 mpg combined now, according to the EPA. The hybrid model also has a bit of extra power, with a combined output of 219 horsepower, and the electric motor's torque makes it feel slightly more responsive in everyday driving. It's also quieter than the standard gas model, with better engine-noise isolation, and it only costs $800 more than equivalent all-wheel-drive gas models, helping its value equation." -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

The RAV4 Hybrid has balanced handling, and ride quality is mostly good. This Toyota comes standard with all-wheel drive.

  • "There are now Normal and Sport modes, but the differences between them were negligible. So too are the differences between the myriad trim levels. We drove all of them, and although the gas-only XLE perhaps felt a bit lighter and more playful, and the sport-tuned XSE Hybrid a bit more caffeinated in its response to inputs, there isn't a massive gap. That's just fine. Every RAV4 is now better to drive — not just some niche sport variant." -- Autoblog
  • Ride comfort was rather difficult to judge on the smooth California roads, but while a bit on the firm side, it was compliant enough, though the … sporty Hybrid XSE felt a bit stiffer." -- Consumer Guide
  • The Hybrid's additional weight manifests in vertical ride motions that are more exaggerated than those of the conventional model, but not excessive. Likewise, its brake pedal feel is more synthetic than the regular RAV4." -- Edmunds
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