I Was Home For The Holidays Thanks To The Impressive 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
I know what you’re probably thinking. Why am I reviewing a 2019 vehicle when the 2020 version is already available and the new year is literally hours away?
Well, for one, the 2019 and 2020 versions aren’t much different in terms of design and features. Secondly, I was lucky enough to get to roll around in the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid while home visiting family for the holidays, and it was worth chatting about, so here we are.
I drove the Limited Hybrid model during an unseasonably warm Christmas week (we’re talking high 50s and low 60s) in Chicago. I drove throughout the city to hang with friends, in the suburbs to visit family, and literally just “around” sometimes to enjoy the less hectic roads that I’ve had to become used to in New York City. The car is comfortable, with its heated bucket front seats hugging you (they have a very useful two-position memory function by the way), and the 11-speaker JBL sound system playing back my favorite tunes through the Entune app and my Bluetooth. Aside from those simple comforts, the car is packed with quite a few other impressive features.
It’s a given that each new Toyota comes with the Safety Sense bundle, which includes the pedestrian detection and lane departure alert among other safety features (like the handy automatic high beams and the road sign assist). There’s also a panoramic glass roof, a bird’s eye view camera with perimeter scan and an overall 360-degree view. The dual zone climate control system is also great for riding around with that individual who gets hot a lot faster than you. You also can’t forget about those riding in the back, who have access to rear vents. An added perk? The climate control system has a dust and pollen filter to truly keep you comfortable in the vehicle, whether driver or passenger. Other tech bonuses include a generous number of USB ports for charging multiple devices at once, plenty of lights inside the vehicle like the front reading, an overhead dome and a light for packing up the cargo area, and a Wi-Fi connect when you just have to stay…well…connected.
There is plenty of space in the car, with 60/40 split reclining fold-flat rear seats, a roomy cargo area (with cover) and plenty of leg room. And outside of the vehicle, the exterior is sleek and sporty. Not only is the RAV4 Limited Hybrid wider than previous models, but there is a black hexagon-patterned grille in the front, flared fenders, a power liftgate and privacy glass on the rear windows. You may also appreciate the glossy black accents on the outside of the car and the projector-beam LED headlights to help you feel secure on dark roads.
As for the drive, in the Limited Hybrid, you can choose whether you want to operate the car in normal, Sport or ECO mode near the gear selector. The 8-inch multi-informational display keeps you in the know, whether you’re using navigation or want to find out what the name of the song is playing on the radio. The ride is smooth, and the car has pretty good fuel economy. It can do 41 miles in the city, 38 on the highway and 40 combined city and highway miles traveled before having to refill. While I didn’t do any spontaneous long-distance road trips, I made enough stops for me to respect the fact that I didn’t have to refill the car until I was preparing to drop it off after a week in my possession.
All that being said, if you are more interested in the most brand-spanking new model of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid or any other new car, you probably stopped reading long ago. However, if I still have your attention, I think you will like what this 2019 model has to offer. If you don’t want to trick out the Limited Hybrid, which starts around $35,000, you have cheaper options by switching models, including the very affordable LE that starts at $25,000. As for the vehicle I drove, it will get you far, it’s sporty and sleek, and don’t forget spacious. As you think about changing your car of choice, keep this one in mind, whatever year or RAV4 model of it you choose.