Her + His Car Reviews

2019 Toyota RAV4 XSE Hybrid AWD

Our car reviews are innovative and interesting as we provide insightful and expert reviews from both Her + His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

Our tester was priced at $35,850 Toyota RAV4 prices range from $27,850 to $35,850 with options.
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is a best buy for lots of reasons, starting with it being the top-rated hybrid and electric SUV's. Handling is pretty nimble while performance and acceleration feel relatively quick for an EV with a sturdy 219 horsepower - that delivers 163 lb-ft of torque. Hands down, we found this one of the strongest workhorses of its class, especially with the amount of space, comfort creatures and the durability and reliability of the Toyota moniker. All RAV4 Hybrid models have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired to an electric motor with a continuously variable automatic transmission. And an additional electric motor is used to power the rear wheels in low-traction situations. Total system output is 219 horsepower.

And it's good horsepower. The RAV4 Hybrid really scoots on highways, passing and when sudden acceleration is needed.
Fuel Economy
36 mpg city miles and 42 highway mpg. 39 combined mpg. We got a pretty remarkable average of 44 to 48 miles per gallon.
The Vehicle
Year in and year out, Toyota designers update and tweak, but they do not mess with a great equation. Improvements are always made - and mastered to the year before, and the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid is like previous years, only better. It's a real standout.

We love that this Hybrid SUV comes standard with All-Wheel Drive. Also, there are Eco, Trail and Sport modes to switch to, all providing slight nuances and variations for improved traction control and driving experience.

A clear well-laid out dash with good sized buttons to grab and control. Similarly, the leather seats are well stitched and appointed; ergonomically designed, heated and cooled. Once minor drawback is cabin noise. Apple CarPlay compatibility is standard yet there is no Android Auto which is a real design disadvantage to those large percentage of brand owners.

And, a bubble spare in back. More than most.
The RAV4 is the best-selling SUV, and for good reason. It is dependable, safe, tough as nails, will last for years, and is really comfortable along with many other laudable traits. And THIS year, the RAV4 is sexy. Very sexy.

It stands out from all of those other boxy all-wheel drive things on the road, and its angular, muscular profile, with character lines in all the right places, along with little things like the showy dual chrome exhausts, come together to make this one cool ride.

I found it to be inordinately comfortable, a blast to drive with plentiful acceleration, reassuring handling, and powerful brakes. It does take some getting used to for shorter drivers like me--from the inside it looks wide, tall and longer than it is in reality.

The interior has been dramatically updated with above quality materials arranged in a tasteful, futuristic design. Straight up-- I just fell in love with the RAV4, and I am one who NEVER thought I'd want a SUV. I'm in the market for a new car in the next year or two, and guess what goes to the top of the list? RAV4 hands down!
Multiple Driver and Passenger Air Bags, Child Safety Locks, Traction Control, LATCH, 4 Wheel ABS, 4 Wheel Brakes, Brake Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitor. Automatic High Beam Headlights, Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning.

The Roadside Assistance Program is available with this 2019 RAV4 Hybrid SUV. What are the services included in this 24/7 program? Included are Tire Changes, Lockouts, Jumpstarts with a dead battery, Fuel Delivery, Towing within 25 miles of closest Dealer, and Various Concierge services.
The list of standard safety equipment is pretty extensive, including Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is on all RAV4 Hybrid models and includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, auto high-beam headlights, and adaptive cruise control.
The 2019 RAV4 Hybrid AWD is loaded with technology. Sporting a Panoramic Moonroof, Proximity Key for easy access, Push Button Start - it also has a Universal Garage Door Opener. Add to the mix the Dual-Zone Climate Control to keep everyone happy for customized needs; also, a handy, integrated Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and an 11 Speaker JBL Stereo Sound System.

In our XSE is an 8" infotainment screen with Navigation, Satellite Radio, HD Radio/CD/ AM and FM Radio. Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror, Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers and Surround View paring Camera. Driver Assistance includes many items mentioned in Safety section.
All RAV4 Hybrid models come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired to an electric motor with a continuously variable automatic transmission. And an additional electric motor is used to power the rear wheels in low-traction situations.

The model tested was the XSE, which comes with standard equipment as 8-inch touchscreen system and the contents of the Convenience package. And, very cool black-painted 18-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, two-tone exterior paint, simulated-leather upholstery (SofTex), upgraded interior trim materials, a digital speedometer, a 7-inch digital driver-information display, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera, and additional interior ambient lighting.

If you are a prospective RAV4 Limited buyer, and you live in areas where the weather is, well, let's say trying--don't overlook the optional Limited Grade Weather package that includes a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, heated outboard rear passenger seats, and the de-icing and automatic wipers. You can also get the Limited Grade Advanced Technology package with proximity-entry sensors on all four doors, foot activation for the power liftgate, the wireless charging pad, and a surround-view parking camera system.
Aesthetics & Styling
We are delighted with the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid XSE AWD; the look is very modern for this EV SUV and it has an urban, sport feel to it; just check out the wheels for starters. The ride is comfortable, the acceleration is nimble and punchy - for a hybrid. Yet, towing capacity is 1,740 pounds so there is power, too.

Toyota has done a remarkable job to add technology and safety features on almost all versions of this model. The experience for drivers and passengers is that the ride is a comfortable one with a lower center of gravity. Five to six passengers can travel in the vehicle and have elbow room. Nicely done, Toyota.

We found that the hybrid only costs a bit more than the non-hybrid version - this is different than the BIG gap in pricing from just a few years ago. Final assembly is in Japan.
Since I've already waxed poetic about the exterior, let me say that the interior is a showplace, too. It's very comfortable, with stretch-out room front and back. I was impressed by the rugged, luxurious looks of the interior, and the Nav system was easy to read with a huge screen, too.

I wasn't pleased with the Entune infotainment system. It is not available with Android phones, yet we kept getting annoying invitations to downloaded. And for extra punishment for having an Android phone, it seemed that every time I left the car and returned, I had to reconnect the Bluetooth system. Toyota! Please make Entuned available for Android phones.

Another issue? Teeny tiny little tabs to operate the climate control system. And for my arms at least, at times when I thought that I could intuitively operate the windows without looking at the controls, I kept reaching beyond the power window switches, and sometimes engaged them for the wrong window.
3 year/36,000-mile Basic Warranty, 5 year/60,000-mile Powertrain Warranty. Three-year, 36,000-mile bumper to bumper warranty.