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AAA World Article

Car Review: Toyota RAV

The fact that the Toyota RAV4 has been around for nearly a quarter-century speaks volumes.

By Alan Rider

All photos courtesy of Toyota

The fact that the Toyota RAV4 has been around for nearly a quarter-century speaks volumes. So, too, does its current ranking as the best-selling model in the U.S. (excluding pickups) according to Kelley Blue Book.

This all-new fifth generation of the RAV4 should only solidify its position. Now based on the same underpinnings as the Camry sedan, this car-based compact crossover has adopted a more ready-for-anything stance with the introduction of the rugged new Adventure model we tested.

To go with its bolder styling, this RAV4 gets a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 203 horsepower and up to 34 miles-per-gallon highway. Sprightly gasoline-electric hybrid models, which clock in at 219 horsepower and 41 miles-per-gallon city, are also available.

Increased ground clearance now up to a healthy 8.6 inches helps set the Adventure model apart and gives it the off-pavement cred to live up to its name. Same goes for its more sophisticated all-wheel-drive system, with driver-selectable modes for conditions such as snow, mud, dirt, sand and even rocks.

Add a nicer, more comfortable interior and a full assortment of advanced safety features, and the Toyota RAV4 should retain its popularity well into the next decade.



  • 3,500-pound towing capacity (Adventure only; others: 1,500-pound towing capacity)
  • Impressive fuel economy in hybrid models
  • Improved steering feel/handling
  • Advanced safety features, including full automatic emergency braking, come standard.


  • Engine is noisy under hard acceleration.
  • No Android Auto smartphone integration available
  • Front passenger seat is not height-adjustable.


Bottom Line

  • With nine variants and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive, there’s likely to be a Toyota RAV4 that’s right for you.


  • Base Price: $25,500
  • As Tested: $33,945


  • NHTSA: Not yet tested
  • IIHS: Not yet tested


M.P.G. (city/highway)

  • 26/35 (front-wheel drive)
  • 25/33 (all-wheel drive)


Interesting Technology

  • Available digital rearview mirror
  • Apple CarPlay smartphone integration
  • Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant capability

Also Consider

  • Honda CR-V
  • Subaru Forester

This car review originally appeared in the May/June 2019 edition of AAA World.

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