2019 RAV4 Arrives in Time to Take on Winter

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Doing their best with a month-long embargo, Kelley Blue Book gives their first impressions on the 2019 RAV4.

It can be hard to review the vehicles we receive sometimes, especially if the manufacturer drops an embargo on it. Though it can be slightly better if some details are already out in the open, we can only do so much without shooting ourselves in the foot. This also means the best any of us can do is give you a short, first impression of what we’re reviewing.

Such is the case with Kelley Blue Book‘s Micah Muzio and the 2019 RAV4. Toyota hooked Muzio up with a black XLE model, but left a placard on the rearview mirror stating he couldn’t present any “specs, driving impressions, MPG, or pricing” until November 20, 2018 at 7 a.m. So, he does the next best thing by reviewing the interior and other details already out in the open.

2019 Toyota RAV4

“Out in the real world, it looks handsome, if not outrageous,” says Muzio of the 2019 RAV4. “Though Toyota has spiced up each trim level with distinct styling touches. This XLE trim is pretty straight forward, but the Hybrid and Limited trims amp up the visual interest well, and the Adventure trim looks appropriately adventurous.”

2019 Toyota RAV4

The inside of the RAV4 is conservative when compared to the outside, though there are odd textures here and there, from the ridged door handles to the snowflake patterns on the cloth seats. There’s also a six-button drive-mode selector next to the shifter, and the InTune 3.0 system with support for Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa, but not Android Auto.

2019 Toyota RAV4

There’s plenty of legroom and headroom for rear passengers in the new RAV4, plus outboard armrests on each rear door. And you can’t beat having a big window on either side, which Muzio says “gives a nice, open airy feeling” when compared to the claustrophobic rear passenger section of the CH-R.

The RAV4 also has a re-positional cargo floor for easy loading of bags or securing items like “all the cans you could possibly need for a hurricane or a zombie apocalypse.”

2019 Toyota RAV4

“Toyota revealed a fair number of details at the 2018 New York Auto Show.” says Muzio, “So I should be safe talking about safety. On that front, all RAV4s include eight airbags and Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0, which bundles road sign-detection, full speed dynamic cruise control, pre-collision warning with pedestrian and daytime cyclist detection, and lane-departure alert with steering assist.”

2019 Toyota RAV4

Under the hood, the RAV4 will have a 2.5-liter inline-four “of indeterminate output” powering the front wheels standard, while all-wheel drive is optional, and torque vectoring is available on all but the Hybrid trim. The price of admission, however, is still under embargo.

2019 Toyota RAV4

“From a feature perspective, the 2019 RAV4 looks well-positioned versus a competitive set that includes, among others: the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Chevy Equinox, Mazda CX-5, and Nissan Rogue,” says Muzio. We can’t wait for the embargo to be lifted for a full driving impression of this new RAV4.

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Since launching her professional writing career nearly a decade ago as a fashion blogger, Cameron Aubernon has written for a handful of online and print publications on a wide variety of subjects, including expat issues, fashion, music, and, of course, the automotive industry. The automotive expert was even the editor-in-chief of a popular online lifestyle publication, where she reviewed luxury cars and interviewed fellow automotive enthusiasts.

A graduate of The Evergreen State College Class of 2005 with a bachelor's in liberal arts, Aubernon took a left turn from fashion writing into the automotive realm when she asked a fellow writer via Facebook if she could write for their site. Following an internship, stints with a couple of hyper-local online publications, and a move to Seattle, she made her then-biggest impact with The Truth About Cars, writing full-time for the publication from 2013 to 2015.

Currently, the highly-regarded automotive journalist is a frequent contributor to the high-traffic Internet Brands Auto Group websites Rennlist, Club Lexus, LS1Tech and Mustang Forums, among others.

Aubernon’s expert knowledge of all things Ford trucks has also made her a mainstay as one of the most prolific writers on Ford Truck Enthusiasts and F-150 Online.

Aubernon can be contacted via email at [email protected].

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