[Autoblog] 2019 Toyota RAV4 First Drive Review | Definitely not playing it safe - Toyota RAV4 Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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[Autoblog] 2019 Toyota RAV4 First Drive Review | Definitely not playing it safe

[Autoblog] 2019 Toyota RAV4 First Drive Review | Definitely not playing it safe

A profound stylistic and philosophical departure from the crossover it replaces



JAMES RISWICK

CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA, Calif. The 2019 Toyota RAV4 replaces a vehicle that sold 400,000 units last year despite being a lame duck riding on a 13-year-old platform. It's the best-selling vehicle in the country that's not a pickup. Playing it safe would be expected, it would be understandable, it would be exactly what Subaru did with the Forester.

And yet, Toyota did not play it safe with this completely redesigned 2019 RAV4. Not even close. It's stylistically and philosophically different, abandoning what its engineers and designers described as the "car-like" approach of its predecessor in favor of something closer to the SUV end of the spectrum. Though it still employs Toyota's increasingly ubiquitous TNGA car platform, the ride height is taller than before, the three available all-wheel-drive systems more sophisticated, and the styling more angular and macho. The new Adventure trim even borrows some cues from the Tacoma. If anything, this new 2019 RAV4 seems like a return to the approach of the third-generation RAV4, which was discontinued in 2012. The outgoing RAV4 is therefore sort of an evolutionary dead end.

The new RAV4 is also yet another new Toyota created since Chairman Akio Toyoda declared that the company with his name on the door "make better cars." Echoing the attitudes of other designers and engineers we've spoken to, the new RAV4's chief engineer and longtime company veteran Yoshikazu Saeki is clearly overjoyed to carry out the new marching orders. In fact, beyond making the new RAV4 subjectively "better," he wanted to fundamentally change perceptions.

Lots more photos and text than I expected for a "First Drive" review at Autoblog...

//Tony -- Three-time RAV'er!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 02:51 PM
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REDLINE review:

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 03:16 PM
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Does anyone else see the resemblance to the Ford Escape?



It's not huge, but the grill hit me as a Ford at first glance, maybe because I just came back from a car buying adventure and Ford was on my list initially.

My gray hair means I can say what I want. Deal with it.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-20-2018, 03:18 PM
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They both have 4 wheels and headlights. That's about it.

2016 RAV4 SE AWD Loaded in Barcelona Red
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018, 06:58 PM
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I had a Ford Kuga (Escape here) as a rental in Europe for a week, and while it worked it was deeply meh to drive. I hope the new RAV4 is a heck of a lot better!
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 07:19 AM
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Did you get a build date on your Rav4 ? I have a 12/20/18 date for mine.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 08:27 AM
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Gawd... I HATE when they use these concave lens when filming vehicles. It's like looking at the vehicle through a fish bowl!!

2015 National Champions. 2015 SEC Champions. Oh.... and a Heisman Award.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 03:54 PM
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HATE the new 2019, I got the cash and could get one if I wanted, but I opted to go new last week with a left over 2018. Bigger, more cargo area (the # 1 reason I get an SUV) and nicer looking. Flaws yes, better to me it is, the new one is Jeep esque I'll buy a Jeep if I wanted one... Oh and the last time I looked wheels and tires were round. I HATE squared or chiseled wheel wells HATE THEM (Chevy does that to the 1500 pickup YUCK!)
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-03-2019, 06:06 PM
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They need to make it solid. No crazy tech stuff, just solid. A good 4wd system with real lockers, a low range, and good towing ability. People would buy them like crazy. The new one has zero approach angle....

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old Today, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IMRAV4U View Post
HATE the new 2019, I got the cash and could get one if I wanted, but I opted to go new last week with a left over 2018. Bigger, more cargo area (the # 1 reason I get an SUV) and nicer looking. Flaws yes, better to me it is, the new one is Jeep esque I'll buy a Jeep if I wanted one... Oh and the last time I looked wheels and tires were round. I HATE squared or chiseled wheel wells HATE THEM (Chevy does that to the 1500 pickup YUCK!)
Not for all the same reasons, but I went for a leftover 2018 R4H as well. My main issue was with the changes to the cockpit. Every single one I noticed was in the wrong direction for me. Very happy with the 2018 I chose, even if it's an "evolutionary dead end", (as the reviewer called it.)

Owned 10 Toyotas, all white or silver.
Current stable:
2002 silver Tundra ('cuz you need yourself a truck.)
2005 silver Prius (250,000+ miles. Hers.)
2018 silver RAV4 Hybrid Limited ('nuf said.)
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