Join Date: Sep 2018
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Personally, I have no interest in the 2018 or older model years. Which is exactly why I never bought one. Discounting the price on a new 18MY RAV4 still doesnt change the boring styling, cheap interior, smaller cabin, avg fuel economy, weak 4cyl engine or seriously outdated infotainment system.
What attracts me to the 19MY RAV4 is all the above issues have received some pretty serious upgrades. For the first time the RAV4 actually looks masculine, almost like a mini-4Runner. The new powertrain adds an extra 30HP, 8spd transmission and advanced AWD which will seriously increase acceleration, MPG and traction in all conditions. Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 is standard on the 19MY and adds things like Adaptive Cruise Control that now works all the way down to a complete stop (0mph) and will be much more useful on long commutes or trips where traffic is stop and go. The same could be said for the updated Lane Keeping Assist which keeps the vehicle better centered in a lane, instead of ping-pong bouncing between lane markers.
But one of the biggest announcements for me is Toyota finally allowing CarPlay & Android Auto. Toyota's resistance to add those technologies, while sticking with the horrible Entune Infotainment system is a big reason why I lost interest for years (same could be said for Lexus horrible infotainment system). Entune is now up to version 3.0 but still pretty much sucks (read the reviews of the 2018 Camry). But more importantly I refuse to buy a new $35,000 car and then need to add a $10 smartphone mount to the windshield because thats the only way to use Waze on my commute. Im always amazed and the number of $50,000+ vehicles I pass on my commute that have an iPhone or Android mounted in the dash using a smartphone GPS app. Its proof of how poor most factory NAV/GPS/infotainment systems are and Entune is one of the worst. Even proud Tesla Model 3 owners still have to mount "dash of shame" smartphone in their vehicles to use Waze. Waze is the only GPS that shows cops, speed cameras, hazards in real time and is 100% crowd sourced. Its a must have for my commute and Im glad Toyota is finally allowing me to use it with the factory touchscreen.
As far as any extra discounts you'd get on a '18MY RAV4, dont forget after the initial rush of early adopters.. the '19MY RAV4 will receive its own share of discounts. Even those first in line to buy can find plenty of ways to buy at or below invoice pricing. Just use a dedicated car-buying service like Costco or TrueCar. Nobody should pay MSRP. Do your homework, compare all the features of new generation and buy the vehicle that fits your needs and wants. I imagine alot of people who think they are getting a great deal on a '18MY will have some serious buyers remorse the first time they see/ride in a '19MY. Its a significant difference in every category.