Sales of Toyota’s RAV4 may be stronger than ever, but the current model is long in the tooth, so the RAV4 is headed for a makeover. Since the 2013 model year, when this generation of RAV4 made its debut, Toyota has seen top challengers such as the Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5 undergo major redesigns, and with the compact-crossover segment having become so important, the RAV4 can’t afford to fall behind. Thus, Toyota will introduce the completely redesigned 2019 RAV4 at the 2018 New York auto show at the end of this month.
The announcement comes as no surprise; we’ve seen Toyota testing camouflaged versions of the new RAV4. Judging from the spy photos and this teaser, we anticipate the next RAV4 will adopt influences from the FT-AC concept that made its debut at the 2017 Los Angeles auto show. The body looks bulkier aft of the rear wheels, and the front end loses its pointed nose for a flatter, more upright grille. At the rear, the new RAV4 appears to retain its shelflike 3D taillights.
We expect the RAV4 will ride on the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, see a bevy of tech updates (possibly including Apple CarPlay), and adopt a full complement of standard safety features. So far, Toyota has ignored the trend toward small turbocharged engines, and we don’t think that’ll change for the 2019 RAV4; the new model may very well carry on with an improved version of the 2.5-liter four-cylinder it uses today. A hybrid option will be offered again as well. Finally, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the recently added Adventure model return as Toyota tries to bring more excitement to its lineup.
Crossovers are major money pots for all major manufacturers these days, and the RAV4 has passed the Camry to become Toyota’s top-selling vehicle, meaning that the importance of the new RAV4 cannot be understated. Look for more details leading up to the 2019 RAV4’s debut on March 28.