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Here is something to consider: Last year, Toyota sold more than 400,000 RAV4s in the U.S. Impressive to say in the least as that model was nearing the end of its lifecycle. But the impressive sales number leaves Toyota in a tough spot when it comes to redesigning. Do they play it safe to continue the upward trend in sales or take a chance? With the 2019 RAV4, Toyota went with the latter option.

We were expecting elements of the FT-AC shown at last year's LA Auto Show to appear on the RAV4. We weren't expecting Toyota to take the FT-AC and make into the new RAV4. The chunky, boxy look of the concept has made it into production. The Adventure model looks very SUV-like with a grille similar to the Tacoma, body cladding, and large roof rails. Overall length drops by 0.2-inches to 180.9, while overall wheelbase increases by 1.2-inches.

Toyota has cleaned up the RAV4's interior to make it a bit more harmonious. The new look is very upscale and features a revamped center stack. A choice of a 7- or 8-inch touchscreen houses the latest version of Toyota's Entune featuring Apple CarPlay integration - those with Android phones are still out of luck. Optional equipment includes Qi wireless charging and an 800-Watt JBL audio system.

Two powertrains will be on offer for the 2018 RAV4 - a 2.5L four-cylinder paired with an eight-speed automatic and a hybrid powertrain paired with a CVT. No power figures were given on either powertrain. Three AWD systems will be available including their AWD-i system for hybrid models and one that will offer torque vectoring and the ability to disconnect the rear axle to improve fuel economy.

The 2019 RAV4 arrives at dealers in December, with the hybrid following in February.

Source: Toyota
Press Release is on Page 2


All-New 2019 Toyota RAV4 Serves Up a Breakthrough Debut at New York International Auto Show

  • All-New Robust Design and Unparalleled Driving Experience
  • 2.5L Inline-4 and Toyota Hybrid System Powertrains Offering More Power and MPG
  • TNGA K Platform with Multi-Link Rear Suspension
  • Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0)
  • Debut of All-New Sporty Hybrid Grade, XSE Hybrid
  • Standard Entune 3.0 with Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon, Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay Compatibility
  • True Off-Road Capabilities with Available Multi-Terrain Select and an Available Toyota-First, Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect

NEW YORK, March 28, 2018 – All the stops have been pulled for the world debut of the all-new 2019 Toyota RAV4. The vehicle that created the small sport utility vehicle (SUV) segment makes its fifth-generation debut at the New York International Auto Show.
 
Over the years, Toyota has listened to owners and dealers and it has paid off. Over the last five years, RAV4 volume has doubled, which speaks profoundly to the segment’s attractiveness and growth, and ultimately, RAV4’s popularity. RAV4 currently ranks as the number-one-selling vehicle in the Toyota lineup, as well as the best-selling non-pickup-truck in the country.

No matter the grade, every RAV4 is a winning choice, whether it’s for a city exploration, a weekend trip to the countryside, or a jaunt on the trails. When it becomes available in the winter at the end of 2018 (with hybrid models right behind in early 2019), we predict that the all-new RAV4 will premiere, yet again, at the forefront—both for the Toyota brand and the segment.
 
Get Up and Go!

For the all-new RAV4, designers kept in mind design elements of Adventure and Refined to allow owners to get up and go in their RAV4, no matter the time or place. An emphasis was placed on maximizing the presence of a small SUV while maintaining high levels of finesse inside and out.
 
Each body panel has a sophisticated twist to it, with a chiseled appearance that is a perfect combination of athleticism and charisma. The stronger nose leads into a more dynamic profile, robust shoulders, and available 19-inch wheels, making for a powerful stance ready to tackle any road, any time.
 
The implementation of the TNGA platform allows RAV4 to adopt the charisma of a bolder and tougher SUV, but in a package that is lower and wider. The longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks provide a stable, confident driving platform. For off-road prowess, the shorter front and rear overhangs will aid in RAV4’s ability to overcome rugged terrain.
 
The unibody chassis is 57 percent more rigid than the outgoing version. RAV4 incorporates an optimally tuned multi-link rear suspension, providing ideal damping for handling, minimum interior cabin noise, and the utmost ride comfort. Ground clearance has been increased by more than half an inch, yet RAV4 is able to achieve improved aerodynamics.
 
The relocated side mirrors are now positioned lower on the door for increased forward visibility around the A-pillar. Side visibility is increased thanks to a lowered beltline and the redesigned and enlarged rear-quarter glass assists with rear-diagonal visibility.

2019 RAV4 LIMITED PRELIMINARY EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS (vs. 2018) [difference]
Wheelbase 105.9 in. (104.7 in.) [+1.2 in.]
Overall Length 180.9 in. (181.1 in.) [-0.2 in.]
Overall Width 73 in. (72.6 in.) [+0.4 in.]
Overall Height 66.9 in. (67.1 in. *with roof rail) [-0.2 in.]

Unparalleled Driving Experience with More Power, MPG and Capabilities

Engineers worked for about four years to fine-tune every aspect of RAV4’s performance, handling stability and ride comfort. The end goal was simple: engineer a driving experience that is Confident and Natural.
 
This unmatched performance was realized thanks to a group of takumi—highly-trained master craftsmen—who strived to develop a vehicle that acts and reacts as the driver intends, even in extreme weather and road conditions. Including the takumi in the development process was just another layer of enhancement to the overall design approach led by the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) philosophy. These master craftsmen focused on working together to improve vehicle performance at various stages of the development process to deliver an ever-better RAV4.
 
The power source for RAV4’s driving abilities comes from one of two powertrains:

  • Dynamic Force 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine with VVT-iE mated to an 8-speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission, which motivates the five gas models
  • Dynamic Force 2.5-liter inline-four-cylinder Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) engine with Electronically-Controlled Continuously-Variable Transmission (ECVT), which activates the four hybrid models

The takumi were precise with the development of RAV4’s structure and configuration to achieve an increase in performance as a whole. The engine utilizes high-speed combustion technology and a variable control system for greater thermal efficiency output, which reduces energy losses associated with exhaust and cooling systems and the movement of mechanical parts, among other factors. With a 40-percent thermal efficiency (41 percent for hybrids), the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine is the ideal powerplant for the all-new RAV4 to meet the demand of providing a highly responsive, yet fuel efficient driving experience. The Direct Shift-8AT transmission provides direct lock-up from gears two through eight to eliminate power loss from the torque converter, executing ideal smooth shifts.
 
The Toyota-first, Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect, is nothing short of impressive, and enables drivers to steer the vehicle as intended, even atop the toughest of roads.
 
Standard on AWD-equipped Limited gas and Adventure grade models, Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect can send 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, plus distribute it to the left or right rear wheel for improved handling. When AWD isn’t required (on long stretches of highway, for example), RAV4 can achieve better fuel economy thanks to the Rear Driveline Disconnect system. The disconnection features the world’s first ratchet-type dog clutches on both the front and rear wheel shafts. These clutches stop the driveshaft’s rotations, thus transmitting the driving force to the front wheels when AWD isn’t required, significantly reducing energy loss, improving fuel efficiency, and reducing rotational vibration making for a smoother ride.
 
This all-new AWD system is one of three available on the all-new RAV4; it joins the AWD-i system available on hybrid grades and the (non-Dynamic Torque Vectoring) AWD system available on core gas grades.
 
When paired with the new All-Wheel Drive with Intelligence (AWD-i), RAV4 Hybrid increases the total torque to the rear wheels—which is electronically driven—by 30 percent compared to the current generation AWD-i system. By adopting a new control system that optimally distributes torque to the rear wheels based on the driving conditions, the new AWD-i system offers high off-road performance, handling, and ability.
 
RAV4’s unparalleled driving experience is just one of the ways the all-new RAV4 exceeds expectations for owners, the segment, and the industry.
 
XSE Hybrid: The Sportiest RAV4

For those who prefer sportier driving dynamics, XSE Hybrid stays ready with the perfect conflation of sport and utility. XSE is an all-new addition to RAV4’s Hybrid family.
 
The piano-black accents across the front end, mirror caps, fender arches, and lower rockers set the stage for XSE Hybrid’s sporty appeal. Unique to RAV4 Hybrids, projector-beam LED headlamps flank each side of the grille (on XLE and above) for a brighter, sharper, and ideally angled light source.
 
Standard on all RAV4 Hybrid models, the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) works in sync with the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder Dynamic Force Engine for an impressive balance of energy efficiency and supreme power output. Performance-wise, XSE Hybrid is truly the “no compromise” grade thanks to its enhanced power and acceleration. When paired with its sport-tuned suspension having tauter shock absorbers and springs, RAV4 XSE Hybrid takes the throne as the quickest—and best-handling—RAV4 in the lineup.
 
While driving thrills behind XSE Hybrid’s steering wheel are standard, that’s not all guests get: In any RAV4 Hybrid, drivers can look forward to anticipated class-leading fuel efficiency and increases in horsepower and acceleration, respectively.

On- and Off-Road Fun

For explorers looking to satisfy their outdoorsy cravings, RAV4 Adventure has the capabilities for all types of off-road fun.
 
RAV4 Adventure is distinguishable among the other grades with its standard high-rise roof rails and large over-fenders. Inspired by Toyota’s off-road vehicle heritage, RAV4 Adventure grade has a more rugged exterior, thanks in part to its more aggressive grille, fog light surrounds, and unique wheel design. It answers the call designers had of Robust with its stout stance, standard Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect, and a reliable and tough functionality that’s apt for any road.
 
The fun ratchets up once pavement blends into dirt thanks to Multi-Terrain Select. Standard on all AWD-equipped gas RAV4 models, Multi-Terrain Select gives drivers the ability to maximize traction when driving through snow, mud, sand, or rocks. The system is easy to use thanks to a control dial (or buttons) positioned in the center console to the left of the shift knob.
 
Two-Tone Magnetism

RAV4 XSE Hybrid’s striking personality screams sporty, thanks to its standard two-tone exterior paint scheme. The black roof is paired with either Blizzard Pearl, Silver Sky Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, or Blueprint (a new color to the palette). RAV4 XSE Hybrid’s exclusive interior comes mono-spec with black Softex material and blue accents throughout.
 
RAV4 Adventure grade can be had with an Ice Edge-colored roof that is paired with one of three exterior colors: Midnight Black Metallic or Blue Flame, both of which are new for RAV4; or Lunar Rock, an all-new color to the Toyota lineup that makes its first mission on RAV4. Inside, interior seat finishes come in either black or a grade-exclusive, Mocha-colored Softex, with the latter being a brand-new interior finish in the Toyota lineup. Orange stitching accents the interior with additional orange appointments placed throughout the dashboard.
 
RAV4 keeps admirers star-struck even when its fitted with additional full-body color options like Super White and Ruby Flare Pearl.
 
Premium Limited Style

Blissful weekend retreats are the ideal destination when behind the wheel of RAV4 Limited. As the top grade, drivers and passengers will enjoy amenities and features befitting its premium style. At first glance, RAV4 Limited’s 19-inch alloy wheels and chrome accents set it apart from the other grades. Once inside though, Limited’s essence truly takes the stage.
 
Standard features include a front-row moonroof and 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory and 2-way lumbar support. Tech-wise, RAV4 Limited comes standard with a newly-designed 7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) and, for the first time in a Toyota vehicle in North America, a Digital Display Rearview Mirror. By default, the display is a conventional rearview mirror but with the flip of a switch, drivers have an increased field of vision coming through the rearview mirror, displaying what is behind the vehicle thanks to a high-mounted, adjustable wide-angle, high-definition camera affixed on the rear of vehicle.
 
Optional content that enhances the ambiance includes ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and a panoramic moonroof. When the weekend’s gear fills both hands, the available hands-free power liftgate helps considerably by opening with a wave of the foot below the rear bumper.
 
Elevated Cabin Atmospheres

Designers applied the theme of Refined to every detail of the interior cabin, resulting in an impressive arrangement that suits a wide variety of driving experiences and preferences. The interior atmosphere represents an elevated sophistication with a premium, modern design and uncomplicated layout.
 
Between front passengers sits a center console having a repositioned standard Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) for easier accessibility. Ergonomics have been further enhanced by an increase in the console’s volume, side-by-side cup holders, and an open tray capable of holding small items, with optional Qi wireless charger. The in-dash tray within arm’s reach of front passengers will see its share of electronics, sunglasses, and travel must-haves. A standard smooth boot adorns the top of the shifter, and the HVAC knobs in the center panel are redesigned for improved tactility. 
 
Rear seat passengers will appreciate the spacious back cabin thanks to an increase in left and right couple distance, as well as legroom. The rear cargo area adopts a reversible liner as well as side nets for storing small items and the 60/40 folding rear seats are ready to accommodate essentials like surf boards, suitcases, or camping gear.
 
Advanced Media with Precise Harmony

Every RAV4 is equipped with Entune 3.0 multimedia including Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon, hands-free access to Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
 
The standard Entune 3.0 audio system houses a 7-inch touchscreen that is perched atop the center stack. Entune 3.0 Audio Plus adds an eight-inch touchscreen and Sirius XM Radio. Entune 3.0 Premium Audio enhances the multimedia system with embedded dynamic navigation to help drivers chart their course.
 
Enhancing onboard multimedia features, RAV4 can be had with up to five USB ports between the front and rear rows and an optional Qi wireless charging tray positioned at the front of the center console.
 
RAV4’s multimedia setup is complemented by an all-new available JBL audio system. The next-generation premium audio setup incorporates an enhanced system architecture, new speaker design, and an improved tuning process. The result is an all-access pass to the most intimate music concert, all from inside a RAV4.
 
The available JBL audio system provides harmonious audio via 11 speakers across 8 channels at 800 watts:

  • Two Horn Tweeters
    • Located in the A-pillar for optimal high-frequency performance
  • HiD8 Amplifier
    • Next-generation amplifier powering the 800 watts
  • Two Wide Dispersion Instrument Panel Speakers
    • Providing greater sound and alert functionality
  • Two Wide Dispersion Front Door Speakers
    • Enhanced sound quality for front passengers
  • Ported Subwoofer with Enclosure
    • More powerful deep-bass response tucked away in the rear quarter
  • Two Full Range Rear Door Speakers
    • Enhanced sound quality for rear passengers
  • Clari-Fi Technology
    • Intelligently adjusts to every audio format to match source quality with the precise level of audio restoration necessary

Next Generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS)

Toyota continues to lead the pack when it comes to safety, and the all-new RAV4 provides drivers and passengers with standard safety technologies that help move Toyota one step closer to achieving the ultimate goal of zero casualties from traffic accidents.  
 
RAV4 comes standard with TSS 2.0, the second generation of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS). The updated safety package adds new active-safety technologies and capabilities that enhance protection.
 
Breakdowns of each technology are as follows:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD):
    • Capability to detect a preceding vehicle or pedestrian in daytime or with better low-light recognition capabilities, or daytime bicyclist (new), and alert the driver (audible and visual warnings) and/or apply brakes to help mitigate or avoid the collision in certain cases (using Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Brake Assist (BA), and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB)).
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC):
    • For highways/freeways only – an adaptive cruise control that functions at speeds between 0 to 110 mph and enables low-speed speed matching, stopping, and acceleration/deceleration relative to a preceding vehicle traveling at a slower speed. Speed, cut-in, and distance control enhanced, as well as Turn Signal Linked control added, for a more natural response.
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA):
    • Newly added to LDA w/SA is the capability, under some circumstances, to detect the road’s edge, in addition to the pre-existing capability to detect visible lane markers and the vehicle’s position in the lane. If unintentional lane deviation is detected, the system alerts the driver with audible and visual warnings. Steering Assist can provide small corrective steering inputs to help the driver prevent the vehicle from unintentionally leaving its lane.
  • Automatic High Beam (AHB):
    • Capability to automatically activate and deactivate high beams based on driving environment and preceding vehicle’s lights.
  • (NEW) Lane Tracing Assist (LTA):
    • For highways/freeways only and can be enabled when using DRCC – Capability to recognize white or yellow lane markings or the path of a preceding vehicle if lane markers are temporarily unavailable; to identify and actively track the center of the lane by providing steering assistance to the driver (hands-on, driver-assist system). Reduces driver burden and supports safe driving, especially in traffic congestion or long highway trips. The LTA system can be turned on/off.
  • (NEW) Road Sign Assist (RSA):
    • Capability to identify certain Stop, Yield, Do Not Enter and Speed Limit signs and display a warning (visual and audible alerts). Alerts vary based on sign type and are displayed on the Multi-Information Display. 

Eight airbags come standard on the 2019 RAV4, and so does Toyota’s Star Safety System, which includes Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop Technology (SST). Available safety technologies include Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), Bird’s Eye View Camera, Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), and Rear Cross Traffic Braking (RCTB) system. RAV4 comes equipped with a standard backup camera and standard Electronic Parking Brake (EPB).


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Looks good, really good.  The Adventure front fascia is nice--truck like, the other fascias are too overwrought, IMO. 

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They really did their homework here... I'm impressed how many options they are offering for different needs (higher towing capacity, better off-road options..).  Much better looking dash than the CRV.  Have to wonder if they will offer a PHEV version in a few years.

Ok Subaru, you are on the clock.. hope the Forester base powertrain is much improved because I doubt it will look this nice.

 

 

 

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My buddy just finished car shopping. Said he opened the door on a new '18 RAV4, then promptly shut it. Said it reeked of cheapness & he didn't even want to sit in it. And he's a Japanese car buyer (bought a CX-5 instead).

Toyota really seems adrift stylistically. On this one, for a supposed off-roader, it's VERY strange to have such thick plastic wheelwell flares, yet have a break fore & aft where the paint is exposed to the edge.

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Meah, have it look like a baby 4Runner and still a plastic bundle of Blah.

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That interior says one thing: Ready for Anything.  CR-V is officially on notice.

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Why would they update already if sales are that great? Why not hold off a year or two(or even 3!) and just rake in the cash to put towards other development because they sell so damn well.

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It was still outselling the CRV, but maybe now they can do it with less discounting and want to move their production lines to TNGA.  It is just another nail in the coffin of mediocre midsize sedans..  At least now they won't be an also ran when CUV comparisons happen in the press.  Why can't they fit another CUV between this and the puny CHR?  Maybe the upcoming Prius V will fill that role.
image.thumb.png.2a6e061a8f82adcbd04b919c8ab894aa.png

Edited by frogger

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First Toyota in a very long time that I really like.  Will see how it drives, hopefully much better

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7 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

It's... actually really good! The interior too! I wouldn't mind driving one.  CR-V is put on notice.

Actually yes I agree.

image.jpeg

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I'm getting the pictures loaded into Lightroom now for processing.  I think you all know my opinion on Toyota styling of existing products.... but I think this really changes the market for them. This RAV4 is now closer to Jeep Wrangler rugged looks than the Cherokee is.

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The front end looks too busy and ugly.  The inside looks of good quality, but I like the design of some other brands more.  I feel like every Toyota from the past 10 years has had the 2.5 liter 4-cylinder.

Floating NAV screen strikes again!

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I'd have to look, but I think this 2.5 liter is all-new and supposed to have some ridiculously high MPG numbers for even the non-hybrid version

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2 hours ago, smk4565 said:

The front end looks too busy and ugly.  The inside looks of good quality, but I like the design of some other brands more.  I feel like every Toyota from the past 10 years has had the 2.5 liter 4-cylinder.

Floating NAV screen strikes again!

Wrong not the Floating nav screen of MB. This one has no space under it and you can see from the side it is clearly built into the dash unlike MB where it was a monitor arm to the screen, true floating. This one is based into the dash with no open area around the bottom.

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OMG this is like a perfected Jeep Compass Trailhawk in Adventure trim (right down to the terrain select knob with rock mode, the wheel arches and the black/machined wheel design) ... I am very intrigued by this... I want a Lunar Green one with white roof.  Unless Jeep steps up their game with the Compass... this is now able to cover the "rugged" compact CUV class... the weenie hybrid compact CUV class... it covers ALL the bases very professionally.

This and the Aviator OWN New York!

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Guest TennCarGuy

Toyota did a great job of buffing up the Rav4.  Definately more masculine than feminine this time. Will probably be the top selling CUV  for a while until Nissan brings out the next Rouge (currently out selling all CUVs). 

Now that all the other manufactures have put their CUV cards on the table,Nissan knows what they need to do with the next Rouge to keep it on top. Expect them to have the next Rouge ready by mid 2019 with new styling, upgraded interiors and tech, and an upgraded power train(currently its weakest trait).

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I guess the new Altima updated 4-banger will be the powertrain in the new Rogue too.. But it will still have a CVT.
I'm not clear on how well the Rogue sells vs the RAV4 because they bundle the sale figures with the Rogue Sport in the USA  which is a completely different car (sells as the Qashqai elsewhere including Canada).  Could it be that 50k of the annual Rogue sales are the Rogue Sport in the US.

 

 

 

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I like the exterior, hate the interior.

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EXCLUSIVE preview of the next rouge:

too-much-blush.png

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I had to take a good look at this....

It's weakest point is the front end (but the Advent pkg), but the rest of the CUV came to play. There are nearly no one in this class that could touch it for a all arounder at this point. Maybe it was the the angle of the shots-but it looked like it had a pretty long nose there...

Overall-it has me wanting to see and test drive one. Nuff said....

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On fuelly, 2018 Camry owners are averaging 31.4 mpg combined with the new 2.5l engine, so maybe 27mpg combined will be the number for the new RAV4, and 35 for the hybrid.

 

Edited by frogger
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      As for the 6.2L V8, it is a monster. With 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet, it moves the Sierra at a surprising rate. Making a pass or merging on to a freeway is no problem as there is an abundance of power waiting to be unleashed. A new ten-speed automatic (jointly developed with Ford) helps keep the engine right in the spot of power. Unless you need or want all of the power, the 5.3 is the engine I would recommend for either truck.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the V8s are 15 City/20 Highway/17 Combined for the 5.3 and 15/19/17 for the 6.2L AT4.  My averages for the week were 16.1 for the 5.3 and 15.2 for the 6.2. 
      Ram is still the gold standard when it comes to ride quality due to its rear coil spring setup. But GM isn’t so far behind with its solid rear axle setup. Most bumps and imperfections become mere ripples. Larger potholes didn’t upset either truck, but I would put that towards the off-road suspension. The standard trucks may bounce around. Handling is quite surprising as both trucks feel agile around bends. Noise isolation, for the most part, is excellent, though the knobby tires fitted to the Trail Boss and AT4 do ruin some of the tranquility.
      My feelings are mixed on the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 1500. GM has either fixed or improved various problems that I have talked about in previous reviews. But it feels GM hasn’t done enough to fully set their trucks apart from the competition. I think this line from my journal says it all.
      “If General Motors wasn’t touting various aspects of these new trucks such as the aluminum body panels or multi-pro tailgate, I would have thought both models went through a dramatic mid-cycle refresh.”
      This could give the full explanation as to why the Silverado and Sierra are currently getting beaten out by Ford and Ram Trucks in the sales chart. Buyers may not see any real changes for both trucks when compared against the competition. GM has been on the offensive, saying to be patient. But that approach may not work and may cause the automaker to draw up some drastic measures.
      That’s the thing about the full-size truck market, you need to show up with the best. Anything less and you’re in danger of losing. 
      How I would configure a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra 1500.
      There are two options I would consider with the Silverado. First is the RST. I would order a 4WD crew cab with a short and opt for the 5.3L V8. From there, I would add the Convenience Package with Bucket Seats, Convenience Package II, Safety Package, and Trailering Package. That brings the final price to $52,745 excluding any discounts I could get. Second is the Trail Boss which gets the 5.3L V8 as standard. Options would mirror the RST and bring the final price to $54,285.
      If I was to order a Sierra 1500, then I would start with the SLT Crew Cab 4WD with a short bed. This comes with the 5.3L V8 as standard and I would only add two options; Dark Sky Metallic for $495 and the SLT Premium Plus Package for $6,875. This package combines a number of option packages such as the SLT Preferred Package and the two Driver Alert Packages. The final price comes to $60,460 with a $1,000 discount for ordering Premium Plus Package.
      Alternatives to the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado or GMC Sierra 1500.
      2019 Ram 1500: Ram's redesign on the 1500 has helped make it a real challenger to both Ford and GM. The interior raises the bar of what a truck can be with an impressive design and high-quality material choices. It also boasts an impressive list of safety features such as adaptive cruise control. Ride quality is still class leading. What may put some people off is the styling as it looks a bit plain. 2019 Ford F-150: Bestselling for reason, Ford has constantly improved the F-150 to keep it one step ahead of the competition. It features one of the largest selection of powertrains that help give it some impressive towing numbers. A number of trims also gives buyers different options to build their F-150 the way they want. But Ford trails Ram and GM when it comes ride quality. Disclaimer: General Motors Provided the trucks, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      (*Author's Note: Unfortunately, I lost the window sticker to the GMC Sierra 1500 I drove. I have built the truck as close as possible to my memory to get an approximation on price. -WM)
      Year: 2019
      Make: Chevrolet
      Model: Silverado 1500
      Trim: LT Trail Boss
      Engine: 5.3L VVT DI V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management and Stop/Start
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 355 @ 5,600
      Torque @ RPM: 383 @ 4,100
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/20/17
      Curb Weight: 5,008 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Roanoke, Indiana
      Base Price: $48,300
      As Tested Price: $55,955 (Includes $1,495 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Convenience Package with Bucket Seats - $1,805.00
      Convenience Package II - $1,420.00
      Off-Road Assist Steps - $895.00
      Safety Package I - $890.00
      Bed Protection Package - $635.00
      Trailer Brake Controller - $275.00
      Advanced Trailering Package - $240.00
      Year: 2019
      Make: GMC
      Model: Sierra 1500
      Trim: AT4
      Engine: 6.2L VVT DI V8 with Dynamic Fuel Management and Stop/Start
      Driveline: Ten-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 420 @ 5,600 
      Torque @ RPM: 460 @ 4,100
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 15/19/17
      Curb Weight: 5,015 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Roanoke, Indiana
      Base Price: $53,200
      As Tested Price: $64,955 (Includes $1,595 Destination Charge and $500 discount for the AT4 Premium Package)*
      Options:
      Off-Road Performance Package - $4,940
      AT4 Premium Package - $3,100 with a $500 discount
      Technology Package - $1,875
      Driver Alert Package II - $745
    • By William Maley
      The Kia Forte could never claim to be the best compact car, but its low price and a long list of equipment made it an interesting alternative choice to the stalwarts of the compact class. This approach has worked well with the Forte becoming one of the brand’s best selling models. Kia wants to change the fortunes of the Forte with third-generation by not fully relying on price and value.  I spent a week in the top-line EX Launch Edition to see how it fares.
      The new Mazda3 is considered by many to be the sexiest compact car on sale. Running a close second is the Forte. Elements of the Stinger are used throughout such as power bulge on the hood, headlights that extend into the fenders, and sculpting along the side. The only place where the design falters is in the rear with a set of triangular pods housing the reversing lights and turn signals. They ruin the elegant and upscale look Kia is trying to go for.
      The Forte’s interior at first glance may look somewhat plain, with only a set of circular vents and a strip of faux metal trim running across the dash being the interesting bits. But Kia has done its homework in building a high-quality interior. Almost all of the plastics used are soft-touch and feature different textures to make the vehicle look and feel more expensive than the actual price. Clever touches such as dual-zone climate control being standard on all models and a two-tier bin allowing you and a passenger to place their phones also set the Forte apart.
      The EX features leatherette upholstery, a 10-way power seat for the driver, and heat/ventilation for those sitting up front. I found the seats to be very easy to find a comfortable position, along with providing excellent support for long trips. The back seat is mixed with a decent of legroom, but headroom being somewhat at a premium due to an optional sunroof for those above six-feet.
      All Fortes come with an 8-inch touchscreen as standard with Kia’s UVO infotainment system. Navigation is only available on the EX if you order the Launch Edition package. The current incarnation of UVO is starting to look somewhat old in terms of the interface. It cannot be beaten for the overall ease of use with large touchpoints, simple menu layout, and physical shortcut buttons underneath the screen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration is standard across the board.
      Power comes from a 2.0L four-cylinder engine pumping out 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. The base FE gets a six-speed manual, while higher trims use a CVT. The powertrain goes about its business surprisingly well around down with the engine providing decent pull and the CVT mimicking an automatic transmission. But this powertrain falters when you need to get up to speed quickly. The engine runs out of steam when going above 60 mph and there is a noticeable drone coming from the CVT.
      Fuel economy in the 2019 Kia Forte EX is rated at 30 City/40 Highway/34 Combined. My average for the week landed around 33.
      The Forte really shines when it comes to ride quality. Despite having a slightly stiffer ride compared to the last-generation model, the sedan glides over most bumps with no issue. Road and wind noise were about average for the class, and could easily be drowned out by turning up the volume slightly. Handling is about average for the class with a slight amount of body lean and steering providing decent weight.
      To sum up, the large effort Kia has put into the 2019 Forte shows. The combination of styling, a long list of features, balance between ride and handling, and a surprising base price make it a real threat in the compact car class. The only item that needs to be addressed is the engine - ten extra horsepower and torque could make the difference. 
      How I would configure a 2019 Kia Forte 
      While the EX Launch Edition does provide some desirable features such as adaptive cruise control, QI wireless charging, and a Harman/Kardon audio system, I would drop down to the mid-level S. At $20,290, you’re getting a lot of equipment such as 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, forward collision warning with automatic braking, and keyless entry. I would add the $1,200 S Premium Package to get LED headlights, automatic high beams, and a power sunroof. With destination, the price comes to $22,415. Alternatives to the 2019 Kia Forte
      Hyundai Elantra: Mechanically similar to the Forte, albeit with a face that will scare small kids. Two turbo engine options - one focused on the economy while the other is for sport - might be attractive to some. Honda Civic: Drives slightly better than the Forte and offers more body styles. But lower reliability scores and confounding infotainment systems may cause you to look elsewhere. Chevrolet Cruze: While it lacks a number of features found on the Forte, it does offer a slightly smoother and quieter ride. Plus, dealers are starting to push a lot of cash on the hoods to get them moving.   
      Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Forte, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Kia 
      Model: Forte
      Trim: EX
      Engine: 2.0L Multi-Port DOHC Inline-Four
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 147 @ 6,200
      Torque @ RPM: 132 @ 4,500 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 30/40/34
      Curb Weight: 2,903 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Pesqueria, NL, Mexico
      Base Price: $21,990
      As Tested Price: $26,220 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      EX Launch Edtion - $3,210.00
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The Kia Forte could never claim to be the best compact car, but its low price and a long list of equipment made it an interesting alternative choice to the stalwarts of the compact class. This approach has worked well with the Forte becoming one of the brand’s best selling models. Kia wants to change the fortunes of the Forte with third-generation by not fully relying on price and value.  I spent a week in the top-line EX Launch Edition to see how it fares.
      The new Mazda3 is considered by many to be the sexiest compact car on sale. Running a close second is the Forte. Elements of the Stinger are used throughout such as power bulge on the hood, headlights that extend into the fenders, and sculpting along the side. The only place where the design falters is in the rear with a set of triangular pods housing the reversing lights and turn signals. They ruin the elegant and upscale look Kia is trying to go for.
      The Forte’s interior at first glance may look somewhat plain, with only a set of circular vents and a strip of faux metal trim running across the dash being the interesting bits. But Kia has done its homework in building a high-quality interior. Almost all of the plastics used are soft-touch and feature different textures to make the vehicle look and feel more expensive than the actual price. Clever touches such as dual-zone climate control being standard on all models and a two-tier bin allowing you and a passenger to place their phones also set the Forte apart.
      The EX features leatherette upholstery, a 10-way power seat for the driver, and heat/ventilation for those sitting up front. I found the seats to be very easy to find a comfortable position, along with providing excellent support for long trips. The back seat is mixed with a decent of legroom, but headroom being somewhat at a premium due to an optional sunroof for those above six-feet.
      All Fortes come with an 8-inch touchscreen as standard with Kia’s UVO infotainment system. Navigation is only available on the EX if you order the Launch Edition package. The current incarnation of UVO is starting to look somewhat old in terms of the interface. It cannot be beaten for the overall ease of use with large touchpoints, simple menu layout, and physical shortcut buttons underneath the screen. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration is standard across the board.
      Power comes from a 2.0L four-cylinder engine pumping out 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. The base FE gets a six-speed manual, while higher trims use a CVT. The powertrain goes about its business surprisingly well around down with the engine providing decent pull and the CVT mimicking an automatic transmission. But this powertrain falters when you need to get up to speed quickly. The engine runs out of steam when going above 60 mph and there is a noticeable drone coming from the CVT.
      Fuel economy in the 2019 Kia Forte EX is rated at 30 City/40 Highway/34 Combined. My average for the week landed around 33.
      The Forte really shines when it comes to ride quality. Despite having a slightly stiffer ride compared to the last-generation model, the sedan glides over most bumps with no issue. Road and wind noise were about average for the class, and could easily be drowned out by turning up the volume slightly. Handling is about average for the class with a slight amount of body lean and steering providing decent weight.
      To sum up, the large effort Kia has put into the 2019 Forte shows. The combination of styling, a long list of features, balance between ride and handling, and a surprising base price make it a real threat in the compact car class. The only item that needs to be addressed is the engine - ten extra horsepower and torque could make the difference. 
      How I would configure a 2019 Kia Forte 
      While the EX Launch Edition does provide some desirable features such as adaptive cruise control, QI wireless charging, and a Harman/Kardon audio system, I would drop down to the mid-level S. At $20,290, you’re getting a lot of equipment such as 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, forward collision warning with automatic braking, and keyless entry. I would add the $1,200 S Premium Package to get LED headlights, automatic high beams, and a power sunroof. With destination, the price comes to $22,415. Alternatives to the 2019 Kia Forte
      Hyundai Elantra: Mechanically similar to the Forte, albeit with a face that will scare small kids. Two turbo engine options - one focused on the economy while the other is for sport - might be attractive to some. Honda Civic: Drives slightly better than the Forte and offers more body styles. But lower reliability scores and confounding infotainment systems may cause you to look elsewhere. Chevrolet Cruze: While it lacks a number of features found on the Forte, it does offer a slightly smoother and quieter ride. Plus, dealers are starting to push a lot of cash on the hoods to get them moving.   
      Disclaimer: Kia Provided the Forte, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Kia 
      Model: Forte
      Trim: EX
      Engine: 2.0L Multi-Port DOHC Inline-Four
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 147 @ 6,200
      Torque @ RPM: 132 @ 4,500 
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 30/40/34
      Curb Weight: 2,903 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Pesqueria, NL, Mexico
      Base Price: $21,990
      As Tested Price: $26,220 (Includes $895.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      EX Launch Edtion - $3,210.00
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00
    • By Drew Dowdell
      A rumor has been leaked that the next generation of Toyota Tundra, coming in 2021, would have a twin-turbo V6 combined with an electric motor for its top trim trucks.  The tipster posted to TFLtruck.com saying that the new motor would be based on the existing 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 found in the Lexus LS and LC 500h.  It would have around 450 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque and able to achieve over 30 mpg highway. 
      In the Lexi, the engine produces 354 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque and manages 33 mpg highways.  Our suspicion is that Toyota is making up the deficit by filling the bigger Tundra with bigger electric motors and adding an expected 10-speed automatic, up from the current 6-speed.
      Currently, the Tundra uses two V8s for its powertrain, a 4.6 liter making 310hp and 327 lb-ft of torque and a 5.7 liter making 381hp and 401 lb-ft of torque. Neither engine gets better than 20 mpg currently. 
      The next generation Toyota Tundra will be using an all-new platform dubbed F1 and will likely remain in Texas for production.

      View full article
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