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

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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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    • By William Maley
      The landscape of midsize sedans was much different ten to fifteen years ago. All of them offered the choice of a four-cylinder and V6 engine. Today, it is a completely different story as most automakers that still offer a midsize sedan have dropped their V6 engines in favor of turbo-fours. But Toyota is bucking the trend by sticking with the V6 in the Camry. It seemed like a good time to ask whether or not there is a place for a V6 in the midsize class.
      The V6 in question is a 3.5L used in many Toyota and Lexus vehicles. In the Camry, output is rated at 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic routes power to the front wheels. This V6 is one of my favorites due to its combination of excellent acceleration off the line and smoothness that turbo-fours can only dream of. One gotcha you need to keep in mind that torque steer will pop up if you decide to mash on the accelerator. The eight-speed automatic is very smooth and quick to upshift but hesitates to downshift when you need more speed. This is likely due to programming in the transmission to improve fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures for the Camry XLE V6 are 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined. My average for the week landed around 24 on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The XSE and TRD V6s see a slight dip in fuel economy due to their performance ambitions. While the XLE can’t fully match the athleticism of the XSE I drove last year, it still can hold its own in the bends. The XLE has the added benefit of providing a smoother ride, as most bumps and road imperfections become mere ripples. Disappointingly, there is a fair amount of road and wind noise comes inside when driving on the freeway. A key difference between the XLE and the XSE I drove last year is the front end treatment. There is a larger lower grille and a different top grille design. I find this design to be a bit much and may scare a lot of people away. On the other hand, the new front does give Camry some needed presence on the road - something that couldn’t be said for previous-generation models. The XLE is surprisingly luxurious with quilted luxury upholstery for the seats and stitching on the dash. Although, a Mazda6 Signature is slightly more premium in terms of offering more luxurious trim pieces, whereas the Camry XLE uses a lot of piano black trim.  Comfort is one area that the Camry XLE excels in. The seats are quite cushy and offer plenty of support, no matter the distance of any trip. The back seat offers plenty of head and legroom. The Entune system may not have the sharp and modern graphics as some competitors, but it does have a simple interface and the ability to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The XLE starts at $29,455 for the base four-cylinder, while the V6 will set you back $34,580. With a few options, my test XLE V6 carried an as-tested price of $37,824. That’s slightly more expensive than a Mazda6 Signature which offers a slightly more premium interior and better driving dynamics. But the Camry can counter with the smooth performance of the V6, comfortable ride, and its long-standing reputation for reliability. I came away really impressed with the Camry XLE, but also wondering how much longer Toyota will hold out. Despite all of the positives, the V6 is a very expensive proposition and most buyers will likely be happy with the four-cylinder. If I was to buy one, I would likely go for an XLE minus the options. Disclaimer: Toyota provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Camry
      Trim: XLE V6
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S Dual-Injection w/Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 301 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26
      Curb Weight: 3,549 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY
      Base Price: $34,050
      As Tested Price: $37,824 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assist Package - $1,550.00
      Navigation Package - $1,040.00
      Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $264.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The landscape of midsize sedans was much different ten to fifteen years ago. All of them offered the choice of a four-cylinder and V6 engine. Today, it is a completely different story as most automakers that still offer a midsize sedan have dropped their V6 engines in favor of turbo-fours. But Toyota is bucking the trend by sticking with the V6 in the Camry. It seemed like a good time to ask whether or not there is a place for a V6 in the midsize class.
      The V6 in question is a 3.5L used in many Toyota and Lexus vehicles. In the Camry, output is rated at 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic routes power to the front wheels. This V6 is one of my favorites due to its combination of excellent acceleration off the line and smoothness that turbo-fours can only dream of. One gotcha you need to keep in mind that torque steer will pop up if you decide to mash on the accelerator. The eight-speed automatic is very smooth and quick to upshift but hesitates to downshift when you need more speed. This is likely due to programming in the transmission to improve fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures for the Camry XLE V6 are 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined. My average for the week landed around 24 on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The XSE and TRD V6s see a slight dip in fuel economy due to their performance ambitions. While the XLE can’t fully match the athleticism of the XSE I drove last year, it still can hold its own in the bends. The XLE has the added benefit of providing a smoother ride, as most bumps and road imperfections become mere ripples. Disappointingly, there is a fair amount of road and wind noise comes inside when driving on the freeway. A key difference between the XLE and the XSE I drove last year is the front end treatment. There is a larger lower grille and a different top grille design. I find this design to be a bit much and may scare a lot of people away. On the other hand, the new front does give Camry some needed presence on the road - something that couldn’t be said for previous-generation models. The XLE is surprisingly luxurious with quilted luxury upholstery for the seats and stitching on the dash. Although, a Mazda6 Signature is slightly more premium in terms of offering more luxurious trim pieces, whereas the Camry XLE uses a lot of piano black trim.  Comfort is one area that the Camry XLE excels in. The seats are quite cushy and offer plenty of support, no matter the distance of any trip. The back seat offers plenty of head and legroom. The Entune system may not have the sharp and modern graphics as some competitors, but it does have a simple interface and the ability to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The XLE starts at $29,455 for the base four-cylinder, while the V6 will set you back $34,580. With a few options, my test XLE V6 carried an as-tested price of $37,824. That’s slightly more expensive than a Mazda6 Signature which offers a slightly more premium interior and better driving dynamics. But the Camry can counter with the smooth performance of the V6, comfortable ride, and its long-standing reputation for reliability. I came away really impressed with the Camry XLE, but also wondering how much longer Toyota will hold out. Despite all of the positives, the V6 is a very expensive proposition and most buyers will likely be happy with the four-cylinder. If I was to buy one, I would likely go for an XLE minus the options. Disclaimer: Toyota provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Camry
      Trim: XLE V6
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S Dual-Injection w/Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 301 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26
      Curb Weight: 3,549 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY
      Base Price: $34,050
      As Tested Price: $37,824 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assist Package - $1,550.00
      Navigation Package - $1,040.00
      Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $264.00
    • By William Maley
      The redesigned Corolla Hatchback brought back something that was missing in the Corolla for a number of years; being somewhat interesting. With more expressive styling and a new platform that improves driving dynamics, the model has started to shed its image of being bland. But would this continue with the redesigned Corolla sedan? To find out, I spent a week in the top-line Corolla XSE.
      The basic profile is unchanged from the previous Corolla sedan, but Toyota has done their best to make look a bit more exciting. On the XSE, this means a different front clip from other Corollas with the emblem moved to towards the cutline of the hood, a larger lower grille, and deep cuts for the bumper. The distinctive fang headlights are carried over from other Corollas. Around back, not much has changed aside from a new rear diffuser. The updated look does make the Corolla sedan have presence, but I prefer the hatchback in terms of overall looks. One item that is shared between the sedan and hatchback is the dashboard. As I noted in my Corolla Hatchback review, the dash features a layered design, faux stitching, and infotainment screen mounted on top - measuring either seven or eight inches depending on the trim. I like that Toyota is taking chances with the design, but also retaining the excellent ergonomics it’s  known for. My particular tester came with the larger eight-inch featuring the newest version of Entune. While I wish Toyota had done more to make the interface look more modern and feature colors that weren’t various shades of grey. But I cannot deny Toyota builds a system that anyone can quickly grasp thanks to the simple interface design, physical shortcut buttons to various features, and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Those with Android smartphones are left out in the cold. Those sitting up front will have no complaints about space, seat adjustment, or comfort. In the back, legroom is about average for the class. But headroom for taller passengers comes up a bit short, especially when you have the optional moonroof. Three powertrains are available in the Corolla; a 1.8L four in the L, LE, and XLE; 2.0L four for the SE and XSE; and a hybrid for the LE Hybrid.  The 2.0L produces 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet. The XSE only gets a CVT transmission, while the SE has the choice between the CVT and a six-speed manual. Performance is the same as with the Corolla SE I drove last year; decent around town and leaving stoplights, but really struggles when trying to get to higher speeds. A fair amount of engine noise does make it way inside when driving on the highway. EPA fuel economy figures for the Corolla XSE are 31 City/38 City/34 Highway - lower than the Corolla SE hatchback (32/41/35). My average for the week landed around 33.4 mpg on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. Handling is an improvement over the old Corolla as it feels slightly more lively with better control of body motions. But it cannot match the nimbleness of the hatchback. This likely comes down to the Corolla Hatchback being sold in the European market where a sportier ride is desired. The sedan sold in the U.S. is more attuned to providing a smooth ride. The Corolla XSE for the most part is able to smooth over most bumps and imperfections, but the 18-inch wheels does mean some bumps do make their way inside. Road and wind noise is kept to acceptable levels. There is one area that the Corolla XSE falters, value for money. With an as-tested price of $28,794, that puts you in the range of a well-equipped Mazda3 that not only offers more power, but has an interior that the Corolla cannot match. For only a couple grand less, a Kia Forte EX offers more equipment and a slightly larger back seat. Toyota has improved the Corolla sedan to a point where most of the blandness doesn’t exist. I would have liked to seen Toyota take some of the handling magic used on the hatchback and place it into the sedan. But Toyota knows most buyers don’t really care about this. By taking the strengths and wrapping it up in a package that stands out, it will mean more people may check out the Corolla. But I would recommend sticking with one of the lower trims as they offer a slightly better bang your for your buck. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Corolla, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Corolla
      Trim: XSE
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve, Dual VVT-i
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 169 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 31/38/34
      Curb Weight: 3,150 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $25,450
      As Tested Price: $28,794 (Includes $930.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL w/Clari-Fi - $1,715.00
      Adaptive Front Lighting System - $450.00
      Cargo Mat Package - $249.00

      View full article
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