In 1996, the Spice Girls became an international sensation, and we adopted a new motto … “Show me the MONEY!” It was also the first year the Toyota RAV4 launched, and it would eventually set the standard for America’s love for smaller SUVs that drove more like a car but retained the utility of a versatile family mobile.
This year, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 marks the start of its fifth generation and comes in a variety of flavors. Breaking away from its classic roll as a mall-crawler, Toyota adds the RAV4 Adventure and establishes some real off-road cred with higher ground clearance, torque-vectoring AWD and rear driveline disconnect. The AWD system can send up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, plus distribute it between the left and right wheels.
Similar to Jeep and Land Rover, the driver can use Multi-Terrain Select (Mud & Sand, Rock & Dirt, Snow) to tailor traction to outside conditions. When the nose dips from view, Downhill Assist Control (DAC) factors in for off-road and on-road performance and safety.
I did a 30-minute off-road test drive on a closed course and was impressed by the RAV4 Adventure’s ability to get through intermediate-level obstacles. No underbody scraping sounds, traction was never an issue, and downhill descents were in full control.
Visual cues to spot on the RAV4 Adventure include larger fenders, a more aggressive bumper and grille design with integrated fog light surrounds, and taller roof-rails for added clearance. Wearing 19-inch matte black wheels and 235/55R19 mud and snow tires, the Adventure Grade stands 8.6 inches above the ground.
Features specific to the RAV4 Adventure
- 19-inch matte black accented alloy wheels shod with 235/55R19 tires
- Unique split-bar upper front grille
- Unique color-keyed upper and black lower front bumper w/silver valance
- Larger black fender flares
- Black rear bumper w/silver insert
- Unique Adventure Grade roof rails
- Bigger overall dimensions: 181.5 x 73.4 x 68.6 inches (the LE, XLE, XLE Premium and Limited grades measure 180.9 x 73.0 x 67.0 inches)
- New colors: Midnight Black Metallic, Blue Flame, Lunar Rock
- Black RAV4 and Adventure badging
- Orange stitching and interior trim accents
- Urethane tilt/telescopic steering wheel
- Clear blue LED lighting illuminates in-dash bins
- One 120V/100W deck-mounted AC power outlet
Photo credit: Norman Woo
Weather Package features:
- Heated leather-trimmed steering wheel
- Perforated heated and ventilated front bucket seats
- Rain-sensing windshield wipers with de-icer function
Technology Package features:
- Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS) with rear cross-traffic braking (RCTB)
- Digital display rearview mirror with Homelink
- Qi-compatible wireless smartphone charging
The RAV4 continues as the 2019 sales leader in its class overshadowing the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Outback and Forester, and Volkswagen Tiguan. Last year it was also the number one compact SUV in the U.S. with sales totaling more than 407,000.
2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure Specifications
|Engine||2.5L DOHC 4-cylinder|
|Horsepower||203 hp @ 6,600 rpm|
|Torque||184 lb-ft @ 5,0000 rpm|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic w/snow mode|
|EPA fuel economy (mpg)||25 / 33 / 28 (city/hwy/combined)|
|Drivetrain layout||AWD w/Multi-Terrain Select and Rear Driveline Disconnect|
|Front suspension||Independent MacPherson strut with stabilizer bar and hydraulic shock absorbers|
|Rear suspension||Trailing wishbone style multi-link rear suspension|
|Brakes||Power-assisted ventilated disc|
|Length x width x height||181.5 x 73.4 x 68.6 in.|
|Tread width – front/rear||62.6/63.3 in. (19-inch wheels)|
|Ground clearance||8.6 in.|
|Approach/departure angles||19/21 degrees|
|Passenger volume||98.9 cu. ft.|
|EPA interior volume||136.4 cu. ft.|
|Curb weight||3,615 lbs.|
|Maximum towing capacity|
Previously, Nathan test drove several different trim levels of the redesigned 2019 Toyota RAV4 at the media launch. Watch the segment where the Adventure goes off-road.