The 2019 RAV4 marks the fifth generation for the SUV. The new generation brings with it more horsepower and better fuel economy than the 2018 model, and ultimately offers fleet managers with a vehicle that excels in area that are top of mind for them: safety, fuel economy, and reliability.
In terms of safety, the 2019 RAV4, like many other Toyota models, comes equipped with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. Toyota first began offering certain safety packages standard on all RAV4 models in its 2017 model year, and since then the company has continued to increase the safety features it offers standard on the RAV4.
For the 2019 model year, standard features on all trims have been expanded to include: a pre-collision system that detects vehicles and pedestrians; lane departure alert, automatic high beams; dynamic radar cruise control, road sign assist that detects traffic signs to provide relevant information to the driver; and lane tracing assist, which uses the lines on the road and preceding vehicles to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane.
For our driving impressions, we were provided with the Limited AWD trim. As you might expect with a vehicle's highest trim, it came with all the bells and whistles, like leather seats, and improved sound system, a power liftgate, and so forth, but the arguably more important safety features are available on all trims, such as the more-affordable base trim.
During my time with the RAV4, the safety features worked well. The front-end detection made parking easier, as the vehicle indicated how far off I was from the object in front of me. Lane-keep assist helped me notice just how often I get too closer to the lane besides me while driving, and the automatic nudges to correct that swerving did help me on a few occasions.
I did notice that the system was a slightly too sensitive in tight streets, where parked cars set off alerts and in one instance steered me left when I felt that movement wasn't needed. However, a vehicle slightly overcorrecting to keep me safe is hardly a complaint.
In terms of fuel economy, the 2019 RAV4's EPA estimated fuel economy is 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg in the highway, for a combined 28 mpg. During my experience, which included a fair amount of city and highway driving, numbers were mostly in-line with those estimates. My fuel economy was slightly slower, but I attribute that to the constant stop-and-go traffic that I experienced in both the city and highway.
Toyota's RAV4 in Commercial Fleets
In terms of reliability, the RAV4 and Toyota are known brands for reliability. The RAV4 has become the bestselling SUV in the nation, the fourth bestselling vehicle overall in the U.S., and has outsold the Camry to become the OEM's bestselling vehicle.
This name recognition, reputation for reliability, and standard safety features are big boons when it comes time to remarket the vehicle as well.
In terms of cargo space, the Rav4 has 37.6 cu.-ft of space, but fold the rear sets down and that cargo room expands to 69.8 cu.-ft. This volume definitely provides fleet drivers with enough space to store products or equipment, but it does fall slightly short of the cargo space offered by other vehicles in the segment.
Toyota began delivering RAV4 models to fleets in January.
So far this year, RAV4 fleet orders have been up, according to Don Fordiani, Toyota's group manager of fleet sales. Toyota's commercial customers, he added, have responded to the Rav4's utility, performance, and fuel economy.
As orders of RAV4s have grown, so too has Toyota's fleet mix. So far this year, Toyota's fleet mix has trended slightly higher toward SUVs relative to last year, but it's not at the level of the industry, which currently stands at about 70% SUV and 30% sedan.
For the 2019-MY, Toyota is offering an $800 fleet incentive.
2019 Toyota RAV4 Specs:
- Engine: 2.5L I-4 (203 hp, 184 lb.-ft.)
- Transmission: Eight-speed Direct-Shift automatic
- All-Wheel Drive: Optional on all trims
- Cargo Space: 37.7 cu.-ft., 69.8 cu.-ft. with rear seats folded down