Explore the new 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: powertrains and performance

This is the last of three blog articles focusing on important characteristics of the new 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. The first article examined the SUV’s concept and design, while the second looked at its comfort and equipment.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: powertrains

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s new 2.5 litre powertrain is both more powerful and fuel-efficient than that in the outgoing model. This fourth-generation self-charging hybrid electric system brings additional benefits. Key components, including the power control unit and nickel metal-hydride battery are lighter and more compact, and engineered to reduce electrical and mechanical losses.

Its full system maximum output of 219bhp is 24bhp higher than the unit in the previous generation RAV4 Hybrid, signalling how Toyota’s latest self-charging hybrid technology is not lacking in strength. Acceleration from rest to 62mph takes just 8.1 seconds, while combined fuel economy is expected to be 62.8mpg and CO2 emissions as low as 102g/km. For the driver, the benefits are better acceleration from stationary, improved efficiency at higher speeds, and more linear acceleration.

This proposal of power with no compromise gives the new RAV4 a unique advantage in its class. And with the benefit of its improved performance, driveability and efficiency, this powertrain is expected to account for an even greater proportion of sales across Western Europe.

2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: all-wheel drive

The new RAV4 Hybrid is equipped with a significantly enhanced and more capable electric all-wheel drive (AWD) system. Free of disadvantages, it returns better fuel economy in urban driving, quieter performance at high speeds, and better traction in slippery conditions. It is also more compact and lighter than mechanical AWD systems, so fuel consumption and vehicle packaging are not compromised.

The system generates drive torque using power from the hybrid vehicle system and an additional motor generator on the rear axle. This design reduces energy losses, saves weight and optimises AWD operation in different driving conditions.

Compared to the current model, the level of torque that can be directed to the rear wheels has been increased by 30%, enabling a front/rear split from 100:0 to up to 20:80, depending on driving conditions. Maximum torque to the rear wheels has increased, matching or even bettering that achieved by mechanical systems and giving more surefooted performance, such as when pulling away on loose, slippery surfaces.

The new RAV4 is an adept lugger of loads. All-wheel drive RAV4s have a towing limit of 1650kg (braked) and 750kg (unbraked). Front-wheel drive examples have a braked and unbraked towing limit of 750kg.

AWD Integrated Management: The new RAV4’s AWD performance is further improved with the introduction of AWD Integrated Management (AIM), a unique feature in its class. This automatically adjusts different vehicle systems – steering assist, brake and throttle control, shift pattern and drive torque distribution – according to the drive mode selected.

In the new RAV4 Hybrid, the driver can switch from Normal to Eco or Sport mode. When choosing Sport, AIM modifies the steering assist, throttle control shift schedule and drive torque distribution to gain better on-road performance.

Great escapes with Trail Mode: The RAV4 Hybrid gains a higher level of off-road capability with the introduction of a new automatic limited-slip differential control  called Trail Mode. This ensures the best possible grip and control in slippery or off-road conditions.

With the current generation RAV4 Hybrid, there is a risk of the vehicle becoming stranded if a driven wheel loses contact with the ground on very uneven terrain. On the new model, Trail Mode will brake the freely rotating wheel and direct torque to the grounded wheel. Throttle control and the transmission shift pattern are also adapted to help the driver keep the vehicle moving.

Please note that UK specifications and details will be confirmed nearer to launch.


    1. Hi Brett,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The RAV4 Dynamic AWD minimum Kerb weight is 1654kg with maximum 1725kg, while the towing capacity with brake is 1650kg and without brake is 750kg.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Hi Brett,

        Thanks for getting in touch. Do you mean the Drawbar Max Load (Nose Weight)? If so for MY19 RAV4 it is 70kg. Do get back in touch if this is not the answer you were looking for.

        Hope this helps.

    1. Hi Yannick,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The maximum towing capacity with brake for Front Wheel Drive is 800kg and for All Wheel Drive is 1650kg. Without brake, it is 750kg for either Front Wheel Drive or All Wheel drive.


    1. Hi Ben,

      Thanks for your patience. We’ve checked with our team and Roof bars should be installed to carry a maximum carrying weight of 75kg. There is no difference with/without the panoramic roof.

      Hope this helps.

  1. Hello, what is the maximum speed the Hybrid RAV4 (AWD) can reach on the electric motor before switching onto fuel? Thank you.

    1. Hi Jo,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Hybrid electric vehicles are powered by two sources, the electrically powered motor and a petrol engine. The electric motor is supplied with electricity from the Hybrid battery, the hybrid battery is charged from the petrol engine via a generator, regenerative braking and deceleration.

      The Hybrid system is capable of adapting to different driving conditions, and controls the power coming from both sources to tell the car how to combine them for the greatest efficiency and performance.

      Therefore, there isn’t a maximum speed the electric motor needs to reach before switching to the petrol engine as these systems work in tandem. EV driving range does factor in speed but also wind resistance, terrain, weight, driving style and much more. Our hybrid models are capable in traveling well over 50 mph in EV mode.

      You can learn more about our hybrid system via this link: https://mag.toyota.co.uk/how-does-toyota-hybrid-synergy-drive-work


  2. I have had my new Rav4 hybrid 4 days now and I am pleased on the whole, wish it had awd badge on it to I identify it from the 2wd version, also there no ski hatch inbyge back seat but Toyota has just covered the hole in the back seat with thin black cloth, you can feel the hole, come on toyota who are you kidding here this car could have cone with a ski hatch in the rear seat they are so useful and it’s just a money saving by Toyota because the padding is cut out to take a hatch so at least offer an after market kit fir dealer fit come on. Why fold a sest down for a tube from the diy shop.
    Few issue with the tail gate not opening from key fob or butyonnon boot will keep an eye to this
    When parked with ignition on no way of turning exterior lights off ? Need to read a bit more about setting also electric window do not appear to have a timerbto allow operation once ignition turned off just a Few things I needvt o learn about. Nothing major.
    So far fuel eco is improving every day. Self steering getting use to it but make arms ache after a journey of an hour or more must learn to stop fighting it’s corrections.
    Very happy with car so far

    1. Hi Keith,

      Thanks for your message and congratulations on your new RAV4! We’re really happy to hear your so pleased with your car. Regarding your queries, we would recommend visiting your nearest Toyota centre who will be able to show you any features you may not be used to yet. Of course if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to get back in touch with us.


  3. My wife & I bought a Rav4 2019 Excellence model in November 2019. We love virtually everything about it except the lack of Android Auto.
    Why is Android Auto available on a model such as the Aygo, but not the Rav4?
    I read on some review sites,that a software update may come in to allow Android Auto. Is this happening?
    I’ve noticed in the settings of the infotainment system a greyed out option for MirrorLink, Can this be activated?

    1. Hi Jim,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Android Auto will be available for MY19 RAV4. For more information on timings for this we would recommend contacting your nearest Toyota dealer for more information on this. You can find your nearest dealer here: https://www.toyota.co.uk/forms/forms?tab=pane-dealer

      Regarding your MirrorLink query, could you please provide us with your reg? We will look into this for you with our Multimedia team.


  4. I am hoping to order a RAV4 AWD Excel shortly and I want to use this for towing a 1300Kg caravan. When towing it is important to know all the weights of both car and caravan. However, I cannot find the actual kerb weight of this vehicle (needed to calculate payload weight). Even the downloaded handbook does not stipulate it. If you can would you please inform me of the kerb weight without the driver or fuel, if not could you state that it includes these. Many Thanks.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The kerb weight for the AWD RAV4 is from 1654kg minimum to 1725kg maximum, which includes a driver and fuel. The towing capacity with a brake is 1650kg, while without a brake it is 750kg.


  5. can you tell me the Curb weight and max tow hitch weight of the Toyota RAV4 est 2.5 WT 4 Hybrid XL TSS 5dr CVT NAV year 2018

  6. Looking to change our current car, a Nissan Xtrail with a 1600cc diesel engine for a 19 or 20 plate Toyota RAV4 self charging hybrid. The XTrail tows our caravan like a dream achieving approximately 30mpg towing and 38 mpg overall based on the last 1000 miles over the winter months, however as it is coming up to 6 years old and 60K miles we are looking for a more modern and less polluting vehicle towing vehicle ideally with better mpg around home. We drive about 10 – 11000 miles a year however towing a caravan to sites for holidays only amounts to about 1500 miles so it would make sense to have a hybrid engine that costs less to run with most of our driving being short journeys of about 6 miles maximum. The articles on this blog have been really helpful however I am struggling to find any internet reviews of towing a caravan with the new model.
    Towcar awards of 2017 found this vehicle to be poor recommending caravanners to look elsewhere! Our caravan has an MTPLM of 1412 so the AWD RAV4 would comfortably pull this without any issues. Any thoughts from fellow caravanners and Toyota would be appreciated.

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