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. I would like to come back to the spare wheel question raised by a previous poster. When the new 2019 RAV4 was launched the only documentation available to the dealers was called “NG RAV4 Follow-up Bulletin 27-11-18”. I have a copy of that document. It was based on this that I placed my order. That clearly stated that all grades had a “Full Size Spare Wheel”. In the description of grades Design and above that changed to a “Full Size Alloy Spare Wheel”. The word “temporary” did not appear in the description. I actually commented to my dealer at the time that this was definitely a good feature. Now the “printed” full brochure still seems to be unavailable but the website just shows “temporary spare wheel” against all grades. I have ordered the AWD Excel grade and will be most upset if it doesn’t come with a Full Size Spare Wheel. Kindly clarify this situation for us all. Thanks.

      2. Hi Chris,

        Thanks for getting in touch. Firstly, we’d like to apologise for any confusion and for the frustration this may have caused. We would recommend contacting our customer relations team who will be able to look into this further for you. You can find the contact details here: http://fal.cn/iZwQ.


  1. The area where protection is most needed in the lower parts of the body works is where the wheel arches are missing. Not only makes it look silly and odd, it has already attracted unnecessary attention from reviewers and journalists. Why on earth did the person in charge gave the go ahead for this design???

  2. It would be good to see the bhp/hp & torque vs rpm curves for the petrol & hybrid engine and bhp & torque for Hybrid vs road speed (& engine rpm) to understand how it would drive.

  3. Will the new Rav4 have a spare wheel.The colours are not shown but around 2013 had the GREEN which was stunnong ordained with chrome fitments.It was dropped after a short time on lack of demand but a favourite in america.Obviously we are now in different times and just maybe the Green would now take off

    1. Hi Peter,

      Thanks for getting in touch. A full-size spare wheel will be supplied with the new RAV4. In regards to the colours, there will be an Urban Khaki colour which you may be interested in.


      1. Which models have a FULL SIZE spare wheel please? The one I’ve seen in my dealer’s showroom look quite large but the tyre has “temporary wheel” or something similar clearly embossed on the sidewall.

  4. I’d rather hoped the towing capacity would match or better that of my 4th gen. 2.2 diesel RAV at 2000kg. Unfortunately as it doesn’t I’m going to have to look elsewhere for my next vehicle.

  5. As a Motability customer I had been planning to buy a RAV but it is no longer on their list.
    What happened?

    1. Hi Alan,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately, at this time, we have no information on whether the new RAV4 will be on the Motability scheme. Please keep an eye on our blogs and social channels for further updates. If you’d like to look at our current range, you can do so via this link:



    1. Hi Kathleen,

      Thank you for getting in touch. Unfortunately, we have no information to provide on this. The all-new RAV4 does have a variety of other features that you can read more about here: https://www.toyota.co.uk/new-cars/rav4/specs-and-accessories. Customer feedback is extremely important to us, so we take all these comments on board and pass them on to our Product Team in order to make future improvements.


  6. I have a question about fuel consumption. I have read the information provided by Toyota on WLTP testing and also searched on the internet but cannot find what is meant by the way that Toyota is showing the figures for the new RAV4. For the AWD version that has just shown up on the website it shows:
    Fuel Economy – Combined Max WLTP 48.7
    Fuel Economy – Combined Min WLTP 47.8
    I know there is not a lot of difference between the figures but was is the significance of the Max and Min figures please and why show both? I can’t find anything on the WLTP published information elsewhere that refers to a Max or Min figure.

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The difference between the max and min refers to the specification. For example, if the vehicle has bigger alloy wheels and extra equipment, the fuel consumption will be higher. We hope this answer helps explain it a bit more.


    1. Hi Kathleen,

      Thanks for getting in touch. The Dynamic grade features a Tyre Repair Kit as standard instead of a spare wheel if you were to choose the Opening Panoramic Roof option. Otherwise, the spare wheel is standard. The grade also features 18″ alloy wheels.

      We hope this helps.

      1. Can you please clarify that as all the information I have looked at shows that the Tyre Repair Kit is only standard on the Dynamic with the panoramic roof option. A proper spare wheel is standard on all grades otherwise, steel on the Icon and Alloy on the other grades.

      2. Hi Chris,

        Thank you for this query. Yes, the Dynamic grade features a Tyre Repair Kit as standard instead of a spare wheel if you were to choose the Opening Panoramic Roof option. Otherwise, the spare wheel is standard. We apologise for any confusion.


      3. In that case, the RAV4 Excel with the Opening Panoramic Roof option will not have a spare wheel?

      4. Hi there,

        Thanks for getting in touch. That’s correct, a spare wheel is not available with a Panoramic Roof for the Design, Excel and Dynamic grade.


      5. One more, you have mentioned the Apple Play will be soon available. How about Android CarPlay, will it be available too?

      6. Hi Paul,

        At this time we don’t have any more information however, we would recommend continuing to check our social channels and website for further updates.


  7. Toyota have stated first deliveries of the RAV4 in April. Does this only apply to pre sale orders made in January or do they still apply to this date? Suppose it would be good to publish a lead time for orders really. Can this be done?

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