Toyota will bring its all-new 2019 RAV4 to the New York Auto Show 2018, the automaker has confirmed today. The fifth generation of the compact crossover SUV, the new RAV4 will be Toyota’s most significant change to the vehicle since the 2013 model year. It’ll also be an opportunity to set out its stall against arch nemesis Honda.
Honda has had much of the attention in the compact crossover segment to itself of late, courtesy of the CR-V. Revamped for the 2017 model year, it promptly left the RAV4 looking fairly passé. Honda took extra pains to highlight the areas where its SUV pulled ahead, including the economy from its new 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, and its more flexible cabin.
Now, it’s Toyota’s chance to turn the tables. Details on the 2019 RAV4 are still in short supply, with only the above image supplied to whet our appetite around aesthetic changes. The overall silhouette for the RAV4 looks fairly unchanged, though we’d not be surprised if the SUV gained some sharper edges inspired by the chunky little C-HR.
Inside meanwhile, we’re expecting to see a more upscale cabin with a greater focus on usable stowage space. Modern crossovers are tripping over themselves to add family-friendly features like iPad-scale cubbies and plentiful USB ports for charging.
If we’re lucky, Toyota will also deem the 2019 RAV4 as worthy of an infotainment upgrade. The automaker has finally joined the Apple CarPlay movement, having obstinately refused – and pushed its own app-based system – for several years. That changed with an announcement back in January that, with the 2019 Avalon, CarPlay would finally be arriving in Toyota dashboards. We can only assume that a mass-market car like the RAV4 will also benefit.
Whether the crossover will also get Alexa integration remains to be seen. That was part of the automaker’s big announcement at CES 2018, with Amazon’s virtual assistant being included in Entune 3.0, the newest version of Toyota’s infotainment system. Again, given the automaker will be under pressure to differentiate the new RAV4 from its segment rivals, we wouldn’t be surprised if it was at least on the options list.
Meanwhile, engine choices are likely to include gas-only and hybrid variants, another area where Toyota could get a jump on its CR-V nemesis. Although the CR-V Hybrid has been made official, with Honda unveiling it last year at the Shanghai Auto Show, it’s still not available in the US. For drivers on a fuel efficiency crusade, that could make all the difference.