2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Class: Compact Crossover
Miles driven: 552
Fuel used: 17.3 gallons
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B+|
|Power and Performance||B-|
|Fit and Finish||B-|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||203-hp 2.5L|
Real-world fuel economy: 31.9 mpg
Driving mix: 30% city, 70% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 25/33/28 (city, highway, combined)
Fuel type: Regular gas
Base price: $32,900 (not including $1045 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Adventure-Grade Weather Package ($1185), power sunroof ($850), Adventure-Grade Technology Package ($1265), Entune 3.0 premium audio system with navigation ($1620), two-tone paint ($500), carpeted floor and cargo mats ($269)
Price as tested: $39,634
More RAV4 price and availability information
The great: Cargo capacity, available high-tech features, towing capacity (for a compact crossover)
The good: Fuel economy, pleasant road manners
The not so good: Front-seat space for larger folks, noisy engine during hard acceleration, non-linear transmission feel
Toyota redesigned its popular RAV4 compact crossover for 2019, with the full model lineup being covered in our First Spin report. But we’ve since delved more deeply into some of the different trim levels offered with Test Drive reports of the top-line Limited and its more frugal brother, the Hybrid Limited.
Yet another variation is covered here.
As the name rather suggests, the Adventure is an off-road-oriented model that includes not only some expected off-road-oriented features, but also the unexpected ability to tow heavier trailers — much heavier trailers. For while the other gas models are rated to tow up to 1500 lbs and the Hybrid 1750 lbs, the Adventure has a towing capacity of 3500 lbs. — among the highest of any compact crossover. Other features include a 120-volt AC (household current) outlet in the cargo area, a distinct grille, available white roof, hill-descent control, and drive-mode settings for snow, mud & sand, and rock. If you’re looking for a bit MORE off-road ability than the RAV4 Adventure offers, Toyota has added a RAV4 TRD Off-Road model for 2020.
Test Drive: 2017 Jeep Compass Trailhawk
In other ways, the Adventure mimics the overall goodness of its counterparts, so we invite you to read the above-mentioned reports for more details. But suffice it to say that it impresses with a nicely padded and trimmed interior (with orange accents in this case), a nice selection of available features (including a 180-degree rearview camera with the ability to project its image in the rearview mirror, Qi wireless charging, rain-sensing wipers with de-icer, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, rear obstacle detection with automatic braking, Wi-Fi hotspot, and a power liftgate), competitive cargo room, and fine on-road dynamics.
To that last point, the ride was absorbent over Chicagoland’s pockmarked streets, and we averaged 8.18 seconds in the 0-60 dash — quite good for the class — while netting an impressive 31.9 mpg in 70-percent highway driving. But we also noticed that while transmission kickdowns were prompt when the throttle was stabbed at speed, there was often some power surging as the vehicle accelerated.
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Some other nits noticed were that while infotainment controls were easy to decipher and use, the touchscreen was a bit of a reach, and the climate controls used repetitive-step pushbuttons for mode and fan speed rather than more-convenient rotary knobs — though that’s the way many other makes are now doing it as well. Also, taller/larger drivers may be a bit cramped behind the wheel, and while the cargo area is of good size and the rear seat backs fold level with the cargo floor, there’s virtually no underfloor storage space. But those are countered by good interior storage space and such niceties as vents and USB ports for rear-seat passengers.
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With its lineup of gas, Hybrid, and Adventure models, Toyota is pretty much covering all the compact-crossover bases from economy and performance (both merits of the Hybrid) to luxury and off-road prowess. That and the fact all versions rate highly in most areas make them strong contenders for anyone shopping the popular compact-crossover class, with the Adventure adding some unique bonus points.
Check out our Compact Crossover Best Buys
Check out the Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast
2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure