New Hybrid models drive 2019 Toyota RAV4 sales momentum in May month

Toyota just posted their May month and Year to Date sales with the notation that RAV4 had its best ever sales month – selling 43,499 of the SUV’s – up 13.9 percent from same month a year ago. What caught our attention was that the new RAV4 Hybrid – as the pipeline is filling – is taking off, just like we forecasted following our test drives during the 2019 RAV4 National Launch last November.

RAV4 Hybrids accounted for 25.1 percent of sales in May, moving 10,921 vehicles out of dealer showrooms.

2019 RAV4 HV SXE

Sometimes we get the opportunity to say ‘we told you so’ following our reporting in November at inwheeltime.com that our test drives showed us the 2019 RAV4 to be better than the gasoline version.

Based on May month sales just reported, ‘we told you so’ and it appears the consumer may be thinking so too.

If you haven’t yet, you need to check them out and see for yourself.

Here is what we said about the new Toyota RAV 4 at inwheeltime.com last November.

2019 RAV4 HV SXE
Hybrid Grades – Four of them

Go ahead, count them – there are four hybrid grade levels available on RAV4 for 2019.  They range from the basic LE (MSRP $27,700) to the very well equipped and trimmed out Limited (MSRP $35,700).

All are powered by a combination of 2.5L four-cylinder Atkinson cycle gasoline engine teamed with the Toyota Hybrid System II with front and rear electric motors and mated to an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission ECVT. 

The hybrid power plant delivers a combined 219 horsepower (sixteen more than the gasoline models). Fuel economy is estimated at 41/37 mpg city/highway and 39 mpg combined.

2019 RAV4 HV SXE

The new AWD system on the RAV4 hybrid uses the rear electric motor-generator to power the rear wheels as needed on or off road. With 30 percent more torque than earlier versions and a driver-selectable Trail Mode, torque can be directed to the rear wheel with traction off-road.

 Our pick of the hybrid grades is the sportily styled and equipped for performance – RAV4 XSE HV.

It features bold Piano-Black accents across the front, mirror caps, fender arches and lower rockers.  Running on 18-inch black-painted five-spoke alloy wheels and mounted with 225/60R18 all-season tires, its already ample 8.1-inch ground clearance looks much higher.

2019 RAV4 HV SXE

On the road (or off-road), its sport-tuned suspension with tauter spring and shock absorbers deliver an ‘edge’ to the driving experience.

Other sporty features include projector-beam LED headlamps, LED daytime running lamps and a standard two-tone paint scheme with black roof.  Its interior is exclusively mono-spec with black SofTex material trim and blue accents.

2019 RAV4 HV SXE
Spoiler Alert Surprise!

Based on our launch drives at Carmel, the RAV4 XSE HV was also the performance star of the full line – both hybrid and gasoline powered. 

It was our impression – plus others attending – that the sporty XSE HV out-performed the gasoline Adventure grade model including on the off-road test trail. 

With a price difference of just $800 (MSRP) for the XSE HV over the Adventure and delivering an estimated combined fuel economy 12 mpg better than the gasoline Adventure – the RAV4 XSE HV could be the perfect choice for drivers wanting sporty capability and fuel economy from the same vehicle.

2019 RAV4 HV SXE

You can read our complete 2019  RAV4 Launch (gasoline and hybrid) story here: https://www.inwheeltime.com/coming-to-a-toyota-store-near-you-the-new-rav4/.

We will continue to follow this story and keep you posted.  Our recommendation was then – and is now – when buying a RAV 4, make it the Hybrid.

 

Review the RAV4 lineup – gasoline and hybrid – here:  https://www.toyota.com/rav4/.

You may also want to read about the 2020 RAV4 Off-Road due this Fall here:

https://www.inwheeltime.com/2020-rav4-trd-off-road-rolls-out-at-cas/