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I have owned or leased a total of 6 Toyota vehicles since 1992. 4 of these were RAV4 AWD models. I can honestly say I have never had any outstanding mechanical issues with any of these vehicles-until now. The 2019 version of the RAV4 has demonstrated some unusual performance issues. While the car is noisy, that's not a major concern for me. After all, it is a "truck". I picked the RAV4 up at the dealership on April 26th and have only driven it about 200 miles thus far. My major concern involves the vehicle's tendency to buck and surge at stop signs, traffic lights and the like. It really affects the performance of the vehicle. I contacted the dealership and they advised I must be driving in the car with the automatic transmission in the "selective" mode. Wrong! They said they've never heard of the surging problem. I drove the car for two more days and, after a series of experiments, was able to drive the car smoothly AFTER I disabled the "Stop and Go" feature. Admittedly, I've only driven the car for a week. While I don't really expect anything major to happen with the car, I just wanted to get this "annoyance" out there.
The wife and I traded in our two cars (2008 Honda Civic-SI and 2005 CRV) for the AWD RAV4 XLE with upgraded Tech Package and Entune 3.0 (Entune sucks but it has Apple Carplay so doesn't matter, but this is the only way to get the JBL speakers which are AMAZING). We needed something that could get us hiking, camping, over mountain passes, and was comfortable on long road trips and this met those needs better than any other car in the segment while also offering the best safety features, cargo space, and MPG. But just as important to our final decision, this car looks awesome (we also got the Lunar Rock color which is very neat). When buying an SUV I didn't have high expectations for it being fun to drive (especially coming from a 6 speed manual Si) however this car is actually really fun to drive (when in sport mode). We just got back from a trip to Whistler and I didn't want to relinquish the steering wheel at all. The thing handled corners and accelerated extremely well and the only other cars that seemed to keep up with us on Sea to Sky were performance brands (Porche Cayennes, Jaguar SUVs, Etc.) and the CX-5 of course. This was of course all managed while still getting about 30 MPG which is extremely wild to me. I have read a lot of reviews about jerky gear shifting and slow starts and I 100% have noticed that in Eco Mode too (not in normal or sport). But that's what you get when the car is attempting to get 35 MPGs! IF YOU WANT GOOD GAS MILEAGE THIS IS WHAT YOU GET. Eco mode essentially just keeps you at the highest possible gear it can while also shifting power to the front wheels. Sport mode does the opposite and it is very noticeable. Also, speaking of MPGs, this car has the best in class by far. And if you want even better you can get a hybrid model. This was maybe factor #4 that pushed me in this direction. Other important factors were: It looks dope, the upgraded sound system is killer, it's very comfortable (leather interior at least is), cargo space is best in class, safety features are superb with blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and collision avoidance breaking (the car makes it very hard to crash), the tech package has a digital rear view mirror for when you have stacked things in the back (very handy for big camping trips or festivals), and the various other bells and whistles (locking the car by swiping a finger on the handle, very well made moon roof that doesn't make a lot of noise under 70 mph, 4 fast charging USB ports, AND A WIRELESS CHARGING PAD). All in all I couldn't recommend this car more. However, if you want a faster car there is the CX-5 which comes with a turbo on some trims (very cool... but not what I need in a utilitarian vehicle). TLDR: Great well rounded car that looks great, gets great MPGs, and has great options and safety features. But isn't as fast as the CX-5. As a side note I haven't noticed any gear grinding, which some reviews mentioned, for the 500 miles I've driven the car so far. Maybe Toyota fixed their AWD system or updated something since those reviews were written or maybe I just got lucky. Time will tell... I'll update this review if I notice it. I'll also update it if the car doesn't perform as well as I assume it will on snow this winter.
Love my 2019 Rav4 having put 33k miles on it since purchasing in January ‘19. My only complaint was with the rough shifting at slow speeds. Toyota has since resolved the issue with a warranty covered ECM update. Kudos to Toyota for the relatively quick responsiveness.
T-SB-0107-19 August 15, 2019
Hesitation On Acceleration From a Slow Roll or Rolling Stop