The historic comfortable crossover from compact to SUV is Toyota’s RAV4, which now doubles again with the 2019 Hybrid through a smooth transition of a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine paired with dual electric motors. Also new is an upgrade in all-wheel-drive for additional stability and tight responsiveness and a sleek new look to match its sporty nature.

Performance

The 2019 RAV4 is offered in four hybrid variants — LE, XLE, XSE and Limited — and also in five gasoline variants — LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure and Limited. The Limited Hybrid was provided for this test drive.

The Hybrid comes with three drive modes to let the driver decide how the vehicle will perform. Sport Mode initiates sharp acceleration, ECO Mode maximizes fuel efficiency by reducing acceleration levels and Normal Mode is the middle man — blending fuel efficiency and performance for the best of both worlds.

The Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive is the powerhouse of the vehicle’s grip on the road. The Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission allows the engine to operate at the most efficient revolutions per minute for a smoother ride through each shift while gaining more power with less fuel. The Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive system sends up to 50% of the power to the rear, but the Rear Driveline Disconnect will stop sending that power when unnecessary, boosting fuel efficiency.

Safety

Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.0 is packed with safety features and is offered standard on all new RAV4 models at no additional cost. Sensors will keep every occupant safe, as well as others who surround the vehicle.

• Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection will monitor the road for nearby vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists in certain situations. This system is equipped with low-light capabilities to even detect pedestrians at night. The system has a millimeter-wave radar combined with a camera capable of shape-recognition and provides audio and visual alerts when the conditions for a collision are possible. Automatic breaking is there for backup in case the driver doesn’t react in time.

• Road Edge Detection and Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist will keep the vehicle in the lane when driving more than 32 mph. If the driver fails to correct the vehicle in time, the system will gently steer the car in the correct direction.

• Automatic High Beams provide a clear view at night without distracting other drivers. At speeds faster than 25 mph, the system responds from a camera located inside the vehicle that detects an oncoming car’s headlights. The camera will direct the beams between high and low as another vehicle passes and the camera will sense taillights.

• Road Sign Assist is equipped with an intelligent foward-facing camera that reads speed limit signs, stop signs, yield signs and “Do Not Enter” signs. The Multi-Informational Display will show the appropriate sign on the screen.

• Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Lane Tracing Assist systems are intended for highway driving. When the vehicle is traveling at an almost constant speed, the radar cruise control will determine the distance to the vehicle ahead and will help adjust the speed to keep the driver at a safe distance, which the driver can choose from three distances. This system operates with a radar mounted on the front grille, along with an in-vehicle camera to detect the vehicles ahead and their distance. The radar system will slow the vehicle when the car ahead is traveling slower or near its preset speed and when further braking is required, the brakes may be applied following visual and audio alerts. The vehicle will then detect when the vehicle ahead is no longer close and will resume to the original preset speed.

• When the radar system is enabled, the Lane Tracing Assist will use the lines on the road and vehicles ahead to keep itself centered in the lane. The vehicle’s position will be displayed on the Multi-Informational Screen to help the driver be aware of the vehicle’s position.

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Tech

The digital rearview mirror can be turned on or off by a flip of the switch. This is Toyota’s first camera-based mirror that provides a clear, refined view. The 8-inch Apple CarPlay dashboard display is convenient for navigating and connecting calls on the touchscreen.

The 7-inch Multi-Informational Display keeps track of the vehicle’s vitals, including revolutions per minute, power distribution and miles per gallon while the driver can stay focused on every turn. The digital screen displays an analog hybrid power meter, the coolant temperature and fuel gauges. Settings can be customized for preference and rear seatbelt indicators, outside temperature, tripmeter, hybrid energy monitor and other indicators keep the driver up to speed.

For convenience, the rear lift gate will sense the Smart Key and open when the driver waves a foot under the rear bumper to help out when hands are full. The Smart Key System also features a push button start and the ability to lock and unlock the doors just by placing a hand on the door handle when the fob is near.

A standard 12-volt outlet is an accessory located in the rear cargo area to charge whatever, whenever.

The front occupants can choose between ventilated or heated seats and back passengers get the comfort of heated seats, too.

Design

RAV4’s Toyota New Global Architecture refines the driving experience with a longer, wider stance to make handling more responsive and a stronger core supports a smooth, reliable ride. This vehicle’s platform creates a spacious interior to give every occupant a better view of the road and a ground clearance of more than 8 inches gives the driver confidence to explore new paths. The outside mirrors are powered and can fold in for protection.

The driver’s seat is adjustable in eight ways with 41 inches of leg room and the front passenger seat offers four ways to customize comfort. The front passenger also has 41 inches of legroom and the back seats offer nearly 38 inches of room.

Flared fenders and sharp creases on the body and the longer wheelbase boast an aggressive mood, but keep the sophisticated impression when on the highway.

For more information or to take a test drive, contact Larry H. Miller Toyota, 15 E. Motor Way, 719-471-3100, toyotaofcoloradosprings.com, or Larry H. Miller Liberty Toyota, 5115 New Car Drive, 719-598-2222, libertytoyotacoloradosprings.com.