2019 Rav4 Hybrid review with periodic updates

Discussion in 'Toyota Hybrids' started by royrose, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. royrose

    royrose Active Member

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    We got our new Rav4 hybrid 2 weeks ago and overall love it so far. It is a Limited Trim with weather and tech packages. We buy a new vehicle every decade or so and are at the time of life where we want all of the safety and convenience features we can get. The weather package includes heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and heated steering wheel. The tech package includes bird eye 360 degree camera and kick motion activated hatch. Another feature is a digital high def rear view "mirror" which gives a bright wide view that eliminates the pillars.

    Ours was the first to arrive in Southern Colorado, was test driven by a few drivers so had about 75 miles on it when we bought it the day after arrival. We now have about 700 miles on it. Displayed mpg is about 40. I can't get accurate calculated mpg yet because we have only done one fill up.

    The hybrid tech is clearly superior to my 2010 Prius (which I am keeping). It goes into EV status more frequently and at higher speeds. I can't hear or feel any change when that happens.

    The safety features are impressive to me. The radar cruise control is effective but it feel a little strange when it steers to keep the vehicle in a lane, even around curves on the interstate. That feature can be turned off but we are still playing with it. On windy mountain roads (lots of them around here) I don't use the cruise control and turn off the lane departure warning because sometimes I choose to hug one edge or another.

    The birds eye camera really does help with parking. The kick to open hatch is unnecessary but actually convenient.

    One minor negative is that the hybrid display features, while prettier, don't seem as useful or user friendly as on our Prius. For example, on the Prius each trip meter shows miles driven, average mpg and average speed while on the Rav the trip meters just show miles driven. On the Prius I generally reset one trip meter when I fill the tank and use the other one when I want an estimate of mpg on a given route.

    On the dash display there is an option of showing a fuel efficiency display which has a graphic showing instant mpg and a digital mpg number. That number can be current trip mpg, tank mpg or a re-settable number but there is no easy way to flip through those numbers. You must go to a settings page and choose one of those three (which I believe can't be done while driving). There are trip and history displays available on the audio screen but I don't find those especially helpful either, still playing with them. Perhaps CamryDriver can comment because I'm guessing that has similar displays.

    There have been some complaints about the new Rav4 but mostly about the gas version: noisy rough sounding engine on acceleration and clunky shifter but those, of course don't apply to the hybrid
     
    #1 royrose, Apr 20, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2019
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    congrats, sounds like a great vehicle! how was the price compared to the non hybrid?
     
  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Congrats on your new vehicle. After test driving 2018 RAV4 Hybrid last year, I decided to wait for the arrival of all new 2019 RAV4 Hybrid for its superior fuel efficiency over its predecessors. But I ended up getting a used Pathfinder hybrid. I still want to take a look, but our search is over for now. Have you had any fill-up yet? Is it getting over 40mpg?
     
  4. thefranchise713

    thefranchise713 Junior Member

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    That vehicle is absolutely gorgeous.

    Rav4 hybrid was at the top of my list, but I needed to get rid of my Explorer sooner rather than later and the Rav4 just wasn't available. Although it does snow heavily here, I also am in a position where I can just stay home and work remotely if it's bad, so I couldn't pass up the deal that the Prime was.

    That said, I do hope to pick one up at mid cycle refresh time. Will keep following this thread, good luck with it!
     
  5. royrose

    royrose Active Member

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    MSRP is an even $800 more than an AWD non-hybrid at the same trim level. The hybrid (except for the base LE) also includes better headlights than the non hybrid: LED Projector beams instead of LED reflectors. IHS tests of the reflectors produced a "marginal" rating. The projectors haven't been rated yet. In some places dealers are asking even more for the hybrids because they are still scarce. Fortunately they agreed to a fair price here.

    We did do one fill up but I don't think it is accurate. Calculation came to about 44mpg. Dealer did first fill and may have topped up and then pump at Costco may have shut off early.

    Here is the displayed current tank. Some on the Rav4 forum are saying that the displayed mpg is more accurate than previous Toyotas. We'll see. Trip A was reset at time of fill:

    [
     
  6. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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  7. royrose

    royrose Active Member

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    I believe that is part of the Limited package, gas or hybrid.
     
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  8. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    Took a short drive in a Rav4h yesterday. No idea what trim, I was mainly interested in the driving experience in terms of noise and smoothness and could someone who is "interface challenged" drive it. I drove it, turned on the wipers to multiple settings, turned on the radio, etc. No idea what settings it was on but it seemed quieter and smoother "shifting" than my Prius v. Didn't play with the nav but the screen seemed bigger and brighter. Didn't experience any of the safety nannies beyond the backup camera display. I was impressed enough to want to take my wife back and see what she thinks. It is her turn for a new car. While the CRV has gotten better ratings in the magazines and online, their troubles with oil dilution by fuel and Honda's response causes me to no longer consider it.

    Thanks royrose for the feedback.
     
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  9. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    I test drove a rav4h and was impressed. Quiet, smooth and responsive with good mpg. Push you back in the seat responsive. Beats the heck out of the Prius v in almost every category and it recorded 60mpg on my relatively level test drive. I could do without the glass roof but the digital rear view mirror worked well in bright Texas sun. CRV? No comparison and I have one of those as well. Smoother and the CRV “only” gets 32 mpg. Only advantage the CRV might have is the built in Garmin nav with free updates.
     
  10. royrose

    royrose Active Member

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    OK. Second fill up, first after I had filled to first click both times. Different gas stations, so not definitive, but looking good.

    396.8 miles, 9.55 gallons to first click. Displayed MPG 42, calculated MPG 41.55.

    So it seems that mileage is beating EPA and dash display is much more accurate than my 10 Y.O. Prius.
     
  11. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    By the end of its life, our 2005 Prius was getting near 40mpg! This is fantastic given it's AWD and a larger vehicle.
     
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  12. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    It eats CRVs for lunch and spits out Subarus.
     
  13. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    That's fantastic. I was waiting for a SUV with >40 mpg fuel efficiency. This seems to be the first official one. Too bad, it was not available yet at the time I found used hybrid SUV at great price I could not pass up. Maybe next time.
     
  14. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    I think that's the same with all non-PRIUSes. PRIUS is the tech masterpiece, with as much complexity as anyone would probably want.

    But COROLLA, and CAMRY have less information - and look more "normal" - which I guess is what RAV4 has tried to do. We apparently get RAV4 released here in the next week or 2 - I'll be checking it out.
     
  15. royrose

    royrose Active Member

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    Just did third fill up. 464 miles. 11.101 gallons, calculated mpg 41.5, displayed mpg 42.1

    Some new Rav4 owners are complaining that the miles to empty gauge is too conservative. It does seem that there are 3 or more gallons in the tank when the miles to empty says zero and the fuel gauge is at E. I would prefer less of a reserve so I could go 500 miles on a tank without making my wife nervous.

    On the plus side the displayed mpg is much more accurate than my 2010 Prius.

    Some more observations after owning the Rav for a month:

    Of course a new model may have flaws but the New Rav4 seems to have quite a few.

    Fortunately for Rav4 hybrid buyers the most serious problems seem to be with the conventional gas drivetrain: loud, rough sounding engine on acceleration, automatic transmission that downshifts at just the wrong time when doing a "rolling stop" resulting in a thumping lurch, and clunking when the drive shaft to the rear axle engages and disengages. Some owners are very unhappy about these issues. Lots of chatter and arguing on the Rav4 forum about these issues.

    Other problems:

    Clock on multimedia screen randomly reverts form 12 hour to 24 hour display

    Front seat heaters are very weak (in models with the weather package that includes ventilated front seats.

    Shaky and distorted side rear view mirrors.

    We do have the clock and seat heater issues. I will report those to our dealer and to Toyota but don't expect much action. In reality they are minor issues.

    Overall I love how it drives, how it looks and how easy it is to beat the EPA numbers.

    Trip A was reset at last fill up:
    2019-05-06 13.06.48-1.jpg ,
     
    #16 royrose, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
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  16. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    "automatic transmission that downshifts at just the wrong time" - except it doesn't have an Automatic Transmission - and doesn't downshift. It's a Hybrid Synergy Drive.

    Maybe it's the regenerative braking cutting in? Or maybe the rear Traction Motor starting?
     
  17. rjparker

    rjparker Senior Member

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    He is saying the gas only models have those issues and others have reported it. The rav4 hybrid is quite smooth and quiet.
     
  18. alanclarkeau

    alanclarkeau Senior Member

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    Ahh - yes, now I re-read it, that's something I missed:rolleyes:.
     
  19. M8s

    M8s Retired and Lovin' It

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    Thanks for your informative reports. My wife got a 2019 Limited Hybrid in CO Springs last Friday but hasn't driven since. It's staying in the garage until the clear bra is installed (tomorrow). What have you done to "personalize" it? It looks like you opted for the digital (as opposed to analog) speedometer. Anything else?
     
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