Go big with the 2019 RAV4

Posted on Dec 24 2018

The new Toyota RAV4 is now in full glorious display at the Atkins Kroll Saipan’s showroom in Oleai. (Jon Perez)

A cool yearend gift to yourself or your family would be a car.

So why not go big and get yourself the redesigned 2019 RAV4—the fifth iteration of the Japanese car maker’s most popular vehicle under the Toyota brand?

The new Toyota RAV4 is now in glorious display at the Atkins Kroll Saipan’s showroom in Oleai.

And do you know that RAV4 actually stands for Robust Accurate Vehicle with 4-wheel drive? I learned that, too, when I got behind the wheel of this car last Friday, when Toyota gave Saipan Tribune the chance to test drive one, fresh off the boat.

A lot has changed in the RAV4’s body design since it was first introduced to the market in 1994 in Japan and Europe and the following year in America. The latest edition of the RAV4 is a totally different design compared to its closest predecessor, the 2018 model. The sleeker and chiseled chassis appearance is under the Toyota New Global Architecture platform that it shares with the C-HR, Prius, Corolla, Camry, and the Avalon.

Chief engineer Yoshiakazu Saeki and his team of engineers and designers said that, when they thought of the RAV4’s new design, they kept in mind customers who want to spend more time driving anywhere and without limits, meticulously ensuring that all stress is removed from the driver in any situation.

Getting around Saipan in the new RAV4 was a pleasure to the ears, its aerodynamic design under the TNGA platform ensuring that there is lesser wind noise. The 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine makes for smooth driving; the drive was so quiet that I failed to notice that I was already hitting 80mph. Good thing there were no cops when I was zipping along Middle Road. Sorry officers, I still know that speeding is a violation and I’ve always been careful while driving.

The legroom for passenger—180.9 inches in length and 73.4-inch wide—gives an extra 4-inch legroom compared to the 2018 model. It also has an estimated 70-cubic feet storage space behind the rear seats. It comes with the basic 17-inch wheels for the standard LE models while 19-inch for the Adventure AWD that has shock absorbers in all four wheels, made for those who go off-roading to test new terrains.

The 2019 RAV4 also has a 7-inch multitouch screen and compatible with Apple Carplay, Amazon Alexa, and JBL audio systems. It has wireless charging with up to five USB ports.

The RAV4 brand has always been known as one of the safest cars to drive around and the 2019 model is no different, packed with a ton of driver assistance and safety features—as if having an extra pair of eyes while driving—like blind spot monitoring, pre-collision system and pedestrian detection through its front integrated camera and Toyota’s Safety Sense Mechanism with the dynamic radar control, automatic emergency braking, lane departure alert when you are drifting out of your lane, and automatic adjustable high beams that’s standard with the LE and Adventure.

The 2019 RAV4 also has a redesigned gas tank to distribute the weight evenly on the chassis. Gas mileage is estimated at 29 miles per gallon while one full tank of the hybrid model—for special orders only—can last up to 600 miles.

AK Saipan sales manager Glen V. Perez said they are upbeat with the RAV4’s 2019 edition. “The RAV4 has been one of Toyota’s strongest products. The interest is there, so we expect sales to be great in the crossover SUV market. We’re really excited for the new RAV4 since it is a great Toyota product that will be part of your family for a long time.”

AK Saipan sales associate Curtis Dancoe said they already sold six units last Saturday while another six are expected to roll out of their showroom today. “The type of customer that we had today [Saturday] are the ones that had already done their research since last year when it was announced. Some want to trade in their vehicles and want to have this great-looking SUV.”

The RAV4 price starts at $29,399 for the base model, $36,499 for the Adventure, and $36,999 for the fully-equipped XLE Premium Adventure with offroad suspension. It is available in two-tone colors of Midnight Black Metallic, Blue Flame, and Lunar Rock—for pre-orders—with Ice Edge roof or the full-body options of Blue Flame, Lunar Rock, and Midnight Black Metallic.

For more information, call 234-5911 and look for Dancoe or talk any of AK Saipan’s sales associates.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.
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