The original Toyota RAV4 is debatably the first compact crossover SUV to hit the market, nearly 24 years ago, and it was a sensation — two or four doors, removable roof panel, it was a fun little runabout that was ahead of its time. Since then, the Toyota RAV4 has become steadily more boring, more family-oriented, less adventurous and decidedly less desirable.
That may have just changed with the unveiling of the 2019 Toyota RAV4 at the 2018 New York International Auto Show and it’s much needed — the current RAV4 finished fourth out of five vehicles in our 2016 Compact SUV Challenge. This new RAV4 is seriously attractive — it seems that the wacky Toyota styling we’ve seen on its passenger cars translates better to truck and SUV proportions than to low-slung sedans and coupes. The chunky fenders, the angular grilles and lights, the floating roof — it all just works so much better on an SUV. The overall look was previewed by the FT-AC concept Toyota shown at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show.