We drove a $39,000 Toyota RAV4 to see if the best-selling SUV in America is worth the money. Here's the verdict.

Toyota RAV4 Limited 2019

  • The Toyota RAV4 is all-new for 2019 the model year.
  • The RAV4 is the best-selling compact crossover SUV in the US ahead of rivals like the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, Subaru Forester, and MazdaCX-5.
  • The 2019 RAV4 is powered by a 2.5-liter, 203 horsepower, naturally aspirated inline-four-cylinder engine that’s shared with the Toyota Camry sedan.
  • We liked the RAV4’s impressive suite of standard safety features and its redesigned interior. We were unimpressed by the RAV4’s harsh and unrefined powertrain. 
  • The base 2019 Toyota RAV4 LE with front-wheel-drive starts at $25,500 while the top-spec Limited trim starts at $33,500. With options and fees, our 2019 Toyota RAV4 Limited carried an as-tested price of $38,565.

The original Toyota RAV4 crossover SUV first arrived in American showrooms back in 1996. It was a world powered by beepers, fax machines, and dial-up modems. American Online was all the rage and the best-selling car in the US was the Ford Taurus. 

Fast forward 23 years, the world has changed considerably. Smartphones, social media and wifi dominate daily communications. AOL is but a shell of its former self and the same can be said for the Ford Taurus that’s once again headed for the chopping block.

In 2018, Toyota sold more than 427,000 RAV4s, making it the fourth-best selling vehicle in the US behind only the Ford F-Series, Chevrolet Silverado, and the RAM 1500. 

Read more: We drove a $34,000 Hyundai Tucson to see if it’s a legitimate rival for Honda, Toyota, and Subaru. Here’s the verdict.

The RAV4 is also the top seller in a compact SUV segment that accounted for roughly one out of every five vehicles sold in the US last year and growing at a rate of 11.9%, according to data compiled by Kelley Blue Book. 

In the marketplace, the RAV4 is a direct rival for the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, Chevrolet Equinox, and Ford Escape. 

For 2019, Toyota introduced an all-new fifth-generation RAV4. 

Recently, Business Insider had a chance to spend a week with 2019 Toyota RAV4 prototype in Limited trim. 

The base 2019 Toyota RAV4 LE starts at $25,500 while the mid-grade XLE, XLE Premium, and Adventure models start at $27,300, $29,500, and $32,900 respectively. The top-grade Limited trim starts at $33,500. Hybrid variants of the RAV4 start at $27,700 for the LE and runs all the way up to the Limited trim, which starts at $35,700. All-wheel-drive is available as a $1,400 option on all trims except the Adventure and Hybrid variants, which come standard with the AWD. 

With options and fees, our 2019 Toyota RAV4 Limited carried an as-tested price of $38,565.

Here’s a closer look at the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Limited: 

SEE ALSO: 7 ways to make your car last longer and save you money

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In 1994, the original first-generation Toyota RAV4 debuted in Japan. It didn’t arrive in the US until 1996 and was available as both as a four-door and …

… as a two-door. In case you were wondering, RAV4 stands for Recreational Active Vehicle with Four-wheel-drive.

Toyota even offered an all-electric version of the RAV4 in select regions between 1997 and 2003.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider