Toyota, Subaru Developing Rav4-sized Electric Crossover And Platform For More Evs

Toyota, Subaru developing RAV4-sized electric crossover and platform for more EVs

TOKYO — Toyota and Subaru announced they will jointly develop a battery-electric crossover on a platform developed for multiple production vehicles. The first crossover built on the platform will be a C-segment vehicle, which will be a small vehicle similar in size to a Toyota RAV4 or Subaru Forester. It will also be sold by both brands with altered styling and badging.

The small crossover will only be the first vehicle to use the platform, though, as it's being developed for use in medium-small C-segment sedans and both D-segment larger sedans and crossovers. So we could see electric cars similar to the Corolla and Impreza, Camry and Legacy, and even the Highlander and Ascent on this platform in the future.

2019 Subaru Forester Sport Vs 2019 Toyota Rav4 Adventure: How They Compare

2019 Subaru Forester Sport vs 2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure: How they compare

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is not only completely redesigned, but reimagined as well. As we detailed in our first drive review, the new RAV4 ditches the more car-like and uber-utilitarian nature of its predecessor for something that's more SUV-like and characterful. It's a new direction exemplified in the RAV4 Adventure trim, which specifically targets those folks who plan to actually take their compact crossover to the great outdoors. People who will get it dirty, use the extra ground clearance and store things on the roof. You know, the sort of people who would consider the 2019 Subaru Forester. It too is redesigned for 2019, but its transformation is almost unnoticeable compared to the RAV4's. Forester customers were obviously quite happy with the way things were.

We got a chance to drive both the 2019 RAV4 and 2019 Forester back-to-back last week both on-road and off-road, so let's take a look at how they compare, including a look at their on-paper specs.

2019 Toyota Rav4 Review And Buying Guide

2019 Toyota RAV4 Review and Buying Guide

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 represents a bold new direction for what has been the bestselling SUV in America. With characterful styling, best-in-class power and an ulta-efficient Hybrid model, it stands above top rivals in key areas, while at least matching their quality, safety and tech offerings. It's not quite as spacious any more, but few would deem it cramped. It also continues to benefit from Toyota's strong reliability, resale value and included scheduled maintenance program. Really, anyone shopping for a compact crossover would be wise to consider the 2019 RAV4.

What's new for 2019?

Everything about the RAV4 is new for 2019. The styling is blockier and more SUV-like, while the ground clearance has been raised. Certain trim levels, including the RAV4 Adventure, also get special off-roading drive modes and a more sophisticated all-wheel drive system. Importantly, driving dynamics have been sharpened for 2019 on every RAV4, the powertrains seriously upgraded for both the base gas engine and the more efficient RAV4 Hybrid, and the interior made more attractive and functional. Cargo capacity is a bit down, however, as is headroom.

2019 Toyota Rav4 Adventure Drivers' Notes Review | More Character, More Capability

2019 Toyota RAV4 Adventure Drivers' Notes Review | More character, more capability

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 is a completely redesigned crossover, and no version exemplifies that transformation more than the Adventure trim level. While every new RAV4, including the Hybrid we previously tested, boasts styling inspired by the Tacoma pickup, the Adventure goes all the way with a grille that might as well have been plunked directly from the Taco. It also has the most ground clearance of the revised lineup, which itself is much higher off the ground than its low-riding, car-like predecessor. This provides every RAV4 with more off-road capability than before, but the RAV4 Adventure goes even further with an enhanced torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system and hill descent control. There are also adjustable off-road vehicle settings for "Mud & Sand," "Rock & Dirt" and "Snow."

This 2019 RAV4 Adventure tester is loaded with a number of options, pushing the final price to nearly $40,000. The $1,185 Adventure Weather package adds a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, rain-sensing wipers and a wiper defroster. The $1,265 Adventure Grade tech package includes parking sensors, rear cross-traffic emergency braking, a digital display rearview mirror, and wireless smartphone charging. Other options include an upgraded infotainment system with integrated navigation and a JBL sound system for $1,620, two-tone paint for $500 and a sunroof for $850. Note that feature and package availability can differ by region, so keep in mind that RAV4's near you might be a bit different.