Toyota Teases the 2019 RAV4's Manlier Silhouette

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Toyota is updating the insanely popular RAV4 for the 2019 model year, which means it may be able to leave the shadow of the much newer Honda CR-V. That’s not a knock against Toyota, as the company offers a serviceable compact crossover that people seem to really love. In fact, the brand sold 407,594 RAV4s in the United States last year while Honda only moved 377,895 CR-Vs.

But the high-volume RAV4 is getting on in years. When Honda introduced the updated CR-V, the Toyota was already five years old and beginning to look a little dated. Fortunately, a fifth-generation model is being readied for the 2018 New York Auto Show. Toyota even issued a shadowy teaser image to whet our appetites.

While the shape doesn’t appear to be radically different from the current crossover, it’s much more SUV-like overall. Toyota is definitely moving the model’s styling in a new direction. Sadly, the backlit image obscures much of the vehicle’s finer features — making a detailed assessment next to impossible. Fortunately, we’ve utilized high-end photo manipulation software to boost the brightness and give you a better look at the upcoming RAV4.

Whoops. It would appear Toyota’s media department employed some photo trickery of its own by blocking out everything but the top edge of the crossover’s silhouette. As a result, all we’ve managed to achieve is a depiction of how the new RAV4 might look in the opening microseconds of an atomic blast. It seems as if the car companies have caught on to our digital tricks.

That’s okay. We already have camouflage-clad spy shots of the fifth-generation crossover, which prove Toyota’s FT-AC Concept has had a major influence on the car. The new RAV4 should have a blunted face, imposing grille, sharper angles, fewer curves, and squared-off wheel arches. It will also swap to Toyota’s New Global Architecture — a platform already used by the Camry, Prius, CH-R, and (eventually) nearly every high-volume compact-to-midsize vehicle in the brand’s lineup.

Will the aggressive new styling decisions turn off prospective RAV4 customers? We highly doubt it. However, even if it does, those opposed will undoubtedly be treated to bargain prices on the outgoing version after the 2019 model year makes its debut in New York at the end of the month.

[Images: Toyota; Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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2 of 46 comments
  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Mar 14, 2018

    Looks like that profile now matches closely with the F-Pace.

  • Mike-NB Mike-NB on Mar 14, 2018

    If Toyota sends out teasers they should send appropriate ones to different audiences. A site like TTAC is populated by people who like cars, who like to drive and who take pride in all things automotive. Sites like TTAC should be provided with undisguised shots of the back end so that readers can get used to staring at it endlessly as it lopes along in the left lane straddling traffic at the same speed in the right lane. Maybe even a GIF with the left signal light flashing would be nice.

  • Rob Woytuck I meant overall for a loaded ferry if every vehicle weighs more by volume. Not comparing the fact pickups or electric vehicles are on the ferry but rather the number of heavier vehicles total.
  • Analoggrotto Everything wrong with Tesla + (Everything Right with Hyundai * 100) = TTAC
  • Eric @ EBFlex.... Tough!
  • Scott The previous generation had a lower coefficient of drag, and got better fuel economy.
  • Kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh lol greedy exec versus greedy investor about a company struggling to exist ... lololololololololol ..