Toyota is known for its high-quality, competitively priced vehicles. And if you’re looking for a new SUV, you’ve likely considered what this reliable brand has to offer. Two of Toyota’s most popular choices include the 2019 Toyota Highlander and 2019 Toyota RAV4. But, what’s the difference between these SUVs? And, which is the right choice for you? Below we’ll take a look at one of Toyota’s most powerful and spacious options, as well as one of their most versatile and efficient options, and help you determine which vehicle will best suit your lifestyle, needs, and budget. So, here is an overview of the 2019 Toyota Highlander and 2019 Toyota RAV4, and a few questions to ask yourself before deciding which of these incredible vehicles to purchase.
The Toyota Highlander
The Toyota Highlander is a midsize crossover SUV currently in its third generation. Since its release, it has been a popular choice among consumers for its spacious interior, versatile performance, and top-of-the-line technology. Throughout the years it has undergone several updates and enhancements, which have only further improved the overall design of the Highlander and what it has to offer. Among other vehicles in its class, the Highlander is a top performer across several of the most important categories including safety, power, comfort, capability, and convenience. For the driver looking to experience all that Toyota has to offer with its standard safety packages and advanced entertainment features, as well as impressive performance capabilities, this SUV is an excellent choice.
The Toyota RAV4
The RAV4 has been another consumer favorite of the Toyota brand for five generations. This compact crossover SUV is a premium example of efficiency and versatility. The Toyota RAV4 performs at the top of its class in nearly every category and is fairly priced, making it another excellent option for drivers looking for an SUV. The Toyota RAV4 offers fair power and performance, however, cannot quite stand up to the Highlander in this category.
How Many Passengers Are You Planning On Having Onboard?
The 2019 Toyota Rav4 is a two-row, five-passenger SUV. Meanwhile, the 2019 Toyota Highlander seats up to eight passengers in three spacious rows. If you’re planning on having more than five passengers onboard regularly, you’ll want to choose the Highlander. However, if there’s little to no need for an eight-passenger capacity, the RAV4 may be more suitable.
How Much Cargo Space Do You Need?
With an entire row on the RAV4, it’s no surprise that the Highlander offers a bit more cargo space. This factor typically goes hand-in-hand with seating; the more seating, the more cargo space. In total, the 2019 Toyota Highlander provides up to 83.7 cu ft. of space with the seats folded down, or up to 13.8 cu. Ft. when full of passengers. While this is not too far behind the RAV4, every inch is crucial for drivers looking to transport all the personal belongings they need for those weekend trips.
Are You Looking to Tow? If So, Small or Heavy Loads?
Throughout its five generations, the RAV4 has been praised for its versatility. It’s safe, efficient, spacious, and can even provide a decent towing capability. However, if you’re planning on towing heavy loads regularly, the Highlander may be better suited. With the 2019 Toyota Highlander, drivers can tow up to 5,000 LBS. This is enough capacity for a small boat and trailer or a variety of fun weekend toys for the lake. Most models of the RAV4 are capable of towing between 1,500 – 3,000 LBS, which is more than enough for many drivers. However, if you’re looking a spacious SUV with a towing capacity that rivals even several compact trucks, the 2019 Toyota Highlander is the right choice for you.
Will Power or Efficiency Best Suit Your Lifestyle?
This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself when trying to choose between the 2019 Toyota Highlander and 2019 Toyota RAV4. In general, the Highlander is more powerful SUV, while the RAV4 is the more efficient option.
The 2019 Toyota Highlander offers two impressive engine options including a 2.7L 4-cylinder engine and a 3.5L V6. Of course, the 3.5L V6 engine produces the most power, offering up to 295 hp and 263 lb-ft torque. Meanwhile, the 2.7L 4-cylinder engine is the most fuel efficient, earning up to 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. For the midsize SUV class, these are high ratings. However, it should be noted that upgrading to the more powerful engine of the Highlander will reduce these numbers.
When it comes to efficiency, the RAV4 has the Highlander beat. In fact, even its 2018 model earns up to 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The 2019 Toyota RAV4 takes efficiency to the next level with an available 2.5L Inline-4-Cylinder Hybrid engine, which further increases its MPG ratings.
Without a hybrid powertrain, the Highlander can’t compete with the efficiency of the RAV4. So, for drivers prioritizing this quality in their next SUV, it may not be the most suitable choice. However, those looking towards power and performance will be more than pleased with the 2019 Toyota Highlander.
What Is The Budget for Your New Vehicle?
It goes without saying that considering your budget prior to purchasing a vehicle is important. The 2019 Toyota Highlander falls within the midsize SUV class, while the 2019 Toyota RAV4 competes among contenders in the compact SUV class. Accordingly, there is a notable price difference between these two vehicles. The Highlander is larger and offers more power and performance, with a starting MSRP of $31,330. Although this is an incredibly fair price, and even a competitive one among other vehicles in its class, it will be more expensive than the smaller and slightly less powerful RAV4.
Drivers should also consider their monthly budget, including the cost of fuel. With the Highlander, these numbers will be slightly higher. However, many drivers find the power, space, and capability offered by the 2019 Toyota Highlander well worth the increase in price.
So, Should You Choose The 2019 Toyota Highlander or 2019 Toyota RAV4?
Both the 2019 Toyota Highlander and the 2019 Toyota RAV4 are excellent choices for drivers looking for a new SUV. However, they differ in what they have to offer in several categories and are therefore suited to different lifestyles, needs, and budgets. The Highlander is an excellent choice for drivers looking for a power vehicle with high towing capacity, as well as seating for up to eight passengers. Meanwhile, the RAV4 is better suited to drivers looking for a small and efficient SUV that offers a fair amount of power and capability. Both vehicles have premium safety features, as well as top-of-the-line entertainment technology. And both offer some of the most competitive pricing among contenders in the midsize and SUV classes.
Ultimately, you’ll have to carefully consider what you’re looking for in your next SUV to help you determine whether the Highlander or RAV4 is best for your needs. However, be sure to visit your local Toyota dealer and see both of these impressive options in person. Your local dealer should be able to answer any questions that you may have and help you reach your decision. Be sure to come to the dealership prepared and carefully inspect each vehicle, and you’ll be sure to pick the right one!