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NEW & NOTABLE
An overdue Gen-5 redesign gives the 2019 Toyota RAV4 a more aggressive look for two basic versions. A 2.5-L inline-4 drives either front or all-wheel drive for the LE, Adventure, XLE, and Limited trims. The RAV4 Hybrid offers gasoline-electric power with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. Look for 203 hp on the base engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission; hybrids use an electronic continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The all-new Gen-5 Toyota Avalon is the flagship sedan for the Japanese manufacturer and the aggressive-looking exterior tweaks rival the more luxurious interior alterations that have elevated this one to new heights. Inside, Avalon’s 9-inch touchscreen is the focal point of the center console, as the 2019 Avalon now showcases advanced electronic safety systems such as standard automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high-beams.
The all-new 2019 Corolla hatchback is a stunning Gen-12 edition of the perennial best-seller. The new Corolla offers an athletic stance, sleeker lines, and an interior touting standard features such as a big 8-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay. A new 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine mated to a new 6-speed manual gearbox now features rev-matching, whereas the new CVT unit sports as much as 10 simulated gears with paddle shifter.
When the Toyota 4Runner debuted in 1984, it was a solid-box, no-frills pickup truck with a fiberglass shell out back. The new 2019 Toyota 4Runner sticks with what works – a fully boxed in frame – to ensure off-road prowess, though the most notable improvements will employ the use of weight-saving materials. The newly-styled front grille is larger and more aggressive and the paired headlights, LED jogging lights and LED tail-lamps make a huge difference in the overall look.
The 2019 Toyota Sienna SE, a version with firmer suspension tuning, will now offer all-wheel drive as an option for the first time. Previously, the Sienna minivan was available with all-wheel drive in the LE, XLE, and Limited trim levels. On the SE, all-wheel drive swaps out the 19-inch wheels for 18s and also includes second-row captain’s chairs instead of a three-seat bench. The new SE features unique exterior styling with a full body kit and dark-tinted headlights. The 2019 lineup now includes Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility as standard.
Highlander, Prius, Camry, CH-R, 86, Tundra, Tacoma, LandCruiser, Yaris
This auto review was researched and written by SteinPro Content Services and provided to the Sun-Times for publication