Christopher Little

2019 Toyota SUV Rundown

We’re a week away from the start of the New York International Auto Show. But while we’re preparing, we’ve also been busy testing the 2019 Toyota SUV lineup. Check out our take on the 2019 Toyota SUV rundown and click through for an in-depth review of each model!

2019 Toyota C-HR

The C-HR is Toyota’s newest model, but that hasn’t stopped them from improving it! One of our biggest complaints when we first drove the C-HR was its lack of smartphone integration. Now though, Apple Car Play is available! That means iPhone owners will have navigation and audio streaming available. That instantly makes this car more appealing to its target audience. While the compact crossover is still slow with its 2.0L engine, we are still surprised how great it is to drive. The chassis is responsive and the suspension keeps the body well controlled. You won’t make many friends stuffing them in the back seats, but you can haul all their gear with the trunk space. Just don’t expect to hang up your dry cleaning…the C-HR doesn’t come with a hanger hook.

2019 Toyota RAV4

This and the Land Cruiser are the two Toyota SUV’s we haven’t tested yet! The all-new RAV4 was unveiled a year ago in NY. We’ll have a full review with our thoughts coming soon! Note, we did drive the Lexus LX570 not that long ago, so we’ll count that towards the Land Cruiser.

Toyota RAV4 1

2019 Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is next on Toyota’s debut list. Expect to see an all-new 2020 model unveiled next week in NY. Until then, Toyota is keeping the Highlander fresh with a new powertrain. The 3.5L V6 powering our Highlander Limited Platinum now makes 295 hp and 263 lb-ft torque. It also comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission. These changes improve responsiveness while also adding 2-3mpg. The new transmission is a big improvement and the stop-start system is one of the most seamless we’ve tested. The Highlander is a gentle giant and Limited Platinum trim is as plush and luxurious as we remember from our test of the Hybrid in 2017. Unfortunately without the electrified torque, the Highlander feels sluggish. We’d also expect LED lights on a top trim level, just as Toyota has brought to the Tundra. But those will seemingly have to wait for an all-new Highlander next year.

2019 Toyota 4Runner

We’ve driven several iterations of the 4Runner, but most recently we were behind the wheel of this Limited trim. Previously we took a TRD Off-Road from Atlanta all the way back home to Upstate NY.

The Limited provides ample creature comforts, but with a somewhat hefty price tag. If you can live without the leather clad seats, larger wheels, and some faux wood trim, we’d suggest doing so. The 4Runner hasn’t been updated in ages and its beginning to show. The five speed automatic is slow to respond to inputs and really doesn’t allow for great fuel economy either. The 4.0L V6 is still much more refined and torquier than the new 3.5L that powers the Tacoma and Highalnder. Overall the 4Runner is rough and tumble, but maybe a little gimmicky in this Limited trim. After all, it’s one of the last body-on-frame 4×4 SUVs.

2019 Toyota Sequoia

The Sequoia is Toyota’s longest running SUV, going largely unchanged for more than a decade. 2019 brings a fresh face to the aging behemoth. All new front and rear ends sharpen up the style as well as add a new trim level, the TRD Sport. The new LED running lights and darkened trim for the TRD Sport look good and freshen the appearance. The interior, however, cannot hide behind a new trim line. Everything about the interior is very much 10 years old; outdated infotainment, a very utilitarian center console area included. Overall though the Sequoia is still a compelling offering featuring a 5.7L V8. But this refresh feels a bit like your favorite childhood group getting band back together for a reunion tour.  

Bonus: 2019 Toyota Tundra

Surprise! This isn’t an SUV, but it’s quite closely related to the Sequoia and gets a few updates for this year, so we figured we would throw it in here. The Tundra, like all the others on this list, is extremely reliable. This 1794 Edition we tested, however, isn’t exactly something you’d want to get down and dirty with. Offering cooled seats and soft leather, the 1794 Edition is here to throw its hat in the ring with the F-150 Limited. It can’t compete with the fresher Fords infotainment, interior room, features, or fuel economy, but it does hold its own for ride comfort and effortless towing and acceleration from the 5.7L V8. The biggest change since our first test back in 2014 is that upper level Tundra models now come with LED headlights, a feature almost worth upgrading for in their own right. We probably wouldn’t choose the Tundra as our go-to truck with so many newer offerings currently on sale, but if you’re looking for durability, dependability and resale value, the Tundra may be the best bet.

-Limited Slip Blog

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