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6 Toyota SUVs for a Variety of Needs in 2019

Toyota builds a wide variety of crossovers and SUVs, from the simple, economical C-HR to the best-selling RAV4 to the legendary off-road-oriented 4Runner and Land Cruiser. Here we’ll give you a buyers guide of sorts for all the new Toyota SUVs available today.

2019 Toyota C-HR

2019 Toyota C-HR

The C-HR should be thought of more as a high-riding hatchback than as a bona fide SUV. While Toyota markets it as a sport utility, its lack of available all-wheel drive, weak 5.9 inches of ground clearance, and tight cargo area mean that while the sporty aspect may be there, it’s pretty light on utility. Still, it’s an affordable hatchback with an upright driving position, making it a great alternative to a traditional sedan. The C-HR also comes with great active safety features including standard adaptive cruise control that can function at low speeds, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams. Under the hood is a basic 2.0-liter 4-cylinder putting out 144 horsepower and driving the front wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission. The EPA rates the C-HR at 29 miles per gallon in combined driving. We’d love to see a hybrid version released that pushes this number into the 30s. Pricing starts at about $22,000 and tops out at just over $27,000 in loaded Limited trim. Find a Toyota C-HR for sale

2019 Toyota RAV4

2019 Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 finished out the 2018 calendar year as the best-selling passenger car in the United States. Toyota has opted to give it a full redesign for 2019, and the new model looks poised to build off of the old RAV4’s success. Two different powertrains along with several different variants are offered. Basic gas-powered models use a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder making 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, paired with an 8-speed automatic. AWD is optional. With the gas-only powertrain, the new RAV4 returns 26 mpg city/35 mpg hwy. There’s also a RAV4 Hybrid, which puts out 219 hp and uses a continuously variable transmission. AWD is standard on the hybrid, which uses electric motors to power the rear wheels. Unlike the outgoing RAV4 Hybrid, the new one is capable of mild off-roading, and even features a "Trail" button on the center console. The RAV4 Hybrid is rated for 41 mpg city/38 mpg hwy, which is impressive considering that it’s also faster than the basic gas model. The RAV4 also offers two special trim levels for 2019: an Adventure trim that comes with roof rails and a more rugged appearance, and an XSE Hybrid trim, that has uniquely-tuned shocks and springs for better handling. A TRD Off-Road model joins the lineup for 2020. Beyond that, the RAV4 comes loaded with safety features, good design, and Apple CarPlay, although Android Auto is still unavailable. Pricing starts at about $27,000 and reaches $40,000 when fully-loaded. Find a Toyota RAV4 for sale

2020 Toyota Highlander

2020 Toyota Highlander

The Highlander is Toyota’s midsize family-hauling crossover, with room for up to eight passengers and loads of cargo room. It will also be fully-redesigned for the 2020 model year. While full details on the new Highlander have yet to be released, rest assured that it will improve on the outgoing model in nearly every way, with better safety features, better infotainment tech, and greater efficiency with regard to both space and fuel economy. While lower trims of the outgoing model were offered with a 4-cylinder engine, Toyota has made a 3.5-liter V6 the standard engine on the new Highlander. Output is 295 hp and 263 lb-ft of torque. EPA fuel-economy figures have yet to be released, but Toyota is promising 22 mpg combined for the gas Highlander. The Highlander Hybrid returns as well, albeit with a smaller, more efficient engine. Under the hood of the 2020 Highlander Hybrid will be a new inline 4-cylinder that returns 34 mpg combined — a respectable figure for a 3-row crossover. The new Highlander also gets Toyota’s second-generation suite of active safety features that now includes lane tracing assist and road sign recognition. Expect the 2020 Highlander to go on sale in late 2019. Find a Toyota Highlander for sale

2019 Toyota 4Runner

The Toyota 4Runner is a dinosaur, having gone without a major redesign since way back in 2010. Despite its age, it’s never been more popular, and it had its best sales year ever in 2018. The 4Runner is a genuine off-road SUV, with a body-on-frame construction, a solid rear axle, and true low-range 4-wheel drive. Given its inherent off-road capability, we tend to favor the two off-road-oriented trims in the 4Runner lineup. The 4Runner TRD Off-Road starts things off with a charmingly old-school manual gear lever for shifting into 4WD, a locking rear differential, and Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control features. Optional is the clever KDSS, or Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System, which can detect when the vehicle is driving over rough terrain and automatically disconnect the sway bars for added articulation. Positioned above the TRD Off-Road is the TRD Pro model. Starting with a TRD Off-Road as its base, the 2020 TRD Pro comes with a Fox-developed off-road suspension system, a front skid plate, black TRD wheels, all-terrain tires, the "TOYOTA" wordmark grille, a unique roof rack and more. Oddly, the TRD Pro is not available with KDSS, leading us to recommend the more affordable, more value-laden TRD Off-Road model as the smarter choice here. Either way, while it uses an ancient and inefficient 4.0-liter V6 engine paired with an obsolete 5-speed automatic, the 4Runner manages to maintain its relevance heading into 2020 by gaining a new infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and many of the active safety features offered on more civilized Toyota products. Expect a new 4Runner TRD Off-Road to cost between $39,000 and $43,000, while a TRD Pro will run you close to $48k. Find a Toyota 4Runner for sale

2019 Toyota Sequoia

2019 Toyota Sequoia

Another ancient truck-based Toyota SUV, the Sequoia has been on sale since way back in 2008. While it’s managed to remain somewhat relevant thanks to updates over the years, the Sequoia feels like a step back in time, with interior and exterior styling straight out of the late 2000s. Still, the Sequoia is large, offering room for up to eight passengers and all of their things. It’s also got a towing capacity of up to 7,400 pounds, while this lags behind the other full-size SUVs on sale today, it’s still more than what you get with a midsize family hauler like the Highlander. In order to try to keep it relevant heading into yet another model year, Toyota has opted to add some modern tech features to the Sequoia like push-button start and Apple CarPlay, and will introduce a TRD Pro version of the vehicle for 2020, which comes equipped with Fox-tuned shock absorbers, Rigid Industries fog lights, BBS wheels, a front skid plate, a TRD cat back exhaust, and a unique platform-style roof-rack that increases the vehicle’s cargo capacity even further. Under the hood of the Sequoia is a strong 5.7-liter V8 making an impressive 381 hp, although fuel economy is pretty pathetic, coming in at 13 mpg city/17 mpg on the hwy. The 2020 Sequoia TRD Pro will go on sale when the 2020 models start to land on dealer lots toward the end of 2019. Find a Toyota Sequoia for sale

2019 Toyota Land Cruiser

2019 Toyota Land Cruiser

The toughest of all the Toyota SUVs, the Land Cruiser, is the ultimate off-roader and offers world-class capability and dependability. To truly appreciate the Land Cruiser, it’s important to look at the big picture. While other vehicles are built to a 10-year service life — which essentially makes them disposable — the Land Cruiser is built to last 25 years without needing a major mechanical overhaul. As a result, Land Cruisers are known to travel close to 300,000 miles without experiencing major mechanical issues. Just change the oil and complete the scheduled maintenance and you’ve got a truck that will last for decades. Functional features are aplenty, with a clever split rear hatch that incorporates a handy tailgate, room for eight, good approach and departure angles, and a durable yet luxurious interior. The downside here is that, as is the case with the rest of Toyota’s off-road lineup, the Land Cruiser has been around in its current body style — known as the 200 Series — for ages, having first gone on sale as a 2008 model. As a result, its powertrain is inefficient and it is badly in need of a full redesign. On top of that, the cost of entry for ownership of this legendary vehicle is steep, with a new Land Cruiser carrying a sticker price of about $87,000. Find a Toyota Land Cruiser for sale

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More about Chris O'Neill

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