Toyota’s legacy as the most reliable brand in America started long ago. The Japanese manufacturer made its first landfall in the US in 1957 in Hollywood, California. With an unassuming 288 vehicles, 287 Toyota Crown’s and one Land Cruiser, the Toyota takeover had officially begun.
The brand quickly the brand gained a reputation for sturdy, reliable vehicles with an affordable cost. At a time where American manufacturers were producing cars that seemed to have a five-year life cycle, a car that could go for more than 100,000 miles was an appealing proposition.
Fast forward a few years and Toyota quickly became the first import manufacture to sell more than one million vehicles. Toyotas success in America was all based around their reliability and affordability, a model they pursue to this day.
Today, Toyota has 29 models available for sale in the United States, sells millions of vehicles a year and is one of the top-rated manufacturers to date. The two top-selling Toyota vehicles, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 and 2019 Toyota Camry, are ideal vehicles for someone looking for practicality, reliability, and affordability. If getting the absolute best value for your dollar is what you are after, these two vehicles are sure to satisfy.
With so many options on the market, it is difficult to decipher what vehicle is going to work best for you and your family. The Toyota RAV4 and the Toyota Camry are very similar overall but do have some distinct differences that may make one better for you over the other.
The predominant selling feature of SUV’s is their space. The larger interior provides the occupants with more space and therefore more comfortability. The surprising fact here is that the Camry actually provides more space than the RAV4. With 99.3 ft³ of passenger volume, it actually is roomier by one square foot than the RAV4. Front passengers also have slightly more leg room with 42.1 inches vs the RAV4’s 41 inches. Rear passengers are also blessed with an inch or two or more headroom, legroom, and shoulder room as well.
The RAV4 shows its usability, however, when it comes to cargo capacity. The Camry has 15.1 ft³ of cargo space, compared to the RAV4’s massive 37.5 ft³ of cargo space with the seats up and 69.8 ft³ with the seat folded. The functionality of the cargo area is something the Camry just can’t compete with.
This is where having a sedan really shows its value. While the driving feel of SUV’s has come a long way from the truck-based SUV of yore, nothing can truly beat a lower center of gravity. The Camry’s lower ride height, lower seating position, and more hunkered down feel provide a much more balanced and secure ride. There is less body roll and in the twisties, the Camry can hug the road much better. While most people aren’t taking their Camry to the track, a better-balanced drive provides a more composed ride everywhere you go.
That being said, a lower ride height does have its downfalls. Sitting higher in a vehicle gives a better field of vision and a more commanding seating position. Feeling taller and bigger than you are demands more confidence in your drive. Not to mention the utilitarian aspect of SUV’s. The RAV4 can go further off-road, handle rough terrain or roads, and even trump through thick snow. The AWD option also gives more confidence in any condition and helps to grip the road surface in slippery weather and off-road.
The safety features of today aren’t like they used to be. Vehicles have all kinds of technology that is creeping closer and closer to full-autonomous driving, there to both save your life and be more convenient. Both the Camry and the RAV4 have an amazing array of both active and passive safety features that put them on the top of the list for safety in their respective segments.
Toyota has made it a priority to make safer vehicles with each new generation of car. That is why both the 2019 Toyota Camry and the 2019 Toyota RAV4 have Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 standard across the board. This is an amazing value. Toyota Safety sense includes features like pre-collision detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high-beams, dynamic radar cruise control, and road sign assistance. These are top-level safety features that are available on a base model vehicle.
Toyota has been one of America's best selling manufactures for over 50 years. The Camry and RAV4 form a solid foundation of which Toyota has built itself on in recent years. The two vehicles compete directly with each other but both offer different benefits depending on what you are looking for. The Camry is America’s sweetheart. The car is the perfect family sedan and offers power, space, composure, and efficiency. The RAV4’s commanding ride height and massive cargo space give it more utility, and the available AWD is something that cannot be overlooked.
Dependant on what you need out of your vehicle is really going to drive which will work better for you in the long run. Personally, I prefer better road handling and a lower more hunkered down feel to my vehicles, so the Camry is my choice. But when extra cargo space and a more utilitarian ride is what you desire, the RAV4 is the best alternative.