2019 Toyota AWD Models


It’s good news to New England motorists that Toyota offers a good selection of vehicles equipped with all-wheel drive, in addition to their pickups and SUVs built on truck platforms with four-wheel drive. These AWD-available vehicles consist of two crossover models (each with a hybrid option) – the RAV4 and the Highlander – and a minivan, the Sienna.

Some of Toyota’s AWD lineup, the gasoline-engine versions of the Highlander and RAV4, come with a new technology called Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD with Rear Driveline Disconnect. This innovative system raises responsiveness and stability levels by sending up to 50 percent of the power to the rear axle and then distributing more power to whatever wheel needs it. At times when front-wheel drive is adequate, the Rear Driveline Disconnect will stop sending power to the rear axle to save fuel. It also uses a steering angle sensor that triggers more traction for the front end going into a corner. The system also has a lock mode to keep the vehicle in AWD in low-traction situations under 25 mph.

Here’s the lineup of Toyota AWD models with an overview of each.

Sienna – This is a good place to start, since the Toyota Sienna has definite bragging rights here: It’s the only minivan sold in the United States with AWD available. All-wheel drive with Active Torque Control is standard on some trim levels of this highly rated eight-passenger minivan, which is also stacked with connectivity and technology equipment.

RAV4 (conventional gasoline engine) – The all-new gas-engine RAV4 is available with the smooth performance of Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD. This capable crossover has been redesigned to start its fifth generation, and it’s enjoying more popularity than ever. It uses All-Wheel Drive Integrated Management to ensure that the engine, transmission, brakes, and drivetrain work in harmony for best stability.

Multi-Terrain Select is on RAV4 models equipped with AWD. This feature gives the driver a choice of three specialized modes for certain conditions: Mud/Sand, Rock/Dirt, and Snow. The system senses slipping and regulates the spin of the wheels with “intelligent” adjustments to the throttle, drive-force distribution, and braking to achieve the ultimate traction on iffy road surfaces.

RAV4 Hybrid – AWD comes standard on the gas-electric version of Toyota’s favorite crossover, which uses Electronic On-Demand AWD with intelligence (AWD-i). With this system, also called E-Four, the rear wheels are driven by their own dedicated electric motor that has its own differential and reduction gear. An electronic control unit determines the amount of torque needed for the rear wheels based on road conditions and sends it there accordingly. The RAV4 Hybrid leads its class in fuel economy, making it even more appealing to those looking for a well-outfitted crossover that’s neither too big nor too small.

Highlander – The conventional gas-burning Highlander uses the same Dynamic Torque Control AWD system found in the conventional RAV4. It’s an excellent choice for drivers who are looking for premium features, such as heated second-row captain’s chairs, and need seating for up to eight or a larger amount of cargo space.

Highlander Hybrid – The gas-electric version of Toyota’s largest crossover uses the same electronic AWD-I system found in the RAV4 Hybrid. A dedicated motor, differential, and reduction gear control the rear axle via an intelligent electronic control unit. As with the RAV4, AWD comes standard on all Highlander Hybrids.