Toyota RAV4 opens LA Auto Show

The Los Angeles Auto Show opened its doors to the reveal of the new Toyota RAV4 earlier this week, writes Kyle Fortune.

The USA reveal is significant, the RAV4 selling over 1.7 million examples in North America, from overall worldwide sales of more than 4.5 million sales.

This fourth generation RAV4 defines the new world which the crossover SUV finds itself in, too. Revealed in US specification the 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine will be the sole American offering, as the market’s old V6 drops from the price lists.

Full details for the UK range will be announced on December 3rd, but like the US model it will feature front and four-wheel drive options.

Three engine choices are to be offered in Britain, with a petrol all-wheel drive model with 149bhp mated to a CVT automatic transmission, a 122bhp front-wheel drive 2.0-litre diesel and a 2.2-litre 4×4 diesel with 148bhp in either six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

Stop & Start technology will feature on the 2.0 diesel, allowing it to return a CO2 figure of just 127g/km. Economy has been a goal with every model though, the RAV4’s lower body slipping through the air more efficiently than ever and the Integrated Dynamic Drive managing drive in four-wheel drive models to maximise both efficiency and stability.

Lower, but wider gives the new RAV4 not just improved visual dynamism but promises even greater driving appeal on the road. The driving position is lower, the fun to drive character of the RAV4 remaining key on this all-new model. More enjoyment, but greater practicality too, the RAV4’s improved packaging bringing even more interior space than before. Rear legroom is improved thanks to thinner front seat backs, the split fold 60/40 rear seats offering Toyota’s Easy Flat system to create a fully flat loadspace. The boot itself is longer, allowing 547 litres of capacity, the underfloor stowage area increasing to 100 litres, too.

All that additional space is accessed via a more conventional tailgate, the side hinged boot of previous RAV4’s being replaced by a roof-hinged door. Alongside the greater practicality, comfort space and economy comes improved safety, the RAV4 coming with seven airbags as standard – including a driver’s knee airbag – as well as anti-whiplash seats and the availability of Lane Departure Alert and Blind Spot Monitoring systems. Engineered to 2013 EuroNCAP crash test standards the RAV4 promises class leading safety.

Significant as the RAV4 undoubtedly is the Toyota stand at LA also featured the Space Shuttle towing Tundra, an innovative pushbike Pruis x Parlee from Parlee Cycles inspired by the Prius and a nod to the future courtesy of Toyota’s FUN-Vii concept. All in, a great opening to an interesting show for Toyota.

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