These are the first official pictures of the all-new Toyota RAV4, which has made its public debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
There’s new exterior styling and a new-design cabin that’s significantly more spacious and comfortable. There’s more load space, too – 547 litres with the seats in place and 100 litres in the boot’s larger undertray.
New RAV4 is also easier to load with a move from a side to a top-hinged tailgate, with a wider opening and lower lip height. On higher grade models (the UK range and specifications will be announced soon) the tailgate will be power-operated.
There’s no mistaking new RAV4 as being part of the modern Toyota “family” with its stronger front end treatment complete with keen-edged headlights and daytime running lights. The side-on view emphasises its muscular quality with a rising belt-line, extended glass area, blacked out centre and rear pillars and distinctive profile shape. At the rear the new light clusters wrap around the car’s strong rear quarters.
Inside, the new dashboard is formed from two horizontal beams, intersected by a curving metal spar that frames the driver’s cockpit. With a focus on a better driving experience, RAV4 follows the example of new Auris with its lower overall height and driving position, and sharper steering wheel angle. Excellent ergonomics, a wealth of soft-touch materials, extra leather around the instrument panel and new cool blue illumination for all the switchgear raise the interior quality and comfort.
While the driver sits lower in the car, there’s more legroom and more comfortable seats for those in the rear. The 60:40 rear seats retain their quick and simple Easy Flat folding mechanism that provides a flat load floor in one simple action.
New RAV4 will again be available with a choice of two (front) or all-wheel drive, with an engine line-up that offers a a 149bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine, a new 122bhp 2.0-litre diesel and a 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel. Each one gives improved carbon dioxide emissions performance, on average better by 12 per cent across the range compared to the current model.
Look out for the 2.0 diesel in the front-wheel drive RAV4 – equipped with Toyota’s Stop & Start technology it produces just 127g/km of CO2.
Being comfortable and fun-to-drive have been key RAV4 qualities since the original took to the road, together with manoeuvrability and confident performance when the going gets tough. As well as providing a more comfortable and focused driving position, the new RAV4 builds on its SUV attributes with retuned suspension, revised electric power steering and an Integrated Dynamic Drive System that comes with a new Sport mode.
Integrated Dynamic Drive uses Dynamic Torque Control to make sure the most suitable amount of power is distributed between the front and rear axles in the AWD models. This means RAV4 will run with front-wheel drive in normal conditions, but introduce rear-wheel drive as soon as the system detects any slip or understeer.
When you switch to Sport mode, the system adapts the front/rear drive distribution to give better lateral grip. At the same time throttle response is sharpened and, where fitted, the automatic transmission or CVT operates to higher revs to give a sportier drive.
More high tech features are also being introduced for RAV4, with an emphasis on safety. These include Toyota’s Lane Departure Alert and Blind Spot Monitor.
We’ll be bringing you more details about the full UK line-up and prices soon, so keep checking our blog for news.