All-new Toyota RAV4 revealed
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Toyota has revealed an all-new RAV4 at the LA Auto Show - the fourth generation of the model. This time around there'll be a single five-door wheelbase offering and it'll be a global car.
The face of the new RAV4 clearly follows on from the more expressive design of the recently launched Toyota Auris, though the new SUV retains a tougher look lower down in a bid to protect the car during any mild off-roading. The RAV4 is longer and wider than its predecessor, but 25mm lower, to the benefit of aerodynamics and the car's centre of gravity. LED daytime running lights are expected to be standard and for the first time the RAV4 gets a more conventional top-hinged tailgate - with an integrated roof spoiler.
Increased exterior dimensions mean more space inside, with what Toyota claims is a 'best-in-class front-to-rear seat couple distance'. The front seats are thinner too, to free up more room for those in the back. As in the Auris, the RAV4's driver's seat has been lowered and the range of adjustment increased. The rear seats split 60:40 and fold flat, while the boot has been enlarged to 547 litres, with an additional 100 litres underneath. Toyota claims that the load lip is the lowest in the sector, while that tailgate can be optionally powered.
Toyota quotes an average 12 per cent reduction of CO2 emissions across the RAV4 line-up. Irish market engine options have yet to be revealed, but are expected to start with the 150hp 2.0-litre petrol engine mated to a CVT automatic gearbox. The likely best-seller will be powered by a new 2.0-litre turbodiesel producing 124hp and emitting just 127g/km - though that may be available solely with front-wheel drive. A 2.2-litre diesel engine, putting out 150hp, should be offered in conjunction with four-wheel drive and a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes.
As before, the four-wheel drive system allows the driver to operate a centre differential lock to split the power 50:50 at speeds of up to 40km/h, to assist with particularly low-grip surfaces.
In a bid to endow the RAV4 with more driver appeal, it will come with an 'Integrated Dynamic Drive System', which alters settings for the electric power steering, stability control and the four-wheel drive system. Up to 50 per cent of the engine output can be sent to the rear wheels, though the default split is 100 per cent to the front axle. However, in Sport mode the system sends 10 per cent to the rear during cornering in a bid to reduce understeer.
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