Toyota has revealed more about its all-new RAV4 at an unveiling ceremony at the New York Motor Show.
Along with the Suzuki Vitara, the Toyota RAV4 was a pioneer of the compact SUV class, but now faces tough competition from models like the Mazda CX-5, Volkswagen Tiguan, Peugeot 3008 and Skoda Kodiaq. With new technology and fuel-efficient hybrid power, though, the fifth-generation RAV4 hopes to remind buyers why the original was such a milestone.
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Sharing its Toyota New Generation Architecture (TNGA) platform with the Toyota CH-R and Toyota Prius, the next RAV4 will introduce a new 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid system with a newly developed dual-motor electric drive system. Improved all-wheel-drive performance is claimed, along with increased fuel economy, but buyers can opt for a conventional 2.0-litre petrol engine if they prefer. This will also be offered with a manual or automatic gearbox.
Toyota boasts that the TNGA platform brings greater driver appeal to the new Toyota Auris and the same is promised for the RAV4. The new model has a lower centre of gravity and should be less prone to body lean than the outgoing car, with a stiffer structure and more evenly distributed weight for "more precise, stable and accurate responses to driver inputs".
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The RAV4"s traditional "go-anywhere" looks will be emphasised; the new model has a wider appearance and more ground clearance to provide a contrast to its more urban-oriented CH-R stablemate. Its overall dimensions are only slightly increased, though, so the RAV4 should remain manageable around town.
The front and rear overhangs are actually a little narrower than before, resulting in a wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear axles) stretch of 30mm. This extra length will be noticed by passengers, who"ll be granted greater legroom than before, and – with a width increase of 10mm – more shoulder space, too. A bigger boot rounds off what should be a more practical package in all respects.
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The new Toyota RAV4 will be officially revealed on 28 March, with pricing and specification announcements following before deliveries commence later the early part of 2019.