Ahead of its local release in Q2 of this year, Toyota have announced further details of the new RAV4, with the biggest change for the fifth generation version being the addition of the hybrid drivetrain, which will be available across a broad range of model grades.
This year also marks the 25th Anniversary of the RAV4 in Australia, so expect this model to feature prominently in Toyota promotional activities throughout 2019.
While full specifications for the new, fifth-generation RAV4 are still to be revealed, Toyota has claimed that the level of active safety equipment will be class-leading, with the bulk of these features to also be standard across the range.
Every model in the lineup will incorporate active cruise control (ACC), a pre-collision safety system with pedestrian detection, daylight cyclist detection, road sign assist, lane departure alert and automatic high beam headlights.
Model variants with the CVT or automatic transmission will add all-speed active cruise control, as well as a ‘lane trace assist’ function that works with the ACC, providing steering assistance to help the vehicle stay in its lane. This safety feature will not be offered on RAV4s with a manual transmission.
Other safety technologies include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, as well as seven airbags as standard.
An ANCAP rating is not available yet, but given the level of standard safety features, the new RAV4 should retain the maximum 5-star rating of the current model.
"Safety has always been a top priority for Toyota and in the all-new RAV4, we are delivering highly advanced technologies to assist drivers and help protect occupants and other road users," said Toyota Australia's vice president sales and marketing Sean Hanley.
"Providing exceptional safety performance is vital for all customers, so we have made all of our Toyota Safety Sense features standard across the range from the entry level front-wheel drive GX to the adventure-oriented AWD Edge model."
Eleven… with an Edge
When the new RAV4 arrives, it’ll do so with a choice of eleven different model options. The current GX, GXL and Cruiser grades carry over, but the ‘Edge’ is back after a decade away from the local market and looks like it’ll be the premium variant in the 2019 lineup.
What sets the Edge apart from the rest of the RAV4 range is that it’s the sole example offered with a mechanical all-wheel drive system, reflecting the RAV4’s move away from a reasonably capable off-roader to a high-riding ‘city car’.
AWD will be available on other model grades, but will be part of a hybrid system that’s appearing on a locally-available RAV4 for the first time.
The RAV4 Edge will be powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission and producing a claimed 152kW and 243Nm. Both these figures are increases over the current RAV4’s 2.5 petrol engine (power by 15.2 and torque by 4.3 per cent), while the addition of the eight-speed auto, replacing the current six-speed, should improve fuel economy, but actual figures have not been revealed.
Beyond its unique drivetrain, the Edge will also be identified by modified exterior styling and what Toyota says in an “adventure focus”.
The nature and performance of the AWD system for the Edge has not been revealed, but it’s claimed to be able to deliver up to 50 per cent of traction to the rear wheels and will add a torque vectoring function, which is another first for a locally-available RAV4.
On the RAV4 GX, GXL and Cruiser, there’ll be a choice of two powertrains: a 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.5-litre petrol hybrid. This new 2.0 petrol engine increases maximum power from 107kW to 127kW and maximum torque from 187Nm to 207Nm over the existing engine of the same capacity.
On the GX grade, this engine is matched to either a six-speed manual or CVT transmission, while the CVT is standard on the GXL and Cruiser grades. All these combinations drive the front wheels only, with no AWD available with the 2.0 engine.
The hybrid drivetrain will be available on GX, GXL and Cruiser grades, combining the 2.5-litre petrol engine with an electric generator and offered in FWD or AWD for a total of six hybrid options.
In front-wheel drive hybrid RAV4s, the electric motor will improve economy on the internal combustion engine in specific driving conditions, while on AWD versions, it will drive the rear wheels as required. The petrol-electric drivetrain is matched to a CVT and has listed combined maximum outputs of 155kW and 221Nm.
"With a choice of six different hybrid models, along with front-wheel drive petrol and the adventure-focused AWD Edge variants, Toyota is giving customers a chance to re-discover the RAV4 in a whole new light as a highly efficient, refined and versatile SUV to provide for all lifestyles and needs," says Hanley.
Full specs, pricing and further details on the new RAV4 will be announced closer to local release
RAV4 TRD previewed in US
Toyota used February’s Chicago Auto Show to unveil a new, hardcore version of the RAV4 for the US market.
The RAV4 ‘TRD Off-Road’ is the first RAV4 to be given the Toyota Racing Development touch and is based on the ‘Adventure’ grade offered in the US (similar to the upcoming RAV4 Edge for Australia).
Externally, the Off-Road adds TRD-spec bumpers, wheelarch flares, grille and roof rails, but its major change over the Adventure grade is the re-tuned suspension.
Special springs and re-valved shocks that improve rebound control are fitted, said to be inspired by the set-up used on Ryan Millen’s rallying RAV4, with new bump stops added, too.
This model features TRD 18-inch alloys with Falken Wildpeak tyres as standard, and will be offered in a choice of five colours, including a model-exclusive two-tone Magnetic Grey metallic and Ice Edge.
Inside, there’s ‘SofTex’ fabric seats with contrast red stitching and TRD logos in the headrests, as well as TRD floormats.
The RAV4 TRD Off-Road is due for North American release later this year as a 2020 model.