The new RAV4’s debut is scheduled for 9:10 AM Eastern / 1:10 PM GMT today, March 28. It’ll definitely be more appealing to a younger, family-focussed demographic.
Of course, the five-door iM was introduced in Canada for the 2016 model year under the Scion banner, but after the brand disappeared, the auto moved over to Toyota. The slightly enlarged model is wrapped in entirely new sheetmetal with a more robust design. Outside of that, the crossover evokes brawn and strength-words that generally describe true body-on-frame trucks and SUVs rather than car-based, unibody crossovers.
TOUGHER looks are coming to soft-roaders to make them appear more macho. The upshot is that the new RAV4 looks great. It has also got a new XSE hybrid sports model available in the line-up. The newest model boasts safety enhancements and rugged looks. This top-of-the-line model is outfitted with 19-inch wheels and chrome accents to further distinguish its premium-ness. There are many little cubbies to store bits and baubles. The interior has its share of updates as well with less buttons and a big touchscreen infotainment system of either 7- or 8-inch size with EnTune 3.0 supporting Apple CarPlay.
The Toyota Rav4 ended the Camry’s 14-year reign as the best-selling vehicle that’s not a pickup last year, highlighting a market-wide shift away from sedans to utility vehicles.
Attached to the upgraded 2.5L engine is a new eight-speed automatic transmission with direct lock-up in gears two through eight to eliminate torque converter losses.
Toyota replaced the previous model’s 2.5-liter inline-four with its Dynamic Force 2.5-liter I-4 with Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Engine or VVT-iE. It’s expected lower-grade versions will be front-wheel drive. All conventional RAV4s for Canada are built in Woodstock, Ont., and for the first time, the hybrid will also be built in Canada. It can send up to 50 percent of the available torque to the rear axle and even distribute it to the left and right rear wheel to improve handling. All gas AWD models also feature Toyota’s Multi-Terrain Select system. Data shows that the company sold around 407,594 units, placing it firmly as the fourth top-selling vehicle in the United States in 2017.
But performance isn’t the only priority in the new RAV4. In terms of safety, buyers will find an equally impressive list of included features thanks to the first inclusion in a North American vehicle of the Toyota Safety Sense 2 system. These include a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, lane departure alert and intervention, and automatic high beams.
“RAV4 is exceeding our expectations, becoming our sales leader past year with more than 400,000 sales”, Bill Fay, head of USA sales for the Toyota brand, said at an industry conference in ny ahead of Wednesday’s reveal.