Toyota’s all-new RAV4 brings more macho looks and extra safety tech to mid-size SUV table.

The new, fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 has been revealed at the 2018 New York International Auto Show.

Sporting more aggressive styling, and upgraded safety tech, the new model is underpinned by the sophisticated TNGA (Toyota New Generation Architecture) platform used in the current Camry, Corolla, Prius and C-HR.

Two drivetrains are offered; a 2.5-litre in-line-four-cylinder petrol engine matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission, or the same engine in a petrol-electric hybrid combination sending drive through an electronically-controlled CVT (Continuously-Variable Transmission).

Petrol-only versions will come with the option of a ‘Dynamic Torque Vectoring’ all-wheel drive (AWD) system, which Toyota says can send “50 per cent of engine torque to the rear wheels and distribute it to the left or right rear wheel for improved handling”. Lower-grade versions are expected to be front-wheel drive (FWD) only.

Claimed to deliver everything from improved dynamics to better fuel efficiency (even Qi wireless phone charging), the TNGA chassis brings a revised suspension design, with a new multi-link set-up at the rear, as well as increased chassis rigidity to “contribute to improved handling, minimum interior cabin noise and excellent ride comfort”.

According to Toyota, the car’s distinctive styling was driven by a focus on two key attributes, adventure and refinement, and indeed the new RAV4 is wider, lower and more spacious (with extra rear legroom) than the model it replaces.

But while width increases to 1855mm (+10mm), and height comes down to 1700mm (-10mm), at 4595mm, overall length is reduced by 10mm,. The extra legroom comes courtesy of a longer wheelbase, now 2690mm (+30mm).

A chunkier lifestyle-focused ‘Adventure’ variant also makes its debut, with high roof-rails, wheel-arch extensions, a more aggressive grille, revised fog-light surrounds and model-specific wheels.

Safety tech includes a pre-collision warning system with pedestrian detection, AEB (Auto Emergency Braking), radar cruise control, lane departure warning, and auto high-beam headlights. New for the fifth-gen car are Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) and Road Sign Assist (RSA).

UK pricing and spec levels are yet to be confirmed but expect a local release late this year, or in the first quarter of 2019.

James Ash


Content Marketing Executive at

March 31, 2018