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The fourth generation of Toyota's ever-popular RAV4 small SUV has arrived in New Zealand, showcasing more choice, new engine and transmission options, a premium interior finish and sportier driving dynamics.
Boasting a newly designed exterior, and significant upgrades to interior refinement, the expanded RAV4 line-up builds on its solid reputation with Kiwi drivers as a versatile all-rounder, offering generous proportions, smooth power and go-anywhere practicality.
Toyota New Zealand General Manager of Sales and Operations, Steve Prangnell says, "Recreational, family and business users alike have enjoyed an almost 20-year relationship with the RAV4. It's a range of vehicles that offer so much choice and appeal to a huge variety of different lifestyles.
"Now the entire model has been thoroughly redesigned right across the range. RAV4 now has a modern new exterior look and a smarter, more refined cabin. It offers drivers a much sportier on-road experience than ever before too, with an advanced adaptive all-wheel drive system and a gutsy new 2.5-litre engine option.
"Every RAV4 in the line-up comes packed with features and offers Kiwi customers' exceptional value for money," says Prangnell.
The new RAV4 range debuts a keenly aggressive stance, showcasing a dramatic design evolution for the model.
Under the bonnet, three engine options all delivering fantastic power and improved fuel economy give customers a greater degree of choice in matching a RAV4 to their specific needs.
In addition to the 107kW/187Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol found in the entry level two-wheel drive GX and GXL models, there is also a 110kW/340Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel available, which customers can now specify in all three of RAV4's all-wheel drive specification levels and is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission, incorporating a suite of advanced technologies, for the first time.
A 132kW/233Nm 2.5-litre Dual VVT-i four-cylinder petrol engine joins the range for the first time. The 2.5-litre unit features intelligent optimisation of valve timing, providing maximum performance and fuel efficiency across its entire operating range.
On-road, the 2013 RAV4 AWD also benefits from a newly redeveloped active all-wheel drive system. Known as Dynamic Torque Control AWD, and depending on the mode selected, the system optimises front and rear torque split based on variables such as vehicle speed, steering angle, the degree of throttle and yaw-rate feedback, enhancing cornering and handling stability in a variety of situations.
The new RAV4 also showcases a completely redesigned, refined interior that utilises high grade trim materials and an impressive level of specification. All grades include an intuitive 6.1" touchscreen audio interface featuring an SD card slot for photo display as standard on GX and GXL grades, while Limited models also receive satellite navigation, a Blind Spot Monitoring system, dual zone climate control and heated front seats.
A multi-function steering wheel, stylish combination meter instruments, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming capability, voice recognition software and a combination of AUX/USB inputs are also available in every model of RAV4.
Clever packaging sees the new RAV4 achieve an increase in passenger space, despite it being shorter, lower and narrower than its predecessor. Similarly, the model's generous cargo space - a trademark feature of the practical RAV4's small SUV blueprint over the preceding three generations - increases.
The spare wheel has been relocated from its signature position on the back door to under the luggage area, giving RAV4 drivers more confidence when manoeuvring in confined areas, such as parallel parking spaces.
Top spec Limited models also receive a power-opening back door that can be height-adjusted at the touch of a button to suit low slung garage ceilings and other restrictive environments. All models are offered with rear parking assist sensors as standard, while RAV4 GXL and Limited customers can also take advantage of the standard reversing camera with fixed guide lines to assist precision placement of the vehicle.
In addition to achieving a five star ANCAP safety rating, the new RAV4 has also become the first SUV to achieve the maximum five-star safety rating under the tougher, revised Euro NCAP test regime.
The new RAV4 is the safest yet for both occupants and pedestrians, with a plethora of active and passive safety measures onboard including seven airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchor points, Hill-start Assist Control and (on AWD models) Downhill Assist Control and VSC+, which integrates the vehicle stability control and electric power steering systems for improved vehicle stability.
Underlining the company's market expectations as a result of the next generation RAV4's arrival, Steve Prangnell continues, "SUVs were the most popular type of new car sold in New Zealand last year, with a clear preference among buyers for small- and medium-size vehicles over larger models.
"With an expanded eight model line-up and a big step up in refinement and comfort, the new RAV4 range will hit the right note with a diverse array of customers, helping to continue our growth in new car sales."
The all-new fourth generation RAV4 is available at Toyota dealers now.