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New adventurous RAV4 redefines medium SUV


With an adventurous attitude, the fifth generation RAV4 is building on its 25-year legacy by redefining the segment it created through charismatic design, improved performance, advanced technology and fuel efficiency.

The RAV4 has been a pioneer since it was revealed in 1989 at the Tokyo Motorshow,” says Neeraj Lala, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Product and New Vehicle Sales.

“It introduced a new kind of car to the world, one that has set the benchmark for SUV adventure and on-road refinement over the past 4 generations.”

In 1995, the launch of the original RAV4 was seized upon by drivers wanting a go-anywhere durable vehicle with performance capability, and compact dimensions that enabled agile and dynamic handling.

“25 years later, the fifth generation has the same pioneering spirit with the best safety systems, improved performance, and adventurous styling,” says Mr Lala.

Now, New Zealand’s biggest volume SUV with 39,8551 RAV4s sold in New Zealand, the fifth generation RAV4 continues the fun to drive experience that follows Akio Toyoda’s pursuit of ever better cars. 

All new from the ground up, the 2019 RAV4 has a sharper, more adventurous exterior, a superior and comfortable interior with more dynamic handling. In short it is the most revolutionary change to the RAV4 in its history.

“Like a hard-core athlete, the new RAV4 is chiselled, uncompromisingly adventurous and raring to go,” said Neeraj Lala, Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Product and New Vehicle Sales.

In a first for Toyota New Zealand’s SUV line-up, a hybrid powertrain will debut in the new RAV4 and will be available in three grades, GX, GXL and Limited, all in all-wheel drive. Two all-wheel drive petrol grades, GXL and Adventure, and three front-wheel drive petrol grades, GX, GXL and Limited complete the line-up.


Adventurous performance and handling

The 2019 RAV4 comes in three powertrain options, including a 2.5-litre hybrid-electric petrol engine for the first time in a New Zealand-specified RAV4.

In the RAV4 hybrid grades, a new, no compromise 131kW 2.5 Litre petrol engine is mated to an electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission (E-CVT). This increases to 163kW2 when combined with the hybrid system. The result being a highly responsive, yet fuel-efficient driving experience.

Combined cycle fuel consumption is an impressive 4.8L/100km with CO2 emissions from as low as 112g/km

“This new RAV4 is poised, once again, to change the game in the local medium-sized SUV market,” says Mr Lala.

“The hybrid version will definitely lead the way with its no compromise tow rating and overall fuel efficiency.”

It continues the electrification of Toyota’s total range of models, which are all expected to offer an electrified option by 2025.

The RAV4 Hybrid driver will notice smooth, linear acceleration, thanks to the way the system optimises the level of electric motor assistance and engine revs without the engine running at high revs.

In addition, the RAV4 Hybrid is the first Toyota for New Zealand to include an E-Four AWD system which uses a dedicated electric motor to power the rear wheels when needed. The new AWD system sends up to 50 per cent of the torque to the rear axle and the differential can then send it in varying amounts to the individual wheels.

Operating independently from the hybrid system’s front electric motor and driving the rear wheels alone, E-Four smoothly switches the RAV4 Hybrid AWD to all wheel drive on slippery road surfaces and from stationary starts.

Three urban-oriented front-wheel drive petrol variants, GX, GXL and Limited, all feature a newly-designed 127kW/203Nm 2.0 litre direct injection petrol engine coupled with a direct-shift CVT combination.

The new Dynamic Force 152kW/243Nm 2.5-litre inline four-cylinder engine is paired with an 8-speed Direct Shift Automatic Transmission in the all-wheel drive petrol GXL and Adventure models.

The rugged Adventure also features a Toyota first – a Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD system.

Petrol all-wheel drive models also offer a multi-terrain option. Whether you’re heading to the beach or an off-road trail, a RAV4 driver can select from Mud & Sand mode for beach driving or Rock & Dirt for off-road trails. Using the Multi-Information Display (MID), the driver can also view torque allocation and slip control, which will fluctuate depending on driving conditions.

The 2019 RAV4 is built on the Toyota New Global Architecture platform and with its low centre of gravity and significantly increased body rigidity, the RAV4 platform contributes to superior handling and ride comfort.

The TNGA platform also gives the designers freedom to produce a strong eye-catching design with lower roof lines, as well as a spacious interior cabin.

“For the customer, the new platform makes the car fun to drive, while enabling great design inside and out,” Mr Lala said.

The 2019 RAV4 is wider with a higher road height, and has a longer wheelbase – now 2,690mm – over the current model to liberate more cabin space, particularly in the back seat. Rear passengers get better access as well with a larger rear door opening angle.


Charismatic exterior styling

There will be no mistaking the 2019 RAV4 for anything else in its class. Following the guiding themes of Adventure and Refined, designers drew inspiration from tough Toyota trucks, particularly in front-end and grille design, to create an athletic, chiselled appearance.

Sophisticated sculpting with a more dynamic profile and robust shoulders give the 2019 RAV4 an adventurous stance, giving the vehicle a “get up and go” attitude.

The exterior look is powerful and individual, with a solid form that extends from the front of the vehicle, along the sides to the rear, giving the sense of a strong mass and authentic SUV capabilities. At the front the emphasis is on width and strength with extra volume added to the lower bumper section. There is a similar effect at the rear where the horizontal line created by the tail lights and back window angles sharply downwards at each edge, drawing the eye towards the rear wheels.

Included in the RAV4 range this year is the Adventure, built for off-highway exploring and ideal for active Kiwi lifestyles.

The Adventure is noted for its, larger over-fenders, more aggressive bumper, grille design and fog light surrounds. Its 19-inch, five-spoke wheels with matte-black accents are exclusive to the Adventure model as is its Safari Green colour option.

The new RAV4 is available in nine exterior colours, including the three new colours, Safari Green (available on the Adventure), Deep Sea Blue (available on GX, GXL and Limited) and Eclectic Blue.


Towing a boat? No problem for RAV4 Hybrid

The significant extra traction provided by the E-Four system also provides considerable functional benefits whether you are towing a sailing dinghy or heading to the transfer station with a trailer full of garden clippings. The RAV4 Hybrid AWD has a 1,500kg towing capacity – one of the highest capacities yet achieved by a hybrid vehicle. The 2.5 L petrol has also got a tow rating of 1,500 kgs, so there is no compromise in performance when choosing the hybrid.

The 2WD 2.0L petrol engine can tow 800kg making it a flexible urban vehicle.

All RAV4s also include Trailer Sway Control which integrates braking of individual wheels and engine torque control to help quickly bring a swaying trailer back under control. While Trailer Sway Control is operating, the stop lights will automatically switch on to warn following vehicles to reduce speed.


Safety Sense is standard

The all-new Toyota RAV4 will offer superior safety across the entire eight-variant range when it goes on sale in April 2019.

As part of its leading Toyota Safety Sense suite of features, every variant in the line-up will incorporate all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, a pre-collision system with autonomous emergency braking including pedestrian detection and daylight bicyclist detection, road sign assist, lane tracing assist and automatic high beam.

Other advanced safety technologies including blind-spot monitor, rear cross-traffic alert, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, and seven airbags further contribute to the new RAV4's very high level of standard safety features.

 “Advanced safety technology should not only be available on the top grades,” says Mr Lala.

“Customers want to know they can have adventurous fun in their RAV4 with peace of mind that they have the best safety technology in their vehicle for when they need it.”


A premium interior

Inside, the RAV4, the cabin has a premium feel with a level of sophistication not seen before in the RAV4. Soft-touch surfaces abound, including the dashboard and door panels. Stitching enhances the continuity from door trim to the instrument panel and adds a touch of quality.

Much thought has gone into the interior styling. The instrument panel has a slimmer and lower profile to enhance forward visibility. Its reduced visible angle conveys a feeling of greater openness in the cabin.

All models of the new RAV4 will come with Satellite Navigation with SUNA traffic channel as standard on an eight-inch touchscreen. The Limited and Adventure models also have a seven-inch Multi-Information Display (MID) featuring an optional digital speedometer display. The GX and GXL models have a 4.2” colour MID.

The GXL, Limited and Adventure models feature two front and two rear USB charging ports as well as a wireless charger built into the front dashboard for Qi compatible devices. The GX has one USB port and an auxiliary jack.

Heated and ventilated front seats are available on the Adventure model, and interior seat finishes come in either black or an Adventure grade-exclusive Mocha-coloured synthetic leather. Orange stitching accents the interior, with additional orange highlights across the dashboard.

In the sound department, the GX and GXL models have a six-speaker system. For the Limited and Adventure a nine-speaker JBL system is added.


Priced for value

No matter the model, every RAV4 is a winning, superior choice, whether it is for running families around town, a weekend to the beach or exploring the back country.

Toyota Drive-away pricing includes all on road costs; WOF, registration, a full tank of fuel, the Toyota Care Service Advantage package, floor mats, and the three years or 100,000 kms warranty.