There was a time where the Toyota RAV4 was all the rage on our roads but somehow interests just fizzled out from the fourth-generation RAV4 onwards – with the SUV fanfare at the height of its craze, it’s hard to imagine the RAV4 not being well received locally, if ever.
Toyota has recently made waves at the New York International Auto Show with the debut of the fifth-generation RAV4. Riding on the new TNGA platform, the car sits lower and wider, with a longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks for better stability. For off-road needs, the RAV4’s shorter front and rear overhangs can help overcome rugged terrain. Ground clearance has also been increased by more than half an inch, yet RAV4 is able to achieve improved aerodynamics.
Built by a group of “takumi” – highly trained master craftsmen – to deliver a car that acts and reacts as the driver intends, the new RAV4 comes with two different powertrains; a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Dynamic Force VVT-iE engine mated to an 8-speed Direct Shift Automatic Transmission and a 2.5-litre four-cylinder Dynamic Force engine with Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) paired to an electronically-controlled CVT gearbox.Also implemented is the Toyota-first, Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect. The system can send 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, plus distribute it to the left or right rear wheel for improved handling. A multi-link rear suspension also further enhances road-holding capabilities.
The system can also divert power to the front wheels only when AWD is not required while cruising on highways, for better fuel economy. Paired with the new All-Wheel Drive with Intelligence (AWD-i), the RAV4 Hybrid can increase the total torque to the rear wheels—which is electronically driven—by 30 percent compared to the current generation AWD-i system with Multi-Terrain Select.
Standard features include a front-row moonroof, 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory and 2-way lumbar support. Tech-wise, RAV4 Limited comes standard with a newly-designed 7-inch Multi-Information Display (MID), a 7-inch touchscreen display and a Digital Display Rearview Mirror. Optional equipment includes ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, hands-free automatic tailgate and a panoramic moonroof.
The second-generation Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) 2.0 is also implemented in the RAV4. The system brings with it Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Automatic High Beam, the new Lane Tracing Assist and Road Sign Assist.Eight airbags come as standard, together with the available safeguards like Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Braking and Bird’s Eye View Camera.