The fourth-generation model of the auto that started the compact SUV market have been unveiled on the La Auto Show.
Launched in 1994, the unique three-door model – its name standing for Recreational Active Vehicle 4-wheel drive – was quite different from traditional 4x4s, being conceived as an “urban” all-wheel drive vehicle with a monocoque chassis instead of body-on-frame construction, and independent suspension.
Since the launch of that original car, the 3 generations of RAV4 have amassed greater than 4.5 million sales in additional than 150 countries worldwide. European markets have accounted for greater than 1.2 million of that total, with sales within the UK surpassing 155,000 units by the top of last year.
To strengthen its appeal in these respects, the hot RAV4 builds at the core values of its predecessors, while introducing distinctive new styling, a premium quality interior, stronger and more rewarding dynamic performance and more fuel-efficient powertrains.
The new RAV4 is longer (+205mm over SWB model without rear wheel carrier) and wider (+30mm) but lower (-25mm) than its predecessor, and presents a brand new silhouette that expresses its versatility, roominess and improved dynamic capabilities.
The new RAV4’s cabin is spacious, comfortable and offers the motive force with a cockpit-like position on the wheel. It extends the practicality of its predecessors by offering more space, higher quality finishes and a more focused and interesting driving experience. To offer the driving force a neater forward view, front pillars was moved further outwards, increasing the sector of vision from the wheel by three degrees. The pillars are thinner, too, with an eight per cent narrower cross-section.
For European markets there’s a number of a 149bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine, a brand new 122bhp 2.0-litre diesel and a 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel. Each gives improved CO2 emissions performance, on average better by 12 per cent around the range. Of special note is the performance of the two.0 diesel front-wheel drive RAV4. Equipped with Toyota’s Stop & Start technology this produces just 127g/km of CO2.
As well as providing a more well-off and focused driving position, the brand new RAV4 builds on its SUV attributes with retuned suspension, revised electric power steering and an Integrated Dynamic Drive System that incorporates a brand new Sport mode.
Down-hill Assist and Hill-start Assist Control also are available. Down-hill Assist is featured on all models equipped with automatic transmission and is especially helpful when driving in icy conditions or snow; it automatically controls gear selection, engine speed and the ABS’s individual wheel braking to assist the driving force keep skid-free control of the vehicle on slippery descents.
Last updated: Friday, 30th Nov 2012, 11:59