2019 Toyota RAV4 unveiled with tough new look

2019 Toyota RAV4 unveiled with tough new look

More aggressively styled SUV comes with hybrid or petrol power

Toyota has revealed a new and much tougher-looking RAV4 that will face off the Ford Kuga and Nissan Qashqai next year.

On show in New York, the Toyota New Global Architecture platform-based SUV has been launched with one hybrid option and one petrol variant.

No diesel model will be produced, as per Toyota’s plans to phase out oil-burning models before the end of 2018.

The entry-level powerplant at launch is a 2.0-litre petrol. No specifications have been revealed as of yet, but it’s likely to build on the four-pot motor of the same capacity in the outgoing RAV4 that offers 149bhp and a claimed 43.5mpg. The new car features an updated all-wheel drive system that can disconnect the rear axle to improve fuel economy.

Next up is a 2.5-litre petrol engine that works with an electric motor. Like the 2.0-litre unit, no numbers for the hybrid option have been released, but it will better the 194bhp and 55.4mpg on offer in today’s version.

Toyota may choose to offer a second hybrid variant to fill the gap left by its discontinued diesel RAV4 at a later date. The recently revealed Auris comes with a choice of two hybrid powerplants, a 1.8-litre and 2.0-litre mated to electric motors, suggesting one of these could be added to the RAV4’s line-up.

The 2019 RAV4’s more muscular new look is emphasised by squared-off wheel arches and shorter overhangs than the current car.

Inside, there’s a plusher cabin that gets a centrally mounted infotainment system above a cleanly designed console. Exact specifications will be revealed in the run-up to the new RAV4’s launch, but dual-zone climate control and leather seats were included in the (undoubtedly high-spec) New York show car.

Toyota says the car is 10mm wider to offer improved interior room and boot space.

The new RAV4 will arrive in Britain in the first quarter of 2019, when no diesel models will be sold by Toyota. The brand is making aggressive adjustments to its range to boost efficiency and respond more directly to demand. It recently revealed intentions to axe the Avensis from its UK line-up as part of this process.

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Source: Autocar Online

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