And a whole lot of smarts.
Toyota has dropped important details on the upcoming 2019 RAV4, which will debut in the second-quarter of next year to a bunch of very excited families, we’re sure. It’s one of Toyota’s most popular SUVs in the world, and it’ll be the first-ever Toyota SUV to offer a hybrid powertrain in our market, which notably arrives without any practicality deficits (which is pretty new for hybrid SUVs, really).
The RAV4 will soldier on with non-turbo engines of a relatively-large capacity, bucking the trend set by segment favourites like the Volkswagen Tiguan with a confidence that only a Toyota badge can lend. The RAV4 range will kick off with a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated 4-pot petrol, producing a healthy 127kW and 203Nm, with power going exclusively to the from wheels via either a CVT automatic (with launch gear), or a 6-speed manual transmission.
The mid-spec engine option comes in the form of a 2.5-litre atmo petrol, with 152kW and 243Nm. This engine will be mated exclusively to an 8-speed automatic transmission, with power going to all-four wheels. The mechanical all-wheel drive system in the RAV4 can shuffle as much as 50% of the power rearwards, and distribute power between the left-right wheels via a dynamic torque vectoring system. Should be a half-decent steer then too, especially since the new TNGA platform promises 57% better rigidity.
However, the real highlight in the range is the 2.5-litre hybrid system. With batteries under the floor and an electric motor in the rear, the system output totals at 155kW, with torque unmentioned. This e-AWD can actually put down as much as 80% of power at the rear should it feel the need to, which is impressive. And while the non-hybrid 2.5 has torque vectoring, the hybrid model benefits from an e-LSD (limited slip differential), that promises better power management.
What’ll arguably be more of a priority for buyers is the new, more refined presentation. The RAV4 is now better-looking and better-packaged than before, and benefits hugely from the updated Toyota design language and commitment to perceived quality. The highlight of the more aesthetically-pleasing cabin comes in the form of an 8.0-inch touchscreen placed right atop the centre console, which itself features a slimmer design that maximises space for storage and legs. There’s also an electronic handbrake, which frees up quite a bit of space.