Toyota has whipped the covers off its new RAV4 ahead of the fifth-generation SUV’s official debut at the New York International Auto Show.

In a significant design departure from the outgoing model, the new RAV4 borrows styling elements from the daring FT-AC concept. Interestingly, some trim levels in the US market each appear to feature markedly different frontal designs.

Underpinned by the Japanese brand’s TNGA platform, the new RAV4 is both lower and wider, with a longer wheelbase and wider front and rear tracks. Overall length, though, has been cut slightly to 4 595 mm, while ground clearance has been hiked by around 13 mm. Toyota says the unibody chassis is 57 percent more rigid than the outgoing version.

In the United States, two powertrains will be offered: a 2,5-litre four-cylinder mated to an eight-speed automatic and a hybrid version of the same engine, but linked to an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission. Local engine derivatives, of course, have yet to be established.

The fifth-generation RAV4 also features something Toyota calls “Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect”, which is capable of sending 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels, plus distribute it to the left or right rear wheel for improved handling.

Toyota says rear passengers will enjoy more space, while the US-spec Entune 3.0 audio system includes a seven-inch touchscreen perched atop the centre stack. An eight-inch touchscreen will also offered.

Toyota South Africa Motors has confirmed that it plans to bring the new RAV4 to local shores, although the launch is expected to take place only in the second half of 2019.
Toyota RAV4