Toyota South Africa Motors has confirmed the new RAV4 will be offered with a choice of two naturally aspirated petrol engines when it arrives on local shores in the first quarter of 2019.

According to the local arm of the Japanese automaker, the fifth-generation RAV4 will be available with a 2,0-litre four-cylinder unit linked to the front wheels or a 2,5-litre petrol powerplant driving all four wheels (via a mechanical all-wheel-drive arrangement).

In overseas markets, the RAV4 will also be offered as a hybrid model, either in front-drive form or using a newly developed “electric all-wheel-drive” system. This powertrain, though, doesn’t appear to be on the cards for South Africa (initially, at least). And it appears as though a diesel will not be offered locally at launch either.

For the record, the 2,0-litre engine churns out 127 kW and 203 N.m (up from the current unit's 107 kW and 187 N.m), and will come with the choice of a continuously variable transmission (with a “launch gear”) or a six-speed manual gearbox (the latter with “rev-matching control”).

And the 2,5-litre engine? Well, this unit makes 152 kW and 243 N.m (up from the current version's 132 kW and 233 N.m), with its mechanical AWD system having been updated with a torque vectoring system capable of apportioning torque between the left and right rear wheels as well as between the front and rear axles.

This larger engine will be mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission, with what Toyota describes as “a lower first gear for enhanced start-off performance and a much wider ratio spread than the six-speed automatic it replaces”.
Toyota RAV4