New Toyota RAV4 debuts

28 Nov, 2012 6:05pm Luke Madden

The all-new, fourth-generation Toyota RAV4 has made its official debut at the LA Motor Show

The Toyota RAV4 has been unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show and is longer, wider, lower and smarter-looking than the car it replaces.

This is the fourth generation of the RAV4 and, at 4570mm long, it’s 205mm longer than the previous model and is identical in length to the new Honda CR-V. This includes a wheelbase that’s 100mm longer.

The all-new version follows the brand’s ‘keen look’ design language that made its debut on the new Toyota Auris. The RAV4 gets a low-mounted Toyota badge, angular lines and narrow headlights. There’s also a more muscular bumper with squared-off edges for a much more rugged look.

Hard to spot with this car’s charcoal paintwork is the new plastic cladding – a trend that off-roaders such as the VW Passat Alltrack, Subaru Outback and Audi Allroad models follow.

Just like the new Auris, Toyota says there’s a greater focus on driving dynamics, too. It has 10mm less ground clearance than before for a lower centre of gravity but maintains its off-road ability, according to Toyota.

Helping boost practicality is a new top-hinged boot that replaces the side-opening tailgate of the old car. The spare wheel is no longer mounted on the tailgate, either, so together the changes make it a lot easier to load in confined spaces.

The boot itself is big, too, with 547 litres of space – a massive 137 litre increase over the previous model. There’s also an electronic tailgate on mid-spec versions and above, which can be set at a specific height, say, just below you garage roof.

The interior is now higher quality and features a centrally-mounted touchscreen that will be standard across the range. Safety kit includes seven airbags and optional Blind Spot Monitor and Lane Departure Alert. Toyota is confident that the new RAV4 will score a five-star Euro NCAP rating.

The RAV4 will be offered with a 122bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel, which has stop-start and is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. It’s expected to be the biggest seller and, with 58.6mpg and 127g/km, it’s also the most efficient. A second diesel, a 148bhp 2.2-litre, is available along with a 149bhp 2.0-litre petrol engine, which is only available with a CVT automatic gearbox.

The new RAV4 goes on sale in early 2013 and is expected to be slightly cheaper than the current car, which has a starting price of around £22,000.

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I have to say that is a better-looking model than the current model. As much as some people hated it, I'm actually gonna miss the side-opening tailgate!

I like it. It's understated enough to be a Toyota and the quality of the cabin is more than a match for the shoddy Tiguan.

Once again Toyota's designers get it wrong. What's with the boat-like front? The rear's a bit of a mess, too. Shame really, for a former class-leader.

Bigger, uglier and number.
Front end looks like a Honda Civic.
And still no 3 door replacement.
Disappointing for someone who's owned and loved several 3 door RAVs (as second cars) for the last 15 years (last 06 plate model recently taken over by the missus and replaced with a new Yeti - good car but I still miss the 3 door RAV!).

Wow, seriously ugly from Toyota. They really need to spend some of their budget on a decent designer, their whole range is lacking in the looks department.

What's shoddy about the Tiguan? Nothing that I can see.

I think Toyota have done a great job with the new RAV4. It looks sharp and contemporary. That said, I feel the Mazda CX5 is neater overall.

But recalls are good for the customer. The alternative is that the manufacturers pretends there is no fault and leaves the customer to pick up the repair bill. Toyota/Lexus regularly top reliability rankings around the world, so if other manufacturers are having less recalls then you should ask the question is that a good thing or a bad thing for you as a customer.

How do they do it? Another awkward looking Toyota. They must have a marketplace deathwish. I certainly wouldn't ever want to have to reverse in this. No rear quarter vision at all!

The style, along with 99% of the competition, is gross. However the part of the review which says it is wider and longer than the previous ought to be commented on. Why are vehicles getting longer and wider? They should be getting narrower and shorter.

If those that complain about a car don't like it, don't buy one. All this gets very tedious. I expect most of those complaining didn't have the good sense to buy a Toyota!

it looks just like copy its older uncle, the lexus rx. Haven't they got any decent design ideas??

ditto.... Tiguan beats most cabins in it's class. Levent is clearly a Vag hater as usual.

Toyota will always be the best because it's Made in Japan. You got to admire the Japanese for their reliability

Google harsh shifting Toyota RAV4 and you will see that sadly Toyota allowed customers to drive dangerous cars which did result in a fateful end for one owner. Toyota only acknowledged the problem after a law suit, But they only want to recognize the problem in the USA and ignore owners around the world.