Published: Thu, March 29, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Wayne Curry

Toyota reveals updated RAV4, hatchback Corolla at NY auto show

Toyota chose the New York Auto Show as the venue to unveil the new RAV4.

Underpinning the new RAV4 is Toyota's TNGA architecture found underneath both the Prius and the newly-exposed 2019 Corolla hatchback, coupled with a multilink rear suspension setup.

The robust styling of the new RAV4 expresses the strong and capable qualities that define Toyota's approach to the latest iteration of the world's best-selling SUV, notably higher ground clearance and a wider stance. The RAV4 comes new sharper-looked with new LED headlamps and taillamps, with a roof-mounted spoiler, front and rear skid plates, and a dual exhaust system. All conventional RAV4s for Canada are built in Woodstock, Ont., and for the first time, the hybrid will also be built in Canada. The design itself boasts a front end with the same projecting grille and beefy faux side vents as the 4Runner, while the entire design is more chiseled than the softer and curvier Highlander.

In its blue paint with a white roof, the new RAV4 is nearly paying homage to the old FJ models. In order to successfully ward off those models, the Corolla GT will also need a full complement of advanced driver assist safety systems, and fortunately, it appears to have them.

The Toyota RAV4 is a bit of an old-school Toyota, focussing on keeping a rather older demographic of buyer happy with a combination of great build quality and comfort, but not exactly created to excite.

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The hybrid version of the RAV4 will have a 2.5-litre petrol engine mated to the usual Toyota electric setup - only this time the auto features a second electric motor powering the rear wheels, allowing the hybrid version to offer four-wheel drive for the first time. It can send 50% of engine torque to rear wheels as well as apportion it between left and right rear wheels to improve handling, the automaker says.

Without mentioning numbers, Toyota says the new RAV4 offers better rear-seat width and legroom, both of which were excellent before.

The new platform is also said to aid a more enjoyable drive by way of an improved driving position, plus with a lower centre of gravity than its predecessor to make it more fun in corners.

The model's first top-to-bottom redesign in more than half a decade is coming for US showrooms with updates the carmaker is betting will cement its lead in the surging small sport utility vehicle segment Toyota pioneered. The screen can be either 7 or 8 inches and features EnTune 3.0, which supports Apple CarPlay.

Last but not least, Toyota's safety suite (aka Toyota Safety Sense) comes as standard on the new Toyota RAV4, with the likes of pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, radar-based cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beam and road sign assist.

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