New York Auto Show 2018: Toyota RAV4 Unveiled

  • New York Auto Show 2018: Toyota RAV4 Unveiled

New York Auto Show 2018: Toyota RAV4 Unveiled

The 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback has just bowed at the New York Auto Show, and it's been quite a journey to get here.

Other notable changes made to the incoming model is the shift to the Japanese auto manufacturer's Toyota New Global Architecture K platform.

The new hatch, which we'd say is a good bet to outsell its predecessor, gets more dynamic styling that ties neatly in with what Toyota has recently done with its new Camry and Avalon models. The front end packs angular LED headlights, squared-off octagon wheel arches, and new grilles and at back there's LED taillamps, dual exhaust, and a spoiler. The wheelbase has increased a bit, and so has width, but overall the new RAV4 is ever so slightly shorter in length than the old model.

A year ago the RAV4 overtook the Camry as Toyota's best-selling model in the USA, as well as was the No.1-selling non-pickup in the light-truck segment. We've been underwhelmed with Toyota's Entune-based touchscreen systems before, but this new v3.0 setup promises to be better, if only because Toyota has at last succumbed to consumer demands for Apple CarPlay compatibility (at least on this model). This brings up two thoughts: 1) that CUVs have been around much longer than the current sales craze indicates, and 2) how are there only four generations of RAV4 in 24 years? In order to keep costs down, Scion models were famous for being available basically in one trim, but now that the second-gen model is a full-fledged Toyota, there's more tech, more trims and more options on offer.

Inside, Toyota is hoping you'll mistake the 2019 RAV4 for a luxury crossover instead of a mainstream bestseller. The new RAV4 also boasts a convenient shelf between the upper and lower dash, flawless for small items.

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. Black Softex faux leather and blue trim decorate the XSE Hybrid's interior. It's an all-new AWD system that can distribute 50 per cent of the power to the rear wheels when needed and also send it individually to the left or right rear wheels for improved cornering and rough-road ability. The RAV4 Hybrid uses a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and Toyota Hybrid System II on the four Hybrid models. The compact will also receive the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) 2.0 suite which includes front precollision warning with autonomous emergency braking and pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and prevention, automatic high beams and, new this year, Lane Trace Assist. All gas AWD models also feature Toyota's Multi-Terrain Select system.