Toyota RAV4: An SUV With Rough Edges

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Toyota RAV4: An SUV With Rough Edges
Toyota RAV4: An SUV With Rough Edges

Video: Toyota RAV4: An SUV With Rough Edges

Video: Toyota RAV4: An SUV With Rough Edges
Video: We Take The 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid To The LIMIT Off-Road Deep In The Mountains 2023, November

The Toyota RAV4 is, so to speak, the founder of the SUV segment. Now the Japanese are sending the fifth generation to the start - and they are surprising.

25 years ago, with this model, Toyota laid the foundation for a success in this vehicle category that was hardly to be suspected at the time. For the Japanese automaker, the fifth generation is once again synonymous with the start of a new era. After all, a platform called TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) is being used for the first time as an anniversary gift.

This allows significantly more space in the interior, better performance and more extensive safety equipment with almost unchanged external dimensions. Added value that Toyota does not pay for in addition. The hybrid version, which has become stronger than its predecessor, is offered at an entry-level price of 32,990 euros and thus 800 euros cheaper.

RAV4 with a mighty grille

Corners and edges, beads and razor-sharp lines characterize the exterior as well as the extremely wide face. This, in turn, is dominated by a powerful radiator grille and an air intake that extends across the entire width of the vehicle. The designers placed the headlights far outwards and thus on the foothills of the almost angular wheel arches.


In conjunction with the slightly wider track and the ground clearance increased by 1.5 centimeters, this ensures a powerful appearance. Toyota sees the RAV4 more than ever as a vehicle for families. Compared to the fourth generation, they have noticeably more space in the entire interior.

The reasons for this are the wheelbase, which has grown by three centimeters to 2.69 meters, while the exterior length has remained almost identical, as well as the shortened axle overhangs at the front and rear. This is particularly beneficial for travelers in the back seat, who have plenty of space for feet and legs. Despite the height of the roof, which has been lowered by one centimeter, even tall people still have plenty of air between the hair and the roof lining.

The bonnet flattened

The driver and front passenger have the feeling of sitting even higher on the multi-adjustable seats than is usual in an SUV anyway. The lower positioned dashboard with a fixed seven- or eight-inch display as an extension of the massive center console contributes to this. But also the 1.5 centimeter flatter bonnet, the slimmer A-pillars and the belt line, which is slightly shifted downwards all around, have a not inconsiderable part in the better all-round view and the newly created feeling of space.

The loading compartment is designed for everyday use. The level loading floor has increased in length by six centimeters. This increases the luggage compartment volume compared to the previous model by 79 to 580 liters. If the rear seats, which are split in a 60:40 ratio, are folded down, a maximum of 1,690 liters is available. Toyota promises that, for example, a 29-inch mountain bike can be loaded without dismantling its wheels. There is also a height-adjustable load compartment cover that can be turned around to transport dirty items, as well as storage nets on both sides of the trunk.

Hybrid drive with 218 hp

These visible improvements of the fifth generation contrast with a multitude of changes under the sheet metal. The drives should be mentioned first. The petrol engine with 175 hp and a sales share of around ten percent plays only a subordinate role. The hybrid is different.

The hybrid system has a total output of 218 hp in the front-wheel drive version, and 222 hp in the all-wheel drive version. So far there were 197 hp in the data sheet and a mechanical all-wheel drive was in use.

This is now being replaced by an electrical system that should be more efficient and provide better traction on slippery surfaces. The rear wheels are driven by an additional motor-generator unit, which in turn is fed with energy from the hybrid system. Depending on the respective conditions, the power can either be directed completely to the front axle or up to 80 percent to the rear axle.

Rubber band effect has been reduced


But not only the paper form is impressive. The leap forward has also been achieved with the planetary gearbox. The technicians have drastically reduced the rubber band effect when accelerating, which is often criticized and annoying in everyday life. The RAV4 now hangs surprisingly well on the gas and pulls through powerfully - with slight decelerations. Toyota gives 8.1 seconds for the all-wheel-drive hybrid for the standard sprint from zero to 100 km / h. At the top, a rather modest 180 kilometers per hour are possible.

The standard consumption is 4.4 liters. Here, however, the paper form is quite far removed from reality. The on-board computer showed 7.9 liters after 130 kilometers that were by no means really brisk.

On which the chassis and steering were perfectly coordinated. While the latter gives direct feedback at all times, the developers have designed the suspension and damping primarily for comfort. Suitable for an SUV. But that does not mean that the RAV4 cannot be moved in a sporty way. Even in fast corners, the car stays on track.

Safety-Sense has been further developed

The Japanese manufacturer has further developed the Safety Sense safety system for the assistance systems. The second generation includes the pre-collision system (up to 180 km / h) with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane change warning with steering assistant, traffic sign recognition and high beam assistant.

In addition, there is now a lane departure warning system that provides additional support to the driver. In a speed range of 10 to 80 km / h in daylight, cyclists who might cross the path of the new RA4 are also detected. (SP-X)