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Driven: Toyota swaps diesel for hybrid in new RAV4

Pricing, specification go up in crucial fifth-generation Toyota RAV4 mid-size SUV

8 May 2019

TOYOTA Australia has axed the RAV4’s turbo-diesel engine in favour of a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain and raised entry-level pricing and specification for the crucial mid-size SUV that is now in showrooms in fifth-generation form.
While the RAV4 line-up still kicks off with the GX petrol FWD, it is now $1190 dearer, at $30,640 plus on-road costs with a six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching, or $32,640 with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a mechanical launch gear.
No other variant gets the three-pedal set-up that is only expected to account for two per cent of sales.
The next-step-up GXL petrol FWD exclusively uses the CVT. It costs $35,640 – $150 more than before – while the Cruiser petrol FWD is priced from $39,140.
All four of these petrol variants are motivated by a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that produces 127kW of power at 6600rpm and 203Nm of torque at 4800rpm – a 20kW/16Nm improvement over its predecessor.
Claimed fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions on the combined cycle test have been improved by up to 12 per cent, at 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres and 155 grams per kilometre for the manual and 6.5L/100km and 147g/km for the CVT.
As mentioned, the previous-generation RAV4 was available with a 110kW/340Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine, but it has made way for a full hybrid system that combines a 2.5-litre atmo four-cylinder unit running on the Atkinson cycle with one or two electric motors.
Speaking to journalists this week at the RAV4 national media launch in Adelaide, Toyota Australia vice-president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley said the move away from diesel was related to hybrid’s rise in popularity, despite its availability overseas.
“I don’t see diesel finishing anytime soon in our other vehicle line-ups, but of course other powertrains on diesel are quite credible and optional for us going forward,” he said.
The hybrid set-up’s internal-combustion engine develops 131kW at 5700rpm and 221Nm from 3600 to 5200rpm, while the front electric motor pumps out 88kW/202Nm.
While FWD is standard with the hybrid powertrain, electric AWD can be optioned for $3000, adding a 40kW/121Nm rear motor. As such, the former’s combined power output is 160kW, while the latter musters an additional 3kW.
Hybrid pricing starts from $35,140 for the GX, $38,140 for the GXL and $41,640 for the Cruiser. All six petrol-electric variants come with an e-CVT as standard.
FWD variants drink 4.7L/100km and emit 107g/km, while their AWD counterparts manage 4.8L/100km and 109g/km. The AWD variants can direct up to 80 per cent of their torque to the rear wheels.
Checking in at $47,140, the adventure-focused Edge petrol AWD tops the RAV4 range but stands out from its siblings with its 2.5-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that produces 152kW at 6600rpm and 243Nm from 4000 to 5000rpm – a 20kW/10Nm gain.
It is mated to an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission and a mechanical AWD system with rear torque vectoring. Typically, 100 per cent of torque is sent to the front wheels, but an even split between both axles is engaged when extra grip is required.
According to Toyota Australia product planning and development general manager Rod Ferguson, this combination could become available on other grades if the demand is there. AWD variants are expected to account for 30 per cent of sales.
The Edge petrol AWD sips 7.3L/100km – a 14 per cent improvement over the preceding 2.5-litre unit – and pollutes 166g/km.
Standard equipment in the GX grade includes 17-inch alloy wheels with a space-saver spare, dusk-sensing LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and tail-lights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, power-folding side mirrors with heating, a rear skid plate, rear mud flaps and three driving modes (Eco, Normal and Sport).
Inside, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, satellite navigation with live traffic, DAB+ digital radio, a six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity, one auxiliary input, one USB port, one 12V power outlet, a 4.2-inch multi-function display, manual air-conditioning (petrol), dual-zone climate control (hybrid),keyless start (hybrid), fabric upholstery and a Urethane steering wheel feature.
The GXL grade gains 18-inch alloy wheels with a 17-inch space-saver spare, front mud flaps, roof rails, rear privacy glass, a wireless smartphone charger, five USB ports, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry and start, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, premium fabric upholstery and a leather-accented steering wheel and gear selector.
The Cruiser grade further adds 19-inch alloy wheels with an 18-inch space-saver spare (petrol), gloss-black 18-inch alloy wheels with a 17-inch space-saver spare (hybrid), a silver grille, chrome-trimmed exterior doorhandles, a power-operated tailgate, a sunroof, surround-view cameras, heated front seats, a 7.0-inch multi-function display, a nine-speaker JBL sound system, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and memory functionality, blue LED ambient lighting and leather-accented upholstery.
The Edge petrol AWD distinguishes itself from the Cruiser grade with a bespoke body kit (grille, front foglight surrounds, bumpers and wheelarch cladding), a front skid plate, unique 19-inch alloy wheels with an 18-inch space-saver spare, body-colour exterior doorhandles, ventilated front seats, Softex leather-accented upholstery, orange interior trim and hill-descent control, while a panoramic sunroof is optional and memory functionality for the driver’s seat is deleted.
Hybrid AWD variants also feature a Trail driving mode, while the Edge petrol AWD instead picks up Mud & Sand, Rock & Dirt, and Snow settings as part of its Multi-Terrain System.
As reported, the RAV4 comes standard with a suite of advanced driver-assist systems, including autonomous emergency braking with day/night pedestrian and day cyclist detection, lane-keep assist, steering assist (CVT), blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, high-speed (petrol manual) and all-speed (CVT) adaptive cruise control, speed sign recognition, high-beam assist, a reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors, and hill-start assist plus seven airbags (dual front, side and curtain plus driver’s knee).
Now riding on the Japanese brand’s ubiquitous TNGA platform, the RAV4 is 4615mm long, 1865mm wide and 1690mm tall and has a 2690mm wheelbase.
Cargo capacity is claimed to be a class-leading 580L, and can be increased by stowing the 60/40 split-fold rear bench. The boot deck board is reversible, with carpet on one side and resin on the other.
The RAV4’s independent suspension set-up consists of MacPherson-strut front and multi-link rear axles, while its power steering is electromechanical.


2019 Toyota RAV4 pricing*

GX petrol FWD $30,640
GX petrol FWD (a) $32,640
GX hybrid FWD (a) $35,140
GXL petrol FWD (a) $35,640
GX hybrid AWD (a) $38,140
GXL hybrid FWD (a) $38,140
Cruiser petrol FWD (a) $39,140
GXL hybrid AWD (a) $41,140
Cruiser hybrid FWD (a) $41,640
Cruiser hybrid AWD (a) $44,640
Edge petrol AWD (a) $47,140

*Excludes on-road costs

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