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RAV4 Diesel cops low tow rating

Load limited: Low tow rating of the new Toyota RAV4 diesel may effect sales.

Toyota claims 550kg maximum tow rating does not reflect RAV4’s abilities

25 Feb 2013

TOYOTA admits it does not know when the new RAV4 Diesel’s maximum tow rating will be increased beyond its low 550kg limit, but stresses that it is in no way indicative of the SUV’s strength, performance or capability.

With towing durability testing still to be completed, according to one company insider, Toyota says there was no choice but to take a cautious line with the ratings, even though the low numbers may jeopardise sales.

The Diesel is currently limited to 500kg for the automatic and 550kg for the manual in Australia, despite delivering up to 340Nm of torque, yet virtually the same model in Britain is rated at 2000kg for the auto and 1800kg with the manual.

In contrast, the latest 233Nm 2.5-litre petrol in Australia is rated at 1500kg with a braked trailer and 750kg without, while even the new front-wheel-drive 2.0-litre base engine can manage 800kg.

“The rated towing capacity for the turbo-diesel RAV4 is not a question of the vehicle’s capability or inherent strength,” said Toyota Australia sales and marketing manager Matthew Callachor.

“This is a new engine for Australia and Toyota Japan rates Australia as having a severe climate therefore, it has adopted a prudent and conservative approach that underlines Toyota’s absolute commitment – above everything else – to quality, durability and reliability.

“Our local engineers are working with Toyota Japan to assess the feasibility of an increase in the rated towing capacity for the turbo-diesel.”

Diesel-powered opponents such as the Nissan X-Trail and Mazda CX-5 have braked-trailer ratings of 2000kg and 1800kg respectively.

Exceeding the RAV4 Diesel’s 500kg and 550kg maximum towing capacity ratings will void the manufacturer’s warranty and may have negative insurance consequences.

Meanwhile, the V6 petrol engine is unlikely to return to the RAV4 range.

“It wasn’t developed for the current generation,” said Mr Callachor of the V6.

“It didn’t have a high sales rate, so we decided to drop it.”

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