Toyota expects to win back lost buyers with the bigger RAV4

Article by Christian A., on March 22, 2013

To attract more sales in the compact SUV segment, Toyota’s newest RAV4 has become wider and longer. The RAV4 was first released in 1994. It had dominated this segment in Europe for numerous years but in 2012, it only ranked at sixth. The fourth-generation RAV4 is larger since compact SUV buyers currently want a bigger space and versatility, according to RAV4 project manager Hiroshi Hiroshima.

Compared to the prior model, the newest RAV4 is wider by 30mm, longer by 205mm, and lower by 25mm, making more space for those sitting in the rear. The vehicle appears sleeker. It now has a trunk capacity of 547 liters, compared to the predecessor’s 473 liters. Toyota anticipates that Russia will buy 46% of the 90,000 annual RAV4 sales expected in Europe.

In 2012, Toyota sold 27,237 of its SUVs in Russia. Hiroshima said that the RAV4’s launch in Russia is being done at the “right place at the right time.” For the European markets, the RAV4 will be available with front- and all-wheel drive and with any of a 2.0-liter gasoline engine or 2.0- or 2.2-liter diesels. Russia will also be available with a 2.5-liter gasoline choice that Toyota also offers in the U.S. and Asia.

The new Toyota RAV4 sports a design that achieves strong proportions while also conveying a fun and agile character. Its exterior, which is dynamic and sophisticated, features a progressive silhouette, thanks mainly to its sleek-sloping roofline and its aggressive character line. As for the new RAV4's interior, it has a premium and sophisticated look complete with driver-centric controls and soft-touch accents.

What’s more, the Toyota RAV4 strives to meet design goals as defined by Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, through front and rear fenders that are aggressively sculpted and taillights that are boldly proportioned. These features also lend an athletic presence to the vehicle.

Moreover, the new RAV4 breaks from its heritage, switching from its side-hinged door at the rear to a more convenient roof-hinged liftgate, with the spare tire stored beneath the cargo floor to save space. The Limited grade model also comes with a single-touch power rear liftgate as standard, with memory height settings.

Furthermore, RAV4 engineers paid very special attention to the vehicle’s aerodynamics, as is evident in the small vortex generators that are molded in its taillight cases and near its A-pillar base. Meanwhile, the aerodynamic undertrays that are located beneath the passenger cabin and that help control and ensure smooth airflow are less obvious details.

Following the body-engineering principles that were introduced in the 2012 Toyota Camry as well as in the 2013 Avalon, the body structure of the RAV4 will have high-strength steel in order to achieve certain significant goals such as a stiff and robust platform that enhances handling and steering precision, as well as a light yet strong body structure.

Additionally, RAV4 engineers made use of a few grades of high-strength steel in order to form key structural roof, floor, engine compartment, rocker sill, and door frame components. Weight savings, meanwhile, were invested in an acoustic windshield and in sound deadening materials, helping create a quieter passenger cabin.

Topics: toyota, toyota rav4, suv

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