2015 RAV4 earns good rating at IIHS small overlap test, says Toyota

Article by Christian A., on December 1, 2014

Toyota Motor Corp. says the latest iteration of RAV4 crossover earned a passing score in the latest round of tests simulating small-overlap front crashes as conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. According to Toyota Chief Safety Technology Officer Secretary Seigo Kuzumaki, the 2015 RAV4 got a “good” score in the latest test, which should allow the crossover to earn institute’s coveted Top Safety Pick rating.

The 2014 RAV4 failed to earn the status after getting poor results in the small overlap test conducted in July 2013, prompting Toyota engineers to vow an overhaul and to make the crossover more than strong enough to pass.

The RAV4 needs a small-overlap rating score of at least “acceptable” to earn Top Safety Pick. Official results of the latest test won’t be published until December, according to IIHS spokesman Russ Rader, adding that the results look promising.

RAV4 is the brand’s third best-selling nameplate as well as the sixth top-selling truck in the United States in the first 10 months of the year with sales of 223,593 units (up 26 percent). Rader remarked that Toyota has been revising a number of models to improve small-overlap protection.

Other Toyota vehicles that have received a “poor” rating are the 2013 Camry, the 2014 Prius V and the 2014 Prius C. The 2014 Toyota Corolla received a “marginal” score in the small-overlap test although its 2015 version has yet to be tested. The Camry improved its score for the MY2014 to “acceptable” and for the MY2015 to “good.”

Featuring strong proportions, the design of the new Toyota RAV4 conveys its agile and fun character. Its elegant yet dynamic exterior reveals a progressive silhouette marked by a sloping roofline and an assertive character line. Its sophisticated interior offers a premium ambiance as laden with driver-focused controls and soft-touch accents.

Pursuing the design goals laid out by Toyota President Akio Toyoda, the new Toyota RAV4 is marked by prominently sculpted front and rear fenders as well as well-proportioned rear lights.

Interestingly, the new RAV4 gets rid of its signature side-hinged rear door, replacing them with a convenient roof-hinged liftgate. With this configuration, the space-saver spare tire is stored under the cargo floor. As standard on the Limited grade, the RAV4 comes with a one-touch power rear liftgate with driver-selectable memory height settings.

The new Toyota RAV4 is a product of utmost focus on superb aerodynamics. This is evident on several details like the small vortex generators molded into the taillight cases. Small vortex generators are also molded the base of the A-pillars. The new RAV4 also feature aerodynamic undertrays beneath the passenger compartment.

The body of the new RAV4 employs body-engineering principles that were first implemented on the 2012 Camry and 2013 Avalon. Its body structure makes use of high-strength steel to achieve a number of goals.

For instance, this material allows the new RAV4 to have a robust and stiff platform to have a more precise steering and handling. This material also allows the new RAV4 to have a strong yet lightweight body structure. In fact, RAV4 engineers employed several grades of high-strength steel for key structural components in the roof, engine bay, rocker sills, door frames and floor. The weight savings achieved allowed Toyota to add more sound deadening materials as well as an acoustic windshield.

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