Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) starts the New Year with the all-new 2013 RAV4. Based on the principles inherited from its predecessors, a host of new innovative features and enhancements for its lifestyle driven customers, and a shared platform with the Camry; the RAV4 now positions itself a premium compact SUV.

The iconic RAV4 name was conceived from the words recreational, active, vehicle, and the number 4 from four-wheel drive. It was based on the Corolla and introduced in 1994 as a compact SUV that matches its active, sporty, youthful and stylish image.

The fourth-generation RAV4 pursues the design goals defined by Toyota President Akio Toyoda, with aggressively sculpted front and rear fenders and boldly proportioned taillights that define its athletic presence. In a significant break with its heritage, RAV4 will switch from its side-hinged rear door to a convenient roof-hinged liftgate with a full-sized spare tire stored under the cargo floor.

Measurement-wise, the new RAV4 is smaller than its predecessor measuring in at 4570mm long, 1845mm wide, and 1660mm tall. The previous-generation measured at 4625mm x 1855mm x 1720mm. It sits on exactly the same wheelbase at 2660mm. This is due to the removal of the rear door mounted spare and body integrated wheel arches.

Following body-engineering principles debuted in the 2012 Camry, the RAV4's body structure uses high-strength steel to help achieve a robust and stiff platform that enhances steering and handling precision, and a body structure that is both strong and light.  Toyota engineers used several grades of high-strength steel to form key structural components in the roof, rocker sills, floor, engine compartment and door frames.  The weight savings were in part invested in sound deadening materials and an acoustic windshield, helping to create a quiet passenger cabin.

RAV4 rear

Engineers also paid special attention to aerodynamics, the most obvious detail being small vortex generators molded into the taillight cases and near the base of the A-pillars. Aerodynamic undertrays beneath the passenger cabin also help smooth and control airflow.

Under the hood is a 2.5-liter, Dual VVT-i (Dual Variable Valve Timing-intelligent) engine rated at 179 PS and 233 Nm as found in the Camry. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with sport mode.

RAV4 Interior

The interior offers a lively cockpit with the addition carbon fiber trimmings matched with structure based functionality and refined interior space. The clear blue illumination provides crisp visibility in most ambient lighting conditions and aims to provide a coherent appearance at night. Toyota also boasts of having a class-leading interior space for the new RAV4. For entertainment, it is equipped with a 6.1" Audio Display System with self-illuminating VFD (Vacuum Fluorescent Display), that offers high contrast ratio and wide angle view.  The audio system comes with six speakers with AM/FM/CD functionality, USB/AUX and Bluetooth connectivity. The rears seats are 60/40 split-foldable for added storage utility to complement the luggage area.

For passenger safety, front, side and curtain airbags are standard. Ultrasonic wave sensors are also standard to detect obstacles around the vehicle when parking or in tight driving conditions. Vehicle security is integrated to the Smart Entry Key system, also standard.

The all-new RAV4 is available in three variants: 4x4 priced at PhP1,963,000, 4x2 full-option priced at PhP1,581,000 and a 4X2 base variant for PhP1,357,000. It will be available in five colors:  Silver Metallic, Xtreme Black, Red Mica Metallic, Bronze Mica Metallic, and a White Pearl color option for an additional P15,000.