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New York 2018: Toyota's new RAV4 looks sharp with its new skin


Toyota gives the RAV4 a radical redesign

When it comes to best-selling models, manufacturers tend to take an evolutionary approach when giving them redesigns. That's not the case with the fifth-generation RAV4 as Toyota has given it a rather revolutionary new look, ditching the familiar upright shape of the said crossover. For this redesign, it takes cues from their most recent crossover concept, the FT-AC.

The all-new RAV4 is faithful to the concept's design from bumper to bumper. A bold and aggressive front fascia is complemented slim upswept headlights and an upside down hexagonal grill. Also similar to the concept is the bumper air intake design, along with the angular, well-defined edges. Like the concept, it has a faux skid plate as well. It also incorporates a clamshell hood design, making the front end appear taller. There are three variants to choose from starting with the Adventure, Limited and XSE Hybrid. The XSE hybrid comes with a different front bumper which is reshaped with aerodynamic efficiency in mind.


While the 'floating fenders' didn't transition from concept to production, the wheelarches have been squared-off with black cladding surrounding the entire bottom half of the crossover. Both the front windshield and the rear tailgate have steeply raked angles, giving the crossover some sporting flair. At the rear are slim tail lights and an integrated tailgate spoiler. Overall, it's a radical departure from the previous generation RAV4.

Like the exterior, the interior gets a major overhaul. Gone is the sweeping dash design of the current model. In its place is a more upright, rugged look with straight lines sharper edges. Like most all-new Toyota offerings, there's a floating infotaiment screen at the top center of the dashboard. Toyota added even more cubby holes and storage spaces in the all-new RAV4 with one just above the glovebox opening and another below the driver's side air-conditioning vent.

For the US market at least, all models come with Entune 3.0 multimedia including Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon, hands-free access to Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Also, the RAV4 can be had with up to five USB ports between located at the front and rear parts of the cabin. Another option in the RAV4 is wireless charging for smartphones.

Two powertrain options are available for the US-spec RAV4s. It starts with the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with Dual VVT-i and Dynamic Force technology, which is said to increase thermal efficiency and decrease fuel consumption. The other option is the same 2.5-liter engine with a hybrid system. Non-hybrid RAV4 models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission while the hybrid uses a continuously variable transmission. Power ratings have yet to be announced. Standard drivetrain is front wheel drive with all-wheel drive being an option.

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