Front-wheel drive models will arrive in dealerships first in April, with prices starting from £29,635 for an entry-level Icon model. All-wheel drive models are set to follow in May, starting at £33,430 for a step-up Design model and reaching £36,640 for a top-end Dynamic. All models use Toyota's 2.5-litre hybrid petrol engine and CVT gearbox.
Highlights of the base spec Icon cars include 17in alloy wheels, roof rails, rear parking sensors and rear view camera, 8in touchscreen infotainment and 7in digital instrument display. Design-grade cars get 18in alloys, front parking sensors, powered tailgate and keyless entry. Excel models go further with LED headlights, blind spot monitoring, heated front seats, full leather upholstery and heated steering wheel. Finally, top-level Dynamic cars come equipped with sports seats and bi-tone paint options.
The RAV4 made its European debut at the Paris motor show with a promise from its chief engineer, Yoshikazu Saeki, that "it will be more of a proper SUV" than the car it replaces.
Even though the current RAV4, a rival to the Ford Kuga and Nissan Qashqai, has become the best-selling car in North America, beaten only by pick-up trucks in the sales charts, Saeki is setting his sights even higher. "I don’t believe the current car was very successful at all. I’ll consider a car to have been successful when there are no further advancements to make."
The upcoming RAV4 is not only based on Toyota’s new TNGA platform but moves up a size and now sits on underpinnings more closely related to the large Camry saloon than that of a Prius. One engine is available at launch, a 2.5-litre hybrid producing 215bhp in front-wheel drive models and 219bhp in four-wheel drive cars. CO2 emissions are 102g/km and 103g/km for front- and four-wheel drive models respectively.
The hybrid engine is very similar to the the unit in the Camry, where it produces 204bhp, a 10% increase over the previous engine. In the Camry, it improves fuel consumption over its predecessor by 20-30%. This should ensure Toyota is able to claim combined consumption for the RAV4 of close to 70mpg, with a sub-100g/km CO2 output by current means of measurement.
In the absence of any diesel model (Toyota has pledged to phase out all oil-burners before the year's close), a second hybrid powertrain is expected to be offered after launch, but it's not yet known whether it'll be of 1.8-litre or 2.0-litre capacity. Both of those engines are offered with the recently revealed Auris.