Arguably the most anticipated debut at this year’s New York Auto Show is the next-generation Toyota RAV4. For 2019, the SUV is all new, inside and out, and rides on the company’s clever TNGA architecture.
Improvements under the skin are big. The SUV gets three different all-wheel drive systems – one traditional arrangement, one clever AWD with torque-vectoring, and the manufacturer’s AWD-i hybrid setup, which now offers 30 percent more torque for the electrically driven rear axle.
Also helpful for off-road adventures should be the shorter front and rear overhangs, which come as a result of the slightly increased wheelbase. Interestingly, the new model is a bit shorter than the outgoing generation, but is also slightly wider.
Toyota is not ready to disclose performance and fuel consumption numbers yet, but it is confirmed the 2.5-liter four-cylinder non-turbo gas engine will continue to work under the hood of both the standard and hybrid models. The automaker claims the mill now delivers better efficiency and we also know the non-hybrid version is getting a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Hybrids will continue with CVTs.
Inside, the minimalistic design is dominated by a standard seven-inch, or optional eight-inch, tablet-style display for the infotainment screen. Also standard is Toyota’s Entune 3.0 audio system with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility, while optionally available will be a 800-watt JBL premium sound system.
On the safety front, Toyota’s Safety Sense now includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and emergency braking, dynamic cruise control, lane departure warning with steering assist, and auto high beams with no extra payment required. The big news here is the addition of the Lane Tracing Assist system, which “reduces driver burden and supports safe driving, especially in traffic congestion or long highway trips” with semi-autonomous functions.
The new RAV4’s debut is scheduled for 9:10 AM Eastern / 1:10 PM GMT today, March 28.