With Ford holding the reins of the ute market since about 2014, it was always going to be a case of when – not if – Toyota NZ would deliver a model to compete.
Now it’s in its fifth generation, and the designers and engineers have been busy: there’s a new 2.0L petrol, a new 2.5L four-pot delivering 152kW, and a first for the RAV 4 -- a 155kW 2.5L petrol/hybrid mated to a CVT powertrain. This latter option underscores Toyota’s stated aimof electric in all its ranges by about 2025.
All new for the RAV is an all-wheel drive system that sends 50% of available torque to the rear axle, from where the differential distributes varying amounts to individual wheels as required.
For urban warriors, the company will also offer a 2WD-only range of three specifications, fitted with the 127kW, 2.0L petrol engine.
All models in all specifications will have Toyota’s Safety Sense driving aids with dynamic radar cruise control, a pre-collision system with autonomous emergency braking (including pedestrian and cyclist detection), road sign assist, lane tracing assist and automated high-beam switching.
Other clever features include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, reversing camera, front and rear parking sensors and seven airbags.