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Toyota Showcases New RAV4 At Motor Show

The all-new Toyota RAV4 has been unveiled at this year’s New York Motor Show – and it’s a more chiselled, head-turning affair than earlier crossovers, judging by these first official photos. It is the fifth generation of RAV4.

Based on the group’s latest Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) like the new 2018 Auris hatchback, the latest RAV4 promises a step-change improvement in dynamics, fuel efficiency, safety and packaging, according to its makers.

The hybrid is claimed to be unique in class, although that position is unlikely to remain for long, as car makers race to electrify their crossovers.

All-wheel drive is available and the hybrid set-up uses an additional, second electric motor to power the rear axle. The 2.0 petrol model’s AWD set-up is entirely mechanical. Although not an off-roader, shorter overhangs and a modest hike in ride height are claimed to provide better soft-roading ability.

Inside the cabin, Toyota claims a step change in quality. It should be roomier, too: the wheelbase is 30mm longer and the new RAV4 is 10mm wider at 1855mm. There’s the usual array of digital dials, tablet-style touchscreens and all the latest Japanese tech, including an EV button so you can save charge for whisper-quiet urban driving.

The use of the TNGA platform should make the RAV4 much better to drive than its predecessor. Despite its tip-toe SUV proportions, the newcomer does in fact have a lower centre of gravity, to the benefit of handling and nimbleness, its maker claims.

Although no official economy or CO2 figures are available yet, Toyota is claiming good advances in both to make this more fuel – and tax – efficient.

Toyota has confirmed it is phasing out diesel in its passenger cars from 2018 and expanding its hybrid range offerings, instead. This applies across its car range, but excludes the Hilux, Proace and Land Cruiser utility vehicles.

Hybrids accounted for about 78 per cent of C-HR crossover sales last year, for example, and the brand is bringing two hybrid offerings to the new Auris range – the already-in-service 1.8 Hybrid and the new two Hybrid.

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