RAV4: longer, wide, with more interior
14th September 2005.
Eleven years after the launch of its
first generation in Europe, Toyota's
all-new RAV4 compact SUV
is making its world premiere at this year's IAA Frankfurt
motor show (public days from 15 to 25 September),
Frankfurt Motor Show marks the world premiere of the new
generation of one of the most significant models ever
launched by Toyota,
When it goes on sale across Europe from
February 2006, the 3rd generation RAV4
will come longer than its predecessor, wider and with a
longer wheelbase too, offering more interior space.
Flexibility improves too with Toyota’s
Easy FlatTM seating system which allows the
split rear seats (60/40) to be folded flat using one
lever, without removing seat cushions or headrests.
new RAV4 is 14.5 cm longer than the
Since its first launch in Europe in
1994, the RAV4 (Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel
drive) was an instant sales success and continues to be
the best selling vehicle in its segment in Europe. Almost
600,000 RAV4s have been sold in Europe since launch and,
unlike some other vehicles, RAV4
has seen sales climb throughout its life-cycle. Last year,
2004, was a record with 109,059 units sold across Europe,
which represented a market share of 25.6%.
Exterior - The third generation
RAV4 has been designed with a ‘modern and rugged’
sporting theme in mind. Its wedged lower-body design
suggests agile driving performance on winding roads, while
the dynamic fender shape emphasises a squat stance for
stability under straight-line acceleration.
Its design clarity comes from the
reduction of the number of elements while increasing the
size of each individual element. The trapezoidal grille
provides a common thread of identity with other models in
the Toyota SUV
range and differentiates them from the core saloon models.
The new RAV4 is 14.5 cm longer than the
current generation, with a significantly
increased wheelbase (+7 cm) and rear overhang,
improving passenger comfort with the increase of the
couple distance (between front and rear seats) by 5.5 cm.
RAV4 main dimensions (click to open a
The width is also increased (+8 cm) and
increased shoulder space allows the front seats to be set
further apart, again improving comfort. Height remains
moderate, emphasising the sleek, squat styling and
Despite the lengthened wheelbase, a
lower turning radius of 5.1 meters has been achieved.
Aerodynamically, the new RAV4
boosts a low drag co-efficient (0.31Cd) for an SUV.
Interior - The increased
exterior dimensions and significantly improved overall
packaging added 15 cm to the overall cabin length (at 1885
mm), and the increased rear overhang, along with a new
rear suspension layout results in dramatically improved
luggage space (up by 25% over the current model).
Then comes Toyota's Easy FlatTM
seating system . Using the one-touch lever, which is
easily accessible from the rear tailgate, the rear seats
can be folded down into the rear floor space to leave a
‘easy-flat‘ luggage space without the need to remove
any seat cushions or headrests.
Easy FlatTM seating system.
The rear seats are also split (60/40)
for flexibility and can recline on an individual basis.
They can slide backward and forward over 16.5 cm to
enhance rear passenger comfort.
Engines - There is a choice of
three engines, two diesel and one petrol.
The new RAV4
is the latest model in the Toyota
line-up to be offered with the new 2.2-litre D-4D diesel
engine, offering a choice of either 136 DIN hp (100kW) /
3600 rpm, or 177 DIN hp (130kW) / 3600 rpm. Both engines
come with a six-speed manual gearbox.
With the 177 hp version (D-4D 180),
peak torque is 400 Nm at 2000-2600 rpm. Maximum speed is
200 km/h and the 0- 100 km/h is reached in 9.3 seconds.
Combined fuel consumption is 7.2 litres/100 km.
The D-4D 135 diesel (136 hp) offers
better economy with a combined cycle consumption of 6.7
litres/100 km. Top speed is 180 km/h, with the 0-100 km/h
reached in 10.5 seconds.
Both Diesel versions comply with EURO
IV emissions standards and the D-4D 180 is equipped with
Toyota’s D-CAT emissions reduction technology which
reduces diesel particulates and NOx simultaneously.
top-of-the-range RAV4 X version.
For petrol power, the latest
development of the 2.0-litre VVT-i engine offers 152 DIN
hp (112kW), with a choice of a five-speed manual or four
speed automatic transmission. Top speed is 185 km/h (175
km/h in the automatic version) and 0-100 km/h acceleration
is 10.6 seconds (12.0 seconds in 4A/T). Combined fuel
consumption (manual) is 8.8 litres/100 km (9.1 litres/100
km in 4A/T).
Active safety - The VSC+ is a
world first in this segment. In many vehicles, anti-lock
brakes (ABS), traction control (TRC), vehicle stability
control (VSC) and Electric Power Steering (EPS) operate
independently of each other.
Toyota’s VSC+ integrates these
functions via the high-speed CAN communications and adds
the Active Torque Control 4WD system. This interaction of
all systems allows for real-time control depending on both
driver operation and vehicle behaviour, resulting in
enhanced running, turning and stopping performance.
The VSC+ works with the electric
power steering (EPS) to add steering torque assistance
to the conventional stability control system. It
anticipates the occurrence of understeer or oversteer and
assists the driver by making the correct steering action
easier and an incorrect action more difficult.
It also allows a better control when
braking or accelerating on road surfaces with different
traction characteristics under the left & right
wheels, by providing additional steering torque to
compensate for differences in left-right drive force.
In addition, the interconnection with
the Active Torque Control 4WD system allows the
cooperation of VSC with the drive torque distribution.
This results in minimizing any over-steering or
under-steering reaction when acceleration on a slippery
road surface, enabling excellent stability and
Torque Control 4WD system.
The Active Torque Control 4WD
system continuously monitors and controls the torque
transfer between front and rear wheels. The system allows
the vehicle to switch continuously between front wheel
drive and four-wheel drive mode, optimising stability
under all driving conditions and maximising fuel
consumption. It helps to improve driving performance in
terms of stability, acceleration and cornering. The
conventional centre differential is removed and the
electronic sensors monitor information from throttle
angle, engine torque and speed, gear ratio, vehicle speed
and steering angle.
Using values calculated from the
sensors, the Active Torque Control 4WD system selects one
of the three control modes by switching torque from
front to rear:
and clear design.
• ‘Start-off control’ ensures
sufficient traction and acceleration when required. Torque
distribution is 55:45.
• ‘Normal control’ allows the
system to switch from 4-wheel drive to front wheel drive
(100:0) to ensure sufficient acceleration and improve fuel
consumption. Torque distribution can then vary between
55:45 and 100:00.
• ‘Cornering control’ increases
cornering stability by monitoring the appropriate yaw rate
that should be applied to the car.
The result is greatly enhanced
performance and stability under all driving conditions;
allowing more precise control in corners and under heavy
braking and acceleration, and also improved fuel economy.
The driver can lock torque
distribution to a 55:45 ratio by the 4WD LOCK mode
new interpretation with clear attention to
Other standard control systems
(standard and optional equipment may vary depending on
markets) are hill-start assist control (HAC) which
prevents the vehicle from rolling back on steep inclines
and down hill assist control (DAC) which assists
the driver by controlling wheel speed during steep
descents (available with A/T only).
Suspension - The front
suspension gets McPherson struts that have been completely
re-designed from the lower arm to the coil springs and
shock absorbers. The lower ball joints have been moved
forward to increase the caster trail to achieve
under-steering against the lateral force that occurs
during cornering. And the roll centre height has been
lowered to improve straight ahead driving stability.
The rear suspension adopts a newly
developed trailing-type double-wishbone suspension which
improves vehicle stability with a lateral under-steering
Luggage space width has been increased
by 23 cm because the shock absorber of the rear suspension
has been positioned diagonally, while the ride comfort has
been improved by increasing the front and rear suspension
compliance when the vehicle goes over bumps.
On-road precision is enhanced by the
electric power steering (tilt and telescope steering
column) while the agility of the new RAV4 is emphasised by
its tight turning circle. Despite its increased overall
length, the new RAV4 turning radius is now 5.1 metres.
Passive safety - The new Toyota
RAV4 will be available with seven airbags: dual stage SRS
driver and passenger airbags, SRS side airbags, SRS
curtain shield airbags across front and rear and, for the
first time in this segment, a driver’s knee airbag.
The top-of-the-range RAV4 X
version will be only available with the 2.2 D-4D 177 DIN
hp diesel engine (D-4D 180), equipped with the latest
technology run flat tyres, with exclusive exterior and
interior features such as darkened headlamps, unique front
grille, privacy glass, over fenders, and exclusive 18-inch
alloy rims. Premium features such as powered & heated
leather seats, Smart Entry & Start System, rain &
dusk sensors and electro-chromatic mirrors will be
standard on RAV4 X, limiting the option list to a full map
navigation system with Bluetooth technology, a Parking
Assist Monitor and a powered sun roof.