Toyota Rav4 embraces its truck side

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It'll go on sale late this year, with hybrid versions - including a new sport hybrid option - rolling out in early 2019.

At the show, Johan van Zyl, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe, said the carmaker's registrations have become increasingly weighted towards hybrids since 2015, when sales were split evenly between hybrids and diesels.

With the debut of the 2019 Toyota RAV4, Toyota has thrown down the gauntlet to its competitors.

The Japanese automaker's popular SUV is coming off its best-ever year in 2017, in which Toyota reported it sold more than 400,000 RAV4s making it one of the best-selling vehicles stateside.

The new generation doesn't mess with success. There's more that's changed than just the name: The Corolla Hatchback rides an all-new platform, and it's actually a different platform from what's underneath the current Toyota Corolla sedan.

Moreover, handling is supposedly improved by the stiffer chassis. (30 mm), overall length falls 0.2 ins.

"Together with the robust exterior styling and sophisticated interior, the new RAV4 will offer even greater appeal to people with active lifestyles who want to explore the city, make a weekend trip to the country or head onto off-road trails". About one in four of those vehicles was a hybrid. The "Dynamic Force" powertrains use an eight-speed automatic transmission or a CVT on the hybrid.

Additionally, when equipped with AWD, Adventure models are outfitted with Multi-Terrain Select as standard.

The mechanical suite is complemented by a torque-vectoring all-wheel drive setup with rear driveline disconnect, which can reroute 50% of the engine torque to the rear axle and split it between the two wheels accordingly. The standard fare will be just the normal gas engine, while Toyota will also offer the same engine mated to its hybrid system. It will be the sportiest RAV4 available. 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. As a result, it is wider, lower and roomier - Toyota says the back seat has better legroom than before, and that's despite the fact it isn't any bigger than the fourth-generation RAV4 that preceded it. We'll have a better understanding of this car's value factor after we get our mitts on this vehicle at next week's New York Auto Show, but for the moment, that seems like pretty agreeable pricing for a vehicle with dramatically more content than its forbearer. It's taller and slightly longer than before too.

Under its hood, a 2.5-liter inline-4 shuttles power to the front wheels or, optionally, all four. The new RAV4 also boasts a convenient shelf between the upper and lower dash, flawless for small items. Pricing has not yet been announced.'s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. Check out the new Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs.