2013 The new Toyota RAV4: Introduction
Heritage —Pioneering a New Segment
Toyota can rightfully claim to have created the compact SUV market with the launch of its first Recreational Active Vehicle with 4 Wheel-Drive (RAV4) in 1994.
Launched as a compact (3.695 m), 3-door model, the first "Urban 4WD" was quite different to a traditional 4x4. It featured a relatively small, 2.0 litre engine mounted transversally within a monocoque bodyshell, and all-round independent suspension. The compact SUV market was born.
Today, the compact SUV segment is one of the few still growing in Europe, with sales increasing by some 18% between 2008 and 2012. In 2011, Western European segment sales totalled 772,346 units, with a further 265,647 vehicles sold in Russia.
In 2010, there were 10 different models in the compact SUV segment, there are now 19 to choose from.
Available in over 150 countries, three generations of RAV4 have sold more than 4.5 million units since 1994, of which European markets have accounted for over 1.2 million sales.
The New, Fourth Generation RAV4
The fundamental design features accounting for the RAV4's success remain equally relevant to this fourth generation model.
Existing RAV4 customers from Europe, China and North America were interviewed to determine that which they most appreciated about Toyota's compact SUV. They cited good manoeuvrability, ease of access allied to an elevated view of the road, ingenious packaging, versatility, and reassuring capability, even in tough conditions.
As with previous model generations over the last 18 years, the new RAV4 has been developed to fully respond to the evolving customer requirements of the core compact SUV market —mature, active lifestyle families with a growing demand for space and versatility.
The new RAV4 reflects this stronger emphasis on family use without sacrificing any of the model's core values -manoeuvrability, versatility, an elevated view of the road and accomplished on- and off-road capabilities.
Rather, it offers customers stronger, more sophisticated and dynamic styling, refined, premium-quality interior design, greater cabin room and loadspace capacity, and enhanced comfort, versatility and safety.
Equipped with new powertrains, the new RAV4 combines the widest engine line-up yet offered with an average reduction in CO2 emissions of 11% across the entire model range.
In conjunction with a new, more focused driving position, retuned front and rear suspension systems, revised Electric Power Steering and a newly developed Sport mode for its advanced, all-wheel drive, Integrated Dynamic Drive System give the new RAV4 greater stability and agility on both wet and dry roads for a more engaging driving experience.