Brussels, Belgium,

2013 The new Toyota RAV4: Design

  • All-new, sophisticated, dynamic and strong exterior with signature Toyota design elements and elegant, ergonomic interior styling
  • Improved aerodynamic performance for greater handling stability, a reduction in wind noise and enhanced fuel efficiency
  • Innovative interior design with high quality materials and trim, extensive soft padding and Clear Blue instrument back-lighting
  • Revised driving position for improved ergonomics, better forward visibility and a more engaging driving experience
  • Greater space and versatility with best-in-class couple distance, greater rear seat comfort and increased luggage capacity

Sophisticated, Dynamic and Strong Exterior Design

205 mm longer than its predecessor (without spare wheel carrier on the rear gate) at 4,570 mm overall, the fourth generation of Toyota's compact, versatile SUV showcases an all-new silhouette that emphasises its versatility, roominess, sporting character and improved dynamic capabilities.

The new model is 25 mm lower than the third generation RAV4, 30 mm wider, boasts a significant, 100 mm increase in wheelbase length, yet still delivers a class-leading turning circle of only 10.6 metres, ensuring good manoeuvrability and ease to drive in urban traffic.

The all-new exterior combines the sophisticated, stylish signature elements of the new Toyota frontal design language with clean, aesthetics and the muscular image of durability expected from a vehicle with its class-leading four-wheel drive credentials.

The new face of Toyota combines the company's Under Priority grille design with Keen Look headlamp and LED Daytime Running Light (DRL) detailing to give the new SUV a powerful, more dynamic and agile-looking road presence.

The Under Priority design features a large, trapezoidal lower opening within the front bumper, and a smaller upper grille running full width between the new headlamps.

Projecting forward from the centre of the sweeping bonnet line, the Toyota badge dominates the upper grille, which features a central, chrome-plated horizontal trim bar visually extended into the headlamp clusters to accentuate the width of the vehicle.

The horizontal, chrome—plated trim bar flows into an 'eyebrow' form within narrow, purposeful headlamp clusters, combining with new, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) and projector lamps positioned at the very extremities of the vehicle to create the distinctive Toyota Keen Look glare and a unique visual signature for the new RAV4.

Flanked by integral foglamp housings, the trapezoidal form of the large lower bumper opening is emphasised by a contrasting black resin finish.

In profile, the new RAV4 inherits the combination of space-efficient packaging, rising belt-line and distinctive silhouette that has hallmarked successive generations of Toyota's compact SUV.

Above a more pronounced belt-line, blacked out B and C pillars emphasise the lengthened glasshouse and the vehicle's interior roominess. Below, the contrast of convex body surfacing and sharply concave treatment to the pronounced wheel arches and door sills brings added dynamism and strength to the new RAV4 silhouette.

To the rear, the cabin tapers strongly inwards, contrasting with the width of the lower body and creating muscular shoulders over the rear wheel arches to emphasis the vehicle's, stable, planted stance.

The increased strength of the belt-line and wheel arch shoulder at the rear of the car is further emphasised by a new rear combination lamp design which is generated by the proportions of the rear shoulder and flows around the corner of the vehicle to underscore the tailgate glazing.

Topped with an integral roof spoiler, the new tailgate itself is now top-hinged, and the rear gate mounted spare wheel has been removed to complete the new RAV4's cleaner, more aerodynamically efficient design.

The vehicle may be equipped with a choice of 17" or 18" wheels.

The new RAV4 will be available in a choice of nine body colours, including 3 new to the model range: Greyish Blue, Green and Black.

Improved Aerodynamic Performance

The new RAV4 has been styled using an 'Air Management' design approach for improved aerodynamics. This results in greater handling stability and enhanced fuel efficiency.

Front and rear aerocorners, and aerodynamically optimised wheel caps and door mirrors minimise turbulence and stabilise airflow along the sides of the body. Based on advanced, Formula 1 technology, 'Sakana' fins located on the door mirror bases and rear combination lamps accelerate airflow along the body, enhancing vehicle stability and control.

The cabin has been tapered towards the rear, and the angles of the rear screen, roofline and its integral spoiler have been optimised to stabilise airflow over the upper body, further minimising turbulence and reducing drag.

Cabin quietness- and stability-enhancing air management measures to the underbody are equally comprehensive. They include front and rear wheel spats, an engine undercover, numerous floor undercovers, a fuel tank protector, rear suspension lower arm covers and a rear undercover.

In conjunction with the new RAV4's reduced frontal projection, these aerodynamic improvements to several aspects of the bodyshell have lowered the vehicle's coefficient of drag to just Cd 0.31.

Innovative, Higher Quality Interior Design

Combining a spacious, comfortable cabin with a cockpit-like driver's environment, the all-new interior design builds on the RAV4's inherent practicality with greater roominess, higher quality finishes and a more focused, engaging SUV driving experience.

The dynamic, bold architecture of the new dashboard features powerful, upper and lower horizontal beams which emphasise the new cabin's spacious, open atmosphere. Rooted in the transmission tunnel, a curved, metal-finish spar interrupts the horizontal beams to frame the driver's instrument binnacle, steering wheel and footwell, reinforcing the new RAV4 interior's more driver-focused credentials.

The clean, sophisticated elegance of the new design is further strengthened by the use of high quality materials, soft padding in many areas of occupant contact, crisp trim finishes and new colours throughout.

The leading edge of the upper dashboard horizontal beam is trimmed with a metallic finish, whilst the lower beam takes the form of a sweeping, soft padded, synthetic leather clad panel, matched by identical treatment to the upper door panels.

Silver painted trim accents highlight the driver's instruments, air vents, centre console instruments and gear lever, and both door switch panels and the transmission tunnel are finished with simulated carbon-fibre panels.

All instrument and switchgear back-lighting is now a Clear Blue colour a crisp, cool after-dark illumination which brings sophistication and a powerful visual consistency to the new interior.

Based on a 'colour block' concept that has evolved from the current two-tone design, the instrument panel ornamentation, door trim and seats have been designed using colour combinations that highlight the shape and material of each element to bring greater strength and dynamism to the appearance of the interior.

Focused, Ergonomic Driving Position

In keeping with the more cockpit-like driver's environment, the driving position of the new RAV4 has been extensively revised for improved ergonomics, greater comfort, better forward visibility and a more engaging driving experience.

The driver's seat hip point has been lowered by 5 mm and downward seat height adjustment range has been increased by 15 mm to 30 mm. The steering wheel angle has been lowered by 2.3 degrees, and reach adjustment towards the driver increased by up to 38 mm.

The increased seat height adjustment range allows not only to reach a lower and more engaging driving position, but also, at the driver's choice, a higher driving position that improves the front visibility.

Combining greater comfort and holding performance with increased adjustability, the seat itself features a cushion contact area increase of 20 mm, a cushion angle raised by 2 degrees with the side bolster positioned relatively higher for improved support, a seatback contact area increase of 30 mm and taller, thicker side bolsters for improved lateral support.

Sports seats, fitted as standard on mid and high grades models, offer even greater levels of support.

Furthermore, the visible length of the bonnet has increased by 170 mm, enhancing driver visibility during low speed manoeuvring. The A pillars have been repositioned to a more outward location, increasing the driver's forward field of vision by 3 degrees, and the cross-sectional width of the pillars themselves has been reduced by 8%.

Greater Space and Versatility

Though retaining the compact exterior dimensions essential to manoeuvrability, the new RAV4's overall increase in length of 205 mm (vs short wheel base without spare wheel carrier on the rear gate) and its increase in wheelbase length of 100 mm equip it with significant additional interior space, bringing passenger roominess and loadspace up to a par with larger, D segment vehicles.

The front to rear seat couple distance has increased up to a best-in-class 970 mm. This, allied to a new, thinner front seatback design, makes generous rear seat accommodation one of the outstanding attributes of the new model.

The 60:40 split folding rear seats themselves have been made more comfortable, benefitting from a rise in cushion surface angle of 2 degrees and revised side bolsters for improved support.

The rear seats can be folded down almost flush with the loadspace floor without the need to remove any seat cushions or headrests.

The rear seats may be split 60:40 for maximum flexibility and each section can be reclined independently.

The length of the loadspace has increased to 1,025 mm, raising luggage capacity to 547 litres. Undertray storage has also increased by 51 litres from 49 to 100 litres (for versions equipped with a tyre repair kit).

The side-hung tailgate has been replaced by a top-hinged version, which may be equipped with power operation. At 645 mm (with repair kit or space-saver tyre), the new tailgate opening boasts a remarkable low loadspace lip height, as well as a wide aperture of 1,158 mm.