Pensioners, housewives, unconcerned fishermen, keen travellers, office clerks, middle managers... The current RAV4 is being driven by everyone, and everyone is pulling their weight. "There's no pleasing everyone," Toyota decided. "If we're going to make a crossover, let it be like the big SUVs!" And we did. In truth, they could not refrain from adding a little bit of Camry and Lexus.
Designers of RAV4, it seems, have really been finally dissolved - in the sense, not in houses, but emotionally and documentary. How else to explain that the concept FT-AC shown last year turned out almost an exact copy of a serial model? Yes, with such approach now it will hardly be possible to get housewives in RAV4 - but almost all other "target groups" would hardly be unsatisfied. Well and eye of fans of gloss and luster Japanese try to please with external furnish, which, however, dissonant a little with an image of "conqueror of space".
There was a video here, it will appear soon!
Bright image is accompanied by logical transition of the model to new GA-K platform of TNGA architecture: this is just the thing that connects RAV4 with Camry, and at the same time with Avalon and Lexus ES. However, it does not mean absolutely technical affinity - simply the cars are scaled by a similar principle. There is 13 centimeters less space between axles than in Camry, but 3 centimeters more than in old RAV4 - 2,690 millimeters.
Telling the truth, geometry here is somewhat unconventional: usually manufacturers report increase of wheelbase in parallel with general length and increase of stock for passengers and luggage at the same time. Here everything is non-linear in Japanese way. The base has become 3 centimeters more and overall length is 5 millimeters less. The rear overhang is 30 millimeters shorter and the boot is 79 litres bigger (626 litres). Ground clearance is 15 millimeters more, and the gap between the driver's buttocks and the road is the same as it was: the seat is lowered by the same 15 millimeters. Fortunately, not all figures are so dissimilar: the body stiffness has been increased by 57% with high-strength steels - and there is nothing to counter it.
One can only add to the increase in body stiffness an idea that has become one of the leitmotifs of car development in recent times. "This phrase sounds from lips of Toyoda-san himself, and the company not only develops new Supra together with BMW, but also adjusts new serial automobiles for this business. Certainly, RAV4 has not become any driver's automobile - but general values like the same rigidity of a body, lowered centre of gravity and weight distribution, which could settle in 51:49, have not prevented anybody yet, including lack of roads. And at the same time, the electric booster motor was moved in new RAV4 from a steering tube to a rack (the tendency is rather popular - so, for example, operate in Hyundai and Kia) to make the response and feedback more transparent and exact. In general, there is still a long way to go to the same Camry, but there is a sense in the work done.
Suspension has not undergone radical changes: McPherson in front, independent scheme with double transversal levers in back. Behind only revised attachment points of trailing arms and changed shock absorbers' scheme: now they are more upright. In general, the suspension is a little bit softer: according to Japanese, it is the merit of notorious increase of rigidity of the body and reduction of centre of gravity.
The list of power units causes moderate optimism: the number of European variants included a two-liter motor with a couple with a variator or a mechanics, and in the list of American ones - 2.5-liter engine with a new eight-speed automatic instead of six-speed one. Against this background, it is possible not to worry that the basic rate both there and there is made on the hybrid version combining 2,5-liter petrol motor with an electric motor and a variator. It really has a promising full drive system with a separate electric motor on the back axis that adds torque to back wheels if necessary. However, also "usual" variant with a multidisc clutch of a drive of rear wheels usually gives enough confidence to its owners.
Toyota RAV4 three quarters
Well it's the non-hybrid cars that are sure to come to us: the pair of the two-litre 3ZR-FE and the variator have obviously undergone minimal changes, but the 2.5-litre motor is new. It is the unit from the family Dynamic Force - its two-liter relative is installed, for example, on Lexus UX. Here, we would remind you that the engine has high thermal efficiency of 40%, combined injection (distributed plus direct) and optimized scavenging of cylinders due to change of angle between intake and exhaust valves, increase of diameter of the valves themselves and also more gentle intake channel. But with all this the engine is atmospheric - and for the majority of buyers it will be more simple and important argument, than some fine tuning of intake and injection. And the unequivocally unpleasant news for many will be the promised disappearance of the diesel: Toyota is abandoning them in the passenger car range, just up to and including the RAV4.
Toyota RAV4 three quarters
Well, never mind, let's speak better about good things - about interior, for example. Here it is not so riot of forms, as outside, but originality has been added - though, unfortunately, we could not do without hackneyed decisions like protruding tablet on the top of the forward panel. However, it has allowed logically dividing blocks of climate and multimedia: a touchscreen with buttons and controls on sides on top, and the climate system with huge "knobs" of temperature control on the bottom. And also - move over, Camry - now there is a control of a microclimate on back row too! Well, I mean not a three-zoned climate system, but air deflectors on the central tunnel - and that's good, there were none before. Well, materials of trimming are though and dissimilar, but modern (in the sense of presence of fashionable pseudo-stitching) and as a whole pleasant.
Having dealt with impressions, it remains only to wait. And not just wait for start of sales - and almost with hundred-percent probability of the moment when assembly of new RAV4 will be adjusted at Toyota's plant in St. Petersburg. And taking into account this and the fact that even European and American buyers will see the first cars only by the end of this year, it seems that we will have to wait until spring, and even summer of 2019.