Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Toyota have released a brand new hybrid car, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid! Way back in 1994, Toyota launched the original RAV4. This brought with it a new kind of car that could go anywhere and it had the rugged stance of an SUV. While it had the compact look of a hatchback. It made it’s own lane.

This spirit is also witnessed in this brand new version of the RAV4,  the fifth generation of the RAV4. It brings with it a brand new era of performance, capability and safety. Furthermore the advances are underpinned by the first use of Toyota’s new GA-K platform in an SUV.

The RAV4 has a low centre of gravity and an increased body rigidity. The new RAV4’s platform has superior handling, ride comfort and spacious interior. It also has an eye catching design with a lower roof/bonnet lines with higher ground clearance. While the cabin has more space and comfort with a fantastic finish throughout.


RAV4 offers a self charging and hybrid powertrain, the new 2.5-litre petrol hybrid Dynamic Force engine, offering 215bhp in front-wheel drive form and 219bhp with all-wheel drive. Which in turn brings with it a responsiveness and efficiency with best in class fuel economy and emission levels.

Furthermore the all wheel drive system allows the SUV to “drive on any road”. The hybrid electric AWD-i system has been re- engineered and enhanced to provide much stronger performance in challenging conditions. It also allows for secure handling on slippery surfaces.

Additionally the RAV4 is the first Toyota model to benefit from the Toyota Safety Sense that extend the use of advanced technologies to help prevent accidents. Providing greater driver assistance and a degree of automated driving functionality.


The foundation of the new RAV4’s dynamic qualities is the all-new TNGA GA-K platform.

This allows the car to have the strength of a low centre of gravity, lightweight and a strong, rigid and balanced chassis that delivers exceptional handling, stability and driver rewards.

This gives a really fun drive and enables a great design, both inside and outside of the car. Furthermore it brings with it an enhanced safety performance and comfort for everyone.

Every component has been made lighter and located lower down in the vehicle. Even the engine and the seats. Brining with it an incredibly low center of gravity. The platform brings with it a 57% increase in the body rigidity. This allows for a stable flat ride with incredible handling.

The GA-K platform defines the “confident and natural” driving quality that Toyota has sought for this new model. A confident driving feeling is due to the car not reacting adversely to disturbances and communicating a sense of stability. Natural driving feelins is due to the car reacting naturally to what the driver is doing.


The TNGA GA-K platform was beneficial to the designers of the new RAV4, as they wanted to give the SUV a strong character and style which helped to set it apart from other models in the SUV market.

Many standardised parts that have been implemented “under the skin” has helped to simplify the development process. This helped to give designers more time to create the look both inside and out.

The impactful look of the new RAV4 is helped by raising the ground clearance and using large diameter wheels (up to 18inch) which helps to make the car suitable whatever the use.

Inside the car is characterised by high sensory quality such as soft touch surfaces on the dashboard and door panels. Switchgear is new, with cleanly integrated buttons and pleasingly tactile controls. For example the button/dial to adjust the air conditioning.


The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is a brand new 2.5L Hybrid Dynamic force engine. It combines fuel and emissions efficiency with a quiet operation and more power and greater responsiveness.

The full system maximum output of 219bhp/163 kW in the all-wheel drive model (215bhp/160 kW with front-wheel drive) compares to 195bhp/145kW for the fourth generation model. The SUV can also accelerate from rest to 62mph takes just 8.1 seconds (FWD model).

The self charging hybrid system used in the RAV4 is the 4th generation of the tech and will deliver multiple benefits. The power control unit and the nickel-metal hydride battery are now more compact and lighter in weight. The transaxle and transmission have also been engineered to reduce electrical and mechanical losses. The battery in the RAV4 is also 11% lighter and transmission losses are reduced by 25%.

The new 4th generation system also makes great use of the new 2.5l Hybrid Dynamic Force engine, allowing for fuel consumption and emissions that is best in class.

Performance has been improved with better acceleration from stationary, improved efficiency at higher speeds, overall smoother and more linear acceleration and better control when decelerating.


Toyota is also improving it’s AWD-i (Intelligent all wheel drive technology) to deliver enhanced performance, capabilities and control in all driving conditions.  Allowing to set itself apart as it has impressive on and off road performance. As it has fantastic and secure cornering performance and grip in all conditions.

RAV4 Hybrid with significantly enhanced electric AWD-i system

The AWD-i system will help give better fuel economy in urban driving, quieter performance at high speeds and better traction in slippery conditions. The system, compared to mechanical AWD systems is more compact and lighter, which gives a better fuel consumption.

The electric AWD-i system automatically optimises the torque ratio depending on the driving conditions. This will provide improved handling, stability and off-road performance, particularly in faithful line tracing through bends in slippery conditions, giving the driver a strong, confidence-inspiring feeling of all four wheels being in good contact with the road.

AWD Integrated Management

Furthermore the Toyota RAV4’s all wheel drive performance is further improved due to the AWD Integrated Management (AIM). This system will automatically adjusts different vehicle systems. The steering assist, brake and throttle control, shift pattern and drive torque distribution – according to the drive mode selected.

The driver can switch from Normal to Eco or Sport mode. When choosing Sport mode, AIM modifies the steering assist, throttle control shift schedule and drive torque distribution to gain better on-road performance.

Greater “escape” capability with Trail Mode

This new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is so capable in many different conditions because of the new automatic limited slip differential control, Trail Mode.

Trail Mode helps to ensure best possible grip and control on low grip surfaces. The system will also provide valuable assistance when in challenging off road conditions.

The new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid will, once the Trail Mode has been activated via a button on the centre console. The free rotating wheel (if a wheel has lost contact with the ground on uneven terrain) can be braked and drive torque directed to the grounded wheel. The Throttle control and the transmission shift pattern will be adapted to help the driver keep the vehicle moving.


Equipment specifications for the new RAV4 demonstrate how Toyota continues to apply technologies to deliver useful innovations in safety, comfort and everyday practicality.

Features that are available as standard or as options, according to model grade, include a power-operated panoramic roof, smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated seats and up to five USB ports around the cabin for the connection or charging of multiple devices.

The new RAV4 offers generous equipment specifications across its range in Europe, with all models equipped as standard with the latest iteration of Toyota Safety Sense and an E call emergency contact function.

Second generation Toyota Safety Sense

Toyota first introduced the Toyota Safety Sense in 2015. To date, more than 10 million new vehicles have benefited from the Toyota Safety Sense. The system helps provide the driver means of avoiding collisions or mitigating the effects of an accident by warning the driver, preparing safety systems for optimum operation and, if necessary, triggering automatic braking or steering assistance.

Toyota have continued to build upon the system and move towards their goal of 0 road accident fatalities and injuries. The second generation of the Toyota Safety Sense is making its debut in all models of the new Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

It features a single lense camera and millimetre wave radar. These will both expand the scope of hazard detection and functionality. Furthermore the unit has been made smaller, giving the driver a wider field of vision.

Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection

Second generation Toyota Safety Sense includes upgraded versions of the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Road Sign Assist and Automatic High Beam. It also introduces Lane Tracing Assist, which provides more advanced driving support.

The Pre-Collision System as been improved to allow the vehicles to detect pedestrians in low light driving as well as daylight. The system has also added the capability to detect and recognise bicycles in the vehicles path, at various speeds between 6 and 50mph in daylight.

In terms of vehicles the system can determine collision risks at speeds between 0 and 112mph. The vehicle will calculate if a collision is imminent the driver will be alerated and prepare the brakes (Pre-Collision Brake Assist). While if the driver doesn’t act on the warnings, the Autonomous Emergency Braking will trigger. This will reduce the vehicle speed by up to 25mph. Which could potentially stop the car and avoid an impact.

Adaptive Cruise Control System

An all new intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control System can work in conjunction with the Toyota RAV4’s Road Sign Assist System. When the car is travelling at a constant, pre-set speed, iACC can recognise new speed limits on major roads and let the driver adjust the speed to keep within the limit, simply by using switches on the steering wheel. While the system itself has been improved to recognise a wider range of road signs. Presenting the information on the drivers multi-informational display.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a new Lane Tracing Assist function, this provides the driver with a degree of automated driving support. The system will monitor line markings on motorways and principal routes and apply steering assist to keep the car within it’s lane (when traveling at speeds above 31mph). Allowing to reduce the collision risk and burden on the driver when making long motorway journeys.

Both the Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Tracing Assist systems work together in slow stopgo traffic to help track the vehicle ahead within the traffic lane. Helping to maintain a safe distance and at speed. While bringing the vehicle to a halt when necessary. Furthermore moving off seamlessly when traffic resumes. Helping to relieve the driver of stress when driving in slow moving traffic. Helping to reduce the risk of low speed rear end collisions.

The Lane Departure Alert and Steering assist has been vastly improved to recognise road margins on straight roads when there is no lane markings. If it is difficult for the system to detect lane’s, for example in heavy traffic, the system will track the path of the vehicle ahead using the camera and radar. In combination with the LTA, it will provide corrective steering operation when lane departure without the driver’s intention is detected.

Dynamic grade

The Dynamic grade stands out with its bi-tone paint finish, striking a contrast between the bodywork colour (a choice of four) and a gloss black roof, plus projector LED headlights and black 18-inch alloys. In the cabin, sports-style seats, a black headlining and blue trim accents further emphasise the car’s distinctive quality. Options and accessories are available so owners can equip their RAV4 to perfectly meet their lifestyle preferences.

Panoramic View Monitor plus JBL audio system, panoramic roof

There are a range of premium features available on the all new RAV4. Such as a Panoramic View Monitor. This will provide drivers with a real-time 360-degree view of the area immediately around the vehicle. As well as a bird’s eye view from above.

This can be of use to drivers when they are off road. As you are able to better negotiate tricky terrain, help manoeuvring in confined spaces, helping to see hazards outside of driver’s line of sight.

The RAV4 can also come with a JBL premium audio system. While, it has been tailor made for the new RAV4. It provides you with concert sound quality in it’s 9 speaker architecture. The system features JBL’s signature horn tweeters, a powerful new subwoofer and an amplifier with Clari- FiTM music restoration technology.

While, you are also able to have an optional opening panoramic sunroof.

Connected Services

On the new RAV4 connected services have been introduced.

The services (alongside the roll-out convenience and peace of mind features from 2019) include: Last Mile Guidance, Send to Car Navigation, Find my Car, Driving Analytics and Maintenance Reminder.


While, the new RAV4 is available in four equipment grades, Icon, Design, Dynamic and Excel, offering a wealth of comfort, convenience and technology features that meet the requirements and preferences of today’s SUV customers.

So, at the entry point to the range, the RAV4 Icon is available exclusively with front-wheel drive. The standard features include: –

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Front fog lights
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Dusk-sensing headlights
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Push-button start
  • Roof rails
  • Parabola LED headlights
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Electronic parking brake
  • Power-adjustable heated door mirrors with auto-folding function
  • Toyota Touch 2 with eight-inch multimedia touchscreen
  • Smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Seven-inch colour TFT driver’s multi-information display
  • DAB
  • Toyota Safety Sense 2
  • eCall
  • Rear-view camera

Design Model

While, the Design model can be specified with front or all-wheel drive and adds features including: –

  • 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels
  • Smart Entry
  • Power back door
  • Front parking sensors

Excel Model

So the Excel model extends the Design specification with: –

  • Projector LED headlights
  • Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Power-adjustable heated door mirrors with auto-folding function and puddle lights
  • Heated front seats
  • Driver’s seat with power slide adjustment and lumbar support and memory function
  • Full leather seat upholstery
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Headlight cleaners
  • Windscreen wiper de-icer (front)

So, the options for the RAV4 Excel are a nine-speaker JBL premium sound system, packaged with a Panoramic View Monitor, and an opening panoramic roof (this choice replaces the spare wheel with a tyre repair kit).

Striking a more sporting appearance, the RAV4 Dynamic adopts (further to the Design specification): –

  • Black five-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Heated front sports seats
  • Bi-tone metallic paint
  • Black interior headlining
  • Projector LED headlights
  • Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Power door mirrors with auto-folding function and puddle lights
  • Driver’s seat with power slide adjustment and lumbar support

The same options are available as for the Excel grade.

Customers can choose from a range of nine exterior colours, including new Urban Khaki, Cyan Splash, Obsidian Blue and Galaxy Black. Metallic paint and a bi-tone finish are included in the standard specification of the Dynamic models, combining a black roof and pillars with White Pearl, Silver Blade, Decuma Grey or Obsidian Blue bodywork. On Excel models, the leather upholstery can be specified in black, grey or beige.


Yoshikazu Saeki joined Toyota in 1987, he has taken many key important roles in the development of the Toyota Avalon, Camry and the Lexus brand.

As recently he has been involved in Toyota’s expansion globally. While, bringing his talents and experience to develop new technologies, platforms and models.

Saeki said of the new RAV4:

“The RAV4 has held a strong market presence since its introduction 25 years ago. It has gained a loyal following the world over, continually evolving to respond to changing customer needs. For the new RAV4, we set out to create a product that appeals to the next generation of customers.

“The first thing we considered was how we could redefine RAV4’s product value. We addressed the fundamental reason for its being and thought about how we could create an SUV that can withstand the test of time – one that can last for the next 25 years.

“It is never easy to create a new concept in such a strictly segmented and increasingly competitive market. We needed to deliver a ‘wow’ factor to customers, inspire them with a vehicle that has exceptional presence and highlight the benefits of owning it. These were the foundations on which we developed the fifth generation RAV4.

“Since the first generation model, there have been two over-arching views of the RAV4 – ‘driving performance suited to any road’ and a ‘user-friendly interior suited to any situation’. It was my mission to evolve these views.

“This means the RAV4 should have a strong presence and reliable toughness on any road while offering a stress-free driving experience for driver and passengers.


“At the very beginning of the design process we thought about how best to evolve the original concept. This led us to the new concept of Adventure and Refinement. Adventure sends out a simple, strong message that drivers can drive anywhere they want, expressing waku-doki – the equivalent of ‘heart-pumping excitement’ in Japanese. Refinement is expressed in a sophisticated design that fits in with an urban setting.

“Combining these contrasting elements enhances the new RAV4’s unique value. Furthermore, its wide stance, large tyres and raised ground clearance create a strong image which are further emphasised by the polygon design theme and the vehicle’s multipurpose capabilities. Just looking at the new RAV4 triggers the urge to get in and go somewhere.

“Where vehicle performance, handling and stability are concerned, we defined the key concept as ‘Confident and Natural’ – with the driver’s sensibilities at the heart of everything. As a team we put great effort into improving the driving experience by focusing on enhancing tyre-to-ground contact, stable and natural cornering and smooth, responsive driving.

“We’ve improved the RAV4’s performance to meet the demands of any road. Whereas a conventional SUV suspension makes for an uncomfortable, unresponsive ride in off-road conditions, the RAV4 provides saloon-like comfort and an enjoyable ride.”

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