2019 Toyota RAV4 Cruiser
2019 Toyota RAV4 Cruiser

Toyota’s new RAV4 brings breakthrough tech

TOYOTA is betting big on hybrid with its new RAV4, estimating that petrol-electric versions could represent up to 50 per cent of sales.

Six of the 11 versions of the mid-size SUV will be hybrid.

Toyota Australia vice president of sales and marketing Sean Hanley says the brand has set an "ultra conservative" target of 40 per cent for hybrids but the figure may be higher initially as early adopters opt for petrol-electric.

Hanley says the trend to hybrids is gaining momentum. "There is a distinct shift happening in that market. This is the movement. It's happening," he says.

Hybrid models represent 30 per cent of Corolla deliveries and 60 per cent of Camry orders. Toyota has sold more than 100,000 hybrid cars in Australia since the first Prius arrived in 2001.

The cheapest RAV4 hybrid costs $35,140 plus on-roads, $2500 more than the equivalent petrol automatic model.

Toyota is finally bringing a hybrid RAV4 to Australia.
Toyota is finally bringing a hybrid RAV4 to Australia.

All-wheel drive comes with a $3000 premium. The cheapest all-wheel drive hybrid, the GX Hybrid, is $38,140 plus on-roads, an increase of $3650 compared to the base AWD version of the outgoing model

The new RAV4 range has three engine options. In base petrol form, the 2.0-litre four-cylinder (127kW/203Nm) drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission and claims 6.5L/100km.

Hybrid versions combine a 2.5-litre (131kW/221Nm) and an 88kW electric motor. For front-drivers, total peak output is 160kW and thirst is 4.7L/100km. AWD hybrids add a 40kW electric motor on the rear axle for combined output of 163kW and thirst of 4.8L/100km.

Both hybrids feature an electronic CVT auto.

The new RAV4 features bold styling.
The new RAV4 features bold styling.

The range-topping RAV4 Edge uses a 2.5-litre (152kW/243Nm) to drive all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic. Diesel power has been dropped for good.

For buyers on a budget, the base manual model is $30,640 plus on-roads, automatic adding $2000. That puts it middle-of-the road for pricing, undercutting the Mazda CX-5 and Ford Escape while costing more than a Honda CR-V or Hyundai Tucson.

The mid-spec GXL petrol costs $150 more than before.

Standard kit for the entry-level GX includes 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, seven airbags and a range of driver aids including autonomous emergency braking, active cruise control and lane keeping assistance.

Toyota will add Apple CarPlay later this year.
Toyota will add Apple CarPlay later this year.

Also standard is an eight-inch infotainment screen with satnav and reversing camera. Apple CarPlay arrives as a free update in the fourth quarter of the year.

For an extra $3000, GXL grade gets 18-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, smart keys, wireless phone charging and leather trim for the steering wheel and gear selector.

The Cruiser sits $3500 upstream from the GXL, adding bigger wheels, power tailgate, JBL audio, leather trim, moonroof, larger digital driver's display and more.

At $47,140 plus on-roads, the Edge gets active drive modes, hill descent control, tougher-looking body add-ons and faux leather cabin.

The RAV4 is backed by a five-year warranty, extended to seven years for the engine and transmission if log book servicing is completed - even outside the Toyota network.

Regular maintenance costs $210 every 12 months or 12,000km.