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Toyota launches fourth-generation of original crossover SUV – The 2013 RAV4
Toyota’s fourth-generation RAV4 arrives in January, a reinvention of the world’s original crossover sport utility vehicle. The new RAV4 offers balanced performance and capability, including great fuel efficiency, class-leading cargo capacity, striking design, and a compelling array of standard features. RAV4 is available in three trim levels: LE, XLE and Limited.
“RAV4 was the original crossover SUV, a design and engineering concept now widely adopted throughout the industry,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. “But RAV4 is the original, the first. For 2013, RAV4 is carefully tailored to the needs of the compact SUV market it created, with a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, a new six-speed automatic transmission, two-row seating for five and exceptional in-cabin technologies.”
New RAV4: Dynamic exterior, sleek roofline, aggressive character lines
The new RAV4’s design achieves strong proportions while conveying the agile and fun character. The dynamic exterior features a progressive silhouette, with a sleek-sloping roofline and an aggressive character line. The new RAV4’s interior has a premium look with soft-touch accents and driver-centric controls.
RAV4 pursues the design goals defined by Toyota President Akio Toyoda, with aggressively sculpted front and rear fenders, a low hood, the arc of the roofline and boldly proportioned taillights that define RAV4’s athletic presence.
In a significant break with its heritage, RAV4 will switch from its side-hinged rear door to a convenient roof-hinged liftgate with a space-saver spare tire stored under the cargo floor. Standard on the Limited grade will be a one-touch power rear liftgate with driver-selectable memory height settings.
As on other recently introduced Toyotas, RAV4 engineers paid special attention to aerodynamics, the most obvious detail being small vortex generators molded into the taillight cases and near the base of the A-pillars. Less obvious are the aerodynamic undertrays beneath the passenger cabin that help smooth and control airflow.
Halogen headlights with projector low beams give RAV4 a modern look, and provide outstanding illumination in an energy-efficient package. Brightness reduced, RAV4 high beams serve as Daytime Running Lights (DRL)that can be turned off. RAV4 XLE and Limited feature standard fog lamps that complement RAV4’s front architecture.
Following body engineering principles debuted in the 2012 Camry and 2013 Avalon, RAV4’s body structure includes high-strength steel to help achieve several significant goals, including a robust and stiff platform that enhances steering and handling precision, and a body structure that is both strong and light. RAV4 engineers used several grades of high-strength steel to form key structural components in the roof, rocker sills, floor, engine compartment and door frames. A strut tower bar links the top of the suspension strut towers to the main bulkhead at the rear of the engine, helping to increase torsional rigidity.
Spacious interior design, premium materials, class-leading cargo volume
RAV4’s “human factors” engineers and designers collaborated to create a versatile seating arrangement, class-leading cargo space, and a quiet interior with high levels of standard equipment.
RAV4’s dash panel and gauges all feature a new Clear Blue illumination, which provides crisp visibility in most ambient light conditions, and a unified, coherent appearance at night.
All RAV4’s will have driver and front passenger seats with high seatbacks and a slim back, enhancing rear-passenger knee room. The RAV4 LE and XLE driver’s seat is six-way adjustable, including seat height.
The RAV4 XLE driver and front passenger will ride in premium bucket seats with sport bolstering, providing ample support of the lower hips, lower torso and shoulders during cornering. The XLE will have premium fabric with French stitching on the seats and portions of the dash panels.
By Tom Fitton
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