Let The RAV olution Commence

Wednesday, 10th April 2013

It seems you can’t navigate through the concrete jungle (or an organic one for that matter!) these days without coming across a compact SUV of some sorts. This shouldn’t come as a surprise - in 1994 Toyota kick-started the cross-over revolution with the very first RAV4.

Launched as a compact three-door model measuring just 3,69 metres in length, the original RAV was a radically different animal to what was then on offer in the form of traditional 4x4s. It featured a small engine mounted transversally within a monocoque bodyshell, and boasted an all-round independent suspension. The compact SUV market was born and the RAV success story continues... Available in over 150 countries, a recording-breaking three generations of RAV4 have sold more than 4.5 million units since launch. In South Africa we have more than 15 vehicles that can lay claim to the title ‘compact SUV’, but it’s worth remembering that it was Toyota that pioneered this segment.

Glenn Crompton, Vice President of Marketing, is upbeat about the newcomer: “Now in its fourth iteration, Toyota has put its superior experience to good use in the all-new 2013 RAV4. It has evolved both stylistically and dynamically; not only does it sport dramatic lines and a more mature interior, but it also offers a more engaging driving experience i.e. it blends all the best bits from its predecessors and adds a pleasing quality twist to proceedings while retaining the original model’s commitment to fun.”


  • Sophisticated, dynamic and bold exterior with signature Toyota design elements
  • Improved aerodynamic performance for greater handling stability, a reduction in wind noise and enhanced fuel efficiency

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

The new model has a 25mm lower roofline than the third generation RAV4; it’s 30mm wider and boasts a significant 100mm 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 muscular exterior stylishly interprets the signature elements of the new Toyota frontal design language:

  • The stylish narrow grille central with chrome horizontal trim bar visually extending into the headlamp clusters;
  • The large trapezoidal lower opening below the grille finished in black resin, flanked by integral foglamp housings (foglamps standard on 2.2 & 2.5);
  • The now-familiar Keen Look (feline-eyed) headlamps incorporating LED Daytime Running Light (DRL) detailing.

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.

Innovative, Higher Quality Interior Design

  • Elegant, ergonomic interior styling featuring high quality materials, soft padding and Clear Blue instrument back-lighting
  • Revised driving position for improved ergonomics, better forward visibility and a more engaging driving experience

The interior is where most drivers will find the bar significantly raised. Not only is the dash and center stack more modern and attractive to the touch, the interior cabin has more space.

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

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

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.

Greater Space and Versatility

Though retaining the compact exterior dimensions essential to manoeuvrability, the new RAV4’s overall increase in length of 205mm (vs short wheel base without spare wheel carrier on the rear gate) and its increase in wheelbase length of 100mm 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 970mm. 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 length of the loadspace has increased to 1,025mm, raising luggage capacity to a class-leading 547 litres 


  • Widest and most efficient engine line-up yet for the new RAV4, averaging an 11% reduction in CO2 emissions across the range
  • Choice of front- or all-wheel drive, 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic and CVT (Multidrive S) transmissions

In response to the continuing evolution of the compact SUV market and the demand for ever greater fuel and emissions efficiency, the new RAV4 offers customers a wider engine line-up than ever before. The new RAV4’s comprehensive range offers an unmatched balance between outstanding, front- and four-wheel drive performance and class-leading CO2 emissions in all petrol and diesel variants.

The powertrain line-up now comprises a 107kW 2.0 litre Valvematic petrol engine in two-wheel drive format mated to a choice of 6-speed manual or Multidrive S (Toyota’s highly-advanced Continuously Variable Transmission system) transmissions; a 110kW 2.2 litre D-4D diesel engine teamed up with a six-speed manual and the all-wheel drive capabilities of Toyota’s AWD System; and a 132kW 2.5 litre VVT-i petrol unit married to an all-new six-speed automatic transmission and AWD. Every engine in this new line-up benefits from reductions in CO2emissions, averaging some 11% across the range.






CO2 (g/km)

2.0 Valvematic

107 / 6200




2.0 Valvematic

107 / 6200


Multidrive S


2.2 D-4D

110 / 3600




2.5 VVT-i

132 / 6000






  • Substantial NVH reduction measures through new Engine Bay Barrier design concept for better cabin quietness
  • Two model grades and a comprehensive list of standard equipment


Low NVH measures

The new RAV4 incorporates a substantial range of measures to suppress the transmission of noise and vibration into the cabin, resulting in increased quietness for all occupants. Under a new engine bay barrier design concept, extensive improvements have been made to the sound proofing qualities of the dashboard, dashboard inner and outer silencers, the cowl insulator and the bonnet insulator, reducing the transmission of engine noise to the cabin.

Additional sound-proofing materials have been optimally positioned throughout the new RAV4. They include foamed material introduced within cabin pillars, as well as the door sill and head sections, to minimise the transmission of noise through the bodyshell. Both a spray-application underfloor damping material and front and rear fender liners reduce the transmission of noise.

Noise has been reduced by the adoption of an acoustic windscreen which features an additional layer of acoustic film to reduce noise transmission. The aerodynamic shaping of the door mirrors further reduces wind noise.

Various measures have been also been adopted to reduce the transmission of vibration to the cabin. Body panels that generate noise have been identified and fitted with vibration damping materials, front and rear suspension mounting points have been stiffened, and the shape of the steering knuckles optimised to improve the vibration characteristics of the front suspension and reduce road noise.


Two Trim Levels

The new RAV4’s trim levels (GX and VX) offer a generous sliding scale of kit. GX models are anything but spartan thanks to exterior features such as standard roof rails, 17” alloys, and Daytime Running Lights (DRL). The only external differentiator between the 2.0-litre models and the 2.2 D-4D is the addition of integrated foglamps for the latter. Step up to the flagship VX and you gain a chrome insert in the front bumper, front and rear mud flaps, power retractable side mirrors, a moon roof with tilt and slide function, and High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with cleaning system.

Move indoors and the high spec count continues. Standard fare on offer on the GX models includes power windows, remote central locking, manual climate control, touch-screen Multi Information Display incorporating a stereo system, steering controls, retractable tonneau cover with net barrier and rear Park Distance Control (PDC) to name just a few of the features.

The VX grade tops up with full leather upholstery, electrically adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, front seat heaters, automatic dual-zone climate control, a reversing camera display, a powered tailgate with memory function, cruise control and a keyless entry system (Smart Entry).


The new RAV4 builds on the high standards of occupant safety and pedestrian impact protection evolved over three generations of the compact Toyota SUV, with even higher levels of active and passive safety. With an impact absorbing, multi-load-path body construction designed to help provide occupant protection, the new RAV4 has been engineered to achieve a 5-Star rating in the 2013 Euro NCAP crash test programme.

The new Toyota SUV is equipped with a new, whiplash injury reducing seat design, and seven airbags are fitted as standard, including a driver’s knee airbag and twin-chamber front seat side airbags.

Active safety systems include ABS with EBD, BA, VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) and TRC (Traction Control), and all-wheel drive models are equipped, as standard, with VSC+, which integrates VSC and the vehicle’s Electric Power Steering (EPS)


A high percentage of RAV4 customers appreciate the breadth of customisation possibilities currently offered by Toyota’s compact SUV. Sold through the official dealer network, a complete range of accessories will be available from the launch of the new car.

These range from floor mats and trunk liners to front guards (incorporating an integrated silver underguard) and detachable towbars. Integrated Satellite Navigation is available as a dealer-fit option (involves software and hardware upgrades) for under R9 000.


-       RAV4 2.0 2WD GX 6-spd manual  R279 900 (incl. VAT)

-       RAV4 2.0 2WD GX CVT R289 900 (incl. VAT)

-       RAV4 2.2 D-4D AWD GX 6-spd manual R359 900 (incl. VAT)

-       RAV4 2.5 AWD VX 6-spd auto R399 900 (incl. VAT)

The new RAV4 benefits from a three year/100,000km warranty and comes with a standard five-year/ 90 000 km service plan. The new models are also supported by the ToyotaCare Roadside Assistance Programme which entitles customers to 24-hour roadside assistance, ensuring ultimate peace-of-mind motoring.


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