Improved specs and looks for Toyota RAV4

Toyota's compact SUV has been upgraded for the new model year with added safety and features

Toyota has announced a raft of changes to its popular entrant in the compact SUV segment, the RAV4.

Chief among the changes are new safety features, but the RAV4 also gains additional comfort and convenience features, and benefits from a mild facelift.

To enhance passive safety, all variants in the RAV4 range are now equipped as standard with active headrests. A driver's knee airbag is also standard across most of the range and is an option for the entry-level four-cylinder CV variants. This item can also be specified as part of an option pack, comprising side-impact airbags mounted in the front seats, side curtain airbags to protect front and rear-seat occupants and dual-zone climate control.

On the active safety front, the entire RAV4 range is now fitted as standard with switchable stability control (VSC), traction control and Hill-start Assist Control. Automatic transmission variants add to that list Downhill Assist Control.

An electro-chromatic mirror is now standard for ZR6 and four-cylinder Cruiser L variants, with auto-on/off headlights featuring as standard on the RAV4 Cruiser, Cruiser L, SX6 and ZR6 models. Climate control is a new addition to the RAV4 CX6 specification. All variants have adopted new front air registers for passenger and driver, plus instrument faces that are easier to read.

The upgraded RAV4 range can be picked by new alloy wheel designs, with a five-spoke wheel replacing the previous six-spoke wheel fitted to RAV4 Cruiser and Cruiser L. For the V6-powered SX6 and ZR6 variants, it's the reverse; new six-spoke wheels replace the five-spoke jobs fitted on the superseded models.

Also serving to distinguish the new RAV4 range from the old, headlights, front fog lights, the radiator grille, bumpers (front and rear) and the tail lights have all come in for a restyle, with the exterior mirrors also incorporating the indicators for the first time. Three new colours are introduced with the upgraded model range: Graphite, Sandstone and Liquid Bronze.

Toyota has left prices for most RAV4 variants where they were, but has raised the price of the SX6 variant by $1000 and reduced the prices of the four-cylinder Cruiser models by $500.

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Published : Friday, 17 October 2008
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