The RAV4 is based on the TNGA platform and borrows design cues from the FT-AC concept
The RAV4 is Toyota’s offering in the mid-size SUV segment. It competes against the likes of the Honda CR-V and the Hyundai Tucson and, much like its competition, it has was always been designed as a 5-seat urban SUV. Toyota unveiled the latest generation of the SUV at the New York Auto Show 2018, and its exterior design, proportions and powertrain options make it quite an attractive package. So does it make sense for Toyota to launch it in India?
Pictured: Toyota FT-AC Concept
Starting out as a compact SUV, the RAV4 has not only grown a bit in terms of size but also looks a lot more aggressive than before. It shares a lot of design cues with the mean-looking FT-AC concept that Toyota revealed in 2017. The latest generation of the RAV4 is based on the TNGA-K (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform and has replaced its earlier crossover image with a much bolder styling. It now adorns the basics of a butch-looking SUV with elements such as a big front grille, square-shaped flared wheel arches and a chunky rear end.
Let’s take a look at the size chart to find out how it stacks up against its rivals.
2018 Toyota RAV4
2018 Honda CR-V
The Toyota RAV4 is almost as big as the new Honda CR-V that is set to be launched in India soon. And it’s bigger than both the Jeep Compass and the Hyundai Tucson as well. However, it doesn’t stand too high off the ground, and we hope that the ground clearance figures differ across markets.
In the US, the Toyota RAV4 comes with two powertrain options - a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine that produces 179PS of power and 233Nm of torque or the same engine coupled to the Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) for a total output of 194PS and 206Nm. While the petrol variant gets an 8-speed automatic transmission, the hybrid comes equipped with an eCVT automatic. Related: Toyota's Upcoming SUV For India – Will It Be The Rush, C-HR or FT-AC?
So why should Toyota bring the RAV4 to the Indian market?
Toyota’s two UV offerings in India - Fortuner and Innova Crysta - are best-sellers in their respective segments. However, the carmaker is yet to enter the sub-Rs 20 lakh mass-market UV space. The RAV4, with its rugged exterior design, can then be the perfect SUV to slot under the Fortuner. However, if Toyota decides to launch it in India, we don’t expect it to be as competitively priced as the Jeep Compass. The new RAV4 is based on the TNGA K platform which also underpins more expensive cars like the Camry. Still, if Toyota can bring the RAV4 in India at around Rs 20 lakh, it could be a compelling buy.
But the RAV4’s TNGA underpinnings also mean that it might not sport a diesel engine at all. However, this might turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Toyota. If it plans to launch the RAV4 in its hybrid avatar, it will not only be the only hybrid SUV in its segment, but also help the carmaker in meeting the upcoming CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) norms. Also Read: Honda Picks CR-V Hybrid Over Diesel In Europe; Should It Do That In India Too?
If you are still hoping for a more affordable SUV with a Toyota badge, we have some good news for you. Recently, Suzuki and Toyota entered an agreement to mutually supply hybrids and other cars. Under the deal, Toyota will supply the Corolla and receive the Vitara Brezza and the Baleno in return. With this Toyota will also have a sub-compact SUV based on the Vitara Brezza in its portfolio, which will then make the entry into Toyota’s SUV family a lot cheaper. More details here: Toyota And Maruti Suzuki To Cross Supply Vitara Brezza, Baleno & Corolla
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