2018 New York Auto Show: All-New Toyota RAV4

The Toyota Camry has been America’s number one selling car from 2002 to 2016. Its 14-year long reign came to an end last year, as the US automotive market--and the global market as a whole--experienced a massive shift from sedans to utility vehicles. The car that unseated the Camry? The Toyota RAV4.

Looking to build on the momentum, Toyota unveiled the 2019 Toyota RAV4 magnanimously at this year's New York International Auto Show. The launch marks the beginning of the crossover’s fifth generation.

When Toyota says 'All-New,' you can expect as much. A bold and blocky front look starts off the ceremonies, making the SUV appear more truck-like (the bold front mirrors Toyota's American-made pickup the Tacoma) than ever. Beyond the new model’s freshly-chiseled exterior lies Toyota Next-Gen architecture, a platform that’s 57 percent stiffer and more stable than before. The wheelbase is longer, the ground clearance shorter, and the cabin is a whole lot roomier this time around.

As for the powertrain, the new RAV4 offers two: a 2.5-liter Dynamic Force engine with VVT-iE paired with an eight-speed Direct Shift Automatic Transmission for the five gas models, and a 2.5-liter Dynamic Force Toyota Hybrid System (THS) II mated to an Electronically-Controlled, Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT) for the four hybrid models. Performance or efficiency stats have not been divulged yet, but the company expects "class-leading fuel efficiency and increases in horsepower and acceleration, respectively."

One of the gas models will include an Adventure model that Toyota claims will have genuine off-road capability via an all-wheel drive and special traction management system. A sport hybrid is also in the lineup, equipped with a tuned suspension designed for optimum handling.

The standard Safety Sense system—which features an adaptive cruise control system and automatic emergency brakes that activate between 0 and 110 mph—receives an upgrade via a lane tracing system that permits hands-on self-steering between lane markers. The new system can also follow a car in front of it for the short moments that it loses sight of them, as long as you keep a hand on the wheel, which lets the system know you’re paying attention.

Standard infotainment fare include WiFi, AppleCar play, and Alexa integration. An 800-watt JBL sound system is an available option. No price and full specifications yet, but Toyota will release them as the 2019 Toyota RAV4’s launch approaches by year-end.

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