2015 New York Motor Show: 2015 Toyota RAV4 hybrid ruled out for Australia

THE Toyota RAV4 mid-sized SUV has gained a makeover with a more aggressively styled nose, new tail lights and wheels, and extra equipment.

But a hybrid version of the Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander and Honda CR-V fighter, unveiled at last week’s New York motor show, joins a growing list of Toyota-badged petrol-electric models not slated for sale in Australia.

The updated RAV4 arrives here late in 2015, bringing with it an optional safety pack known as Toyota Safety Sense.

The pack is expected to be fitted to some models as standard, and cost about $1000 for other grades. It adds a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high beams and radar cruise control with auto braking.

Other new features for the updated RAV4 include a surround view camera, which uses front and rear cameras, as well as ones mounted in each exterior mirror, to provide a virtual overhead view of the car to help with reversing and manoeuvring in tight spaces. There is also a function that provides a “live, rotating, 360-degree view of what’s around the vehicle”, just in case the overhead view is not enough.

The design of the 2015 Toyota RAV4’s nose is significantly different, with slimmer headlights pinching towards a new grille and bumper. The tail lights, too, have been freshened, among other details.

Inside, the basic layout is the same but there are new materials, including some additional stitching and soft-touch dash materials on some variants.

Toyota also claims to have “enhanced” the driving dynamics and reduced cabin noise using extyra sound deadening.

There will also be new colours and a “liftgate enhancement”.

But the fuel-saving hybrid has been ruled out of Australia for now. It includes the Camry Hybrid’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid system but with an electric motor operating on the rear wheels, to give it all-wheel drive.

“We’re not looking to introduce it at this stage,” a Toyota Australia spokesman told Wheels. “We’ll maintain our current engine line-up offering of 2.0-litre, 2.5-litre petrol and 2.2-litre turbo diesel.”

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