In January of this year, we took the wheel of the new Toyota RAV4 2019, but we need to thoroughly test the full-drive version of ADW-i on slip lands. Maybe this is why, this time, what Toyota proposed to us was tested in the snow.
I admit that my previous experience with the Toyota RAV4 had been parked on the second generation. Since that time, I have not had the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a third, fourth, or fifth generation RAV4, so comparisons with previous generations will be ignored.
The appointment with Toyota this time was in Madrid Xanadú, the shopping center located on the outskirts of the capital, which has the only closed ski lane in which you can ski all year round.
A considerable leap in sight
Upon arrival, an RAV4 was waiting for us at the entrance. I take a look at it while I'm reading the first contact my partner Alejandra had made earlier this year during the international presentation of the model.
"The Toyota RAV4 2019 reduces its length by 5 millimeters but grows in width by 10 millimeters as well as 30 millimeters in battle, reaching 2,960 millimeters"I read in our previous article.
Well, the new dimensions were good for it, because at first glance the car looks much more robust, more balanced, in line with what customers of an SUV in this segment are looking for today.
In addition, many licenses are allowed in the design section that completely break with the usual Japanese brand, or at least with the usual up to two years ago came the CH-R to reprint some freshness to the Toyota Projects.
It does not look like a refrigerator with wheels, and less in this version with the Feel finish! proudly sporting a two-tone body, black wheels, wheel arches with frames and a front and rear bumper with shiny black piano accents.
The front also gained aggressiveness and personality, with a very sharp and angular grille that I believe due to its more horizontal than vertical shapes, is responsible for the car looking lower than before despite being 10 mm taller (and having a free height to the ground of 190 millimeters (22 millimeters more than the RAV4 of the fourth generation).
The AWD-i, more powerful and efficient than the FWD
According to Toyota, one of the key aspects that drive customers to buy an RAV4 is safety at the highest level. The new model incorporates many driving features that enhance safety in all versions.
Integrated under the package Toyota safety sense, we speak of adaptive speed control with automatic braking, a new pedestrian detector that adds night function and detection of cyclists, alert by involuntary range change with assistance in direction, traffic signal recognition, maintenance system for the trajectory and Control intelligent road lights.
But above all, many customers value the option of purchasing the 4×4 versus 4×2 version for security reasons. This has led to more than 30% of customers opting for a 4×4 version, which also allows them to have more freedom when it comes to turning off the road and on surfaces with low grip.
On the Toyota RAV4 AWD-i, power increases from 218 HP of the front-wheel drive variant to 222 HP not of total traction.
It's a new 4×4 system, AWD-i or intelligent all-wheel drive. The key is in a small additional electric motor It acts on the rear axle and increases the torque on the rear wheels by 30%, always managed by AWD Integrated Management (AIM).
The fact is that, in addition, the AWD-i version is something more efficient than the FWD. How can it be if it should be heavier with an additional engine? Well, because this battery-powered engine, located immediately in front of the rear axle, releases the 2.5 engine enough.
Thus, the Toyota RAV4 AWD-i homologous CO2 emissions of 100 g / km, while the FWD does 102 g / km in both the NEDC cycle. If we go to the pure benefits, they will also improve. The FWD goes from 0 to 100 km / h in 8.4 seconds, while AWD-i does this in 8.1 seconds.
In addition, the Toyota RAV4 AWD-i has four FWD driving modes (Normal, Eco, Sport and EV) and adds the Trail, which uses the new limited slip differential automatic control to ensure greater traction on lower grip surfaces.
Running in the snow with the Toyota RAV4 AWD-i
On paper all very good, but we had gone there to test the system, and we were going to make a series of turns for a small path created in the Madrid Xanadu snow lane.
The course was in the form of eight and ia increasing the degree of inclination of the slope as we progressed, until we reached a point where we would turn and go in the opposite direction with a higher slope section on a lower slope in the final part.
For the occasion, Toyota equipped cars with tires Child with winter marking (3PMSF)which, by the way, are not offered at the moment of origin or in the front-wheel-drive or full-wheel-drive version, but can be equipped as substitutes if substantial help is required to drive on such a complicated surface.
I get the Toyota RAV4 AWD-i and go to the track after activating the Trail mode, in which the automatic control of differential sliding to ensure the best traction on sliding surfaces.
The first thing that strikes me during the initial bars is the softness which transmits the whole. The Atkinson 2.5-liter gasoline engine four-cylinder atmospheric cycle and direct injection in combination with the electric motor located next to the rear axle, push the car smoothly, and do so without transmitting too much vibrations or too much noise.
I do the first lap being cautious with the accelerator and trying to know the condition of the pavement, which at some point in the route I had until ice. We were six degrees below zero.
In general, it seems to me that the whole stays very welland both ups and downs seem to catch more than I expected, so in the second round I decided to go a little more cheerful.
The first section has slopes between 6 and 8 percent, and the car pulls without only loss of grip. He stands up and continues to surprise me with the relative softness that the whole thing conveys.
It only changes when you start to face steeper slopes, like the 17% at the top. There the change CVT, always present, begins to be noticed more clearly.
The slippage, the increase in laps and the noise associated with this kind of change, possibly one of the worst in the market, are evident, although in your favor I must say that I do not think I'm that critical. as in previous generations of CVT vehicles.
In part, it is because the electric motor located on the rear axle can send much more torque to it, specifically 80% of torque compared to the maximum of 60% that the fourth generation RAV4 has admitted.
In addition, the total number of pairs received increases by 30%, 953 to 1300 Nm, which according to Toyota equals or exceeds the torque achieved by mechanical systems such as that transported by the Land Cruiser.
It therefore shows greater thrust of the rear axle, and this helps release a little more for the CVT that does not have to be running so visibly.
All of this theory translates into a sense of confidence when driving the RAV4 up and down, and even allow permits such as stopping the vehicle completely, acting on the VSC actuator that is responsible for the braking control and doing it at a very far distance safe
The last few laps and I made them even faster, taking advantage of the always magical feeling of driving a car that allows you skid because its coefficient of adhesion to the pavement has changed completely in the face of dry or wet asphalt conditions
The truth is that I had a lot of fun because the car's systems work properly, allowing you to maintain a high pace without overly limiting the steering wheel and the throttle. If so in the snow, I do not doubt skills travel through areas with dirt and mud that could occasionally face this SUV.
Pricing and marketing of the Toyota RAV4 AWD-i 2019
As a launch promotion for the AWD-i version for our country, there will be 500 Advance AWD-i units that will have a € 1,000 off, leaving the starting price at € 33,800.