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Brand New Toyota RAV4

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Steane Klose | Oct 21, 2008

Toyota has upgraded its RAV4 range with a package of active and passive safety features, as well as new technology and comfort features. Active front-seat head restraints have been adopted as standard equipment across the nine-model RAV4 range - to reduce the chance of whiplash injury in a rear-end collision.

In addition to the head restraints, a driver's knee SRS airbag has been adopted and is now standard equipment on seven models (and also available as an option on the entry level four-cylinder CV).

The driver's knee SR airbag option on RAV4 CV is part of a combined option pack that also includes front-seat side SRS airbags, front and rear side curtain shield airbags, and front dual-zone climate controlled air conditioning.

In summary, the additional standard safety features means that all RAV4 and RAV4 V6 models now have vehicle stability control (VSC), traction control (TRC) and Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) as standard equipment, and all automatic transmission models have Downhill Assist Control (DAC). The vehicle stability control system includes a VSC-off switch.

An electro-chromatic interior rear-view mirror is now a feature on high-grade ZR6 and four-cylinder Cruiser L. In addition, RAV4 Cruiser, Cruiser L, SX6 and ZR6 now have auto on/off headlamps. RAV4's comfort improvements include the addition of climate-controlled air conditioning on the entry level six-cylinder CX6 model.

Toyota has also splurged on the cosmetics front, with the RAV4 being fitted with new style alloy wheels. A new five-spoke design replaces the six-spoke wheels on four-cylinder RAV4 Cruiser and Cruiser L models, while a new six-spoke design replaces the five-spoke wheels on V6 SX6 and ZR6 models.

Other exterior changes include new designs for the headlamps, front fog-lamps, radiator grille, front and rear bumpers and rear combination lamps along with exterior mirrors that now have built-in turn signal indicators.

There is a choice of three new exterior colours -Graphite, Sandstone and Liquid Bronze.

On the inside, there are new driver and front passenger air registers, and easier-to-read instrument meters.

Toyota offers nine RAV4 models - all with VVT-i equipped engines and Active All-Wheel Drive. There are six 2.4-litre four-cylinder models with the choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, and CV, Cruiser and Cruiser L equipment grades.

There are three 3.5-litre V6 models - CV6, SR6 and ZR6 - all with five-speed automatic transmission.

Despite the added value of the new features for RAV4, the prices on most models have not changed. In fact, the price of four-cylinder Cruiser models have been reduced by $500 while the only price increase is for the V6 SX6 model.

Toyota's response to the rapid dive into a buyers' market appears to be reasonably comprehensive.

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