Toyota Doubles RAV4 Diesel Tow Rating Photo:

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Tony O'Kane | May, 31 2013 | 7 Comments

Toyota Australia has increased the maximum tow rating of its diesel RAV4 models to 1000kg, as sales of its new soft-roader take off.

Originally rated to tow only 550kg on a braked trailer (500kg for automatic variants), the diesel RAV4 was deemed by Toyota Motor Corporation to be too fragile to haul heavier loads in what it considered to be a harsh environment.

In cooler climes where the RAV4 diesel is also sold, such as the United Kingdom, diesel RAV4s are rated to tow up to 2000kg on a braked trailer.

While the doubled rating will be welcome news to owners, it's still well short of the tow rating of those European variants and is still 500kg shy of the 2.5 litre petrol RAV4's tow capacity.

(Rather perverse, given the 2.5 litre petrol engine has just 233Nm of torque, versus the 340Nm of the 2.2 litre diesel.)

Whatever the case, it doesn't appear that the RAV4 diesel's paltry tow capacity has been detrimental to sales.

If anything, diesel-engined RAV4 variants currently account for roughly 30 percent of RAV4 sales volume - ten percent more than previously forecast by Toyota.

"Diesel SUV sales rose 37 per cent last year, so the introduction of the RAV4 turbo-diesel has enabled Toyota to compete for the first time in this growth area of the medium SUV segment," said Toyota Australia's executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb in a statement.

Cramb also said that there has been greater than expected demand for the high-grade Cruiser AWD and mid-grade GXL variants, accounting for 19 and 40 percent of overall sales respectively.

The increase in towing capacity will only apply to cars built from July 2013 onwards.

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