New Toyota RAV4 Facelift, RAV4 Hybrid Revealed In New York Photo:
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2015 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid - Overseas Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Apr, 03 2015 | 11 Comments

Toyota’s midsized RAV4 SUV has come in for a styling update, debuting at this week’s New York Auto Show ahead of a global rollout.

A new Hybrid model also joins the range for 2015, although Toyota’s local arm has confirmed that an Australian launch for this variant is not on the cards.

On the styling front, the refreshed RAV4 joins the Corolla hatch in picking up a new face, including compact new headlights, a slender new grille and a tall new bumper design.

The RAV4’s tail lamps have also come in for an update, retaining their existing shape but gaining a new clear lens design and full LED lighting. A revised bumper rounds out the rear-end tweaks.

Interior updates are relatively light-on, although there’s a refreshed steering wheel button layout, along with new trim and highlights.

Toyota promises a higher grade of materials in the cabin, and a new 4.2-inch display now features in the instrument cluster.

Overseas markets, including Europe and the US, will also be offered a new RAV4 Hybrid model this year.

Taking its cue from the E-Four-equipped Lexus NX 300h, power in the RAV4 Hybrid is provided by a 2.5 litre petrol engine and an electric motor, along with an additional motor whose main purpose is to drive the rear axle.

In the RAV4 Hybrid, this electric on-demand all-wheel-drive system is referred to as AWD-i.

Australia will go without the hybrid model, however, focusing instead on the existing 2.0, 2.5 litre petrol and 2.2 diesel options.

Locally, Toyota will be looking to the RAV4’s styling and feature update to boost its appeal against Mazda’s segment-leading CX-5 and the popular X-Trail.

Figures at the end of February (March numbers due this week) show the RAV4 on 2854 sales, compared to 2913 for the X-Trail and 3784 for the dominant CX-5.

Watch for the refreshed RAV4 to hit Australia later this year.

MORE: RAV4 News & Reviews | SUVs | Family Cars

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