More images of the Toyota RAV4 soft-roader – one of the world’s and Australia’s top-selling SUVs – have emerged overnight, just days before the car is due to be officially unveiled at the Los Angeles motor show. The latest leaked pictures confirm the new RAV4 has adopted the Corolla’s European-like sleek front-end appearance, signalling a new design direction for Toyota.
But the most important news for anyone who has had to wrestle with the giant heavy rear door on the old models (thanks to the full size spare tyre mounted on the back), the pictures confirm that the RAV4 now has a conventional liftback tailgate. Cue sighs of relief from mums, dads and outdoorsy types the world over. Instead, the spare tyre is mounted under the rear floor, as it is in most cars.
Meanwhile, overseas reports say the RAV4 has finally ditched its aging four-speed automatic in favour of a more fuel-efficient six-speed. This tallies, given the Toyota Corolla (the underpinnings on which the RAV4 is based) has made the same change recently.
Early reports also claim that the highly-regarded and high-powered V6 will be replaced by a high-output four-cylinder engine. In Australia, the RAV4 is currently available with both four-cylinder and V6 power, the latter making it one of the fastest SUVs in its class.
More details will emerge in three days, when the car is unveiled at the 2012 Los Angeles Motor Show. Australian buyers will get to see the new Toyota RAV4 in the metal when it arrives in showrooms in early 2013 priced from about $30,000.