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Toyota RAV4 wins 2019 CarsGuide Car of the Year

Toyota Australia Sales and Marketing boss Sean Hanley accepting the COTY trophy from Malcolm Flynn.

Toyota’s all-new, fifth-generation RAV4 has been named the 2019 CarsGuide Car of the Year.

Announcing the award, CarsGuide editor Malcolm Flynn said outstanding day-to-day flexibility and comfort, combined with the availability of ultra-efficient hybrid tech and leading edge safety saw the latest iteration of the mid-size SUV head a field of more than 100 new or significantly updated cars, SUVs, utes and vans that arrived in local showrooms between September 1, 2018 and September 1, 2019.

According to Mr Flynn, “The new RAV4 offers model diversity with hybrid technology in a style of car mainstream Australia wants right now, and none of its competitors offer.”

“The hybrid systems are best at the everyday stuff, just right for how we spend most of our time driving. Often SUVs bring stability compromises, but Toyota has embraced the clean sheet its ‘TNGA’ chassis platform offers to make for a car-like everyday drive experience,” he said.

The CarsGuide Car of the Year assessment process incorporates impressions and data captured in its detailed published reviews from the 12-month period, with all eligible models evaluated by four of the publications’s most senior journalists – Malcolm Flynn, James Cleary, Matt Campbell and Richard Berry.

The new RAV4 offers model diversity with hybrid technology in a style of car mainstream Australia wants right now, and none of its competitors offer. The new RAV4 offers model diversity with hybrid technology in a style of car mainstream Australia wants right now, and none of its competitors offer.

The RAV4 topped a final group of three which also included the breakthrough Hyundai Ioniq and hugely impressive third-gen Volkswagen Touareg.

The Hyundai Ioniq was recognised as, “A phenomenal move from the Korean maker to introduce Australia's first hybrid, PHEV and EV model range, with all at an attractive price.”

While the judges agreed it was hard to find a weakness with the VW Touareg, noting its exceptional refinement, dynamics, safety, performance and relative value-for-money.

The overall CarsGuide Car of the Year award is joined by honours for each of the site’s consumer-focused segments - Family, Adventure and Tradie guides.

Eligibility is aligned with CarsGuide’s mainstream buyer focus, and only on-going models available for purchase with projected sales volume greater than 1000 units can make the Top 10 list.

Pure electric vehicles and new variants are exempt from the sales volume criteria to allow emerging technology and model range expansions to be judged on merit alone.

CarsGuide reaches more Australians than any other editorial automotive site, according to Nielsen* digital content ratings (monthly), with more than 1.29 million unique users per month.

*Nielsen Digital Content Ratings (Monthly) Tagged, August 2019, text, P18+, PC, Smartphones & Tablets