The RAV4 has just been refreshed last year with an all-new hybrid powertrain and a few other upgrades inside and out. However, the car is still basically the same model released back in 2012, so it feels quite dated when compared to some of its rivals. In fact, rumors suggest that the upcoming 2017 Toyota RAV4 is going to be an entirely new model which would help Toyota become the king of compact crossovers once again. The RAV4 is not the best-selling model since 1998 when the crown was taken by the Honda CRV. The two are quite similar, but the Honda arguably drives better, is cheaper, and it is also slightly better looking. With the introduction of new RAV4 things might change a little bit.
The future RAV4 should solve pretty much all the problems of the current model, and it should be the car to allow Toyota to reclaim the crown. While details are few at this point, it seems that the future RAV4 is going to be based on their entirely new modular chassis which was first used on the Prius. This would solve the largest problem of the current model, the weight. The current RAV4 is the heaviest in its class, and you can feel that when driving. The steering is rather numb; the brakes are a tad too small and the car doesn’t drive as good as any of its direct competitors. The new platform will also allow Toyota to improve the way it drives, and it should also prove to be an easier platform to bolt engines too. The price might also go down slightly to around $23,000 which would put it almost on the same level with the best car in its class, the CX-5. If this happens, it will be less expensive than the CRV and might make of it a better choice.
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With the new platform, the 2017 Toyota RAV4 should also sport all new engines across the lineup. Likely one of the largest drawbacks, besides the weight, was the insufficient power installed under the hood. In the US, this time around the new RAV4 might be offered with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four petrol engine. This would offer around 240 horsepower and over 240 lb-ft of torque so it should easily be capable of delivering the fuel efficiency of the older unit. A CVT gearbox is likely going to be the only offering while front wheel drive will be a standard but the all-wheel drive option will also be available. The hybrid is still going to be an option, but many rumors suggested that instead of the old 2.5-liter engine, the new RAV4 would get a smaller BMW unit. In fact, it would use the 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine which would allow the car to touch 40 MPG on the highway, more than 6 MPG better than before. We do not know how much power would this hybrid offer, but anything 170, and 200 hp is a possibility.
In Europe, on the other hand, the RAV4 is expected to be delivered with a tiny 1.5-liter engine, the same as the US hybrid. However, in this application, it might make close to 180 horsepower which is better than many other cars out there. Diesel should also be offered but at this point, not much has been said about it.
Design of the new 2017 Toyota RAV4
In order to fit their current lineup of vehicles, the 2017 Toyota RAV4 is going to be a huge departure from the current model. In fact, we expect it to have a lot more in common with the Prius than with what we can get right now. Its design will likely become more aggressive; it will be slightly larger and together with the lower weight it will not only look more athletic, but it will also drive much better than before.
The general improvements are going to be carried over inside the cabin, and rumors say that up to seven people are going to fit when properly equipped with the third row of seats. This will likely only happen on certain models, but it should be a great option nonetheless.