The RAV4 is what you'd call a fantastically average appliance. It does what's required, minus any thrills, fanfare or excitement – it’s just sensible motoring. However things are about to change for Toyota's popular cash cow, as an all-new model with a more dynamic look is coming .
So let’s take an illustrative crystal ball-gaze at what it’ll look like and what to expect from it.Tough New AppearancePrevious iterations of RAV4 have been largely car-like in design. The next-generation beefs up the attire with staunch styling based on the FT-AC (Future Toyota Adventure Concept).The transition from concept to production has fortunately seen little change, aside from a general toning down of the more 'out-there’ features like the fender flares, lower side cladding and roof fixtures. At the front, differences include a two-bar grille, softened fog light housings and lower intake design.Checking out the rear sees the same taillight arrangement, however the bezels are brighter and lower bumper cladding is less in-your-face. Sheet-metal surfacing is relatively similar to the concept and the overall look exudes an FJ cruiser or Tacoma vibe.Under The SkinLike the Prius, C-HR, Camry and upcoming Corolla, the all-new RAV4 will be based on the Japanese carmaker’s TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture). Improvements in ride and handling should yield a driving experience that’s much more dynamic and fun than ever before.To keep drivers on the right path, Toyota’s Safety Sense system incorporates autonomous emergency breaking with pre-collision warning and pedestrian detection. Combined with lane-keep warning + assist, auto high-beams, adaptive cruise control and rear cross-traffic alert will make for safe family motoring.As for the interior, it’s expected to have a more premium-feel and all the latest tech features including heads-up display and the Entune 3.0 infotainment system incorporating 4G LTE in-vehicle Wi-Fi, JBL audio and Apple Car Play, similar to the one from the 2019 Avalon pictured above.Dynamic Force PowerPowering the all-new RAV4 in markets such as North America will be a 2.5-litre Dynamic Force inline-four. 'Dynamic force’, you might say? That’s Toyota-speak for variable valve timing, multi-hole direct injection, variable cooling and higher compression. Essentially, it provides better efficiency and, at the same time, higher power and torque.While this unit will be mated to an 8-speed automatic and optional all-wheel-drive, expect the hybrid version to use a continuously variable transmission with simulated shift points.School-Run RivalsIn the arena of mall carparks and school pick-up/drop-off zones, the RAV4 will battle it out against other top-selling SUVs like Honda’s CRV, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, Chevrolet Equinox, Jeep Compass, Subaru Forester, Nissan Rogue/X-Trail and Kia Sportage/Hyundai Tucson.As for a launch date, we hear that the RAV4 could be released later this year, possibly at the LA Auto Show in the fall, or in early 2019 at the Detroit Auto Show at the latest.Is it a risky move for Toyota to brawn-up the RAV4? Share your views in the comments section below.Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes