Tweaks promised for the new model year include new safety technologies, new infotainment features, improved ride and comfort, and a light styling makeover.
Although the images shown here are of the hybrid model revealed for the US in April - and that one still isn’t coming to Australia - Toyota’s local arm has confirmed with CarAdvice that the styling for the regular RAV4 variants will be largely identical.
That means a new-look design at the front, with the 2016 RAV4 picking up a similar makeover to that which debuted on the Corolla hatch in February, including reshaped headlights and a more sculpted, wing-like shape to the grille.
There’s also a new and more sporting design to the front bumper, with a high-set letterbox grille flanked by tall foglight ports.
At the rear are new tail lamps with LED internals and a clear lens design - again taking a few notes from the Corolla’s playbook - along with a lightly revised tailgate design and a more prominent look to the rear bumper.
New features in the cabin include a redesigned instrument cluster (again, left-hand-drive hybrid model shown), which features two new dials divided by a 4.2-inch colour TFT multi-information display.
On the ride and comfort front, Toyota says it has blessed the 2016 RAV4 with a more rigid rear body shell, along with revised shock absorbers and coil springs.
A greater spread of insulation coverage and thickness also promises a quieter cabin, reducing the impact of road, tyre and exhaust noise.
New and upgraded safety tech includes a forward-facing camera and millimetre-wave radar, adding advanced collision avoidance and active cruise control.
Safety features breakdown:
Pre-Collision Safety System: warns the driver of a possible crash and automatically apply the brakes. Automated braking can reduce vehicle speed by approximately 30km/h.
Active Cruise Control: helps the driver keep a safe distance from the car in front. It also monitors vehicles merging into or out of the lane ahead to support smooth acceleration and deceleration.
Automatic High Beam (already standard on Cruiser): detects the headlights of oncoming vehicles and the taillights of preceding vehicles, switching automatically between high and low beam to avoid dazzling other drivers. More frequent use of high beam helps with earlier detection of pedestrians and obstacles.
Lane Departure Alert (already standard on Cruiser): designed to help avoid collisions by warning the driver if the vehicle starts to deviate from the lane without the indicators having been engaged.
Cruiser models will again feature Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert, while also gaining front parking sensors as standard.
Depending on the model and configuration, the RAV4 will again be available with 107kW/187Nm 2.0-litre petrol (front-wheel drive), 143kW/233Nm 2.5-litre petrol (all-wheel drive) and 110kW/340Nm 2.2-litre (AWD) engines.
The FWD RAV4 is fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox or a 'seven-speed' Multidrive S CVT auto, while petrol AWD variants are fitted with a six-speed multi-mode sequential-shift automatic. Diesel AWD models get the choice of the six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes.
Pricing and detailed specifications will be revealed in December.