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The 2019 Toyota RAV4 has been unveiled in New York, wearing a rough-and-tough new look inspired by the FT-AC Concept.

Now in its fifth-generation, the RAV4 is the first mid-size crossover to be revealed in New York – getting the jump on the Subaru Forester and Hyundai Tucson – and is arguably the most interesting.

Measuring 4595mm (-5mm) long, with a 2689mm (+30mm) wheelbase, the car has been packaged to free up more interior space than its predecessor. Toyota says the interior has been refined, with a more premium and modern feel for passengers.

The centre console is larger than before, with a repositioned electronic park brake, side-by-side cup holders and a small tray for coins. Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa are both supported by the 7.0-inch (8.0-inch optional) in-dash touchscreen, but there’s no Android Auto.

There are up to five USB ports on board, and a wireless Qi charging port is optional. Also optional is a rear-view camera in the rear-view mirror, which can project an image from a high-mounted rear-view camera. Depending on spec, the RAV4 comes with a moonroof and hands-free power tailgate, too.

As for the exterior, Toyota has clearly taken inspiration from the FT-AC Concept. It’s a chunkier, tougher beast than before, with gloss-black highlights up front, the increasingly-popular contrast roof option, and bigger alloy wheels all around. It’s actually, whisper it, a good-looking car – although debate about the ideal spec is still raging around our office.

Power will be provided by two Dynamic Force drivetrains in the USA: a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol, hooked up to an eight-speed automatic, or a 2.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid with a CVT. All told, there will be five petrol and four hybrid models. Outputs haven’t been revealed at this point.

There will be three all-wheel drive systems offered, too: an AWD-i system on hybrids, a regular on-demand all-wheel drive system in base petrol models and Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive with Rear Driveline Disconnect (catchy, right?). It’s capable of sending 50 per cent of power to the rear axle, and then shuffling that grunt from wheel-to-wheel on that axle.

When all-wheel drive isn’t required, the system uses ratchet-type dog-clutches to disengage one of the axles for better fuel economy.

Coupled with the 57 per cent more rigid underpinnings offered by the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), the RAV4 might even by a handy steer – but we’ll have to wait and see.

Australia

The new Toyota RAV4 is scheduled for a 2019 release in Australia, with exact timing to be confirmed. Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest.

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