Toyota RAV4 previewed ahead of NY show

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Slightly shorter yet with a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase, the 2019 RAV4 benefits from a unibody chassis that is 57 percent more rigid compared to its predecessor. It's also a little wider and not quite as tall. In many ways, the new front end looks similar to the top-selling Tacoma pickup.

Maturity is the theme here and it continues with the powertrains options on the new RAV4. We like the newfound aggressiveness, a departure from the previous model's tidy but bland styling.

Inside, Toyota is hoping you'll mistake the 2019 RAV4 for a luxury crossover instead of a mainstream bestseller. This new AWD system will be available on the 2019 RAV4 Limited and Adventure models.

All 2019 RAV4s will come standard with Entune 3.0 connectivity and Apple CarPlay, and with Toyota's Safety Sense 2.0 driver's assistance features. Qi wireless charging is also available. Both legroom and shoulder room are improved in the rear seating and 60/40 split-fold rear seats remain standard in the RAV4. Considering this, the RAV4 isn't just Toyota's most loved offering, but it has given Toyota that much sales and revenue too.

Like today's model, the 2019 will be offered with both front and all-wheel drive. No word yet on cargo volume. There's the standard 2.5L four-cylinder that's mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission or if you want something a more fuel efficient you can get the RAV4 Hybrid with the same 2.5L four-cylinder that's mated to an electric motor and CVT. Buyers will have two flavors of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder.

The Trail edition, which features a more rugged-looking exterior, includes Dynamic torque vectoring all-wheel drive as standard, which is also provided on the high-end Limited edition of the conventional RAV4. The new AWD system can also disconnect the rear axle entirely for better on-road performance and fuel economy, using the world's first ratchet-type dog clutch on the wheel shafts to stop rotation of the driveshaft.

Other new and noteworthy cabin tech includes a 7-inch TFT in-cluster display on high-end XSE models, along with an available 800-watt JBL audio system featuring Clari-Fi, a processing technology that aims to restore some of the sonic luster that's typically lost when digital sound files are compressed. Hybrid models will arrive in showrooms in 2019.

An all-new generation of the Corolla will make its debut at the New York Auto Show next week, which will replace the Corolla iM in Toyota's lineup. We'll have a better understanding of this car's value factor after we get our mitts on this vehicle at next week's New York Auto Show, but for the moment, that seems like pretty agreeable pricing for a vehicle with dramatically more content than its forbearer.

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