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Toyota RAV4 SUV Spied Testing In India – Launch Likely By Diwali 2021

Toyota RAV4 SUV in India
Image – Ayush Nimkar

Most likely to be imported as a CBU, the Toyota RAV4 will not be going after sales volume

Toyota’s global product portfolio has an eclectic mix of SUVs of all shapes and sizes. But in India, the auto giant only has two if you also factor in the Maruti-derived Urban Cruiser.

Toyota Kirloskar Motor has access to ample production capacity from its two plants at Bidadi, hybrid powertrain technologies to take advantage of ongoing the electrification trend as well as a wide range of existing SUVs from its global lineup. However, fluctuating governmental regulations and volatile market conditions have made the company think twice before committing to any investment-heavy project.

Toyota RAV4 coming to India?

It was reported last year that TKM is planning to introduce the popular RAV4 mid-size hybrid SUV in India by mid-2021. The SUV has now been spotted on Indian roads without any camouflage or disguise, adding gravity to this report. Spy image is credit to automotive enthusiast Ayush Nimkar.

While a new Toyota RAV4 coming to India can only be a good news for our SUV-loving customers, it seems the company would be taking the less risky route of importing it as a CBU, taking advantage of the 2500-unit quota which doesn’t require the vehicle to undergo local homologation.

2021 Toyota RAV4
2021 Toyota RAV4

A CBU import would mean, prices will be very high. The Toyota RAV4 is a size smaller than the Fortuner and hence is priced lower in the global portfolio. However, the mid-size hybrid crossover, if imported into our country as a CBU, will be priced well over INR 50 lakh (ex-showroom). TKM’s non-committal approach would lead to the MG Hector and Tata Safari rival be priced nearly three-folds higher.

Specifications and equipment

Currently in its fifth generation, the Toyota RAV4 is underpinned by the modular TNGA (Toyota New Global Architecture) platform and is powered by a hybrid powertrain. The IC engine is a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated petrol unit (Atkinson cycle) which is supported by an electric motor which drives the real wheels to offer e4WD. Combined power output stands at 218 hp and the transmission is a CVT.

Some of the salient features of the current generation Toyota RAV4 include LED headlights, alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, electrically adjustable driver seat, ambient lighting, dual-zone climatic control, keyless entry and go, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Lane Departure Alert, Lane Trace Assist, High beam assist, active cruise control, multiple airbags, ABS, EBD, BA, VSC, TC, blindspot monitor, rear cross traffic alert, and many more.

In India, the Toyota RAV4 will be acting as a technology demonstrator rather than a volume generator. It will have no direct rivals. We think Toyota should consider CKD assembly in the future to make the hybrid SUV competitive. Launch is expected by Diwali 2021 in India.

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