Toyota’s popular RAV4 will be updated in December with advanced safety features, premium styling, sharper driving dynamics and a quieter ride.

Newly developed safety technologies that can prevent or mitigate the force of a collision – including autonomous braking – will be standard on high-grade Cruiser variants and optional on mid-range GXL.Every RAV4 will gain trailer sway control, which is designed to assist if a towed vehicle becomes unsettled by crosswinds, bumpy roads or sharp turns of the steering wheel.

The extensive list of updates – announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show – includes more dynamic exterior styling, enhanced interior sensory quality and functionality, and engines that comply with Euro 5 emissions standards.

Revised models feature a significantly larger lower grille, new LED headlamps that incorporate daytime running lights, a more prominent rear bumper and restyled LED taillights.

Interior updates include redesigned instrument clusters with GXL and Cruiser variants fitted with twin dials separated by a 4.2-inch colour TFT (thin-film transistor) multi-information display.

Ride comfort and driver involvement have been improved with measures including a more rigid rear body shell that contributes to greater driving stability and improved ride quality.

Shock absorbers and coil springs have been revised to give a flatter, more comfortable ride and to enhance straight-line stability.

RAV4’s cabin is quieter for greater occupant comfort and ease of conversation due to expanded insulation coverage and thickness to reduce road, tyre and exhaust noise.

The newly developed active safety measures adopted for RAV4 use a forward-facing camera and millimetre-wave radar.

A Pre-Collision Safety System can warn 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) is 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 variants will continue to be fitted with Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. They gain front parking sensors, which is also part of the safety option pack on GXL.

RAV4 first arrived in Australia in 1994, heralding a new era in the automotive world by paving the way for the popularity of sports utility vehicles – a segment that continues to grow.

Four generations of RAV4 have sold more than six million units around the world, including 244,000 in Australia.

Last year, local demand reached an all-time high of 18,160 sales, followed by an even stronger performance this year. To the end of August, Australians have bought 12,119 RAV4 wagons, 1.3 per cent ahead of the same stage in 2014.

RAV4 is offered with three four-cylinder engines, starting with a 107kW 2.0-litre petrol for the two-wheel drive (2WD) variants.

All-wheel drive (AWD) versions can be specified with a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine that develops 340Nm of torque, or a 2.5-litre petrol engine that develops 132kW.

The 2WD RAV4 is fitted with a six-speed manual gearbox or Toyota’s Multidrive S automatic transmission that also provides a sporty, sequential seven-speed mode.

Petrol AWD variants are fitted with a six-speed multi-mode sequential-shift automatic while diesel AWD RAV4 offers the choice of the six-speed manual or automatic gearboxes.

RAV4 features Toyota’s advanced all-wheel drive technology, Dynamic Torque Control AWD. It uses information from speed, steering-angle and yaw-rate sensors to control torque transfer between the front and rear wheels.

Toyota will announce more details about the revised RAV4, including pricing, when the vehicle arrives in local dealerships during December.

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