The New Toyota RAV4 | Part Three (2006)

Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV4

Advances In Safety
  • Ultra-tough in-house crash testing
  • Nine airbags, including first-in-class driver’s knee airbag, standard on all models

The new RAV4 has been designed from the outset to achieve the highest, five-star ranking for occupant protection in Euro NCAP testing. More than that, it has also been subjected to Toyota’s more stringent in-house simulations, which analyse crash performance at higher speeds.

The RAV4 has a new, impact-absorbing chassis, designed to minimise the degree of deformation in the event of an accident, by absorbing impact forces and channelling them away from the cabin.

The design also takes into account the risk to pedestrians, with energy absorbing elements and crumple zones around the front end of the vehicle, repositioning of the radiator and bonnet catch, and detail changes to the headlight brackets and wiper units.

Inside the vehicle, nine airbags are provided as standard, including a first-in-class driver’s knee airbag, and a dual warning system with light and buzzer ensures both driver and front passenger buckle-up. The front seats feature the latest Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) design for improved support in a rear impact.

Handling The Rough And The Smooth
  • Active Torque Control 4WD system automatically transfers torque between front and rear wheels for optimum performance in all conditions
  • First-in-segment Integrated Active Drive System (XT4 grade and higher)
  • Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) standard on XT4 grade and higher, plus Downhill Assist Control (DAC) on models with automatic transmission

One of the key elements in the ground-breaking appeal of the original RAV4 was its excellent on-road performance, with handling more like a sporting hatchback than a conventional 4x4. Through the years this quality has been continually refined and in the new generation RAV4 reaches a new level with the introduction of Active Torque Control four-wheel drive.

This system continuously monitors and controls the transfer of torque between the front and rear wheels to achieve the optimum grip and handling. The ratio can range from full front-wheel drive to a 55:45 front-to-rear balance. Instead of a centre differential, the system uses a network of electronic sensors monitoring performance data, including steering angle, vehicle speed, engine torque and throttle angle.

The RAV4 is also the first vehicle in its segment to offer Integrated Active Drive. This combines and coordinates the Active Torque Control 4WD, the Vehicle Stability Control Plus (VSC+) and Electric Power Steering (EPS) to help bring the vehicle under control if the onset of a skid or slide is detected. This provides much smoother and more effective intervention to help the driver keep control than in vehicles where the functions operate independently of each other.

continues... | Part Four
Published 12 February 2006 Melanie Carter

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