The joint venture of FAW and Toyota announced release of the 2014 RAV4 at a ceremony held in Zhuhai, Guangdong, on Monday evening. The China-built crossover comes in 7 versions, powered by a petrol 2.0L (6ZR-FE) or 2.5L (5AR-FE) engine. List prices range from 183,800–272,800 Yuan (US$30,024–44,562).
For the re-designed model, FAW-Toyota has moved the RAV4 production from Tianjin to Changchun, Jilin, where the 6ZR-FE 2.0L engine recently started to roll off the line. The other motor option, the 5AR-FE 2.5 liter, comes from GAC-Toyota’s Nansha factory in Guangzhou.
The renewed RAV4 retains the 2660mm wheelbase of the previous generation, while becoming slightly shorter, at 4570mm, as the spare tire, which used to hang on the rear door, is now hidden underneath.
A most welcome upgrade in running gear concerns transmission. The outdated 4AT is replaced by a CVT on the 2.0L and 6AT on 2.5L versions, to the benefit of not only handling but fuel economy. Models on all except the entry trim level get "Dynamic Torque Control" AWD featuring Auto, Lock, and Sport modes.
In the first seven months of this year, FAW-Toyota RAV4 claimed only 54,899 sales, about half of those by either of its two main rivals: Dongfeng-Honda CR-V and Shanghai-VW Tiguan.