RAV4 with Toyota Optimal Drive

The RAV4 now comes with Toyota’s Optimal Drive, reducing the emissions of the diesel 2.2 D-4D 150 from 173g/km to 154g/km CO2, equating to 48.7mpg.

Toyota says this is class-leading, and is quick to point out that this figure is better even than the lowest figures for two-wheel drive diesel versions of the Volkswagen Tiguan and Ford Kuga, however if you include crossovers in the SUV sector, then the Subaru Outback diesel still just has the edge over the RAV4 as it emits just 153g/km CO2.

The petrol version is also improved; the new 2.0-litre Valvematic petrol engine has more power, lower emissions and better fuel economy than previous 2.0 VVT-i.

There is also the return of the 2WD RAV4, powered by the 2.0 Valvematic petrol engine.

Matched to a six-speed manual gearbox, the 2.2-litre D-4D engine also benefits from significant revisions to bring about a 10 per cent power upgrade to 148bhp (150 DIN hp).

For the first time the RAV4 is also offered with a diesel engine equipped with an automatic transmission. The driver can also opt for sequential manual shifts. Shifting the shift lever into M mode allows gears to be changed using the shift lever or paddle shifts on the steering wheel.

However the emissions from the 2.2-litre D-4D 150 D-CAT engine with the new six-speed automatic transmission rise to 189g/km CO2 and fuel economy worsens to 39.2mpg.

Toyota’s D-CAT clean diesel system with the DPNR four-way catalyst means that the engine achieves low combined NOx and particulates emissions.

The RAV4 is also offered with a new 2.0-litre Valvematic petrol engine. Compared to the 2.0 VVT-i unit previously featured in the range, as well as offering more power and torque, it emits 177g/km CO2 compared to 212g/km, and returns 20 per cent better fuel consumption in combined cycle driving.

The engine will be offered in AWD versions with Multidrive S, Toyota’s new continuously variable transmission.

In response to the growing market for 2WD SUVs, Toyota is reintroducing a front-wheel drive version of RAV4. Powered by the 2.0-litre Valvematic engine, matched to a new six-speed manual transmission, it will be available exclusively in XT-R trim.

Power and torque match performance in the AWD version, but emissions and fuel economy improve slightly, to 174g/km and 38.2mpg (combined) respectively.

The RAV4 also gains a series of styling changes inside and out for 2009. The new model range has a new front bumper, grille and headlamp design, turn indicator lights incorporated into the door mirrors, integrated front foglamps, restyled rear light clusters and new-design split-spoke 17-inch alloy wheels.

All models in the RAV4 range are fitted with:

* Dual-zone climate control air conditioning

* Bluetooth connectivity

* Automatic wipers and headlights

* Six-CD changer

* Aux-in socket

* Electric heated, retractable door mirrors

* Electrochromic auto-dimming rear-view mirror

The XT-R AWD and SR models also have:

* Leather upholstery

* Smart Entry and Start

* Heated front seats

* Electrically adjustable driver’s seat

The RAV4 range starts at £18,995 for the 2.0 Valvematic 6MT 2WD, rising to £25,295 for the 2.2 D-CAT 150 6AT AWD. The new RAV4 is available to order now, with deliveries from 1 September.