New York - Toyota has unveiled the all-new Rav4 at the New York Auto Show and as expected, it moves into its fifth generation with a far more macho design inspired by the recent FT-AC concept.

Despite what the more truck-like styling might imply though, the new Rav4 is still far more of a car beneath its skin, slotting onto Toyota’s new TNGA platform that also underpins the latest Auris and Camry.

What we see here is the US-spec Rav4 and there are some marked styling differences between the various grades, with ‘Adventure’ models featuring a bolder front grille and more pronounced wheel arch mouldings. The versions we get in South Africa, when the new Rav goes on sale here during the first half of 2019, might differ in some respects.

The new SUV is 5mm shorter and 5mm lower lower to the ground overall - although actual ground clearance is up more than 12mm. Overall width grows by 10mm while the wheelbase is a whole 30mm longer. The Rav is also said to be 57 percent more rigid than before, while also finally joining the multi-link rear suspension club for improved ride and handling.

US models are powered by a normally aspirated petrol engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and there’s also a hybrid variant featuring the same petrol engine and a CVT box.

The SUV will be available with three different all-wheel-drive systems, including Toyota’s new Dynamic Torque Vectoring AWD, and a Multi-Terrain Select system for some extra electronic assistance through snow, mud, sand and rock modes.

The cabin offers more space as well as higher-end materials and gadgets, including a standard (in the US) Entune 3.0 infotainment system operated through a 17.8cm touchscreen and featuring Amazon Axela and Apple CarPlay functionality.

Local specifications and pricing will be announced closer to launch.

IOL Motoring