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2019 Toyota RAV4 spied testing in sunny Southern California

25 January 2018 - Autoblog

2019 Toyota RAV4 spied testing in sunny Southern California

The Toyota RAV4 compact crossover is expected to get a brand-new look pretty soon, possibly as a 2019 model.

This won't be a simple refresh; the next generation of the compact CUV is likely to be based on the automaker's latest TGNA platform. This modular architecture underpins the latest Toyota Camry and Prius and will serve as the base for most of Toyota's passenger cars moving forward.

Although it's difficult to see much underneath the thick black plastic camouflage, it appears the 2019 Toyota RAV4 will eschew the car-like look of the current model, replacing it with something decidedly more rugged and truck-like in appearance. We expect the RAV4 to get styling cues based on the FT-AC Concept that debuted at the 2017 LA Auto Show.

The FT-AC appeared to us to be roughly RAV4-sized in its debut, with a front end that blends the RAV's swept-back, angry headlights with a grille that seems inspired by the Tacoma TRD Pro. The big, quadrangle foglights on the concept could be detached and used as portable lights, exemplifying the dual-purpose novelty of yet another Toyota concept from last year, the FT-4X that was shown at the New York show. But of course don't expect anything like that on a production RAV4. The extra-chunky 20-inch wheels of the FT-AC wore blocky all-season tires. The clear message of the concept's look was that Toyota wanted it to look, at least, like a "proper truck," despite what was almost assuredly a car platform underneath.

Considering that the RAV4 is Toyota's best-selling vehicle in the United States, it will be interesting to see how much Toyota is willing to mess with its already winning formula. A hybrid model is sure to carry over, and all-wheel drive will be optional, but past that, we aren't sure what to expect. We'll keep our eyes open for an official reveal, but in the meantime, scroll through the gallery of spy photos above for an early peak at the next RAV4.

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