Results are in for the annual Japan Car of the Year awards and the winner is the Toyota RAV4 with 436 votes, beating out the Mazda 3 (328 votes) and BMW 3 Series (290 votes).
The new Toyota RAV4 is still not made available in Malaysia, although we are expecting the SUV to finally make its return into the C-segment SUV market in 2020.
According to sources familiar with the matter, the Toyota RAV4 will be introduced in this region next year, with Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia on the list.
Sources at Toyota indicated that Thailand is looking into assembling the model locally. However, that doesn’t mean that the Malaysian market will come from Thailand, as the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement requires a minimum 60 percent regional content to qualify for import duty exemptions.
As such, we are not ruling out the possibility of UMW Toyota Motor importing the Toyota RAV4 from Japan instead.
Either way, expect the RAV4 to be priced a lot more than its closer competitor, the Honda CR-V, and closer to RM 180,000 when it makes its debut in Malaysia thanks to its CBU nature.
Introduced in April 2019, this is the Toyota RAV4’s fifth generation. The Japanese market offers 3 variants that runs on a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine mated to a CVT.
Toyota also introduced a new selectable four-wheel drive system on the RAV4 with torque vectoring. When 4WD is not needed, the RAV4 disconnects its rear axle, running only as a front-wheel drive vehicle to save fuel.