Spied in India – This 2013 Toyota RAV4 is not what you think it is

Posted on Aug 10 2013 - 1:48pm IST
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The 2013 Toyota RAV4 was spotted in a yard somewhere in West Bengal by Abhishek Kyal of the Facebook group ‘Kolkata Car Fanatics’. That automatically would lead you to think that Toyota is evaluating the Camry-based SUV for our market.

That’s no so. Toyota Kirloskar has no plans to launch the RAV4 in India. A senior company official had come on record earlier this year asserting us that they weren’t even considering it. So what is this SUV doing on Indian soil?

2013 Toyota RAV4 spied in India

You can also see a couple of Toyota Hilux Pickups in this image.

Our best guess is that this RAV4 is meant for the Nepalese or Bhutanese market. Toyota sells the RAV4 in Nepal and maybe for logistics purposes, they prefer to drive it from India, across the border. This is not the first time we are seeing cars that are meant for Nepal being taken through India.

The 2013 RAV4 that you see here had its global premiere at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show last November. Sales of the vehicle commenced in the United States early this year.

2013 Toyota RAV4 spied in India interiors

There are some part carryovers from the Camry lending the RAV4 a very premium cabin.

Power for the RAV4 comes from a 2.5-liter four cylinder petrol engine that produces 176bhp at 6,000rpm and 233Nm of torque at 4,100rpm. Nepal gets a 5-speed manual transmission with the Toyota 4WD system.

This new-age AWD system gets three driving modes – Auto, Lock and Sport. In Auto, the power is sent to the front wheels and the rear wheels are called upon only when the going gets tough. Lock distributes the power evenly to the front and the rear axles but works at speeds up to 40km/h only. Sport promises better handling as it channelizes the power to the rear wheels while going around a corner.

2013 Toyota RAV4 front three quarters

The new RAV4 had its world debut at the 2012 LA Auto Show.

[Images from - Facebook.com]

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I'm the assistant editor of IAB, a true-blooded petrolhead. Hope you enjoy our news stories, launch coverages, motorshow coverages and test drive reports.

17 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Sidhartja August 11, 2013 at - Reply

    Why not bring Toyota Rush in India… a small SUV to compete with Ford Ecosport??

  2. Vijay August 11, 2013 at - Reply

    The RAV4 may seem overpriced if introduced in the Indian market, but Toyota could launch the Rush and easily rake up large sales volume in the mini SUV category.
    Wonder why Toyota is sluggish and planning to introduce cars like the Camry Hybrid, Prius which never sell in India.
    Cars like the Rush, Vios, Yaris if introduced with good Diesel and Petrol engines would boost Toyota’s sales in India.

  3. Siv August 11, 2013 at - Reply

    BTW, you have to get your facts right. The RAV4 is base don Corolla platform not Camry platform.

    • Joe August 11, 2013 at - Reply

      Exactly Siv. And this is not the first time bro! Do more research Anjan and if you’re new, get it reviewed before publishing. We like your spirit, however get your facts straight first. Highlander is based on camry, not Rav 4

      • Shrawan Raja August 11, 2013 at -

        Dear Joe,

        Our research shows that the new RAV4 is also based on the Camry platform. This is what Toyota said in in the press release issued at the launch of the car in Philippines – “Based on the principles inherited from its predecessors, a host of new innovative features and enhancements for its lifestyle driven customers, and a shared platform with the Camry; the RAV4 now positions itself a premium compact SUV.”

        Vehicles being driven across the border to Nepal was mentioned in our story.

      • Joe August 13, 2013 at -

        Shrawan,
        Thank You for the prompt response as always. I understand that a source like Toyota Philippines cannot go wrong, however was surprised by this fact as i’ve driven the latest rav 4 myself and own a xv40 camry. Infact i looked into the parking lot where both were parked nearby! Also, i looked into the product info for the latest camry, corolla and rav4. Although the dimensions are similar to the furia based corolla in every respect i guess i will have to vouch for you guys based on the product codes.

        Source: http://pressroom.toyota.com/releases/2013+toyota+rav4+product+info.htm (pdf)

        http://pressroom.toyota.com/releases/toyota+reveals+next-generation+corolla+june6.htm

        Anjan, it was my bad this time and sorry for being harsh. As you might know, i have pointed out to you before on rumors you wrongly confirmed(bmw m3 stub) and just wanted to hit home the facts. And understand that the readers take the time and effort to criticize only ‘coz they love your articles. So, i apologize again and hey you learn something new everyday.

      • Anjan Ravi August 14, 2013 at -

        No problem, welcome the suggestions/criticism :) And our readers do spot something that we wouldn’t have so please keep them coming!

  4. Subs August 11, 2013 at - Reply

    When Duster, Eco Sport and similar products are making a splash in India, wonder why Toyota is not getting RAV4 here! It would have been ideal vehicle for Indian market, better than surely the bulky Fortuner (a failure in several other important markets) and compact compared to Innova (taxi, eslewhere!).

    I feel let down by Toyota by not giving what Indian market deserves & what is better for Indian car buyer.

    Had blogged earlier at the time of Fortuner launcy:
    “A RAV4 would have been a lot better proposition. Lastly, if high tax structure is a constraint, Toyota need to find ways to make better offerings to the India buyer.”

    • Ganesh August 11, 2013 at - Reply

      FYI, Rav4 is pitted against Honda CR-V in the US and it is much bigger than Fortuner and nothing to do with the tall hatch Ecosport or the Duster.

  5. Tony August 11, 2013 at - Reply

    How many Indians would buy a soft roader 5 seat Camry in the disguise of an SUV for about 25 Lakhs?

  6. Swapnil R August 11, 2013 at - Reply

    If at all Toyota were to launch RAV4 in India, what segment (price bracket) would it sit in?
    A Yeti-competitor or a CRV-rival (or even higher since its based on Camry)?

    • Anjan Ravi August 11, 2013 at - Reply

      The CR-V would be the ideal rival, yes.

  7. Amit August 10, 2013 at - Reply

    Cars bound particularly for Bhutan (and occasionally Nepal) are routinely imported through Kolkata port and are driven up to their destination through Siliguri. One gets to see some of the latest Japanese and Korean SUV’s during this transit.

  8. Sandeep August 10, 2013 at - Reply

    man what sad, Toyota should launch it here , in many countries Toyota sells the RAV4 & Fortuner together.

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