Toyota has big plans for the fifth generation RAV4, which debuted at the 2018 New York Auto Show a few days ago, and a seven-seater version might just be one of them.
Speaking to GoAuto during the automotive event, Toyota’s North America VP and General Manager, Jack Hollis, didn’t exactly confirm such a model, but he didn’t deny it either.
“I think we have different options for seven seats, we have the Highlander, we have growth of Sequoia and Land Cruise and different options”, he said. “I think RAV4 in its compactness holds a certain space. But I will say there is always room for growing SUV entries. So, whether we decide to bring one in a seven-seater or something different, that is something that I will keep you waiting for those answers.”
A three-row version of the Toyota RAV4 was actually offered for a few years in North America and Japan. However, the two extra seats were mostly suitable for kids, but with the implementation of the TNGA platform of the new-gen, such a model will definitely offer more legroom for the third-row passengers. This should be aided by the fact that the 2019 RAV4 has a longer wheelbase, even if its overall length has dropped a bit.
Another version of the SUV is a zero-emission one. Just like the seven-seater, Hollis didn’t confirm nor deny it: “Of all electrification vehicles, Toyota owns 70 percent of that market. We are going to continue to show and we have more and more offerings, whether it is plug-in or pure EV”, Hollis added. “We are going to have that in our lineup. Whether that comes to RAV4 and how soon, that is a ‘stay tuned’ moment.”
Just like the three-row model, Toyota also used to make an electric version of the RAV4. The previous-gen-based electric SUV (there was also a limited production first-gen RAV4 EV in 1997) was created in collaboration with Tesla, built in a couple of thousands of units and was discontinued at the end of 2014.