Toyota Won’t Rule Out A 7-Seat, PHEV Or All-Electric RAV4

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.

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  • Rocket

    I swear that Rav4 gets more hideous every time I see it.

  • SpongeBob99Swell

    …I mean, look at the bright side, Toyota! You guys once gave the RAV4 a 3rd-row seat option back then!

    Ye gov’nors even killed that option because of slow sales, and personally, I think it’d be better if the third-row option remains dead since it doesn’t have to be required on a small SUV like this (making it technically useless), and chances are, the sales of the big brother Highlander will end up down the hatchet.

    …and yet Toyota was stupidly hypocritical enough to kill off the mighty V6 that approximately 15% of people bought… which is actually 10% more than what Toyota expected people to buy a V6-equipped Camry……

    …nonetheless though, I love the all-new 2019 RAV4 so far, and I’ll see whether my dad will trade in his 2013 RAV4 for this handsome beauty….. (and a Plug-In Hybrid option would sound interesting!)

  • Honda NSX-R

    Hey Toyota, how about giving a V6 RAV-4 while you’re at it.

    • Bash

      I like the sound of that!

  • klowik

    I think it needs to be extended a bit to accommodate 3rd row seat.

  • Bash

    They are not ruling anything where that ugly face.
    I like the interior tho.

  • pjl35

    Sequoia? Sequoia is a joke that hasn’t been appropriately updated for a decade…

  • Ron

    It looks like one of those sad clowns.

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