GAC-Toyota has just unveiled a new SUV model dubbed Wildlander, which can be easily identified as a restyled Toyota RAV4. However, the styling is significantly different, at both ends.
While nobody’s going to confuse the Wildlander with a Lexus, its front fascia does sort of feature half, if not 3/4 of a Spindle grille, like the ones we’re familiar with when it comes to the likes of the ES, UX, RX, NX, LC and so on.
According to Auto163, the Toyota Wildlander also features Matrix LED headlights, which are sleeker than the ones in the 2020 RAV4, re-positioned fog lights, a new bumper design, and brand new taillights as well (more horizontal) that occupy more space on the tailgate.
Buyers will be able to opt between two available powertrains. First, there is a 170 HP 2.0-liter naturally aspirated gasoline model and a 219 HP 2.5-liter hybrid version. The former will work alongside a CVT gearbox, while the hybrid will utilize an E-CVT setup with available ECO, Normal and Sport modes.
Should we make a bigger deal of the Spindle Grille?
Probably, yes, and for two reasons. First, it’s clear that Toyota feels as though Lexus visuals work just as well on their models – something that was evident from the design of the 2020 Toyota Avalon too. However, whether the RAV4 looks better with an incomplete Spindle grille as opposed to its current nose design, we’ll let you decide.
Another reason why this redesign needs to be addressed is because it may very well represent Toyota’s thinking with regards to what they’re going to do with the RAV4 when it comes to its global facelift, which is still at least a year or two away since the fifth-gen RAV4 was unveiled just last year.
Sales for the new Toyota Wildlander are expected to commence before the end of this year.