The 2019 RAV4 that debuted Wednesday at the NY auto show looks nothing like its predecessor, that's for sure. There's more that's changed than just the name: The Corolla Hatchback rides an all-new platform, and it's actually a different platform from what's underneath the current Toyota Corolla sedan.

The RAV4 compact SUV is Toyota's best-selling vehicle in Canada, with sales of more than 50,000 nationwide a year ago.

But the 2019 RAV4 is full of bold character lines, chiseled features, and a grille that looks just as annoyed to be sitting in traffic as you are. In photos, the vehicle now has a taller, less wedge-like front end, while D-pillars are more steeply raked.

In its blue paint with a white roof, the new RAV4 is nearly paying homage to the old FJ models. Other updates include new upholstery, and revised interiors along with small add-ons like - USB ports, wireless phone chargers, and an optional 800-watt JBL sound system.

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The Toyota RAV4 is a bit of an old-school Toyota, focussing on keeping a rather older demographic of buyer happy with a combination of great build quality and comfort, but not exactly created to excite.

Petrol versions will also come with the option of a Dynamic Torque Vectoring all-wheel-drive system, which Toyota says can send "50 per cent of engine torque to the rear wheels and distribute it to the left or right rear wheel for improved handling". This model's direct predecessor started life under the Scion iM nameplate, but after Toyota axed its youth brand, it absorbed the model into its portfolio, rechristening it Corolla iM.

Engine choices for the RAV4 are two 2.5-litre engines - a regular petrol and a petrol-hybrid.

A 2.0-liter petrol engine will therefore be the standard powerplant in non-hybrid variants, although no hard facts about its power and performance have yet been revealed.

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All in all, it appears Toyota has pulled out all the stops with the 2019 RAV4. The new hybrid features a sport-tuned suspension along with improved shock absorbers and springs. For the hybrid version, Toyota has developed a completely new electric motor drive that makes efficient use of power from the car's hybrid system, using a second electric motor to drive the rear wheels to generate high torque.

Following the new Avalon and Corolla hatchback, the RAV4 becomes the third vehicle in Toyota's lineup to get Apple CarPlay.

Last but not least, Toyota's safety suite (aka Toyota Safety Sense) comes as standard on the new Toyota RAV4, with the likes of pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, radar-based cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist, automatic high beam and road sign assist.

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