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February 11, 2019

So Why Did the 2019 Toyota RAV4 Get A New Engine While the 2019 Camry Did Not?

The Philippine launch of the 2019 RAV4 opened some questions, not about the RAV4 per se, but about something launched last December: the 2019 Camry. Given both of these models are riding on the Toyota New Global Architecture or TNGA platform, why did Toyota Motor Philippines decide to give its executive sedan a carryover powertrain while the compact SUV gets the new-generation one?

As a refresher, Toyota introduced the TNGA concept in 2016. It’s not just a platform, but a wholistic approach that also includes a new family of powertrain that’s supposed to elevate the carmaker’s driving dynamics and environmental performance.

Dubbed “Dynamic Force,” the A25A-FKS engine in the 2019 RAV4 produces 203 horsepower and 243 Nm of torque. Thanks to tech like a higher compression ratio, multi-hole direct injection, and lightweight pistons as well as the accompanying 8-speed Direct Shift automatic, it’s said to be 30 percent more fuel efficient than the previous 2.5-liter engine—the very same engine that resides in the 2019 Camry.

Unlike what’s offered in other markets, particularly in the US, the 2019 Camry continues on with the very same 2AR-FE 4-cylinder engine as before, generating 184 horsepower and 231 Nm of torque. It also has the very same 6-speed automatic, too.

So, what gives? Why put the latest tech in the RAV4 and not in the Camry?

Toyota Motor Philippines says it all boils down to their respective target markets. With the Camry market leaning more towards the older, chauffeur-driven set, the carmaker says there’s no need to put such a high-performance engine when all they’re after is comfort (they do admit they’re studying on putting in the Dynamic Force engine in the Camry, too).

However, the tables turn when it comes to the RAV4. Since performance is an important factor when it comes to purchase consideration, they opted to put in the more powerful Dynamic Force under the hood. It’s the very same reason why the Philippine-market RAV4 uses the larger 2.5-liter engine as opposed to other markets, where front-wheel drive RAV4s have only a 2.0-liter engine. And thankfully, despite the new engines being rated at Euro 6, Toyota says they’ve been calibrated to work with the country’s Euro 4-rated fuels.

So, if performance is important, why is there no all-wheel drive? Well, based on the performance of previous-generation RAV4s, “less than 1 percent of buyers” opted to pay a premium to have power routed through all four wheels. Thus, realistically, they’re not exactly losing a great chunk of RAV4 and are confident of reaching 100 unit-sales per month, even if the internet’s going crazy over the loss all-wheel drive.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Don't they realize that the "older" set they are pertaining to are also very much interested in the latest tech. Seeing as we are spending almost Php 2M for a brand new car. We expect nothing but the latest and newest tech in the new-generation of any vehicle a manufacturer introduces, and that includes most especially its engine and drivetrain. After all, that's the whole purpose of buying an all-new generation model. If that were the case I'll simply stick to using my XV50 model since mechanically, they are just the same car.

  3. Full of BS from Toyota justifying their action of underestimating the car buyer's intelligence. Remember the drum rear break of the Fortiner. Lot's of blah blah but later on they "quietly" installed a rear disc break

  4. PHL has long been the dumping ground for old and outdated engines. Mabenta yan Kasi tatak Toyota. Kahit lugaw, mabenta pa Rin.

  5. Yes, they dont care whatever model they sell in this country because majority of filipinos buy toyota even if though it doesnt perform well than its competitors.

  6. There goes the TaNGA acronym again... lol...

  7. What a bunch of crap. Toyota is just blowing smoke up our collective keisters. The new engine and tranny combination in the RAV4 is supposed to have 30% better fuel efficiency. Furthermore, the extra power of the new engine gives an added margin of safety when overtaking on the highway. So does Toyota think owners of chauffeur driven cars don’t deserve these benefits because someone is driving them?


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