Toyota Launches 7-Seater ‘Vanguard’ SUV


If you’re thinking RAV4, then you’re right on. But not the European RAV4. See, the Vanguard SUV is basically a slightly redesigned version of the US spec Toyota RAV4 with three rows of seats that can accommodate seven passengers. Like the European RAV4, the Japanese version of Toyota’s mid-size SUV is shorter in length than the RAV4 sold in the States (4,395 mm vs 4,599 mm) and it’s only offered with two rows of seats. Toyota’s new 7seater SUV will go on sale in Japan from Sep. 8 and it will be offered with two engines plants, a 2.4L and a 3.5L V6 unit.

Press Release

Tokyo — TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced the nationwide launch in Japan of the “Vanguard”, a new mid-size SUV, through “Toyopet” dealers and “Toyota Corolla” dealers.

The Vanguard is a new luxury-class mid-size SUV with a high degree of mobility and power to spare. Not only does it offer a superb driving performance based on exceptional handling and cruising stability, it features styling that reflects refined urban settings and provides a truly pleasant experience to drivers and passengers alike.

A 3.5-liter V6 engine and Active Torque Control 4WD combine with S-VSC (Steering-assisted Vehicle Stability Control) to provide power, handling and stability along with one of the best environmental and safety performances in its class*. The Vanguard benefits from interior and exterior design cues that achieve a sense of strength and quality, as well as three rows of seats that can accommodate seven passengers within a roomy and highly practical interior space.

*Compared to vehicles of similar engine displacement

Sales Outline

Sales channels “Toyopet” and “Toyota Corolla” dealers nationwide in Japan

Monthly sales targets in Japan 2,500 units

Dealer launch events September 8 and 9, 2007

Vehicle Outline

Interior and Exterior Designs Combine Strength and Quality

  • The Vanguard’s interior and exterior designs are based on the Toyota brand design philosophy “Vibrant Clarity”, which is suited to active urban lifestyles.
  • A strong sense of discerning and sophisticated individuality is expressed through its SUV sturdiness.


  • The front features slim, robust headlights that curve around to the side of the vehicle, while the integrated fender and bumper express stability. The hood has two sculpted lines that combine with distinctive fog lights to convey both strength and refinement.
  • The side creates a silhouette that flows smoothly from the hood to the roof and the rear spoiler.
  • The rear displays stability with a bumper that extends to the side, while the combination of taillights with clear lenses and LED lamps convey a sense of quality.


  • The two-tiered instrument panel emphasizes the expansive breadth of the interior, as well as the openness and comfort of the cabin space.
  • The bronze-tone finish used on the center console and door trim evokes a strong sense of refinement and quality.
  • A combination of real leather and Alcantara®*, a leading international brand of suede-like artificial leather, is used on the seats. Meticulous attention to the feel and comfort of the seats expresses an unobtrusive quality.

* “Alcantara” is a registered trademark of Toray Industries, Inc

Roomy, Practical and Comfortable Interior

  • Three-row seat models for accommodating seven occupants and two-row seat models for five occupants are available.
  • The third row of seats in the three-row seat models can be stored under the floor to create a roomy rear cargo space.
  • The second row of seats (with reclining function) have backrests that fold in a 60/40 split and a “super tilt-down” mechanism that allows both the seat cushions and the backrests to fold down to create a nearly flat luggage space. Vehicles with two rows of seats feature release levers located on the sides of the rear cargo space, easily accessible after opening the hatch door, making it possible to retract the second row of seats.
  • By making components below the floor slimmer, and by installing the rear shock absorbers at an angle, the opening to the luggage space has been placed close to the ground and the luggage space made wider, which facilitates the loading and unloading of cargo.
  • The HDD navigation system (compatible with G-Book mX and G-Book mX Pro telematics services) is equipped with advanced navigation features, including “Map on Demand” for updating the navigation system maps with the latest information, as well as a variety of multimedia functions.
  • The Smart Entry & Start System uses a key that does not need to be removed from the driver’s pocket to lock and unlock the doors, as well as a push button for starting the engine.
  • The interior features three independent, large Optitron Meters with excellent visibility and fully automatic independent temperature controls (with temperature sensors) for the driver’s and passenger’s side, complete with a pollen-removal mode that filters out pollen, dust and other impurities from the air.

Superior Cruising Performance that Enhances the Fun of Driving

  • The 3.5-liter V6 2GR-FE engine is combined with 5 Super ECT (Super Intelligent Electronically-controlled, Five-speed Automatic Transmission) for smooth and powerful acceleration and cruising with power to spare.
  • The 2.4-liter 2AZ-FE engine achieves high torque at low and medium speeds for stable cruising and smooth acceleration at high speeds. The engine is paired with Super CVT-i (Super Continuously Variable Transmission-intelligent) and a seven-speed Sports Sequential Shiftmatic transmission that provides the feel of a manual transmission, to achieve high fuel efficiency and smooth cruising.
  • Adopted as standard equipment on all vehicles in the series is Active Torque Control 4WD, which distributes optimum torque to the front and rear wheels depending on driving status, such as vehicle speed and road surface conditions. The system is integrated with S-VSC (Steering-assisted Vehicle Stability Control), which optimally balances driving power, steering and braking, to achieve stable driving regardless of road conditions.
  • A newly designed suspension and a highly rigid body provide excellent handling and cruising stability as well as a comfortable ride.
  • A “4WD LOCK” mode on vehicles fitted with the 3.5-liter engine maximizes the allocation of power to the rear wheels, enhancing driving in mud and on poor or unfinished road surfaces.

Class-leading Environmental and Safety Performance

  • The 2.4-liter models boast a fuel efficiency of 12.6km/l in the 10-15 test cycle outlined by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) with CO2 emissions under the test cycle just 184g/km, achieving fuel efficiency that exceeds by 20% the level called for by Japan’s 2010 standards*. Both NOx (nitrogen oxides) and NMHC (non-methane hydrocarbons) have also been reduced, meaning all models achieve emissions levels 75% lower than the 2005 standards under MLIT’s Approval System for Low-emission Vehicles.
  • Eco-VAS (Eco-Vehicle Assessment System)—Toyota’s original comprehensive environmental impact assessment system—was implemented to efficiently achieve overall reduction of environmental impact throughout the vehicle’s entire lifecycle. Environmental targets were set in the initial vehicle development stage and a life cycle assessment was carried out to achieve a reduction of air contaminants and CO2, etc., throughout all stages of the vehicle’s life from production and use to disposal.
  • A review of the materials, processing methods and adhesives used for interior parts resulted in a reduction in the amount of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) used, thereby also reducing the unpleasant odors emitted from such compounds and achieving the Japanese automobile industry’s voluntary goals.
  • An Eco Driving Indicator lights up when the vehicle is being efficiently operated to raise the driver’s awareness of environmentally considerate driving and, thus, contribute to higher fuel efficiency.
  • The new vehicle adopts an advanced GOA (Global Outstanding Assessment) collision-safety body that has been further developed to meet stricter than normal conditions by incorporating the concept of omni-directional compatibility. Through the use of a body that effectively absorbs collision impact by diffusing it throughout its structure, Toyota satisfied all independent targets for survival space and occupant injury.
  • The body structure has been developed to further reduce pedestrian head injuries in an effort to achieve one of the highest levels of injury prevention in its class.
  • Front seat SRS side airbags and SRS curtain shield airbags that cover the front and rear seats come standard on all vehicles in the series.
  • The front-seat structures are based on the WIL (Whiplash Injury Lessening) concept and come with stronger seat frames and greater backrest give. They were designed based on analyses using THUMS (Total Human Model for Safety), incorporating a structural design that reduces stress on the neck during low-speed rear impact.


News Source: CARSCOOPS

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