The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Toyota's 2005 Five-Vehicle SUV Lineup Features Standard 'Star Safety System,' and Array of Improvements and Refinements

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
2005 Toyota RAV4

TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 30, 2004 -- Toyota's comprehensive family of sport utility vehicles (SUV) will offer a vast array of improvements and refinements for the 2005 model year. Most notably, the nimble RAV4, the smooth-riding Highlander, the full-capability 4Runner, the full-size Sequoia and the legendary Land Cruiser feature the company's Star Safety System as standard equipment.

A comprehensive array of dynamic handling and braking technologies, the Star Safety System includes Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and traction control (TRAC), an anti-lock brake system (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA). The Star Safety System helps the driver maintain control of the vehicle in adverse driving conditions. VSC has been standard on all Toyota SUV's since the 2004 model year.

"Toyota offers one of the widest selections of SUVs on the market, and we equip every model with the same level of advanced safety technology," said Don Esmond, senior vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. "By making this technology standard on all our SUV models, Toyota provides the customer with peace of mind when purchasing and when driving."

The spacious Sequoia is equipped with a more powerful version of Toyota's 4.7-liter i-Force V8 engine which includes a new variable-valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) system and an electronic throttle control system with intelligence (ETCS-i). The improved V8 boosts Sequoia's horsepower from 240 to 282. The same V8 is also available on the 4Runner and increases horsepower from 235 to 270. The 4Runner V8 will arrive at dealerships in December.

A full-time four-wheel drive system is available in RAV4, Highlander, 4Runner and Sequoia models and standard on the Land Cruiser.

Four-channel, four-sensor ABS helps to prevent the wheels from locking during severe braking conditions, while EBD distributes proper brake force between the front and rear wheels according to driving conditions and load.

The Brake Assist feature is designed to determine if the driver is attempting emergency braking and, if the driver has not stepped firmly enough on the brake pedal to engage the ABS, the system supplements the applied braking power until pedal pressure is released.

The VSC system helps maintain directional stability during cornering by manipulating engine torque and individual wheel-braking influence when it detects tire slippage.

The TRAC feature helps reduce tire slippage during acceleration. The 4Runner 4WD models use an additional yaw sensor, a deceleration sensor, and control algorithms to deliver smoother torque on any surface, including low-range and locked center differential conditions.

"Toyota customers have long counted on the brand for the best in performance, quality and durability," said Esmond. "They can take comfort knowing that driving safety is just as high a priority in our full line of SUVs."