The Japanese company has just presented its new 2008 Toyota Vanguard mid-size crossover SUV. Previously available only on Australian and North American markets, this longer (plus some four inches over the standard) wheelbase version of the 2005 Toyota RAV4 will finally be offered for the Japanese customers, too, albeit with a more appealing exterior styling.
Positioned somewhere between the RAV4 and the Highlander and competing against the Acura RDX and BMW X3 compact crossovers, the Vanguard is 179.9 inches long and about 66.9 inches wide and may be ordered in either five- or five-plus-two seating formula.
I’m afraid, you just can’t call a seven-seater a car, which is 20 inches shorter than, say, Audi Q7 or Mercedes Benz GL-Class, which are not real seven-seaters themselves.
The 2008 Toyota Vanguard is available with a choice of two engines. The smaller is an inline four-banger.
Having a displacement of 2.4 liters, the engine will drink only 12.6 liters per 100 km, which is about 29.6 mpg. More powerful 3.5-liter V6 is combined with 5 Super ECT and is mated with Active Torque Control 4WD transmission.
Among available goodies are LED tail lights, steering-assisted stability control, keyless entry and satellite navigation.
In Japan, the 2008 Toyota Vanguard will be available at a price, ranging from $23,000 to $30,000.
It is not yet clear, whether the car ever reaches Europe, but if it will, expect it come under the Lexus brand (and with a Lexus price tag, too).
See also: 2008 Toyota Highlander hybrid