Find Your Credit Union

All-New Toyota RAV4 Evolves for Consumer Demands

By Arv Voss, January 12th, 2013

Toyota's all-new RAV4 marks the fourth-generation of this popular small crossover SUV. The 2013 RAV4 isn't a radical departure from the original concept, but it now displays a dynamic exterior with its new sleek roofline, bold character lines and streamlined silhouette.

Manufacturer photo: Toyota's fourth-generation RAV4 offers balanced performance and capability, including great fuel efficiency, class-leading cargo capacity, striking design, and a compelling array of standard features
Manufacturer photo: Toyota's fourth-generation RAV4 offers balanced performance and capability, including great fuel efficiency, class-leading cargo capacity, striking design, and a compelling array of standard features

The form begins with Halogen projector beam headlights, a low sloping hood, boldly sculpted front and rear fenders, with the arc of the roofline leads rearward to the new prominently-styled taillamps. There's a functional roof spoiler that not only extends the roofline, but also features a brilliant LED center brake light.

In a significant departure from the original RAV4's heritage, the new model moves from a side-hinged rear door to a more convenient roof-hinged liftgate. The rear door-mounted spare has been eliminated and replaced by a space-saver spare that's stored beneath the rear cargo floor.

Starting at $23,300, the 2013 RAV4 is available in three trims: LE, XLE and Limited. All are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 178 horsepower while generating 172 lb.-ft. of torque, achieving up to 31 miles per gallon on the highway. Motive force is delivered to either the front wheels or to all four wheels with Dynamic Torque Control, via a six-speed automatic with manual shift capability with two driving modes: ECO and Sport. There is no longer a V-6 option.

I was afforded the opportunity to experience seat time in both FWD and AWD versions of the 2013 Toyota RAV4 during the national press preview, spending most of my time in a vehicle in XLE trim in the AWD configuration with a base price of $24,290.

Manufacturer photo: Toyota's fourth-generation RAV4 offers balanced performance and capability, including great fuel efficiency, class-leading cargo capacity, striking design, and a compelling array of standard features

The 2013 Toyota RAV4, while remaining true to the original in terms of concept and purpose, is a vastly improved and much more attractive vehicle entering its fourth generation.

There are those who will complain about the lack of a V-6 powerplant, but in reality, the 2.5-liter four-banger delivers more than enough power, with the advantage of greater fuel economy. The ride quality is extremely stable and the handling characteristics lean to the sporty side of the equation, especially when in the Sport mode. Press the Eco mode button and power output is reined in significantly. Normal mode is, well, normal.

The AWD system incorporates an AWD lock button that allows the driver to lock torque distribution in a fixed, 50/50 ratio (front/rear) at speeds up to 25 mph. The system reverts to Auto mode automatically above 25 mph. Front-wheel drive models feature an Automatic Limited Slip Differential that may be engaged by the driver at low speeds.

As on other recent Toyota vehicles, the engineering team concentrated on improving the aerodynamics by incorporating small vortex generators molded into the taillight cases and near the A-pillar bases. There are also undertrays beneath the passenger cabin that aid in smoothing and controlling underbody airflow.

The 2013 RAV4's interior comes with a more premium appearance, showcasing soft-touch surfaces and accents, along with driver-focused controls. The asymmetrical dash panel is driver-centric with both primary and secondary controls within easy reach, while on the passenger side, a smoothly flowing, scalloped dash panel creates an airy feel to the cabin. The RAV4 features 60/40 split/fold second-row seats that recline, enhancing passenger comfort, along with retractable head restraints that allow for improved driver visibility.

Manufacturer photo: Toyota's fourth-generation RAV4 offers balanced performance and capability, including great fuel efficiency, class-leading cargo capacity, striking design, and a compelling array of standard features

The 2013 RAV4 delivers balanced performance and capability, along with impressive fuel economy, class-leading cargo capacity in a strikingly designed form, with an extensive inventory of standard features and amenities.

Specifications

Base price $24,290 (as tested: $26,540)
Curb weight 3,585 lbs.
Displacement 2.5-liter
Epa mileage rating 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway
Fuel capacity 15.9 gal.
Horsepower (net) 176 at 6000 rpm
Motor type 16-valve DOHC 4-cyl. w/SFI
Overall length 179.9 in.
Torque (lb.-ft.) 172 at 4100 rpm
Transmission 6-speed automatic
Vehicle type 5-passenger AWD compact CUV
Nissan Versa: All-New for 2020

01/25

Nissan Versa: All-New for 2020

Nissan worked hard for more than a decade for an unusual honor. Its Versa, named after an acronym for versatile space, was the cheapest new car available in the United States. Not many years ago, the subcompact's base price was just under $10,000. The Versa's designation was via price only, not a rap on its quality.

Mazda CX-30: 2020 Resolutions Bring Change

01/18

Mazda CX-30: 2020 Resolutions Bring Change

Do you have a plan to remake some aspect of yourself in the new year? Lose weight and eat healthier? Get more exercise or change your hairstyle? Many of us do. So, too, does Mazda.

Jeep Cherokee High Altitude: Lofty Choice

01/11

Jeep Cherokee High Altitude: Lofty Choice

Some folks in the traditionalist Jeep camp weren't happy when the design language of the iconic Jeep Cherokee changed with the 2014 lineup. Some Jeepsters were fans of the Jeep Liberty, which was replaced by the Cherokee. The 2020 Jeep Cherokee represents a radical departure from the Cherokee of old.

Off Lease Vehicles

Hundreds of one owner, off-lease cars, trucks & SUVs with low mileage at a great price!

Additional Resources

Most Researched

2020 Honda Accord EX
EX 4dr Sedan
2020 Jeep Cherokee Limited
4x4 Limited 4dr SUV
2019 Audi A4 2.0T quattro Premium
AWD 2.0T quattro Premium 4dr Sedan
2020 Toyota RAV4 Limited
AWD Limited 4dr SUV
2020 Ford F-150 Lariat
4x4 Lariat 4dr SuperCab 8 ft. LB