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2013 Toyota RAV4

Overview
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2013 Toyota RAV4 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

The RAV4 is the crossover SUV that takes credit for starting the segment back in 1995. Nearly two decades later, crossover SUVs have exploded in popularity because of their versatility, fuel economy and car-like handling. 2013 marks the fourth generation for the revamped RAV4. With it, Toyota's smallest SUV receives a much-needed styling update, new technology and more miles per gallon of gasoline. Class-leading interior room remains. Buying the newest RAV4 is now a simpler affair with fewer choices: just three trims, one engine and one transmission. An all-electric version with the old body style remains for sale in California. The RAV4 can't quite match the comfort of archrival Honda CR-V or the driving dynamics of the Ford Escape, but it remains a well-rounded SUV with a history of reliability and good resale value.

You'll Like This Car If...

If a smaller, well-equipped SUV with seating for five and good fuel economy is on your to-buy list, it's hard to ignore the RAV4. Sharp looks, competitive pricing and a strong reliability history further bolster its appeal. Those seeking an all-electric SUV will only find it in the 2013 RAV4 EV.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The new RAV4 doesn't have the most powerful engine, the best fuel economy, or the lowest price in this segment. More power can be had in the Ford Escape, Kia Sportage, and Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, while the Mazda CX-5 has a lower starting price and a higher fuel-economy rating.

What's New for 2013

The RAV4 receives fresh styling inside and out, a standard 6-speed automatic transmission, rearview camera and touchscreen control center, and safety technology such as blind-spot monitoring. Gone are the 3rd-row seat and impressively powerful V6 engine available in past models. 2013 RAV4 EV models are unchanged from their 2012 debut models.

Driving the RAV4

Driving Impressions The 2013 Toyota RAV4 feels well-balanced in just about every way. With a 0-60 mph time under nine seconds, off-the-line acceleration is adequate for getting up to speed on freeways...

without fear of being rear-ended by a semi-truck. Steering feel and overall comfort are good for this class of vehicle. In addition to the normal driving mode, the RAV4 now features a "Sport" mode that quickens throttle response and sharpens the steering response. The "Eco" mode, conversely, mutes throttle response in an effort to be more miserly with fuel, but we found ourselves quickly turning it off since it made acceleration feel laggardly. The RAV4 EV, meanwhile, is one mean green machine. With peak torque of 273 lb-ft from its electric motor, the RAV4 EV is surprisingly quick. In sport mode it can zip to 60 mph in seven seconds. In ordinary driving the RAV4 EV felt comfortable and composed. Its EPA-rated range is 103 miles.

BLIND-SPOT MONITORING
Once a safety feature reserved for luxury vehicles, this option is now available in the RAV4 to warn you when drivers enter the side area of your vehicle that you can't see. Additionally, the system has Rear Cross Traffic Alert to warn you when other vehicles are approaching as you back up.

CAVERNOUS CARGO CAPACITY
Toyota's team has again worked their interior design magic to create even more room in the RAV4. Cargo volume behind the front seats has increased to a class-leading 73.4 cubic feet, and with rear seats that fold flat, all that real estate is easy to fill and use.

2013 Toyota RAV4 Details
2013 Toyota RAV4 photo Interior

Now coming only as a 2-row, 5-passenger affair, the 2013 RAV4's interior appears two steps ahead of the last model. Even base LE trims have contrasting colors, always a good antidote for blandness. The only piece out of step is faux carbon-fiber cladding around the door stills and gearshift lever. Leather is no longer an option in top models, which now receive a leather-like material called Softex that's also in the RAV4 EV. We found the driver's seat comfortable even in base models with cloth, and especially so in the Limited trim with Softex and added lumbar support. The ability to drive in Eco or Sport mode is nice to have, but accessing the buttons low in the dash is awkward while driving. Rear legroom has decreased, but is still good. One-pull folding rear seats are easy to operate.

Exterior
2013 Toyota RAV4 photo

One of the biggest aspects of the RAV4's 2013 redesign is something that's missing: the spare tire that has resided on the rear of these SUVs ever since they were tiny 2-door runabouts in the mid-1990s. That isn't the only relevant change at the RAV4's posterior. The compact SUV now has a rear door that swings up instead of out, which makes it easier to access and helps shield you from rain as you load groceries. Top-line Limited models feature a power liftgate that can be adjusted to raise to a customized height. The limited-production RAV4 EV retains a modified body from the last-generation RAV4.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2013 RAV4 is available in three trims: LE, XLE and Limited. Base LE models come nicely equipped with 6-speed automatic transmission, 6.1-inch touchscreen display, rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity, and an AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers and auxiliary/USB inputs. XLE trims add a power moonroof, 17-inch allow wheels, dual-zone climate control, and front seats with extra bolstering and French stitching. Limited models are highlighted by a power liftgate, Softex leather-like seating (heated in front), 18-inch wheels, leather-trimmed steering wheel, and push-button starting. RAV4 EVs are loaded with features like dual-zone climate control, navigation display and Toyota's Entune smartphone-enabled system. 2013 RAV4s have eight airbags (six for the EV), antilock brakes, stability control, and traction control.

Optional Equipment

All trims of the RAV4 can be had with all-wheel drive, which enhances traction in wet weather and on dirt roads. Other options vary by trim level and include a navigation system with Toyota's Entune telematics system that includes voice recognition and various apps for everything from making reservations to finding sports scores, JBL premium audio system with 11 speakers, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. For the RAV4 EV model, a Level 2, Leviton 240-volt home charging system is available.

Under the Hood

The 2013 RAV4 is powered by a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that makes 176 horsepower, enough to get the SUV up to speed in a decent – but not the quickest – manner. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional. Fuel economy has improved to up to 31 mpg/highway, and the 2013 RAV4 will eagerly tow up to 1,500 pounds. The limited-production RAV4 EV has an AC induction motor, lithium-ion battery, and single-speed automatic transmission. All RAV4 EV models are front-wheel drive and not rated for towing. Charging can take over 40 hours on a standard 120-volt outlet, but decrease to as low as five hours on a 40-amp, 240-volt outlet.

2.5-liter inline-4
176 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
172 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/31 mpg (front-wheel drive), 22/29 mpg (all-wheel drive)

AC induction motor
154 horsepower
273 lb-ft torque
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 78/74 mpg equivalent
Range on a full charge: 103 miles

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2013 Toyota RAV4 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 78 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.6/10
    Performance
    8.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

Like it, don't love it

By on Thursday, May 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Comfy and reliable"

Cons: "XLE should have all amenities (remote, glasses)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"It's a good car, but for what I spent I wanted a car I would love, like my '01 Highlander. My RAV4 is loaded, and that's nice, but the dashboard is not well-lit, and there is no inbuilt garage door opener. That's OK in a Corolla, but not in any XLE. There's also no place for sunglasses. Maybe it's me, but when I have sunglasses on, the display screens disappear. My wife's Camry Hybrid is superior in a number of ways,and I would have gotten a Camry if I did not need the hatchback. A very nice vehicle for about $32000, but $37000 was a bit too much for the feel of the deal."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Amazing First New Car

By on Thursday, May 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "resale value, space, great standard features"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased this car before starting grad school, and it has been one of the best decisions I've ever made!!!! I shopped around for 6 months before I came to a decision. They have VASTLY improved the aesthetics of the vehicle (both exterior and interior) compared to the pre 2013 models. I had liked the RAV4 more than any of the cars I had looked at except for the exterior, but by the time I decided what car to buy, they had the revamped 2013s out. I knew this was the best car for me. Other cars I looked at included the Mini Cooper Countryman, Honda CRV, Mazda CX5, VW Tiguan, Nissan Rogue and Morano, and Subaru Crosstrek. Nissan had a lot of nice interior features, but it just felt cheap in the end; it also had VERY poor visibility through the back window. I didn't really like the CVT of the Crosstrek when I drove it on the highway, nor did I like the body of the car much (it's too station wagon-y for me). Both the VW Tiguan and the Mini Countryman were just lovely, but neither had as much space as the RAV4, and both were way more expensive for the same amount of interior features (heated seats, dual-zone climate control, keyless entry, push to start, etc). They also can't hold a candle to Toyota's resale value. Did I mention the RAV4 has a sport mode button that makes it super fun to drive? That was another concern I had when comparing it to the Mini, but the sport mode took care of that. The Mazda CX5 was also a bit pricier for the same features, and also doesn't have quite as good of a resale value as Toyota. The Honda CRV was probably the main contender, but the body is very unattractive in my opinion. I will be moving around a lot for the next few years because of school, and I am so happy that I'll have this car to rely on. Folding the back seats down gives you SO much space in the back! Perfect for packing up all my things and moving in one trip (most of my furniture is cheap Ikea stuff that can be broken down and rebuilt easily). It's also incredibly comfortable if I'm driving somewhere with friends. I debated for a while if I wanted to get the upgraded speakers/navi option, and I ended up not getting it. I was afraid that I would regret my decision after spending some time listening to music in the car, but I was wrong- it sounds great! The navi would have been nice to have, but we all have navigation on our phones these days, so it's not that big of a deal. I have also had the pleasure of driving this car up and down the mountains of WV in heavy snow, and it has far exceeded my expectations! My previous vehicle was a 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport. I didn't think I would be comfortable driving anything but a Jeep in snow after that, but I was very wrong. The RAV4 does a great job as long as you know how to drive in the snow properly. Overall an EXCELLENT PURCHASE, and I am absolutely elated to see the resale value on the vehicle today. I got an excellent deal on the car, so I only lost about $700 between the retail price when it was new and the fair purchase price KBB gave it today. HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!"

10 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Poor interior design

By on Saturday, May 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
2/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"For an XLE, no real leather available,no power seats, no heated seats, no auto headlights. Console only has one side, evrything falls onto floor, two glove boxes only lower has door. Mechanicaly it is a Toyota, interior design and options poor."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

A great car - exceeds my expectations

By on Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Priced well; fun to drive."

Cons: "Wish blindspot was offered on the XLE."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned Toyotas for years and my past three cars have been iterations of the RAV-4. I was excited that the newest version has the rear liftgate instead of the gate that opens like a door. So much more convenient. I wasn't sure I liked that Toyota went away from the V6 but I was very surprised by the pep of the 4 cylinder they offer now. Getting to highway speed has never been a problem and I love getting 30 MPG!!"

16 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Drivetrain Problems

By on Friday, February 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 656

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"The 2015 Rav4 I have has transmission problems and a loud growling engine. The vehicle vibrates when shifting into 5th and 6th gears . The engine makes a loud growling noise, I went back to dealership and they all have this terrible sound. I am disappointed in Toyota."

15 people out of 35 found this review helpful

Great car

By on Thursday, February 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great car on ice covered roads . Very nice seats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I drove this car on a 2500 mile trip got 29 to 31 miles to a gallon ! Great road car quite and fun to drive. Comfortable seats ."

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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