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2013 Toyota RAV4

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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 89 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

2015 RAV4 XLE - Excellent ride, fit and finsh

By on Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Ride, comfort, moonroof, space, bluetooth, 6 speed"

Cons: "lack of tech option on XLE Trim"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Loads of room and very comfortable. Sporty, firm ride with excellent visibility and drivers position. Good fit and finish and I anticipate great reliability. Acceleration is fine from my perspective, especially the sport mode. Handles well and takes corners with little body roll. I wish it had a tech option to add blind spot and back up cross sensors. Too early to tell about mileage"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Love the RAV4

By on Monday, July 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,028

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great price, solid car, AWD was good in the snow"

Cons: "No cons; you get what you pay for."

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

"This was my second RAV4, first a 2010, now a 2013. I also just purchased a 2012 RAV4 for my daughter. Will pack everything needed for college. I can depend on the RAV4 with my daughter 9 hours away."

13 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Excellent value and great looks

By on Thursday, July 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,700

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"This is my fourth Toyota and second new one, and this is a keeper :). I have been trying to find the best model for a small family and not too big and the new Rav4 fits perfectly for us. I chose the limited edition for the looks, AWD and interior. I chose the blizzard pearl with black alloys and often people comment on the looks of the car. Drives nicely and as always reliable. Only gripe is speakers are not as good as you would expect in a limited edition. (My 2011 Prius 3 has JBL while 2015 Rav4 limited edition has standard speakers)"

14 people out of 19 found this review helpful

AWD is genius

By on Wednesday, July 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Peppy and fun to drive, AWD, stereo"

Cons: "Limited cup holders, paint seems to chip easy"

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

"This car does so well in the snow, and the added Eco and sport modes are a huge plus. Gas mileage is great and the technology package gave me great sounding music. Very well equipped, especially for the price. Plus it's a Toyota, so of course it's reliable."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

very good vehicle

By on Sunday, July 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "very dependable and good gas milage"

Cons: "ride could be a lot better, and less road noise"

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

"As mentioned, this is a very good vehicle, but the ride is very choppy and in the cabin you do hear road noise."

12 people out of 22 found this review helpful

very noise on the road

By on Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great price good room in side"

Cons: "noise car/ gas milage can be better"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"noise on the road gas milage can be better they give u only drivers side window automatic no power seat on passanger side heated seat's buy not cool on there best rav4 dash board stink's every switch is below the shelf..can not see speedometer good in daylight i'm 6ft tall so it's easy to get in to i think that is why we buy them crv-rouge escape--and the have room in side i think i'll try the rouge next there all the same size really."

14 people out of 23 found this review helpful

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