Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • Midsize SUV Buyer's Guide
  • 10 Most Fuel-Efficient SUVs
  • Compact SUV Buyer's Guide
  • 15 Best Family Cars of 2015
Go

2013 Toyota RAV4

Overview
Share this page
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

Buying this car?

2013 Toyota RAV4 Review

By

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

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

Buying this car?

2013 Toyota RAV4 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 83 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    8.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.3/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

Love this vehicle

By on Friday, June 12, 2015

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

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I absolutely love this vehicle. Gas mileage is great and drives nice! The only problem I have is I had my car undercoated when I first purchased it and within 6 months I noticed there was a rust bubble on the back hood. I also noticed another one coming through in the same vicinity. I have always purchased new vehicles and have NEVER experienced a rust problem! Took it into the dealership and unfortunately It is not their problem. I have had my Rav4 for not even 2 years and already I have a rust problem! I will never purchase another Toyota product! This was my first Toyota purchase and is definitely my last!! I should have stayed with my Jeep!"

3 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Transmission and fit and finish

By on Tuesday, June 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "ride and handling"

Cons: "transmission, fit and finish"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I own a 2014 Rav4 the transmission has issues and of course the dealer cannot find anything. The transmission hunts. It will shift way to early to a higher gear, then down shift then up-shift. On cruise control @70 MPH, come to a hill and it will actually "Jake-Brake" and down shift; engine RPM will jump to 3K or more. @25 MPH going down an incline it will down shift and "Jake-Brake". Back on the Highway with cruise control on and come to a hill it will down shift from 6th to 5th and then 4th and when it does it slams into gear and the whole car shutters. Recently I noticed a squeak coming from under the left side front dash. All of this BTW in "Normal" driving mode - I don't use ECO or Sport."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

One car family: Gets it all done and looks nice

By on Thursday, May 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Reasonable price, Reliable, Attractive"

Cons: "Speedometer accuracy; Large Side Mirrors"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I drove my 99 RAV4 for 14 years and passed it on in excellent condition to my granddaughter, replacing it with the 2013 edition. Since this is my only vehicle, I needed one in which I could haul furniture, garden equipment and the like, as well as passengers home from the airport. The reliability of the 99 convinced me to replace with the same vehicle from Toyota and the price was reasonable. No wheel on the back door and the door will open on command, so that's a plus. The back seat has more legroom and passengers are comfortable. Plenty of cupholders and USB ports are available. The heated seats are a treat, though the seats are not as comfortable due to all of the wires underlying the seat cover to warm the seat, and there is no storage under the front seats, again due to seat warmer wiring. I like sitting up higher on the highway to increase vision and the Blind Spot Monitor is a wonderful add on. I do have a few issues. 1. Speedometer accuracy: Consistently displays 4 mph lower than actual speed - drives me nuts. I have had it back to the dealer twice and been given a couple of different reasons for the inaccuracy, but told that all the RAV4's on the lot measured the same overage. Internet research reveals that manufacturers have a 10% tolerance on the upper side of speed, but a zero tolerance on underreporting speed. (If they can be perfect on the lower end, why not on the upper end as well?) 2. Side view mirrors: Restrict vision when turning left or right due to size of mirror. 3. I always drive in ECO mode and when turning right on a grade, the gears don't want to immediately engage."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

I would buy this again, and recommend to others

By on Thursday, May 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great MPG, good sized vehicle, comfortable."

Cons: "Voice recognition system is the worst ever fail!"

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

"I was looking for an IIHS top safety pick, that could handle I95 highway/rush hour craziness better than the all wheel drive smallest CUV wagon that I had. The problem with that smaller wagon was that it hopped all over the place and wasn't sure footed. So I wanted to get a longer wheelbase, and something a bit larger to compete with the traffic I was encountering. The RAV4 is nice. I like most everything about it. The zero gravity type seats are nice. The Limited version I bought has most everything I wanted, was competitively priced, and comes with a great reputation for quality. I have no build issues to report. I've owned this for a month, and have 2,000 miles on it. Not a single issue that needs service. There are some quirks that others have mentioned. The 18" wheels on the limited version do let you know about bumps in the road, more than the 17" wheels on the LE or XLE models. But to get the things I wanted, I had to get the limited. The voice assistance system is the worst one I have ever used. It is so painfully slow, I'd suggest it is useless. I've actually pulled over and typed in things manually vs. battling with the "voice within the box". Many other features in the car make up for the quirks. The lane departure, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross detection alerts are frankly a necessary upgrade given how people drive today. The standard backup camera is great, no complaints. The part I don't understand is that with the technology package, the rear parking sensors (that beep as you get close to something) are not in that package, and hard to find one with all the tech/safety add ons. Weird. But I digress......the free HD radio weather and HD radio traffic broadcasts are worthy inclusions, they don't add yet more money to a satellite radio company for those things. The JBL sound system upgrade is a total fail, in my mind. Why? You get most of your sound out of the front center speaker; it sounds like I'm back in my 1975 AMC Pacer...wait, even that had stereo speakers. SO you have to adjust the speakers to unbalance and send more sound to the rear. But you never get a real stereo/surround sound experience. I expected more, but the XM radio is great, compared to the Sirius radio I've had in other cars. But I'm adjusting and getting used to this. The AWD lock button (up to 25 mph) is a great thing to have. The layout, comfort, and general ride are great. I like most everything about this car. Another thing that is odd, is that at highway speeds, you'll see the back part of the hood (the part nearest the windshield) appear to be vibrating. Yes, it is as though it is such a thin and big piece of metal, that is appears to be flapping in the wind - and to some extent, it is. Unless it is an optical illusion - but others have seen it too. I'm getting 24 mpg - 28 mpg, depending upon whether suburbia or highway. The AWD hasn't been used yet, but looking forward to that as what I've seen and heard, it is very capable. There is more room in this that you first expect. Coupled with good MPG, expected reliability, and overall a good car, I expect I'll be keeping this longer than I've kept most other cars. And the best part, it is an IIHS top safety pick. That, in of itself, is all I needed to know."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Impressions

By on Thursday, May 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "XLE package of no leather seats."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I bought the Rav 4, November 2014, It is a great car for a family of 4, After the initial break in period of around 10,000 miles, now it has begun to get good fuel mileage, averaging around 28-30mpg. Took a trip to eastern washington, a 800 mile round trip averaged 30-32mpg. Comfort is top notch.. seat bolsters make for a great comfort on a long trip."

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."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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

Buying this car?