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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
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 103 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    8.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

Bought the Rav 4 for work, building inspector. wo

By on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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: "Good price, lots of vehicle for the price."

Cons: "need better blue tooth."

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

"Travel all over southeast and central Texas inspecting property. Fantastic vehicle. Go into pastures and construction sites, no problem. Carries all my inspection tools including a 17 ft ladder, folded of course. Mileage is good. The 2015 Rav 4 performs much better than I expected, own a Marix, Tundra, and Avalon."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

2016 Hybrid XLE

By on Monday, January 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,100

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
10/10

Pros: "It is a Toyota & Hybrid"

Cons: "None"

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

2016 Toyota Hybrid

"We got this rig cause 1.it is a Toyota and 2.the mpg and have no regrets about it. This is for the XLE Hybrid: In the few short weeks of owning this rig it is everything and more. I am averaging 34.5 MPG's that is a combo of hwy and city. We got it with the convenience and tech package and so glad we did worth the money to add that. It is so quite both in the hwy and city. It has the 7in display but, a heads up about the display, it will wash out badly when the sun is coming in from the back window. The display is so much more quicker and better responsive then say even the 2014's Rav4. Also the 7in display only comes with the tech package other wise it is a 6in display. The navigation is pretty good but is no Garmin but works well over all. The steering control's for the display unit and the display for the driver works pretty good and is very responsive. The drivers display shows things like your music, your MPG's and ect. The drives display is bright and clear. The steering control's also control your cruise, voice command, trip metier, and more and are all very responsive as well. On the XLE not power seats or heated seats but no big deal for me. It has double climate control with real button. Power lift gate comes with both the XLE and limited along with push button start and a smart key fob. Foot Note: This rig is mainly a front wheel drive. The only time the AWD kick's in is when you need a little more power or you are sliding around it is what they call AWD-i. Also, if you are going to by this rig spend the extra money and the the tech and convenience package. Well worth the money. It will add the following: dynamic cruise control, lane asst, a 7in display, auto high beam, auto lights, turn by turn directions in the drives display, and a better back up camera. So if you are looking for an compact suv but tired of spending all the money on gas you really need to put this on on your short list. Would I buy this rig again I would."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

2016 Toyota Hybrid

Toy car

By on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 250

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "exterior looks great"

Cons: "interior feels cheap, flimsy ac vents."

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

"This 2016 rav4 feels very cheap. exterior and interior look nice, but make with cheap materials. Flimsy AC vents. Temperature knobs, and volume knobs are made with plastic junk. Car makes loud noise when shifting. It also makes annoying sound in the back of the car after braking."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Great car for me.

By on Wednesday, December 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Large spouse doesn't do well driving it. He isn't very comfortable riding in it either. But it is perfect for me. I am a relatively small person."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

City Car

By on Tuesday, December 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200

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
6/10

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

"Just purchased a RAV4 and coming out of a Chrysler 300 the ride is not what I'm used to. My first impression is a positive one. Power is adequate and handling is great. We only plan to drive it one year and since my daughter's Camry has 200,000 miles on it she will get a good Christmas present December of 2016. We would still be driving the 300 except it burned. Something under the dash caught fire. So much for American junk."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

First and Last Toyota

By on Sunday, November 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Large touch screen, exterior design"

Cons: "Road noise, interior lighting, door traps snow"

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

"2014 Rav 4 This is my first Toyota, I choose it for reliability, cargo space, looks and resale value. Checked out many others, Honda, Subaru, Chevy, Ford, Hyundai and Kia before picking the Rav4. After driving for a few weeks you start to see all the things Toyota cut corners on to save money. The road noise is extremely loud on some types of pavement, no noise reduction at all. The interior lighting is terrible, this is the first car i have owned that doesn't have a light in the glove compartment! The headlights have to be turned on and off manually something i haven't had to do in more than 20 years. It just seems cheap and low quality for a Toyota. Another problem is snow and slush get caught up in the bottom of the door, when I park in the garage it melts and leaves huge puddles on the floor. I have to stop and open all 4 doors and clean off the snow before parking in the garage. I will be trading it in soon!"

27 people out of 43 found this review helpful

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