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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 120 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

Horrible Gas Mileage

By on Thursday, July 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "comfortable seating, nice sound system, roomie"

Cons: "very poor gas mileage, road noise in cabin"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"Driving this vehicle was nice because it handled so well and I experienced no issues whatsoever with it mechanically prior to selling. There were only a few disappointments, but they weren't small ones. The atrocious gas mileage it obtained was a huge drain on my bank account and the high degree of road noise in the cabin was most obnoxious. Also worth mentioning is the fact that the nav/radio/system screen was very difficult, and at times nearly impossible, to see during daylight driving. Considering the overall expense of my experience with this SUV, from the inital purchase price to the many dollars spent on gas, I have to rate the overall value of the vehicle poorly. I've elected to sell it for a more economical form of transportation and feel sure I'll have no regret!"

12 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Worst experience, already repaired twice

By on Thursday, July 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,100

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "comfortable roomy, stable, good lookng"

Cons: "Rubbery brakes, low mileage, wind and road noise"

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

"I heard good things about toyota and RAV4 and thought it to be a safe buy. Its just 3 months old, 3000 miles RAV4 XLE. Already been to service center 3 times and two repairs done on the car. Brakes were faulty and mechanised back door just wont open. Disappointed with Toyota quality and service. Had heard about their reputation for both these things but experienced the opposite. Service centre in Avenel - sad, harried consultants/ engineers. Not even ready to commit time of delivery. Empty water bottles and no glasses in service centre, leave aside any beverages. Will never buy a toyota again."

8 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Hybrid great mileage. Road noise & bumps disappoin

By on Sunday, July 3, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 250

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
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Hybrid pep, extra 8mpg, front center visibility"

Cons: "Doesn't absorb road bumps. Noisy road noise under"

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

"2016 Hybrid Limited. While I've only had this car a couple of days & drove only 250 miles, initial impressions are as follows; Good front visibility, highway noise from side-traffic is good but from underneath, asphalt between 25-45mph is noisy, at highway cruise speed much better 55-75mph. May be Yokohama tires. Ask to switch to Michelin if you can before delivery. Side street bumps you feel every one of them. Glove compartment box kept opening - no latch, just a snap in catch. They seem to have fixed it next day. Weather-tech hasn't made rear seat floor liners for the hybrid vehicle yet. Rear cargo slopes up at rear of back cargo area but I knew that before I bought it. Cargo space seems the same as my 2013 prius yet suppose to be one of the best. Hybrid loses 3 cubic ft. Rear leg room not as good as my prius or Forester. Technology package is great for an easily distracted driver like me, lane departure warning, side passing car side mirror warning, camera birds eye great for staying within parking lines while parking. I wonder if the bells & whistles of the Limited vs. the XLE are worth the extra$$. If I did it over, I might go for the Hybrid XLE vs. Limited. Hybrid pep pickup is worth it 174 vs 194 horse power not to mention the extra 8mpg. Little bit of roll for tight exit turnoffs but certainly acceptable. Not tight like a sports car. Great car if looking for economy, value & a car consumer reports rates as one of the best for reliability. Boston Bandit!"

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

great buy

By on Tuesday, June 21, 2016

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"I absolutely love it. I also own the camry and was skeptical... I was pleasantly surprised. The driver seat is not as comfortable as I would like, however everything else is fabulous."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

RAV4 Hybrid is AMAZING

By on Thursday, June 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Price, Value, Quality Feel of Materials, MPG"

Cons: "Stereo, Cruise Control, Acceleration"

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

"I drive a lot, and needed something more economical. I test drove a Subaru Forester and Honda CRV. What sold me on this Rav4 Hybrid was the value, financing, and reliability Toyotas are known for. I purchased the Hybrid Limited model. I like all of the tech stuff (navigation, reads your text messages, traffic, xm, etc.) along with the safety items (blind spot monitoring, lane departure, adaptive cruise control, park assist). This vehicle feels very well built, sturdy, and most of the textured surfaces you come in contact with feel like they came from something more expensive. The fake leather sport seats are nice looking, too! Minor complaints would be the steering is a little vague and non-communicative, and it's not the fastest vehicle (although it is faster than the regular Rav4).I would also say the adaptive cruise control can be a little sensitive, wanting to keep you too far from the vehicle in front of you (it's probably right, though). Spring for the JBL sound system, though. I'm a music teacher and I'm underwhelmed with the quality of the standard sound system on the Limited. The best part about this Rav4 Limited Hybrid is the mileage. It's rated 34 city 31 highway and I have consistently been averaging 37-38 miles per gallon out of entire tanks of gas. It is a fun game to see how long you can keep it in electric mode before the engine kicks in. I traded in my beloved BMW X3 for this vehicle and I have not looked back! If you're in the market for a sharp-dressed vehicle with all wheel drive and you're on a budget, this one is it. The sharp LED running lights AND headlights are very snazzy as well! Thank you Toyota!"

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Great vehicle for all around driving.

By on Thursday, June 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"It is well equipped. It handles very well for a small SUV and the engine performed well even when fully loaded. I drive it almost a 100 miles a day and have had no mechanical problem with it during the 3 years I owned the vehicle."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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