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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 112 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    8.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.2/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

My second RAV4 and the best car I've ever owned

By on Friday, May 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good price, safety features, pep, economy"

Cons: "The voice recognition system is poor."

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

"I've had the RAV4 Hybrid Limited for 6 months and 5,000 miles and I'm more impressed every day. My previous RAV4 (2011)was a 6 cylinder and when I started looking at the 2015 models I was disappointed in the performance of the 4 cyl (the 6cyl was no longer available). But the hybrid has more acceleration than my previous 6 cyl. My only complaint about the 2011 RAV4 was the road noise and the hybrid is much, much more quiet. The ride is comfortable, the interior is surprisingly spacious and the limited performance package has incredible features. The car warns me if I've crossed lane lines and even corrects the steering if I don't respond. I thought the cruise control with integrated radar would be a nuisance, but it does a great job of controlling speed when gaining on a slower vehicle and as soon as I change lines the car speeds up to the set speed."

Not Impressed

By on Friday, May 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,110

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "reliability (I think, had it a year)"

Cons: "a lot of things"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"For all the talk about how great the RAV4 is I am not impressed. I find the steering to wander more than I think it should. Overall balance seems to be in question as the slightest hard acceleration from a stop squeals the tires. I dont like the power window controls. In that they are push down and you have to pull it back up to close it. Most of todays vehicles have a toggle switch, bottom for down, top of the switch for up.They also have not switched from the tired old cruise control system thay have stayed with for decades. It needs to be mounted on the steering wheel and get rid of some of the radio controls from the wheel. The ride is not comfortable in that the front seats curve around you and squeeze you. These are not made for American drivers. There are other things such as the placement of the shifter,cup holders but I think thats all for now. I prefer to drive my 2003 Mazda Tribute"

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Best car I have owned in this price range

By on Monday, May 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,700

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Great ride and powerful"

Cons: "Better gas mileage"

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

"I purchased Limited Hybrid and enjoy power, ride and performance. On the down side the speedometer can not be clearly seen with sun glasses and glare from the sun and switches below steering wheel are not convenience and could be a safety issue since you have to take your eyes off the road to use. There is a blank screen on instrument display that could display mph. Just a good suggestion."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Best mid size suv also best looking!

By on Thursday, May 05, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfort, spacious, Sleek looking"

Cons: "maybe more power but good enough still"

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

"My wife and I have been looking to downsize from our Honda pilot. We also needed a vehicle that was a little better in gas mileage as well. We needed something comfortable and still spacious. The front seat on this car is A-1! Love the bucket seats. Rear seats recline for a more comfortable passenger ride. You don't move at all compared to the ones in the 07 pilot. The interior is very nicely designed. Soft touch almost every where. You can tell that the designer did not cut corners here. The drive noise is not that bad with the Michelin tires that came on it. We have a 8 month old daughter so convince is key. The automatic opening rear door comes in so handy, especially since I work early hours and my wife has to handle our daughter by her self. cant say much about gas mileage yet but I know its better than the previous v6 we had. Our friend has a Honda CRV and cant say that we didn't dislike it. Only thing it was lacking was the wow factor. The Rav4 defiantly has it. I am a Honda person and branching off of it was hard but absolutely no regrets. The technology on the XLE is perfect for your every day usage with out going overboard on price. The sales guy kept wanting to sell us the LE version but had to hold our ground. Told him I am not leaving the lot with a LE and regrets of not getting the better model (XLE) instead. Told him it's either the XLE or no key. Ended up getting the XLE for 1000 less than the LE :). Also helped that it was a rainy day and sales were way down. Overall, if you are looking for a spacious sleek looking mid-size SUV that is comfortable, the Rav4 is what you want."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best vehicle we have owned.

By on Monday, April 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great looks, good gas economy, very comfortable."

Cons: "If could be quieter, that would be outstanding."

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

"This car has been fantastic, am upgrading to the limited version for more options. Ultra reliable, good on gas, easy and safe to drive, comfortable for an suv."

11 people out of 19 found this review helpful

So far a pretty good car... just a few cons

By on Friday, April 08, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,100

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good in the snow,great turn radius, easy to drive"

Cons: "under powered in 4 clyander, noisy, rough ride"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"So far this has been a pretty good car for our daily usage. Wish there was a 6 cylender as in Colorado, the transmission seems under powered. It struggles to find the right gear on hills and entering the highway. Like the car but would not buy this in a 4 cylander. Other thing is it's loud and kind of rough. You feel every bump. Good stuff is: Suits our purpose as far as it's part sedan and part stationwagon so to speak. We can still haul alot of items. It is easy to get in and out. (this will come in handy for us a few years from now) It is good in the snow. Has a great turn radius."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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