Recently at the LA Auto Show, Toyota officially unveiled the all new and redesigned 2013 RAV4 crossover SUV. This is the fourth-generation of the RAV4, which started the crossover SUV trend back in the late 1990s. Although it's slightly smaller than the previous model, the 2013 model benefits from a beautiful redesign and a host of upgrades, and will be availble in LE, XLE, and Limited trims in early 2013.
Here's where you'll really notice a difference. First, the RAV4 ditches the long maligned spare tire attached to the rear liftgate, which is now roof-hinged instead of side-hinged. In line with Toyota President Akio Toyoda's design goals for the future, this latest RAV4 boasts more agressive and stylistic looks than its predecesser. It is also 2 inches shorter overall and 1 inch lower than the previous model, presumably making the car a little more fun to drive. Overall, Toyota's looking to convey an "agile and fun character", and it looks like they've done just that!
Everything inside the 2013 RAV4 exudes quality and functionality with a hint of luxury. All the controls are in easy reach of the driver and the car feels just as spacious as it always has. The dash and gauges feature Clear Blue illumination, providing the driver with great visibility in both ambient light and at night.
Despite the exterior's more compact dimensions, the cargo area is slightly larger than the previous generation with about 38.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity. That number goes up to a fantastic 73.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.
New for 2013, all RAV4's will have a standard 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen for Display Audio, with a standard backup camera and Bluetooth connectivity. This really makes the car feel more upscale than previous versions of the base RAV4. If you opt for the more upscale XLE or Limited editions, you'll be treated to bonus features like dual-zone automatic climate control, fog lights, a moonroof, and stiched seats.
Powertrain & Engine:
Toyota has discontinued the V6 engine option, and now all versions of the RAV4 feature Toyota's 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine, producing 176 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque. However, they have upgraded from the old four-speed automatic transmission to a new six-speed with Sequential Shift and Sport and Eco modes. In Sport Mode, you'll get sharpened shift timing, throttle response, and steering response, and when down shifting, you'll hear an audible "blip", something you'd expect more from sports cars than a Toyota crossover SUV. This all adds together to create a more dynamic driving experience.
The RAV4 AWD models will get an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway, with the new Eco mode designed to promote more efficient driving and better fuel efficiency.
Availability & Conclusion:
Toyota has not released price details just yet, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as soon as they are released. They also haven't given a release date just yet, but expect the RAV4 to be available sometime in late January or early February. All-in-all, we love the look of the new RAV4, as the old version was definitely due for an upgrade. As Toyota gradually shifts their vehicles towards sportier and more stylish designs, we're excited to see what the future holds!
Toyota has recently revealed pricing information for the 2013 RAV4, which you can find below:
2013 RAV4 Pricing
|Model #||Grade||Drive Type||Engine||Transmission||Body Style||MSRP|
All prices listed below exclude the Delivery, Processing, and Handling (DPH) fee