2013 Toyota RAV4 Review
Although the redesigned 2013 Toyota RAV4 no longer offers a V6 engine or an optional third row, automotive reviewers appreciate its large cargo hold and long list of standard features.
The RAV4 comes with a four-cylinder engine, which some test drivers say provides adequate power. Still, others note that competing SUVs are available with more powerful engines. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and auto writers say that it shifts smoothly. The EPA estimates that the 2013 RAV4 gets up to 24/31 mpg city/highway, which is in line with competitors like the Chevrolet Equinox, but not quite as good as SUVs like the Mazda CX-5. The 2013 RAV4 earns reviewer praise for its controlled handling and accurate steering, but some critics point out that other compact SUVs are more fun to drive.
While some test drivers say that the Toyota RAV4’s interior has some cheap plastic surfaces, others write that it’s attractively designed with quality materials. While the 2012 RAV4 featured a side-hinged cargo door and an optional third-row seat, the 2013 RAV4 is more conventional. The cabin seats five and features comfortable first and second rows, while a liftgate provides access to an exceptional amount of cargo space. The 2013 RAV4 also has more standard equipment than many SUVs in the class. Standard features include a six-speaker stereo with a touch-screen display, a backup camera, Bluetooth and a USB port. Options and features available on higher trims include dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, navigation and a blind spot monitoring system.
- "What does the RAV4 offer, then? A return to basics, a straightening of the norm, the new 2013 Toyota RAV4 steps in line with its five-doored, liftgated, four-cylindered competition the Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. It loses a bit of character but gains characterful styling to compensate." -- AutoWeek
- "Acceleration is just average as we merge back onto the Loop 101 freeway, but in most other respects, the 2013 Toyota RAV4 has made the trip convenient, comfortable and enjoyable. This supreme ease of use is exactly what's drawing everyone to compact crossover SUVs in the first place and that's what this RAV4 was designed to do." -- Edmunds
- "Toyota has made transformative changes to the RAV4. In both style and substance, the company's smallest crossover has gone from stodgy to sporty. The new RAV4 is finally fun to drive and has become one of the best-looking vehicles in the class." -- Popular Mechanics
- "We appreciate the updates Toyota has made to keep the compact crossover competitive, and we don't really mind the deletion of the V6 engine option and the seriously cramped third row of the past. Whether or not Toyota's comprehensive refresh of the 2013 RAV4 is enough to put it atop the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape is another matter entirely." -- Autoblog
Other SUVs to Consider
If you want a small SUV that’s more fun to drive, consider the Ford Escape. Although the Escape can’t match the RAV4’s cargo space, reviewers say that the Escape delivers nimble handling, good fuel economy and comfortable front and rear seats.
The Honda CR-V matches the RAV4’s list of standard features and earns similar fuel economy estimates. Additionally, test drivers love the CR-V’s comfortable seats and large cargo hold.
Details: 2013 Toyota RAV4
The 2013 Toyota RAV4 seats five and has standard front-wheel drive. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard, while all-wheel drive is optional on all models. The RAV4 comes in three trims: LE, XLE and Limited. Each trim adds interior features and upgrades some interior materials. The Toyota RAV4 has been completely redesigned for 2013.