2013 Toyota RAV4: Pricing, Features and Release DateDecember 20th, 2012 by Armaan Almeida
Redesigned from the ground up for 2013, the all-new Toyota RAV4 takes a “back to the basics” approach in embracing the spirit of the original 1990s RAV4 vehicle that spawned the entire compact crossover segment.
Gone are the unpopular third-row seat and V6 engine options, and you won’t find fancy terrain-response rock crawling modes here. What you will find is a strong all-purpose vehicle with good efficiency, best-in-class cargo room, and styling and ride quality that are smoother and more car-like than ever.
All 2013 RAV4 models will come with a 176 horsepower, 172 lb-ft. torque 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a new 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Fuel efficiency is good but not earth-shattering: 24 city/31 highway mpg with FWD or 22 city/29 highway with AWD.
The new AWD system, a $1,400 option at all trim levels, can not only send up to 50% of torque to the rear wheels but can lock at speeds under 25 mph. The car can be operated in standard, Sport and ECO modes, each affecting transmission shift logic, throttle and steering response. When placed in Sport mode, the AWD version is surprisingly spritely and fun, proof of Toyota’s increased focus on bringing excitement back to its showrooms.
The 2013 RAV4 seats 5 passengers, and though several interior dimensions actually shrink over the bulkier 2012 model, there’s still plenty of space for four 6-footers to be comfortable. All trim levels come with Toyota’s Display Audio system standard, with a 6.1-inch touchscreen and integrated backup camera, plus Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, and auxiliary audio and USB/iPod inputs. Navigation and Entune infotainment upgrades are optional. One note: if leather interior is a must-have, look to the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape or Mazda CX-5, as Toyota has gone with SofTex leatherette instead on the top-of-the-line Limited. We weren’t wild about the look and feel of this material.
Cargo capacity is now the best among all compact ‘utes, at 38.4 cu.ft. behind the 60/40 split-folding rear seat, or 73.4 cu.ft. with it folded flat. Toyota has also finally relocated the RAV4′s spare tire underneath the floor, allowing for an up-and-down power liftgate with memory function.
The new RAV4 is not a game changer, but it doesn’t have to be. Most buyers in this segment are ultimately looking for a vehicle that puts space, durability and efficiency above cool gizmos and flashy styling. Look for it in showrooms right around the 1st of the year.
2013 Toyota RAV4: Pricing and Availability
RAV4 LE: $23,300
RAV4 XLE: $24,290
RAV4 Limited: $27,010
AWD: Optional at $1,400 on all trims
Release Date: Early January 2013