What's New for 2013:
- Six-speed automatic transmission
- Normal, Eco, and Sport driving modes
- Dynamic Torque Control AWD system with Auto, Lock, and Sport modes
- Electric steering
- Redesigned inside and out
- Increased fuel economy
- More rear-seat room
- Greater cargo space
- Side-hinged tailgate replaced by top-hinged liftgate
- Spare tire moved from tailgate to location under cargo floor
- 8 standard air bags
- Optional blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert
- V-6 engine dropped
- Sport trim level dropped
- Third-row seat option dropped
The 2013 Toyota RAV4 is a 5-passenger crossover SUV offered in LE, XLE and Limited trim levels with a 4-cylinder engine and front- or all-wheel drive. Standard equipment for the RAV4 LE includes dark-tinted rear privacy glass, power exterior mirrors, auto-off headlights, and 17-inch steel wheels.
One big change for the 2013 RAV4 is from a swing-out rear cargo door with a door-mounted spare tire to a traditional swing-up liftgate with the spare tire mounted beneath the cargo floor.
The redesigned 2013 RAV4's interior offers soft-touch materials in key locations, Clear Blue gauge and control illumination at night, slim front seatbacks to improve rear-seat leg room, and additional cargo capacity. With the rear seat in use, the RAV4 can accommodate 38.4 cubic feet of cargo, and with the rear seat folded down, it handles up to 73.3 cubic feet of cargo.
The 2013 Toyota RAV4 LE is equipped with air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and a 60/40-split folding and reclining rear seat. A Display Audio system with a 6.1-inch display screen is also standard, and includes a reversing camera and Bluetooth hands-free calling.
Toyota says that the new RAV4 LE trim level is offered with roof rails and a cargo tonneau cover, which indicates that buyers seeking additional upgrades must consider the RAV4 XLE trim level.
The 2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE is equipped with 17-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, body-color heated exterior mirrors with embedded turn signal indicators, roof rails, and a power sunroof. Dual-zone automatic climate control is included for this trim level, as well as sport-bolstered front seats, height-adjustable driver seat, cargo tonneau cover, and upgraded French-stitching accents for the cabin.
Options for the RAV4 XLE include satellite radio, navigation system, and Entune smartphone connectivity and multi-media services. With Entune, the RAV4's owner can pair a smartphone and stream music via Bluetooth, run applications, and more simply by using the in-dash touch screen.
At the top of the lineup, the 2013 Toyota RAV4 Limited is equipped with automatic projector-beam headlights, adjustable power liftgate, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. Inside, the Limited trim level gets SofTex leatherette seating, heated front seats, 8-way power driver seat with memory, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and Smart Key passive entry with push-button ignition.
The RAV4 Limited can be upgraded with satellite radio, navigation system, Entune multi-media services, premium audio system, and a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert.
Under the Hood
For 2013, the only engine choice for the redesigned RAV4 is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder generating 176 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,100 rpm. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard, delivering power to the front wheels.
Eco, Normal and Sport driving modes are offered to help calibrate the powertrain to driver preferences. In Eco mode, the RAV4's powertrain works to maximize fuel economy. In Sport mode, the engine feels more responsive, the transmission shifts more decisively, and the steering offers improved feel and response, Toyota says.
Dynamic Torque Control all-wheel drive is optional, and it offers a torque-vectoring handling effect by transferring power to the rear wheels based on a lack of yaw rate and, in Sport mode, the amount of steering angle that is dialed in.
Additionally, Dynamic Torque Control AWD offers three drive modes of its own: Auto, Lock and Sport. In Auto mode, the RAV4 operates primarily as a front-wheel-drive (FWD) vehicle, delivering power to the rear wheels only when necessary. In Lock mode, power is split evenly between the front and rear wheels at speeds up to 25 mph. In Sport mode, the system provides greater throttle response, sharper transmission shifts, heftier and quicker steering response, and torque vectoring for improved handling, according to the automaker.
Notably, the new RAV4 is equipped with a 4-wheel independent suspension and a 4-wheel-disc braking system.
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Toyota RAV4 are:
- RAV4 with FWD: 24/31/TBD mpg (city/highway/combined)
- RAV4 with AWD: 22/29/TBD mpg
The 2013 Toyota RAV4 is equipped with 8 air bags, traction control, stability control, 4-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes with brake assist, and Smart Stop technology that is designed to make it impossible for the crossover SUV to accelerate if the brake pedal is pressed. A reversing camera is also standard, and the RAV4 Limited can be upgraded with a blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
As this overview is written, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has performed crash tests on the 2013 RAV4.