2013 Toyota Rav4 Review

By Kim Alsumiri,

Toyota is hitting the highway in a sleek new way with the updated version of the Rav4. The 2013 Rav4 has an updated look inside and out, to meet the desire for a mini-SUV that is more classy as well as functional.

The week I spent driving the Rav4 Limited made it extremely hard to go back to my own car, and I am still missing the amenities the new Rav4 offers. One of the features I appreciated the most was the back-up camera that allowed me, someone not used to driving larger cars, to feel more comfortable and confident in maneuvering even in the tightest of parking lots.

Another safety feature I loved was the blind spot indicator on the side view mirrors that lit up when someone was in your blind spot. You can also be completely hands free with the option to be able to sync your phone with the Rav4’s Bluetooth option and be able to talk through the car’s speakers.

Even though the 2013 model only has a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine, you will not feel lacking in that department as the acceleration is smooth and consistent, even up hill. The ride is one of the smoothest I have had, and even going over potholes or dips in the road, you feel almost nothing. The engine is also very quiet, so there is limited cabin noise besides whatever music you are playing over the sound system, which has great bass and the option to shift which speakers the sound is coming from.

The touch screen in the dashboard controls not only the sound system, satellite radio (which is an option on the Rav4), but also the options to connect to the apps on your phone such as Maps and Navigation. The console and dashboard controls are easy to read and use, and the added center console space is very handy for cell phones, keys, etc.

The Rav4 is very spacious and even if you have a family of teenage boys, they will have plenty room in the backseat with leg room. The seats are extremely comfortable, even on long drives, and I appreciated the ability to adjust the lumbar support in the driver’s seat. The trunk area is now where the spare tire is held, instead of on the back of the Rav4, and this is a vehicle I would recommend for those with or without kids.

The gas mileage is an added bonus for a compact-SUV, and you have three options, Normal, Eco, and Sport. The Eco was able to afford efficient gas mileage both in the city and driving through mountains, and with the 6 speed automatic transmission in the new Rav4, the transition between gears was for the most part unnoticeable and very smooth.

I fell in love with the updated look of the Rav4, and the special features combined with the comfortable drive and economical mpg (24 city/31highway, even though I actually got closer to 26 in the city) I have this at the top of my list for my next car. With the new look, it is still sporty, but has a more sophisticated edge to it as well that I think will appeal to a wider audience.

Toyota Rav4 2013 Specs:

Front suspension...independent, Macpherson strut
Rear suspension...independent, double wishbones
Front brakes...disc (ABS)
Rear brakes...disc (ABS)
Front tires...P225/65R17
Rear tires...P225/65R17
Fuel tank...60 l (16 gal)
Transmission...6-speed automatic
Drivetrain...FWD
Steering...rack and pinion, electric assistance
Traction control...yes
Stability control...yes
Seat belts...5
Airbags...8
Base warranty...3 years / 60,000 km
Powertrain warranty...5 years / 100,000 km

image: Toyota.com

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