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    Quick Drive: 2013 Toyota RAV-4 Limited AWD



    September 30, 2013

    Drew Dowdell

    Managing Editor - CheerandGears.com

    Some Crossovers are too this; some Crossovers are too that; and some Crossovers are just right. This is the Goldilocks’ impression I walked away with after my quick drive of the 2013 Toyota RAV-4 AWD.

    Toyota rarely releases radical designs, but the first visual impression of the RAV-4 is that Toyota is trying to break that habit, though cautiously. The RAV-4 seems to drop the family face shared by the rest of the Toyota line, yet retains enough familiarity to fit in. I admit to not being a fan of the new look at first, but it has grown on me.

    Step inside and you are greeted with a roomy interior for the class. The dashboard continues the unconventional look from the outside with an unusual two tier dash. Upscale materials are found on most places you would normally touch, however some of the lower panels have clearly been through some cost-cutting. The overall look of the dash layout is what one might expect if a car manufacturer produced a luxury compact pickup, with a very upright and blocky appearance. Most of the switchgear is standard Toyota and the everyday buttons are easy to reach and have a simple layout. Lesser used switches are low on the center stack and a bit harder to operate by touch.

    Though dimensionally similar to vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Ford Escape, the Toyota RAV-4 makes the most of those dimensions and feels larger and roomier inside thanks to its light and airy cabin.

    2013 Toyota RAV 4 interior

    Click picture to enlarge

    Like the interior? How does the RAV-4 drive? On to page 2!


    One area that Toyota has nailed it is in overall refinement. From the perky 2.5 liter 4-cylinder with Lexus like manners, to the buttery smooth 6-speed automatic transmission, to the supple yet spritely independent suspension, the RAV-4 would keep Goldilocks happy for a long while.

    2013 Toyota RAV 4 side

    The 2.5 liter produces 176 horsepower at 6,000rpm and 172 lb-ft of torque at 4100rpm. Though lacking the absolute highest of 4-cylinder engine power, the engine never feels overworked. Around town, the RAV-4's engine feels very energetic. It pushes that power through a buttery smooth 6-speed automatic to all 4 wheels netting an EPA 22 mpg City/ 29mpg Highway/ 25mpg combined. The suspension is soft without being spongy, soaking up road imperfections but maintaining a firm and confident feel in corners.

    The Toyota RAV-4 has been one of the best selling vehicles in its segment for years, often taking the best seller crown. While Toyota has gotten a little out of their comfort zone on styling, they have put together a total package in the 2013 model that only strengthens their solid market position. I'll bet a whole lot of Goldilockses out there will end up finding the 2013 RAV-4 to be just right.

    As Tested Price: $31,869

    Related Reviews:

    Review: 2013 Nissan Rogue

    Review: 2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

    Review: 2013 Kia Sportage AWD

    Disclaimer: Toyota provided the 2013 Toyota RAV-4 during a drive event held for members of the International Motor Press Association.

    Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @Cheersngears

    2013 Toyota RAV 4 front

    Click picture to enlarge

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    Toyota has nailed this segment, though I find the looks to be a step backwards. The nose unfortunately has adopted the snout of the Corolla instead of being a softer version of the 4Runner. Removing the rear tire and placing it under the cargo hold is a huge improvement. The prior Sport model traded the rear-mounted tire with expensive run-flats. It's a wonder why GM hasn't had a model compete directly with it (other than the Captiva), though it sounds like the next Equinox will.

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    WOW, Talk about a ugly station wagon like external and the internal dash is just pathetic. That interior is enough to have me never even consider buying it. What are the engineers watching to build a terrible dash like that? To much Anime?

    Loved the review and glad it has a decent powertrain, I feel Toyota will do fine with sales, but really needs to step up their game. The design language is just blah, and forgetfull but the interior is a horendous nightmare that I will not forget. Why is Toyota and Honda on these multi-split personality dash designs. I find nothing of benefite and only pure uglyness.

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    Now come on. I don't think the interior is that bad as in "horrendous nightmare" bad. I do however think it could certainly have used better design and refinement. Still, not too shabby.

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    I like these new horizontally oriented Toyota dashes. They're old skool. Everybody else is going with a giant, prominent center stack. The Yaris, Corolla, Camry and Avalon are all doing it, too.

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    I like these new horizontally oriented Toyota dashes. They're old skool. Everybody else is going with a giant, prominent center stack. The Yaris, Corolla, Camry and Avalon are all doing it, too.

    No, No, No, Nothing Old skool here at all, just plain ugliness. :nono:

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    I think Toyota made good strides on the exterior design with this model. When I sat in it at the auto show though, I was repulsed by the cheapness of a lot of it.

    It's gotta be an improvement over the current CRv though. I drove the CRV at the ford ecoboost ride and drive and that is nothing but junk. It feels straight out of 1999 or something and is tinny and noisy and plasticky and uncomfortable.

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    I've been informed that the lower level RAV-4s do feel cheaper inside.... as I was only able to sample this fairly loaded model, I couldn't really comment.

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    I've been informed that the lower level RAV-4s do feel cheaper inside.... as I was only able to sample this fairly loaded model, I couldn't really comment.

    I might be able to give an answer to this since I'll have a RAV4 XLE in for review in late November.

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    anything is better than the the CRV crap recreational vehicle. Honda sells em like hotcakes and they are to me the epitome of days gone by milquetoast

    I give Toyota for trying to evolve the RAV4.

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      The exterior styling is complemented with interior features that include a TRD shift knob and TRD Sport floor mats. 
      The TRD Sport is just part of an overall refresh for the 2018 Tundra.  Safety will be enhanced on all Tundra models with the addition of Toyota Safety Sense™ (TSS-P) as standard equipment.  This multi-feature advanced active safety suite bundles a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Auto High Beams (AHB) and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC).  Drivers can view the status of TSS-P through an upgraded Multi-information Display.
      The 2018 Tundra will receive exterior updates that include a new mesh grille on select trims while the Tundra Limited and 1794 Edition will receive a new billet style grille.  The Limited, Platinum and 1794 Edition will be equipped with new LED Headlights and Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and LED Fog Lights.  LED headlights and Fog Lights are also available when the TRD Off-Road Package is selected on SR5 models.  The SR and SR5 grades will receive halogen headlights with a black bezel and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL). 
      Sequoia TRD Sport
      The brawny 2018 Sequoia TRD Sport will be available in 4x4 and 4x2 models equipped with the 5.7-liter i-Force V8 engine.   Road handling is enhanced with TRD Sport Tuned Bilstein Shocks and TRD front and rear anti-sway bars.  Key exterior features on the Sequoia TRD Sport will include:
      New front grille and bumper grille insert Metallic black mirror caps 20-inch alloy black sport wheels Darkened rear tail light housing Black satin finish TRD Sport badging on the front doors and a Metallic black and chrome Sequoia badge on the liftgate Exterior colors for the Sequoia TRD Sport will include Super White, Magnetic Gray Metallic, and the new Midnight Black Metallic.  The stylish exterior treatment will be complemented by an assortment of interior convenience features exclusive to the Sequoia TRD Sport including:
      Standard black fabric seven-passenger seating Optional Black leather captain chair seats (part of the optional Premium Package) TRD shift knob TRD Sport floor mats TRD Sport sill protectors In addition to the TRD Sport, Sequoia will be available in SR5, Limited and Platinum grades in 4x2 and 4x4 configurations.  All will be powered by the i-Force V8 engine. Like Tundra, the 2018 Sequoia will raise the bar in the area of safety as TSS-P will be standard on all models (includes PCS w/PD, LDA, AHB, and DRCC).    
      All Sequoia models will also come standard with new LED headlights with LED DRL, and LED fog lights.  Additional exterior updates include a new front grille and bumper grille insert, distinctive to each grade.  A bumper opening chrome surround will be equipped on TRD Sport, Limited and Platinum grades. 
      The 2018 Sequoia will be available in eight exterior colors including three new colors: Midnight Black Metallic, Shoreline Blue Pearl and Toasted Walnut Pearl.  Additional colors include: Super White, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Silver Sky Metallic, Blizzard Pearl, and Sizzling Crimson.
      Inside, all Sequoia models will come standard with a new instrumentation panel gauge cluster and 4.2-inch Multi-information Display (MID) that tracks the status of TSS-P.  Also new are an updated center speaker grille smoothed to the surrounding dashboard and interior trim with wood-like accents for Platinum grade.
      RAV4 Adventure
      The active lifestyle-inspired RAV4 Adventure will be available in front-wheel drive with an Automatic Limited-Slip Differential, or with Dynamic Torque Control all-wheel-drive.  Both versions feature a standard Tow Prep Package that includes an upgraded radiator and supplemental engine oil and transmission fluid coolers, as well as a suspension system with a higher ride height.  As with all RAV4 models, the Adventure grade will come standard with Trailer Sway Control (TSC), Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), and TSS-P.  Exterior styling features exclusive to the RAV4 Adventure includes:
      Large overfender flares 18-inch five-spoke black alloy wheels with 235/55R18 tires Lower body guards Black headlight bezels Black fog lamp surround, roof racks and Adventure badging The RAV4 Adventure will be available in five exterior colors including Black, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Silver Sky Metallic, Super White, and one new color for RAV4 models, Ruby Flare Pearl.
      The sporty exterior features of the RAV4 Adventure are mated to exclusive interior features that include:
      Unique interior trim panels Leather-wrapped shift knob 120V/100W power outlet in the cargo area Adventure door sill protectors All-weather mats floor and cargo mats with Adventure logo Additional features new for 2018 in select RAV4 models include optional heat/power fabric front row seats, heated steering wheel, and wiper de-icer as part of a new Cold Weather Package.
      The 2018 RAV4 Adventure grade along with the Tundra and Sequoia TRD Sport grades will begin arriving in dealer showrooms in September.
    • By dfelt
      G. David Felt
      Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com
       
      24/7 Wall St reports Tesla Loses in Safety Test to Chevy and Toyota

      For 2017 electric / hybrid auto rating, Tesla looses to GM and Toyota the safety crown. Tesla has stated that they have already corrected the safety issues but were unable to deliver an updated auto for testing. It will be retested later this year. Errors happen, be interesting to see how the BOLT tests out.
      24/7 Wall St. Story
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