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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Toyota RAV4

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Expert's Rating

4.8Excellent

MPG 23 City / 30 Highway
Pros
  • Sleek new styling
  • Excellent automatic transmission performance
  • Lots of cargo space
Cons
  • Merely adequate acceleration
  • No third-row option
  • No V6 option
, Automotive Editor -
The Toyota RAV4 looks great, but the lack of a six-cylinder option might limit its appeal.

Introduction

Toyota knew what buyers wanted even before the industry had a term for it. And although it was one of the first crossover SUVs to hit the market, the RAV4 wouldn't be called "crossover" until many years after its 1996 debut.

Heading into 2013, Toyota has heightened the RAV4's enduring appeal with all-new interior and exterior design. Sporting a sloped hood, sleek lines and a stunning cabin, the RAV4 proves the facelift was worth the wait.

The RAV4's V6 option is no more, however, leaving only a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque -- relatively low for its class. A six-speed automatic transmission delivers power to the front wheels in the standard configuration. You can opt for all-wheel drive. A front-wheel drive RAV4 manages 24 mpg city and 31 mpg highway; the heavier all-wheel drive system reduces efficiency to 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway.

Towing ability is low, even for a crossover. While a Ford Escape can tow 3,500 pounds, a RAV4 is limited to 1,500 pounds. Another drawback is its lack of V6 or turbocharged four-cylinder options, leaving the RAV4 well behind many competitors.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Toyota RAV4
Starting price
$17,777

2013 Toyota RAV4 LE

Recommended for: Buyers who want an inexpensive, well-built SUV at a relatively low price

The LE comes standard with: projector-beam headlights; a limited-slip differential; a chrome-accented grille; power side-view mirrors with black housings; 17-inch steel wheels; a noise-reducing windshield; air conditioning; a rearview camera; a Display Audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, AM/FM/CD/MP3 capabilities, an auxiliary jack, a USB port, iPod connectivity and Bluetooth audio streaming; cruise control; cloth upholstery; power windows and locks; keyless entry; and an illuminated-entry system.

2013 Toyota RAV4
Starting price
$17,777

2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE

Recommended for: Buyers who want a luxury-like crossover SUV without breaking the bank

The Limited includes: automatic headlights; a power rear hatch; 18-inch alloy wheels; an auto-dimming rearview mirror; a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio, MID and Bluetooth controls; a leather-trimmed shifter knob; SofTex-wrapped and heated seats with an eight-way power driver’s seat; and Toyota’s Smart Key System with push-button starting.

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