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Redesigned 2013 Toyota RAV4 Drops V-6 Engine, Improves Fuel Economy

11/28/2012
When the redesigned 2013 Toyota RAV4 arrives in dealerships, it will no longer offer a V-6 engine, or a side-hinged tailgate, or a spare tire mounted to the rear of the vehicle. The RAV4 Sport model is also discontinued, along with the optional third-row jump seats and the leather upholstery. At the same time, the all-new 2013 RAV4 gains interior volume and refinement, new technology, and a sophisticated optional Dynamic Torque Control all-wheel-drive system.

Now offered solely as a 5-passenger compact crossover SUV, the new 2013 Toyota RAV4 is offered in three trim levels: LE, XLE and Limited. All are equipped with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine generating 176 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,100 rpm.

A 6-speed automatic transmission delivers power to the front wheels. A new Eco Mode aims to maximize fuel economy, while a new Sport mode sharpens transmission shifts, throttle response, and electric steering response, according to Toyota. In Sport mode, the transmission also delivers subtle downshift rev matching.

The new RAV4's optional Dynamic Torque Control AWD (all-wheel drive) system also offers three driving modes: Auto, Lock and Sport. In Auto mode, power is delivered to the front wheels until wheel slip dictates that power is sent to the rear wheels. In Lock mode, half of the engine's power is delivered to the rear wheels at speeds under 25 mph. In Sport mode, the system automatically delivers power to the rear wheels to enhance cornering.

Fuel-economy ratings are up with the new 2013 RAV4. Toyota reports that EPA fuel-economy ratings for the new SUV are 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway with front-wheel drive and 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway with AWD. Last year, the front-wheel-drive model was rated to get 22 mpg city/28 mpg highway.

For 2013, the RAV4 loses its tailgate-mounted spare in favor of one tucked under the cargo floor. The tailgate itself is also redesigned, swinging up on top-mounted hinges rather than swinging to the side. Toyota claims "class-leading" cargo capacity with 38.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 73.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

Rear-seat leg room is enhanced due to new "slim-back" front seats designed to maximize passenger space. The new RAV4 also gets soft-touch accents inside the cabin, and at night the controls and gauges feature a uniform Clear Blue illumination scheme.

Standard safety features include 8 air bags, traction control, stability control, 4-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes with brake assist, and a reversing camera. Smart Stop technology that is designed to make it impossible for the RAV4 to accelerate with the brake pedal depressed is also standard, and the RAV4 Limited can be upgraded with a blind-spot monitoring system and rear cross-path detection technology.

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 LE trim includes power side mirrors, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and a height-adjustable driver seat. A Display Audio system with a 6.1-inch touch screen and a reversing camera is standard, along with Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio capability. Dark-tinted rear privacy glass, 60/40-split folding rear seat, and 17-inch steel wheels are included on this version.

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, and heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators. Inside, the seats get bigger bolsters and premium cloth fabric, and the XLE trim is equipped with a dual-zone automatic climate control system and a power moonroof.

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 Limited is equipped with 18-inch aluminum wheels, power tailgate, leather-wrapped steering wheel, SofTex leatherette seats, 8-way power driver's seat, and heated front seats.

A navigation system with Entune multimedia connectivity, satellite radio, and voice-recognition technology is optional for the XLE and the Limited. The Limited is exclusively available with a 576-watt JBL Greenedge premium sound system with 11 speakers, blind-spot warning system, and a rear cross-traffic alert system.

2012 Toyota RAV4 Ratings
Toyota Car & Truck Ratings

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