Easy to Drive, Easy to Live With
by Mike Schlee
For 2013 the RAV4 has undergone some major reconstructive surgery. The goal is to infuse a bit more life into this compact crossover that helped define the segment 17-years ago. Gone are both the V6 engine and 3rd row seating options. Thankfully, so is the antiquated four-speed automatic which has been replaced by a six-speed automatic.
The RAV4 still represents good value by starting at $23,300 for a base LE front-wheel drive model. Our test vehicle arrived in mid-level XLE FWD trim sporting the Display Audio with Navigation 5 and Entune which brought the as tested price to $25,320.
Paired to the standard 6-speed automatic is a carryover of the 2012 RAV4’s 2.5 L four-cylinder engine. For 2013 the inline-4 produces 3 less hp, now making a total of 176 hp, while still retaining 172 lb-ft of torque. Even with a minor weight penalty, the 2013 RAV4 front-wheel drive is not only faster in a straight line, but also features improved fuel economy thanks to six-speed automatic; 24 MPG city and 31 MPG highway compared to the 2012 RAV4’s ratings of 22 MPG city and 28 MPG highway.
Read the complete 2013 Toyota RAV4 Review