The 2013 "SS" Runabout/Short Sport - Toyota RAV4 Forums
4.4 General Discuss anything RAV4.4 related that doesn't fit in the categories below.

View Poll Results: Would you be interested in this alternate RAV4 SS concept? Multiple choce
Great, I would buy it! 3 9.38%
Yes, if base $ costs less than the other models. 0 0%
Yes, I mainly want a smaller, but fun to drive RAV4 3 9.38%
No, I require more room & would buy the larger model 13 40.63%
No, I don't like the idea, even as an alternative model. 6 18.75%
No, I don't think anyone would buy it 7 21.88%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 12:26 AM
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Question The 2013 "SS" Runabout/Short Sport

The first RAv4 V4.1 1994-2000 were a sort of Jeep/car, combining the best of both, with no pretensions of carrying huge loads or large families. It was the first of the crossover types that handled well on the streets and yet could still handle off road expeditions impressively and got fairly decent fuel economy for the time, 21 city/27 hwy. The 2 door version was about 67" wide x 65" tall x 146" long and had a respectable ground clearance of 7.7" It was grossly underpowered taking about 11-12 seconds for 0-60 mph It also only had a very limited cargo area, about 10 cu' with the back seat up. The 4 door increased this to about 27 cu' with the seat up or 58 cu' back seat down.

Over the years the RAV4 kept growing in size and weight and HP and surprisingly, fuel economy. The V4.3 2006-2012 was up to 21/27 mpg with the I4 and a quick 0-60 mph of just under 9 seconds while the amazing V6 did this in about 6.3 seconds with only a few mpg forfeit. It was about 5" wider, 1" taller and and 20" longer than the original 4 door (almost 3 feet longer than the original 2 door!) It's also gained weight over the years from about 2600 lbs in the first version to about 3400 lbs with the new 2013 (+800 lbs!)

The newest 2013 has better mpg again at 24/31 FWD and 22/29 AWD while performance has taken a hit.. 0-60 just under 10 seconds. Cargo area is still very respectable at about 73 cu' total, if you need that much.

I would like to see a new compact, sport RAV4... SS for Short Sport, a RAV4 that approaches the lineage of a Jeep and its own heritage, with sports handling of a well tuned car suspension (anti roll bars, wide wheels/tires, etc.) Enough room to carry stuff in the back, maybe a couple of bikes, hardware and grocery trips but no third row seat and long huge cargo area. If you need that much room for a large family, go buy a van or something. I want a fun to drive, fast car, under 7 seconds in the 0-60 mph is a must. Good gas mileage, should be at least 20+ in city and 30+ on the highway. AWD on demand and selectable at lower speeds and a 6 speed auto gear box... paddle shifters would be nice too.

So here is my answer, the new 2013 SS Sport. It's 75" wide, 65" high, 155" long with a wheel base of 92". Cargo area would be about 55 cu' with the back seats down. It has the new I4 176 HP/172 Lb Torque engine matched to the new 6 speed trans. It will accelerate from 0-60 in just under 7 seconds, and handles great..it's fun to drive! And this isn't hard to do since the cars curb weight is down from 3417 to about 2700 lbs (about 7-800 lb diet loss). With the available driving selection of economy or sports mode that affects the engine performance and trans gearing, mpg can easily get about 25mpg in town and 35+ mpg on the highway. This crossover will be fun to drive on the streets, and can handle moderate off road use with a 7" ground clearance. With the shorter wheelbase, like a dune buggy, it gains the ability to approach bigger bumps with ease. Easy to park and drive in the city with enough room in the back to carry a full load of groceries or other shopping needs and an occasional two people in the back seat, but probably not very comfortably.. but who would want to take long trips in this with four people anyway? It's mainly a two people car (+ dogs, etc.) and will be fun to drive, and quiet, with a great sound system and safety.

So... what do you think... is there a slot for this in the RAV4 family?

Here it is.. the 2013 RAV4 SS


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#2 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 12:56 AM
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Well, it sort of reminds me of the Ford Fiesta SE Hatch. It looks weird as if something is missing(oh ya a back seat).

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#3 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 01:00 AM
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Just like the original version, it does have a back seat. Here's a pix of an even shorter 2 door 2000 RAV4


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#4 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doane2u View Post
Just like the original version, it does have a back seat. Here's a pix of an even shorter 2 door 2000 RAV4
Interesting idea. I found the original posting where the image for that silver one came from:

Used RAV4 TOYOTA for Sale | BF88976 | Japanese Used Cars Exporter BE FORWARD

It has many more pictures, including of the interior, what the seating etc. might be like.

I have a very hard time trying to figure out where the spare tire would go in this SS concept, if it has a back seat, as I didn't see it on the back of the vehicle in the prototype image. Maybe you'd have to tilt the back seats forward on a front hinge to get to an under-floor spare, presuming there would still be enough space for a gas tank?

Come to think of it, this 2-door design probably necessitated the spare tire being on the back (to leave space for a gas tank), which is what gave the RAV4 its "signature look" throughout its entire history, until the 4.4s come out next year. The massive and wonderful underfloor storage in the 4.3 - which is gone in the 4.4 - was a benefit that came from keeping that signature look as the vehicle grew in length.

I'm pretty sure this SS concept would have to lose all pretense as a 5-seater and become a 4-seater, as the images from the 2000 silver RAV4 show, because the rear wheel wells would make the rears seat significantly narrower. Though I struggle to see even the existing 4.3 as a 5-seater, unless the back passengers were children. And don't get me started on that terrible middle seat belt design.

I could see Toyota giving this SS concept consideration in Europe or maybe Asia, but I'd have a hard time believing they'd try to sell it in the US at this time. If fuel prices soared (say, $10+/gallon) and it got stellar mileage for a 4WD or AWD, yet still performed really well with a modern 4-cylinder engine - being so much lighter it might - maybe.

Would this eat into the Matrix AWD market? We've seen how supposedly-defensive they just got with their Highlander market, regarding the 2013 RAV4 redesign with the V6 engine no longer available...

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#5 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 09:33 AM
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<IMO>
Just doesn't make sense, unless it was a Plug-in vehicle, or it offered some other really useful but unique feature.

I like my RAV4 because it is so efficient, useful and fun to drive. Having a tiny SUV doesn't really give you much. If you want a fast vehicle you might as well get a Toyota Camry with the V6 engine, if you want an efficient SUV, then just get the new RAV4/CRV/Forester.

I'll keep my V6 as long as possible, but if there is no market for the V6 in the 2013's, I can't see why Toyota would even consider coming up with this type of vehicle. If you really want another RAV4 type vehicle with RAV4 type performance, then just buy a used 2012 with the V6.
</IMO>


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#6 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 09:43 AM
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Doesn't appeal to me.

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#7 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 10:02 AM
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Sorry, even my I-could-care-less-what-YOU-think age I wouldn't get caught dead being seen in one.

Might attract buyers from the kid class, the ones who buy cars with hot, or is it cool - oh yeah, hip, names like Juke, Yuke or Puke.

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#8 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVS View Post
Interesting idea. I found the original posting where the image for that silver one came from:

Used RAV4 TOYOTA for Sale | BF88976 | Japanese Used Cars Exporter BE FORWARD

It has many more pictures, including of the interior, what the seating etc. might be like.

I have a very hard time trying to figure out where the spare tire would go in this SS concept, if it has a back seat, as I didn't see it on the back of the vehicle in the prototype image. Maybe you'd have to tilt the back seats forward on a front hinge to get to an under-floor spare, presuming there would still be enough space for a gas tank?

Come to think of it, this 2-door design probably necessitated the spare tire being on the back (to leave space for a gas tank), which is what gave the RAV4 its "signature look" throughout its entire history, until the 4.4s come out next year. The massive and wonderful underfloor storage in the 4.3 - which is gone in the 4.4 - was a benefit that came from keeping that signature look as the vehicle grew in length.

I'm pretty sure this SS concept would have to lose all pretense as a 5-seater and become a 4-seater, as the images from the 2000 silver RAV4 show, because the rear wheel wells would make the rears seat significantly narrower. Though I struggle to see even the existing 4.3 as a 5-seater, unless the back passengers were children. And don't get me started on that terrible middle seat belt design.

I could see Toyota giving this SS concept consideration in Europe or maybe Asia, but I'd have a hard time believing they'd try to sell it in the US at this time. If fuel prices soared (say, $10+/gallon) and it got stellar mileage for a 4WD or AWD, yet still performed really well with a modern 4-cylinder engine - being so much lighter it might - maybe.

Would this eat into the Matrix AWD market? We've seen how supposedly-defensive they just got with their Highlander market, regarding the 2013 RAV4 redesign with the V6 engine no longer available...
I think this one would have enough room for one of those small doughnut spares and it could go under the back storage area. Remember, this SS version is about 155" long, about 10" longer than the original 2 door that was 145.9"
This would be a much larger feeling car than a Matrix, but shorter. I owned a 2003 Matrix XR and it has a totally different feel to it. The SS would be 5" wider, 4" taller and have an extra inch of ground clearance. Cargo area at 55 cu' would be 2 cu' larger than the Matrix. My Matrix XR was fun to drive, but uncomfortable and noisy and you always felt like you were in a small car, much lower to the road. 0-60 was about 9 seconds in mine. The newer Matrix FWD gets 21/29 mpg and AWD gets 20/26 the 1.8L 0-60 is about 10s and the 2.4L was 7.6s when they made it available. I think this SS would be different enough to put it in a class of its own. Like I said, more like a really sporty but civilized dune buggy.

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#9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dyno View Post
Sorry, even my I-could-care-less-what-YOU-think age I wouldn't get caught dead being seen in one.

Might attract buyers from the kid class, the ones who buy cars with hot, or is it cool - oh yeah, hip, names like Juke, Yuke or Puke.

Hehe.. yeah, I'll bet you wear horned rimmed glasses and wing tips.

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#10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 12:59 PM
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I chose the 'fun to drive' answer

But ONLY if I could get it WITH A V-6!

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