Currently drive a Base 2010 i4.
Drove: 2013 LE AWD.
Drives very different from my 2010. The 6 speed AT a big + IMO. Does not feel as torquey as my 2010 2.5L. Definitely notice the extra width in the cargo. Don't notice any difference in depth or hight. Really miss the storage under the rear matte. Hard to tell if it's quieter than my 2010. Different tires. The ride is softer than my 2010 Base. The 13 has more body roll IMO. Braking action seemed the same. However, I did not beat on the brakes during the test drive as I was not going to purchase this.
Back seat. No different than my 2010. Nada. Whats with the bottom 2" of each door being a plastic clip strip? Must be weight savings?
The front seats are more comfortable than my 2010. No question. I do have a BIG issue with the front dash / Trim. Now, I like the black interior with the black whatever that stitched sort of stuff is around the dash area. But I'm sorry, the Beige interior is horrid IMO. You have the tan, flat black, titanium, carbon fiber, chrome, I'm sorry but I just can't invasion owning the new interior in Beige. WAY to busy IMO. I'd own the black interior only.
Verdict: Nice Small SUV. Definitely more like a Honda, Kia, Hyundai now.
Seems to have a large amount of new plastic all around the body. Unless you tow I don't see no V6 as an issue. The 2.5L with the 6AT is very sweet.
Is is more refined? Depends. Is it more Car Like? IMO, yes. Is that a bad thing? Depends on the buyer. My 2010 feels quite a bit more SUV like IMO. But that is simply MO. What I did come away with was that in 2014 the RAV4 will not be the only replacement I look at as it was in 2010 selling the 2006.
Different strokes for different folks. I'll tell you though, I LOVE Spruce Mica. IMO, simply gorgeous.
"Measure Twice. Cut Once".