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#1 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 12:13 AM
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 05:41 AM
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4WD is now AWD? What...now the RAV-A?

Thanks for the links!

According to the Motor Trend article, the emblem on the versions of the 2013 RAV4 that can send power to all 4 wheels no longer says "4WD" but now says "AWD" --

2013 Toyota RAV4 First Drive Photo Gallery



(hmmm, just exactly like I believe the CR-V went from a "4WD" emblem to an "AWD" emblem...)

I find that particularly interesting because in the 2013 RAV4 you can still "lock" power to all 4 wheels evenly, or relatively evenly, for getting unstuck. I think that's much more 4WD-ish than AWD-ish, which I have always equated to "power goes to the rear wheels only when the front wheels start to slip." (Though I admit to my knowledge there are no official/legal definitions for what 4WD is vs. what AWD is)

One would think the Toyota Marketing department would be all over keeping the "4WD" badge, again as a differentiator and to more accurately reflect the ONE functional thing the 2013 RAV4 has that is clearly better than it's (now otherwise) clone, the CR-V.

I wonder what prompted the change?

Especially to the RAV4, which Toyota has always said is an abbreviation for "Recreational Active Vehicle with 4 Wheel Drive"

Is it now the RAV-A? (RAVA?)

Of course, having a FWD only model for the past several years also flies in the face of the name, and really shows how the industry has disregarded the segment-defining vehicle's roots.

Maybe "4" now means it has 4 wheels. Oooh, that's distinctive.

The segment appears to have just become the modern station wagon. What's next? Fake wood grain stickers on the sides?



(Hey doane2u, can you mock one of those up, like your "SS" concept? )

I'd bet there were major, and extremely bloody, battles in the Marketing department over this change from the 4WD emblem to the AWD emblem.

Maybe a better name would now be the CR-W? They don't want to get sued, after all...

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Last edited by DVS; 01-07-2014 at 04:42 AM. Reason: Replaced images with more permanent ones
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#3 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 06:13 PM
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I have been looking to downgrade to a smaller vehicle from my 05 Tacoma crew cab for almost a year and have been awaiting the new RAV4 to be this vehicle. From reading the '1st drive' reviews, all seem to come up with the same conclusions: 'quieter ride with about the same power as the old I-4', 'CX5 handles better', 'more cramped back seat'.

With only a gain of 1mpg city, I was hoping to hear 'great handling' and/or 'improved performance'. I've owned 11 toyota/ scion vehicles, but don't see a lot of reason to purchase the new RAV4 as nothing stands out as class leading.
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#4 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 07:54 PM
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The new RAV4 is now a soccer-mom-mobile in all respects. The adventuresome off-road capabilities are gone. Soccer moms don't care about V6 power, true 4WD with lock, high ground clearance, and full size spare tire. My wife would never change a flat tire unless it was a dire emergency. It is no longer an SUV, just another of many compact crossovers. In my area, visual inspection shows that 90% of RAV4's are driven by women. And that's the market this new RAV4 is tailor made for.

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#5 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 08:50 PM
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It may or may not be as off road capable as the last or earlier generations, I don't know. It would be interesting to see if the new 2013 could keep up with a 4.3 generation in some off road driving. But..correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the unaltered RAV4s were ever a serious off road vehicles, do any of you?

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#6 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by JuneBug View Post
The new RAV4 is now a soccer-mom-mobile in all respects. The adventuresome off-road capabilities are gone. Soccer moms don't care about V6 power, true 4WD with lock, high ground clearance, and full size spare tire. My wife would never change a flat tire unless it was a dire emergency. It is no longer an SUV, just another of many compact crossovers. In my area, visual inspection shows that 90% of RAV4's are driven by women. And that's the market this new RAV4 is tailor made for.
Wow! Maybe you've hit the nail on the head: The term "4WD" is likely considered too butch and manly for the typical mommy target market. "AWD" probably sounds safer for the kids, and calling it a 5 passenger vehicle pretty much requires 3 of them to be kids anyway, with that even narrower back seat.

Really, anything implying "offroad" (ok, "softroad") or "power" would probably be considered inappropriate for a mommy-mobile. There likely isn't a very high percentage of mommies who would want to spend money on those things, including features like the full sized spare tire, and certainly any concept of towing as well.

I had noticed a very large percentage of most of the test drive articles were focusing on things like style (fluff), safety-related gizmos (e.g. things like the cross traffic and blind spot alerts - very valuable features for all drivers, to be sure) and that critically all important extra 2 whole MPG.

There wasn't much mention about things like towing or softroading or other functional "guy" stuff, except some lamenting of the loss of the V6. (I loved The Fast Lane Car's Nathan Adlen's grimace when Roman Mica mentioned the biggest change was the loss of the V6 at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show. Amen, brothers.)

Even though it's never been a rock crawler, the RAV4 still had a lot of fun, practical and functional features that apparently Toyota feels their "new" audience doesn't value, and more importantly won't pay for.

How frustrating it is to be a member of their "old" audience: discarded, just like the V6.

What I love most about the V6 RAV4 is that it has the power to tow a reasonable load, is extremely maneuverable and easy to park, yet still fits in my small, crowded garage, where I don't think a Highlander would fit, at least not without getting dinged up. Highlanders are really expensive, too, by comparison.

I guess as a guy I'm done paying attention to the RAV4 going forward: I'm just not the right gender. Pass the baton to the mommies and move on to something else. Maybe an FJ cruiser next time, if Toyota hasn't castrated that, too, by the time I need another vehicle. Who knows...maybe a Venza, or perhaps more likely something from Subaru. After my last 2 Fords, it won't be from an American manufacturer, I can tell you that.

But I will sure enjoy and appreciate my V6 RAV4 as much as I can, for as long as I can, and I'll be thankful for it every time I get behind the wheel.

Thank you very much, Toyota.

Hopefully not for the last time.

.

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#7 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by JuneBug View Post
In my area, visual inspection shows that 90% of RAV4's are driven by women.
Now that you mentioned that......I just realized that too!! Maybe more like 8/10 ravs are driven by women for me tho. Sometimes I see older men drive them too. (the 2/10)

But i definitely see more 4 cyl than V6 ravs in my area that I travel tho. Heck even my rav is a 4 cyl but it wasn't my choice tho....it was a hand me down from a cousin who's like a brother.

But my goal one day is to trade this rav I have for another black but v6 rav
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#8 (permalink) Old 12-19-2012, 11:14 PM
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I don't know how if anyone out there has owned a 05+ V6 tacoma, but is the V6 RAV4 a good upgrade for someone who wants a smaller better handling vehicle? My Colorado dealer has a few left.

I'm done w/ towing dirtbikes and snowmobiles, but don't want to deal with an underpowered RAV4 I4 if it gets such poor mpg. I get 19-20 mpg in the truck, probably get 22-23mpg in a RAV V6. Probably not a whole lot more in the new RAV.
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#9 (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 02:02 AM
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First Drive: 2013 Toyota RAV4 - Automobile Magazine

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 might look like a sport-utility meant for the open spaces of America, but it only begins to make sense to us when its cross-traffic alert system goes off while we're backing out of a space in the parking lot at Target.

2013 Toyota RAV4 drive review - Autoweek

Yet the biggest news for the 2013 RAV4 has the opposite to do with adrenaline: the exclusion of its 269-horsepower V6, which was a shockingly potent mill in a platform of this size. The V6 in the old RAV4 was like a COPO build for the modern generation, a delight for enthusiasts succumbing to practicality.....That leads us to one of the RAV4's downsides, its interior, a kaleidoscope of mismatched textures and faux stitching, it commits the crime of trying to look but not feel more expensive than it is, and fails in the attempt. When will somebody correct Toyota on this unjustifiable trend of applying fake French stitching to molded plastic?

2013 Toyota RAV4 Test Drive - Popular Mechanics

The new RAV4 has lost some ground clearance, dropping from 7.5 inches to 6.3. Yes, we know crossovers rarely, if ever, venture off-road. But an Audi Allroad, which is basically a tall station wagon, has 7.1 inches—more than this new RAV4. A Subaru Forester has 8.9 inches of clearance. We suspect there might be a few Vermont, Colorado, or Montana RAV4 buyers that will miss that 1.2 inches during a serious winter storm.

2013 Toyota RAV4 Review: Car Reviews

We drove our AWD Limited tester throughout the hills of Scottsdale, Arizona and it fared well in the semi-mountainous terrain but it was also clear that the RAV4 is less of an off-road vehicle than ever before. If the style doesn’t communicate the message enough, the fact that ground clearance has been reduced by over an inch certainly will....Moving further from the SUV by dropping its V6, third row and visible rear spare tire, it’s less unique in the segment. Seemingly a bad thing, it’s a response to consumer demand....

2013 Toyota RAV4 Review by Jennifer Geiger

After six years with minimal changes, the 2013 Toyota RAV4's redesign is an awkward dance of two steps forward, one step back. For 2013, Toyota's Softex imitation leather replaces last year's real stuff. There are a couple things missing from the back half of the cabin. The old RAV4's second row reclined and slid forward and back to benefit cargo or passenger room. The new one only reclines. The old model also had two release levers in the cargo area to send the seats down with one pull; these are also gone. The seats still fold fairly easily in a 60/40 split, but the seat-mounted levers are less handy. Two small Toyota cheap-outs bug me: A cargo cover is standard only on XLEs and Limiteds, and handy extendable sun visors for the driver and passenger are standard only on the Limited.

2013 RAV4 gets Toyota back into crossover war | Indianapolis Star |
indystar.com

No V-6. No third row. The six-cylinder engine option has been banished. So is the option of a tiny third-row for kids. Still want a V-6? Toyota says its larger Highlander SUV will do for V-6 fans. And it offers a third row, too....RAV4 isn't a luxury barge. The upscale version doesn't come with leather seats. Instead, it has an upscale plastic.

2013 Toyota RAV4 First Drive - Motor Trend

Unfortunately Toyota's potent 268-hp, 3.5-liter V-6, which was an option in the outgoing RAV, doesn't carry over for the new model. Toyota gave me two reasons for this. First, sales of the V-6 peaked at 30 percent, but have dropped to 15 percent today. Second, if Honda can sell more than 200,000 CR-Vs with just one engine choice, Toyota can do the same with the RAV4.

Toyota Launches Fourth-Generation of Original Crossover SUV – The 2013 RAV4

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#10 (permalink) Old 12-20-2012, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by DenverMR2 View Post
I don't know how if anyone out there has owned a 05+ V6 tacoma, but is the V6 RAV4 a good upgrade for someone who wants a smaller better handling vehicle? My Colorado dealer has a few left.

I'm done w/ towing dirtbikes and snowmobiles, but don't want to deal with an underpowered RAV4 I4 if it gets such poor mpg. I get 19-20 mpg in the truck, probably get 22-23mpg in a RAV V6. Probably not a whole lot more in the new RAV.

I'd suggest you simply test drive a V6 RAV4 as fast as you can, then make up your own mind, while there's still time.

Dooo it.

Dooooooooooo it.


Another thought: Toyota's all ga-ga over the extra 2 MPG in the 2013 RAV4, but I wonder if maybe you only achieve that when driving in ECO mode?

One review I read said the ECO mode was so disgusting to use that they had to turn it off as soon as they turned it on, because they couldn't take it. It basically dulled what "performance" the vehicle had already been giving them to the point of being intolerable.

Of course, these are car people...not necessarily mommies.


Another reviewer said they liked leather a lot more than the plasticy SofTex on the seats, and that it was too bad the Limited will *only* come with SofTex, and not even an option for cloth.

Maybe it's easier to clean up spilled Kool-Aid from SofTex than it is to clean up from leather. SofTex is almost certainly less expensive than leather, which helps keep the price down for all those cost-conscious moms.

So sad.

Silver 2012 RAV4 Limited V6 4WD with Tow Prep and OEM Hitch.

Long live the RAV4 V6!
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