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... And he seems to think that ALL RAV4's sold in N. America come from the Canadian plant. There are plenty for sale in the US that are built in Japan.
This article seems to be specific for Canada and could be true for Canada. He refers to Tim Horton's coffee, Canadian fuel efficiency ratings, ...
 

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Now this seems a reasonable review. There is much to like about the new RAV4. It is a well refined compact SUV. I think they targeted the most common "wants" by the typical compact SUV buyer and then did a very good job of hitting them.

Now I don't think one of those targets was an exciting driving experience. Reasonably peppy acceleration with good manueverability is a target and I feel they hit that. Honda shoots at the same goal with their CR-V. And Hyundai with the Tucson.
 

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US News produces a summary analysis of several published reviews and test drives. I was surprised to see that they are giving a rather average overall rating, ranking it just 12th out of 21 "Affordable Compact SUVs." The RAV4 overall score is 7.5, well behind class leaders Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, Chevy Equinox, and Honda CR-V. Note that the CX-5 is last year's 2013 and the new 2014 with 2.5L engine is getting even better reivews.

2013 Toyota RAV4 Reviews, Pictures and Prices | U.S. News Best Cars
 

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Not too shabby.

Thanks for posting this, JuneBug! I tend to pay closer attention to what Nathan and Roman have to say about various vehicles than most other reviewers, and hadn't seen this one yet.

I found it extremely interesting that Nathan said it was like driving a taller Camry, including how the seating positioning has changed. They mentioned the Camry a couple of times, actually. This sure seems to correlate with the notion that what crossover buyers want is significantly closer to "car" than it is to "SUV" and the directions that manufacturers, including Toyota now, are going.

It will also be very interesting to see what the promised next review from Nathan and Roman holds as well.

They're pretty much always both in the vehicle for the recorded 0-60 run. I'm wondering if Roman got out so they could get it under 10 seconds in Sport mode with engine preloading, albeit at an altitude of about 1250 ft and probably for a vehicle that wasn't broken in yet.
 

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Fascinating to me how the Toyota representative talked up how the new design promotes driving excitement. I test drove a Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape, Jetta Sportwagen TDI, and the Toyota RAV4. In terms of driving excitement, I would have to rate the RAV4 a distant 4th. It was a nice, comfortable, controlled ride, which I'm sure many will like a lot. But it wasn't that fun to drive. Even in Sport mode, although it was better in sport mode. I think one missing piece is low RPM torque, it's not terrible, there is some power, but it is modest for a vehicle of this weight.
 

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Fascinating to me how the Toyota representative talked up how the new design promotes driving excitement. I test drove a Mazda CX-5, Ford Escape, Jetta Sportwagen TDI, and the Toyota RAV4. In terms of driving excitement, I would have to rate the RAV4 a distant 4th. It was a nice, comfortable, controlled ride, which I'm sure many will like a lot. But it wasn't that fun to drive. Even in Sport mode, although it was better in sport mode. I think one missing piece is low RPM torque, it's not terrible, there is some power, but it is modest for a vehicle of this weight.
Throwing Jetta TDI in this mix is a bit unfair (diesel for torque) since it's a car , Tiguan would be more appropriate .
 

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Throwing Jetta TDI in this mix is a bit unfair (diesel for torque) since it's a car , Tiguan would be more appropriate .
Tiguan was too expensive and mpg was too low. I wasn't interested in it.

The JSW would have been my first choice had I not discovered how high the long-term operating costs are. I really loved the vehicle.

But the Tiquan would have likely blown the RAV4 away on driving experience too, with it's 2.0L Turbo engine.
 

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Tiguan was too expensive and mpg was too low. I wasn't interested in it.

The JSW would have been my first choice had I not discovered how high the long-term operating costs are. I really loved the vehicle.

But the Tiquan would have likely blown the RAV4 away on driving experience too, with it's 2.0L Turbo engine.
Imeant performance wise ,Jetta is lower to the ground so obviously it'll handle better. And how is Jetta TDI not expensive?
 

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Imeant performance wise ,Jetta is lower to the ground so obviously it'll handle better. And how is Jetta TDI not expensive?
It is less expensive than the Tiquan, and gets fantastically better mileage. I had a quote on a Jetta TDI Sportwagen for $25,700.
 

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i bought a 2013 limited AWD w/navigation two days ago.

i previously had a 2008 Honda Civic SI.

the limited comes with the 18" wheels which are not suppose to be as good as the 17" wheels on the LE and XLE. i am happy with the ride and sound of the 18" wheels. they are much better than my civic's low profile tires. the rav4 ride feels smooth and handles bumps well.

the rav4 sits up high which I like. the softex seats feel fine to me.

the engine has plenty of pickup for me.
 

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I don't receall seeing this one posted here:

2013 Toyota RAV4 Full Test on Edmunds.com
When the review starts with a heading of

"Ordinary at Its Best"

Then you know it isn't going to where Toyota wants it to go.

Although they do go on to say several positive things about it.

"That said, the 2013 Toyota RAV4 is among the best in almost every other category. It's comfortable with a full load of passengers, has plenty of cargo space when there are no passengers and delivers predictable, if tepid, performance no matter what's onboard. And even though it won't change the world, it delivers all the things an SUV of its type should to those with more reasonable expectations."
 

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Test Drive

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.
 

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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.
Good objective review from a 4.3 owner who actually drove a 4.4.
 
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