2013 Toyota RAV4 AWD

2013 Toyota RAV4

The Good:
– Decent ride and handling
– Cabin space and features
– Basic offroad ability
The Bad:
– Pricey with options
– Could be quicker
– Some hard cabin plastics

Toyota likes to take credit for creating the world’s first “crossover” back in 1994 with the little first-gen RAV4. The claim only has partial merit, as the first real crossover was created in 1979 by a company that eventually merged with Chrysler and disappeared. That vehicle, the AMC Eagle, was basically just a car with a lift kit and all-wheel-drive. However, Toyota can definitely be credited with revolutionising crossovers with their own concept — making a car with a lift kit and all-wheel-drive that looks like a proper tall SUV. They kickstarted a genre that has now been imitated by pretty much every carmaker from Tata to Range Rover.

Toyota is aggressively attempting to reclaim the category they invented as they’ve completely redesigned the compact RAV4, enough to leave no traces of the older models aside from the upward kink on the rear D-pillar. The pointy new front-end and the stepped tailgate are unique styling touches that have divided public opinion, but we think it looks pretty good. Conservative 17-inch alloys, little LEDs in the halogen headlights and minimal black-plastic cladding round out the exterior styling.

2013 Toyota RAV4 7

Inside, Toyota attempts to break tradition and goes all-out with the weird-unique concept, as the cabin sports all sorts of shapes and textures, all of it moulded in hard plastic, but cleverly breaking up the cheapness with a sliver of stitched padded leatherette along the length of the dashboard, with more of the premium padding covering large parts of the doors and armrests.

The moderately-bolstered front seats and largely-flat rear seats all offer abundant legroom and headroom, among the best in the compact class. There are four cup-holders, door pockets, padded seatback pockets and other cubbies. Boot space is also pretty good, with a low liftover height, split-folding rear seats and a cargo net, but the boot floor itself is awkwardly raised by a couple of inches to fit a spare tyre underneath.

Our top-spec tester came loaded, with a straightforward touchscreen for the CD/DVD/MP3 stereo, navigation, Bluetooth phone and other features. There’s also USB/AUX ports, cruise control, sunroof, smart keyless entry and start, front and side-curtain airbags, fog lamps, common power accessories and a strong-but-basic single-zone auto a/c with no rear vents, the latter being a notable omission compared to many of its competitors. You’re also out of luck if you want a panoramic glass roof or HID headlights for your Toyota, because they’re not offered.

2013 Toyota RAV4 4

Powered by a Camry-derived 2.5-litre 4-cylinder, the RAV4’s new engine makes 176 hp at 6000 rpm and 233 Nm of torque at 4100 rpm. Mated to a 6-speed automatic with manual-shift functionality, we managed a 0-100 kph time of 9.8 seconds, respectable for its class, and quicker than its Asian rivals. It may appear slow, but feels fairly adequate in daily driving thanks to its well-spaced gearing, while delivering an average fuel consumption of 11.4 litres/100 km, although we did touch 10.5 litres/100 km with more highway driving thrown in.

The RAV4 is quiet enough up to 100 kph, and then the outside noises gradually start to increase. The engine makes a bit of a ruckus on full throttle, but settles down to a quieter 2200 rpm at 120 kph. The suspension tuning is very nicely balanced, offering a reasonably smooth ride with no untoward floatiness, with the occasional jitteriness and a slight tinge of firmness whose benefit becomes apparent once we hit the curves.

The RAV4 is a good handler, only limited by its 225/65 tyres in terms of grip, so it understeers cleanly at the limit. The steering is fairly light and offers little feel. Body control is good, and it handled lane-change moves well in our changing-elevation handling loop. It has decent ABS-assisted brakes are well, at least as good as any other compact crossover, with a nice linear pedal action.

Barring Suzukis, the RAV4 is easily among the best offroaders among crossovers, managing pretty well on mild sand dunes and some serious gravel-trail cliffs. It has a 4×4 50:50 “lock” mode, meaty tyres on 17-inch wheels, and a good approach angle. We managed some small dune inclines without even deflating the tyres. Of course, it does not have low-range gearing, but at least you can cross minor desert terrain without fear. Just don’t start chasing Wranglers.

The top-spec RAV4 is a nice-enough all-rounder of a car that edges out several other popular crossovers with a nicer interior, good feature set, and decent performance both on and off the road. While it may lack a couple of features that we would’ve liked, they’re not really deal-breakers. The RAV4 continues to be one of the better choices among its peers.

Price Range:
Dh 110,000-125,000

Current Model Introduced in:
2013

Body Styles:
5-door wagon

Engines:
2.5L 176 hp Inline-4 / 233 Nm

Transmissions:
6-speed automatic

Setup:
Four-wheel-drive

Suspension:
Front: independent
Rear: independent

Brakes:
Front: discs
Rear: discs

Curb Weight:
1614 kg

Length:
4570 mm

Wheelbase:
2660 mm

Top Speed:
200 kph

Test Acceleration 0-100 kph:
9.8 sec.

Observed Test Fuel Economy:
11.4 litres/100km

29 comments to 2013 Toyota RAV4 AWD

  • Rojy

    I had the chance to experience the new RAV4 , My friend was looking for a crossover and we took a test drive from Al futtaim.

    New RAV4 certainly looks better from outside except the back side ,which looks somewhat awkward ,may be because our eyes are so used to old RAV 4 Tail gate with spare tire.

    The Drive was as good as we expected But nothing standed out which makes it better than the other similar kind of vehicles. We don’t Know how it will drive off the road as we did not take it off road.

    The major issue with RAV4 for us was that the interior looked so cheap with hard and cheap looking plastics, Even the stitching material on the dashboard looked horrible and may not last over time.

    Also we found that it was not refined or silent as we would have liked , especially considering it is from Toyota .I think they have cheapened out the RAV4 considerably and it can be easily noticed by keenest of car-buyers .But this has been the case with most of the new car releases from established car manufacturers , All of them are trying to cheap sell a cheapened version of the original with some bells & whistles.

  • AMM

    “Barring Suzukis, the RAV4 is easily among the best offroaders among crossovers” Is it a better handler than Subaru Forester 2014?

  • Rahul Chokshi

    The RAV 4 continues to be a better choice amongst its peers?
    I have seen more AUDI Q5’s (2013 shape) than Rav 4’s. This new shape is a final nail in the coffin for Rav4, which as compared to Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage & even the Honda CRV, has been doing poorly in terms of local sales.

    Hope they stop rav4 & come up with something better!

  • Raymon Thomas

    I’m, by the grace of God, a proud owner of one of the first RAV4’s in the eastern Province of Saudi arabia. It is a beautiful vehicle. the Turning radius is good. The vehicle has a nice pick up. the sport mode is very fast.. amazing pick up, the vehicle looks good.

    • Nish

      Hello Thomas,

      I am planning to buy RAV4 and would like to here opinion from your experience. How is the stability of this car in highways?

      Regards.

  • Major

    Is there anyone who can give me expert openion…
    I have to buy new car in SAUDI ARABIA. after seeing many SUVs, I am now shortlisted Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX9.

    Both are atthe exactly same price now a days.
    Who I should Take? My Mind is 50/50
    Any Expert Openion?

  • prado

    if you don’t care about re-sale Mazda is better

  • Julius

    Go for the Honda CRV. Great suspension and very soft ride.

  • DAGULZ

    I’ve been driving so many cars in dubai, if you compare TOYOTA RAV4 to any other SUV, Im telling you, the satisfaction you ever tried to find can be found only in RAV4, their new features and the quality of their engine is sooooo amazing…Of course durability and satisfaction guaranteed only in toyota rav4. Im sure RAV4 will become the number 1 from this date onwards..Korean cars looks so good from outside but SUCKS after 3 years in terms of engine…Fuel consumption of RAV4 is so economical andconsistent even the car getting old. RAV4 ENGINE IS VERY STRONG …ITS TOYOTA…meaning in english …u hapi always…

  • Usman

    Hi,
    Which one is good choice in terms of comfortable, durability n price? Rav 4, Tucson, Outlander, Forester, Cx5 n Escape(FWD)

  • Ahmed Jamal

    I m planning to.buy Rav4 any guidance please.
    Any pros and cons.

  • kkk

    After 8 months of use.

    constant fuel economy of 9.2
    awesome ac. even the minimum setting makes it freezing.
    awesome ground clearance. best in class.
    Toyota services is good. brakes at 90% after 10k.
    audio is great..Good bass.

  • Ram Dutt Tiwari-Dubai (UAE)

    friends i am planing to buy Toyota RAV4 2WD EX grade (AED 80000)is it ok ? or buy corolla 2014 (2.0L SE+) AED 70000 Please guide me

  • noeh

    Please help me to decide..wether should i buy foreter 2014 or rav 4 2014… Both are 2nd option… Im planning to stay here in oman for minimum 5 years…

  • Ram Dutt Tiwari-Dubai (UAE)

    Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury sir, i dont hv more budget above dhs 80,000, that,y plz suggest me (Toyota RAV4 2WD EX) or (corolla 2014 2.0L SE+) which one is best for me?

  • noeh

    Please help me to decide..wether should i buy forester 2014 or rav 4 2014… Both are 2nd option… Im planning to stay here in oman for minimum 5 years…

  • Ram Dutt Tiwari-Dubai (UAE)

    Good factors and bad factors in every vehicle, i suggest if you looking SUV and your budget maximum Dhs 58,900 buy duster 2014 2.0L SE 2WD and if your budget Dhs 79,900 buy toyota Rav4 2015 2.5L EX 2WD

  • jibu

    Any one use Rav4 2WD, How is the performance?please advice

  • Ram Dutt Tiwari-Dubai (UAE)

    Dear Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury as per your valuable advice finally I am going to buy Toyota RAV4 EX 2015

  • Ram Dutt Tiwari-Dubai (UAE)

    Today I booked RAV4 EX 2015 Model on deira Al Futtaim Showroom and i will get it on january 2015.

  • Alwin

    Any info on midlife facelift for Toyota rav4 in first quarter of 2015??

  • Alwin george

    is there midlife Refresh, equipment changes(music system) coming for 2015 Rav4??any info??

  • Rahul

    Rav4 2015 full specs or xtrail 2015 full specs????

    Which one to buy…

    • Rohail

      Even i have the same question.. Which car would be better ? Nissan xTrail 2015 or RAV 4… ? tell me about its stability on highway and how it does on sand (dunes) Thx. ! i need replies quick :) (OR SUGGEST ME A DIFFERENT vahicle) thx..

  • Ram Dutt Tiwari- Dubai-UAE

    Its up to you guys. you want reliability or want only outlooks?

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