Five-Point Inspection: 2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE FWD

Five-Point Inspection: 2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE FWD

Peppy but Unusual Sounding Engine

Paired to the standard 6-speed automatic is a carryover of the 2012 RAV4’s 2.5 L four-cylinder engine. For 2013 the inline-4 produces 3 less hp, now making a total of 176 hp, while still retaining 172 lb-ft of torque. Even with a minor weight penalty, the 2013 RAV4 front-wheel drive is not only faster in a straight line, but also features improved fuel economy thanks to six-speed automatic; 24 MPG city and 31 MPG highway compared to the 2012 RAV4’s ratings of 22 MPG city and 28 MPG highway.

After spending some time behind the wheel of the RAV4, an ever present engine drone began filtering into the cabin. We wouldn’t go as far to say it is a deal breaker for a potential consumer, but the odd baritone hum will take a bit of getting used to.

  • Everyonesgotone

    Owned a 2007 RAV4 AWD V6 for 5 years,… great car, strong performance, and the airbag system saved my wife’s life in a recent crash.  The RAV was totaled, and we immediately went to test drive the 2013 RAV4.  BIG disapointment,….. the 4-banger will hardly get out of its own way.  The new styling is nice, ride is good, but the thing is anemic!  Bonehead move on Toyota’s part in dumping the V6.  Bought an Acura RDX with V6, and love it!

  • Fiifi R

    There you go! I’ve been one of the biggest Toyota fanbois until the new Camry. I was hoping for something good to replace my 2005 SE V6 with and reluctantly settled on the Accord EX V6. I don’t think I’m going to Toyota again, I personally feel insulted by what they put out nowadays. The Corolla will also be a very big disappointment, just watch!

  • Guest

    Do’nt blame Toyota blame the environmentlists…..its a bean counter move….

  • Robert Jochim

    They’ve ruined it; they’ve gelded it, and took away it’s personality by removing the V6 and rear spare mount.  Most people don’t realize that up till now, the RAV4s were tops in this category in straight line acceleration.  Now it’s just meh, like just about everything else in it’s category now.  Too bad – they had a good thing going.  Seriously considering a Venza or a Tacoma – if I stay with Toyota at all.

  • Earl Shelton

     Agreed.  I read about the great V6/6-speed combination in  the RAV4 in 2009 during the Cash for Clunkers sale.  Very impressive performance/mileage.  But the interior was super-cheap and I had to go to a Limited to get anything decent inside.  The salesman actually helped.  He suggested the Venza — same V6/6-speed but smoother ride and nicer inside for same $$$.  So that’s what I bought — and it’s great.

    I didn’t want the 4-cyl because sometimes you need extra power to merge on Interstates, climb grades loaded and what-not.  So this thing is now a eunuch.

    I really don’t get Toyota “strategy” — more luxurious but *less* power?  Huh?

    Someone said environment and that may be it, becasue otherwise this looks like a way to kill off the RAV4 (which I kinda thought they’d do after Venza came out anyway.)  Note: Toyota shows the stylish Venza on their homepage and even when they’re trying to sell a RAV4 — or at least they used to.

  • Joe

    I like that they got rid of the rear spare mount, but getting rid the the V6 was not good.

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