Five-Point Inspection: 2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE FWD

AutoGuide Five-Point Inspection

For 2013 the RAV4 has undergone some major reconstructive surgery. The goal is to infuse a bit more life into this compact crossover that helped define the segment 17-years ago. Gone are both the V6 engine and 3rd row seating options. Thankfully, so is the antiquated four-speed automatic which has been replaced by a six-speed automatic.

The RAV4 still represents good value by starting at $23,300 for a base LE front-wheel drive model. Our test vehicle arrived in mid-level XLE FWD trim sporting the Display Audio with Navigation 5 and Entune which brought the as tested price to $25,320.


Everyonesgotone says:

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 says:

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 says:

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

Robert Jochim says:

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 says:

 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 says:

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