The 2013 Toyota RAV4: The spare is no more!

There are certain aspects of some vehicles that stick in my craw from time to time, and today I’m pleased to announce that the 2013 Toyota RAV4 no longer has the annoying spare wheel mounted to the rear tailgate, and not a moment before time. Frankly, that’s not the only thing that’s improved with this re-designed crossover.

The crossover/small SUV market in the US is massive and Toyota have stamped their mark with many improvements to this highly popular vehicle. The V6 motor from last year is no longer available so the 4cyl 2.5L carries the whole load. It produces 175HP which propels the 2013 Toyota RAV4 to 60mph in around 8 seconds, which can hardly be considered quick, but in this market, it’s enough. There is a 6-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly and efficiently to provide a more comfortable ride than in previous models. There is also an ECO/SPORT function which sharpens up the fuel economy and tightens the handling and is a nice feature to ramp up performance. Fuel economy is very acceptable at a clip of 21/29mpg with a 25mpg average.

The interior is probably the most striking improvement to the 2013 Toyota RAV4. Gone is the spartan, hard plastic panelling that was so disappointing with the previous version. Now we have a classy, stylish looking dash set-up with a nicely sized touchscreen driver control system along with simple, easy push button controls. The seating in the back provides for considerable leg room, a huge step forward from the last RAV4 where rear passengers sat with their knees in their teeth. Comfort is definitely a priority now which puts this Toyota ahead of some of the competition in its class, and with some sharp trim options, the more you look at this vehicle, the more it becomes likable.

Some owners might want to use this vehicle to go off road and to its credit, the RAV4 will handle it, but you’d have to be out of your mind to actually do it. AWD works very well for slush, rain and snow but I’d leave the mudding trips to the bigger trucks with the larger engines. No sense in causing havoc to this nicely presented automobile.

Price is a crucial criteria in this class as there are so many different vehicles available. The last thing a car maker wants to do is over-price a crossover right out of its market share. However, that is not the case here as the 2013 Toyota RAV4 starts at just under $25,000 and stays pretty close to that even considering the different trim options. There are rear tailgate spoilers, tailgate sensor, and driver protection systems available with the top of the line trims, but nothing excessive. The RAV4 is bang in the middle of its market.

As with all crossover/SUV’s, the trick is to splice comfort, fuel economy and function along with a reasonable price to keep customers coming back. The 2013 Toyota RAV4 has proved to be a massive improvement over itsĀ predecessorĀ and with the spare wheel gone from the tailgate now, is there any reason that you wouldn’t want to jump in and buy this beauty!

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