Friday, February 1, 2013

2013 RAV4: What's New?

Waku-doki. Say it loud three times fast. That's the Japanese slogan behind the redesigned, 2013 RAV4, which roughly translates to "a heart fluttering with anticipation", or in more plain English, "an adrenaline pumping experience". Now granted, this is a SUV we're talking about, not a Supra or FR-S. But who's to say you can't have a good time while being practical? I think that's exactly the kind of experience Toyota is hoping to capture with the new RAV4. They've made some design changes reflecting that sort of philosophy in order to up the fun factor for everyone, whether you're rocking the LE, XLE, or Limited trim models available.

Dark green 2013 RAV4

It has actually been quite awhile since the RAV4 got a redesign. In fact, the last big overhaul it got was in 2006, when an electric power steering system was added. So, what's changed for the 2013 model? Here are some of the changes, in no particular order:

RAV4 cargo space

1. The spare tire hanging on the back of the vehicle is no more. Whether you liked having the hump on the back or not, it's now safely tucked away under the cargo floor inside the vehicle.
2. Can't decide between transmissions? For 2013, the RAV4 is only available in a 176 horsepower, 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine. The option for the V6 is gone (supposedly less than 10% of previous RAV4 buyers opted for the V6) but it has been upgraded from a four speed automatic transmission to six, improving the fuel economy and making for a smoother overall driving experience. 
3. Better MPG- The 2012 RAV4 had an EPA rating of 22 city/28 highway, while the 2013 gets 24/31. Over the course of the year, it will add up to some noticeable fuel savings.
4. Sport button- Just below the radio controls, you can press this button to firm up the steering and give your ride more throttle response. This video explains things nicely.

RAV4 2013 interior

5. Slightly resized. The new RAV4 is two inches shorter in length (179.9), approximately an inch lower (65.4), but also close to an inch wider (72.6) than before.
6. No more third row of seats. While you can now only sit 5 instead of 7, the removal of the third row seating frees up some extra cargo space in the back- about 1.2 cubic feet more than before. Most importantly? Less complaining from friends who would have been crammed into those extra seats.
7. Powered liftgate. For those moments when your hands are full, the Limited model offers a remote powered liftgate to open the back.
8. New seats. All trims of the 2013 RAV4 come with SofTex seats, a light-weight synthetic leather Toyota has been using for newer vehicles that helps the material "breathe" more easily, and is also more comfortable. In the Limited model, the two front seats also have the option of being heated.

Want to see full specs on the 2013 RAV4? You can grab the PDF here, or if you're simply interested in more photos, you can check out the official Toyota site or their new spot featuring Big Bang Theory actress Kaley Cuoco.

What do you like about the redesigned RAV4? Leave us a comment below! 

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