The current generation RAV4 has been sale since 2005 and the only update was in 2009 when it received a mild refresh. It is no surprise that today, at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota decided to finally unleash the fourth generation RAV4. The new SUV has been caught testing in many times and teased a few more times, so we can say it brings nothing that we did not expect.

The new RAV4 is not only redesigned both inside and outside, but it also receives new in-cabin technologies, a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, new six-speed transmission and new safety features.

While building the new RAV4, Toyota will use the same body-engineering principles previously used on the 2012 Camry and 2013 Avalon that helps improve steering and handling, and makes the car a little bit lighter.

The new generation Toyota RAV4 will go on sale early in 2013 in three well-equipped grades: LE, XLE and Limited.

Updated 12/18/2012: Toyota today announced prices for the 2013 RAV4 SUV that will arrive at dealerships in early January 2013. Prices will range from $23,300 for the LE FWD version up to $28,410 for Limited AWD one.

Click past the jump to read our full review on the 2014 RAV4

  • 2013 Toyota RAV4
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    176 @ 6000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    172 @ 4100
  • Displacement:
    2.5 L
  • car segment:
  • body style:


2013 Toyota RAV4 Exterior
- image 483930

The fourth generation Toyota RAV4 brings design elements previously seen in models like the latest-generation Auris, which makes it look even more aggressive and sporty than the model it replaces. Toyota opted for aggressively sculpted front and rear fenders and boldly proportioned taillights.

At the rear the RAV4 will drop its traditional side-hinged rear door in favor of a convenient roof-hinged liftgate with a space-saver spare tire. Toyota designers also wanted to improve the SUV’s aerodynamic features so they have added small vortex generators into the taillight cases and near the base of the A-pillars.

Exterior dimensions:

Overall Length 179.9 in
Overall Width 72.6 in
Overall Height 65.4 in
Wheelbase 104.7 in
Ground clearance 6.3 in
Wheels 17-inch steel wheels (LE)
17-inch alloy wheels (XLE)
18-inch alloy wheels (Limited)
Tire Size 17-inch: 225/65R17 (LE and XLE)
18-inch: 235/55R18 (Limited)
Towing Capacity 1,500 lbs.


2013 Toyota RAV4 Interior
- image 483958

The interior of the next- generation RAV4 has also been significantly improved with new materials and all the latest technologies offered by Toyota. The SUV has received an updated dash panel with primary and secondary controls all within easy reach and featuring a very cool Clear Blue illumination.

Depending on the model, the RAV4 will be offered with either a urethane steering wheel or a leather-wrapped one with controls for audio, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio, and the Multi-Information Display (MID).

The rear seats can be slid back enhancing rear-passenger legroom and once again, depending on the model the seats will be offered in premium fabric with French stitching or high-quality, breathable SofTex with French stitching.

Interior dimensions:

Head Room 39.8 in (Front)
38.9 in (Rear)
Leg Room 42.6 in (Front)
37.2 in (Rear)
Shoulder Room 57.3 in (Front)
55.4 in (Rear)
Hip Room 54.3 in (Front)
48.9 in (Rear)
Cargo Volume 73.3 cubic feet(Behind first row)
38.4 cubic feet (Behind second row)
Seating Capacity 5


2013 Toyota RAV4 High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 483950

All the new RAV4 models will come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 176 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. The previous optional V-6 engine has been dropped.

The engine will mate to a new six-speed transmission with Sequential Shift that replaces the previous four-speed automatic. The RAV4 will be offered in both front- and all-wheel versions with fuel economy rated at 24 mpg city/31 highway for the front-wheel-drive models and 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway for the all-wheel-drive model.

All models will be offered with Dynamic Torque Control featuring three different drive modes: Auto, Lock and Sport. In Auto Mode all the power heads to the front wheels and it switches to AWD only when absolutely needed. This driving mode helps reduce fuel consumption. The Lock Mode is generally used at speeds up to 25 mph when 50 percent of the engine power is being sent to the rear wheels. Once the vehicle passes 25 mph, Sport Mode kicks in. This mode provides smooth and nearly instantaneous torque transfers between the front and rear wheels to help enhance cornering performance.

Engine 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
Horsepower 176 @ 6,000 RPM
Torque 172 lb.-ft. @ 4,100 RPM
Transmission Six-speed ECT-i
Drive System Front- and All-Wheel-Drive


The fourth-generation Toyota RAV4 will go on sale in early 2013 in three trim versions: LE, XLE and Limited.

Model Grade Drive Type Engine Transmission Body Style MSRP
4430 LE FWD 4 Cylinder 6AT SUV $23,300
4440 XLE FWD 4 Cylinder 6AT SUV $24,290
4450 Limited FWD 4 Cylinder 6AT SUV $27,010
4432 LE AWD 4 Cylinder 6AT SUV $24,700
4442 XL AWD 4 Cylinder 6AT SUV $25,690
4452 Limited AWD 4 Cylinder 6AT SUV $28,410


2013 Toyota RAV4 High Resolution Exterior
- image 483940

The new RAV4 will be meeting two of its competitors: Mitsubishi Outlander and the Subaru Forester at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The Outlander has also entered a new generation and is being offered with a choice of two engines; a four-cylinder one and a V-6. The Forester is offered with a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder boxer engine that cranks out 250 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 258 pound-feet of torque between 2,000 and 4,800 rpm.

The RAV4 has received lots of exterior updates, true, but we find them not really appropriate for a SUV. All they managed to do is making the car look very strange. The Forrester, on the other hand, has stellar looks and the muscle to back it up. On the surface, since we haven’t driven them yet, we would take the Forester.

  • Leave it
    • Just one engine
    • Looks strange

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
About the author

Press Release

The all-new 2013 RAV4 crossover SUV made its world debut today at the 2012 Los Angeles International Auto Show. Toyota’s fourth-generation RAV4, the world’s original crossover sport utility vehicle, arrives early next year.

2013 Toyota RAV4 Exterior
- image 483934

With a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, new six-speed transmission, two-row seating for five, and a host of available in-cabin technologies, RAV4 offers a nuanced balance of performance and all-around capability, including class-leading cargo capacity, striking design, class-leading eight standard airbags, and a compelling array of standard features. RAV4 will be available in three well-equipped grades: LE, XLE and Limited.

Performance, Handling, and Efficiency

2013 Toyota RAV4 Exterior
- image 483936

For 2013, RAV4 will provide a number of powertrain technologies that help deliver an engaging driving experience. It will feature Toyota’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which will produce 176 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 ft. lbs. of torque at 4,100 rpm. The optional V6 of the previous-generation RAV4 will be discontinued.

Replacing the previous four-speed automatic will be a six-speed transmission with Sequential Shift. First and second gear ratios will be optimized for around-town performance. To keep engine revs lower at highway speeds and enhance fuel mileage, fifth and sixth gears will be overdrives.

RAV4 front-wheel-drive models have received EPA- estimated fuel efficiency ratings of 24 mpg city/31 highway, while all-wheel-drive models are EPA-estimated at 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway. A new Eco mode is designed to promote more efficient driving thus helping to enhance fuel efficiency.

The new RAV4 will provide its active owners a more dynamic drive, with new technologies like a Sport Mode with Dynamic Torqu Control AWD, enhancements in suspension performance, and optimized electric power steering. The spring rates have been enhanced, and the shock absorbers have been optimally tuned to help the vehicles handling characteristics.

RAV4 has a MacPherson strut front suspension, double-wishbone rear suspension and four-wheel disc brakes. The LE will ride on 17-inch steel wheels, XLE will feature 17-inch alloys, and Limited will be equipped with 18-inch alloys.

In both front- and all-wheel drive RAV4’s Sport Mode sharpens shift timing, throttle response and steering response. When down shifting the RAV4 six-speed automatic transmission in “S” Mode, engine revs rise with a clearly audible “blip,” adding to the driving experience.

In RAV4 with AWD, Dynamic Torque Control AWD has additional benefits. When turning into and through a corner, power is sent to the rear wheels to help enhance cornering performance, detecting steering angle and lack of yaw rate in Sport Mode (and detecting lack of yaw rate in Normal and Eco Mode).Dynamic Torque Control has three different drive modes: Auto, Lock and Sport. In Auto Mode, RAV4 delivers power primarily to the front wheels under most driving conditions, switching automatically to AWD only when needed. By only engaging the rear axle and delivering power to the rear wheels when needed, Auto Mode helps enhance fuel efficiency and reduce drivetrain wear.

In Lock Mode at lower speeds, RAV4 essentially has a full-time AWD system with power delivered to all four wheels. At speeds below approximately 25 mph in Lock Mode, up to 50 percent of engine power is sent to the rear wheels, enhancing traction and helping RAV4 “dig” through sandy or muddy conditions. Lock Mode reverts to Auto Mode when vehicle speed passes approximately 25 mph.

As on the front-drive RAV4’s, Sport Mode sharpens shift timing, throttle response, and steering response. In RAV4 with AWD, Sport Mode has additional benefits. It can provide smooth and nearly instantaneous torque transfers between the front and rear wheels to help enhance cornering performance. Under certain conditions, Sport Mode can automatically deliver up to 50 percent of engine power to the rear wheels.

In Sport Mode, the AWD system also can apportion power based on input from the steering angle and yaw rate sensors of the Vehicle Stability Control system. When turning into and through a corner, power is sent to the rear wheels to maximize traction available at each of the four corners of the vehicle. Under braking in a straight line in Sport Mode, power delivery to the rear wheels can be momentarily suspended to best leverage the benefits of ABS and VSC.

Exterior Design & Body Structure

2013 Toyota RAV4 High Resolution Exterior
- image 483938

The new RAV4’s design achieves strong proportions while conveying the agile and fun character. Sophisticated and dynamic, the exterior features a progressive silhouette, with a sleek-sloping roofline and an aggressive character line. The new RAV4’s interior has a premium, sophisticated look with soft-touch accents and driver-centric controls.

RAV4 pursues the design goals defined by Toyota President Akio Toyoda, with aggressively sculpted front and rear fenders and boldly proportioned taillights that define RAV4’s athletic presence.

In a significant break with its heritage, RAV4 will switch from its side-hinged rear door to a convenient roof-hinged liftgate with a space-saver spare tire will be stored under the cargo floor. Standard on the Limited grade will be a one-touch power rear liftgate with driver-selectable memory height settings.

As on other recently introduced Toyotas, RAV4 engineers paid special attention to aerodynamics, the most obvious detail being small vortex generators molded into the taillight cases and near the base of the A-pillars. Less obvious are the aerodynamic undertrays beneath the passenger cabin that help smooth and control airflow.

Following body-engineering principles debuted in the 2012 Camry and 2013 Avalon, RAV4’s body structure will include high-strength steel to help achieve several significant goals, including a robust and stiff platform that enhances steering and handling precision, and a body structure that is both strong and light. RAV4 engineers used several grades of high-strength steel to form key structural components in the roof, rocker sills, floor, engine compartment and door frames. The weight savings were in part invested in sound deadening materials and an acoustic windshield, helping to create a quiet passenger cabin.

Interior Design & Packaging

2013 Toyota RAV4 Interior
- image 483953

The new RAV4’s dash panel is driver-centric and asymmetrical, with primary and secondary controls all within easy reach. On the passenger side, the sculpted dash panel creates a sense of airy spaciousness.

RAV4’s dash panel and gauges all feature Clear Blue illumination, which provides crisp visibility in most ambient light conditions, and a unified, coherent appearance at night.

RAV4 will come standard with a manual tilt/telescope steering column, with the LE and XLE featuring a urethane steering wheel. The Limited grade will have a leather-wrapped steering wheel. All RAV4 steering wheels will have controls for audio, Bluetoothâ hands-free phone and audio, and the Multi-Information Display (MID).

All RAV4’s will have driver and front passenger seats with high seatbacks and a slim back, enhancing rear-passenger knee room. The RAV4 LE driver’s seat is six-way adjustable, including seat height.

The RAV4 XLE driver and front passenger will ride in premium bucket seats with sport bolstering, providing ample support of the lower hips, lower torso and shoulders during cornering. The XLE will have premium fabric with French stitching on the seats and portions of the dash panels.

The Limited will have the same premium driver and front-passenger bucket seats found in the XLE but will also come equipped with an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory, plus heaters in the front seat bottoms and seatbacks with two temperature settings and driver power lumbar. All RAV4 Limited seats are trimmed in high-quality, breathable SofTex with French stitching. SofTex also covers the center armrest, and portions of the door and dash panels.

All RAV4’s will feature 60/40 split/fold second-row seats that recline several degrees to enhance passenger comfort.

In contrast to 2013 RAV4’s compact exterior dimensions, the cargo area is deeper, larger and easier to access than in the previous generation, with just over 38.4 cu. ft. of cargo capacity behind the rear seats. With rear seats folded, RAV4 class-leading maximum cargo capacity of 73.3 cu. ft.

Privacy glass, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), cruise control, power side mirrors, power door locks and power windows are standard on all RAV4s. RAV4 XLE and Limited feature dual-zone automatic climate control, integrated fog lights, power moonroof with sliding sunshade and heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators.

In-Cabin Technology, Audio

2013 Toyota RAV4 Interior
- image 483959

Standard on all RAV4 models is a Display Audio with a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen. Significant for this market, RAV4’s Display Audio includes a standard backup camera and Bluetooth connectivity. When shifted into reverse, the audio display will show the image of what the backup camera captures. The image will include an overlay of positioning lines representing the parking space and approximate distance to obstacles.

XLE and Limited will offer an available GPS Navigation and Entune™ multimedia system with satellite radio and advanced voice recognition. The Limited grade will also offer an available JBL® GreenEdgeÔ Premium Audio with 576-Watts of maximum power, 11 speakers, and GPS Navigation and Entune.

The Limited grade will offer an available Blind Spot Monitor system (BSM). It can be turned off with a dashboard switch. When the system detects a vehicle in the adjacent lane, it alerts the driver with a blinking light indicator in the side mirrors. If the turn signal is on when there is a vehicle in the blind spot of the driver’s intended lane, the indicator on the corresponding mirror will warn the driver with a solid light.

The available Blind Spot Monitor incorporates Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which uses the Blind Spot Monitor radar sensors at the lower rear bodywork of the vehicle. When backing up, the RCTA senses vehicles approaching from either direction and provides an audible warning combined with a flashing indicator in the appropriate outside mirror.

All 2013 RAV4s will have a class-leading eight standard airbags. Like every Toyota, RAV4 will feature the Star Safety System, which includes Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Brake Assist, an Anti-lock Braking System and Smart Stop Technology.

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