LOS ANGELES – Toyota brought its fourth-generation 2013-MY RAV4 to the LA Auto Show, where it debuted the vehicle at a press conference on Wednesday morning. The RAV4 comes in three trim levels, the LE, XLE, and Limited models, features a four-cylinder engine, and two rows of seats that can fit five passengers.
The latest version of the RAV4 only offers a single engine choice, a 2.5L four-cylinder that produces 176 hp at 6,000 rpm and 172 lb. ft. of torque. The automaker decided to discontinue the V-6 engine option for the RAV4. Toyota also added a new transmission to the 2013-MY RAV4, a six-speed with Sequential Shift technology to improve fuel economy. When it comes to fuel economy, the RAV4 front-wheel-drive models have EPA-estimated mpg figures of 24 city, 31 highway, whereas the all-wheel-drive models get 22 city, 29 highway mpg. Toyota offers a new Eco driving mode for more fuel efficiency.
Another feature on the 2013-MY RAV4 is Dynamic Torque Control, which works differently depending on whether the RAV4 is a front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive model. It offers three driving modes, Lock Mode, Auto Mode, and Sport Mode. Auto Mode delivers power to the front wheels and switches to AWD only when necessary in the AWD models. Lock Mode makes the vehicle use AWD in AWD models. Sport Mode sharpens shift timing, throttle response, and steering response, according to Toyota, and in the AWD models it can also distribute power based on input from the vehicle’s stability control system.
On the outside, the RAV4 features a rear liftgate rather than a side-hinged door. The spare tire is stored under the cargo area in the back. On the Limited trim level, the RAV4 comes with a one-touch power liftgate with selectable memory height settings. Other changes include a more aerodynamic design and high-strength steel used in a number of structural components.
Wheels on the RAV4 differ by model, with 17-inch steel wheels on the LE, 17-inch alloy wheels on the XLE, and 18-inch alloy wheels on the Limited.
Inside, the RAV4 features a standard manual tilt/telescoping steering column. The LE and XLE models offer a urethane steering wheel and the Limited comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel. All steering wheels offer audio, Bluetooth hands-free system, and Multi-Information Display controls
For the seats, the driver and front passenger seats feature high seatbacks and a slim back section in order to give back-seat passengers more legroom. In the LE model, the RAV4 driver’s seat is six-way adjustable, including seat height. The XLE model features premium driver and front passenger seats and premium fabric. The Limited edition has the same seats as in the XLE but the driver’s seat is eight-way adjustable with memory, heaters in the front seat bottoms and seatbacks with two temperature settings, and power lumbar in the driver’s seat.
In the back, the RAV4 features 60/40 split folding second-row seats that can recline. The cargo area in the 2013-MY RAV4 is larger, with more than 38.4 cu. ft. behind the rear seats, and 73.3 cu. ft. with the rear seats folded.
The RAV4’s multimedia and connectivity options include a Display Audio with a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen with a backup camera and Bluetooth, all as standard. The XLE and Limited models offer GPS Navigation and Entune, and the Limited trim level offers a JBL “GreenEdge Premium Audio” system with 11 speakers and GPS Navigation and Entune.
For safety, the 2013-MY RAV4 comes with eight airbags, Toyota’s Star Safety System. That system integrates Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Brake Assist, an Anti-lock Braking System, and Smart Stop Technology. On the Limited edition, Toyota offers a Blind Spot Monitor system (the driver can turn it on or off) that incorporates a rear cross traffic alert capability.
The 2013-MY RAV4 comes with standard privacy glass, daytime running lights, cruise control, power side mirrors, power door locks, and power windows. The XLE and Limited models come with dual-zone climate control, integrated fog lights, a power moonroof with a sliding sunshade, and heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators.
Photos by Greg Basich