2013 Toyota RAV4 Limited

Pointy face

Engine bay

Front- or all-wheel drive

Where's the spare?

Liftgate

Motorized operation

Interior

Tech options

Steering

Instrument cluster

Transmission

Safety tech

Drive modes

Audio sources

Entune apps

Low resolution

Speech input

Two-tone

Eye-catching

The RAV4 Limited distinguishes itself as the top-tier trim level with silver lower grill trim, roof rails, fog lights, and 18-inch plus-size wheels.
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The new face is more angular and pointed. From the driver's seat, the RAV4 offers better forward and 360-degree vision, thanks to a more open greenhouse.
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Under the hood is a 2.5L, four-cylinder engine that supplies a good amount of grunt for around-town motoring.
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Though it is available with all-wheel drive, our example was a front-drive model. Performance and grip didn't seem to suffer on San Francisco's dry streets.
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The RAV4's characteristic rear-mounted spare tire is gone for this generation.
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The new design now uses a traditional top-hinged liftgate that requires less space to open than the old, swing-out rear door.
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Our Limited model features a motorized liftgate that raises and lowers at the touch of a button.
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A squeaky dashboard panel annoyed me during my testing. Aside from that nitpick, the rest of the RAV4's interior felt solid and well built.
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All RAV4 models feature a 6.1-inch Display Audio infotainment system. Ours was also augmented with Entune apps and navigation, as well as safety tech.
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The RAV4's steering wasn't very communicative, but I like the amount of steering effort required -- not too much, not too little.
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Instrumentation is simple and easy to read. A small monochrome trip computer is controlled with buttons on the steering wheel.
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A six-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox available on the 2013 RAV4. Shifts were silky smooth for a comfortable ride.
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Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are optional features that increase the crossover's safety.
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The powertrain also feaured Eco and Sport programs to further augment the RAV4's performance.
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Available audio sources include Bluetooth, USB/iPod, 3.5mm analog auxiliary input, satellite radio, AM/FM radio, and HD Radio tuning. There's also a CD player.
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Entune apps allow the Display Audio system to stream music from the Web and augment the navigation system with weather, fuel prices, and Bing destination search.
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The Toyota Display Audio with Entune system's maps were low resolution and unimpressive.
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The voice command system allowed for the input of a complete address with in one go. However, parsing the spoken address could take a few moments.
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Our example featured a two tone interior trimmed in SofTex artificial leather.
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I'm not sure if the terracotta and black motif would have been my first choice, but it certainly was eye-catching.
Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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