If you love Crossover, thank Toyota.
If you hate Crossovers, blame Toyota.
They invented them with the RAV4.
And here's the latest, the 4th generation-- the 2013.
Let's drive this limited edition front wheel drive and check the tech.
Now, as you can see, Toyota did not dramatically re-proportioned the RAV4.
They did dramatically restyle that though.
It's about an inch shorter, about an inch wider, which you do see is a much more dramatic, pointy nose
and those kind of shoulders with the taillights leave.
Those really set off the new model more than anything from the outside.
Now, the first thing you're gonna notice in the new RAV4 is the interior is much nicer.
It's not so utilitarian.
In fact, it's actually kinda redsy.
Now the main star of the show of course is the head unit.
We have 2 major head unit choices on this limited.
First of all, you can get display audio, which is the LCD with entertainment, Bluetooth and all that on these
And your sources of the AM/FM, CD, Aux, USB with iPod support.
And you'll also have Bluetooth streaming all on the base display unit.
If you upgrade to the navigation rig, you also get satellite radio, HD radio with iTunes tagging and of course, nTune apps.
The nTune apps roll in iHeartRadio and Pandora, so roll in more media choices as well when you get navigation.
It's really the smart way to go, as you'll see, when we check the prices later.
There's lots of pros and cons to this full-on head unit.
First of all, the navigation
voices really good.
You press this button, you blurt out the whole address and it finds it.
-Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco.
-It was even good with a fuzzy search I did.
I said, take me to Twin Peaks in San Francisco, which is kind of an undefined sort of a search term and it figured it out.
A downside though is that the voice command doesn't work for the nTune apps so you can use voice commands to do all kinds of things for communication, navigation and such, but you cannot use it to do a Bing search for example, or to tell it to do something with iHeartRadio or Pandora.
So it's a
mixed bag here.
Now in terms of what you're listening to and how I get out to the speakers, you can also option of JBL Audio, which takes you from 6 speakers and kind of non-descript amplification to 10 speakers and a powered sub with JBL Audio amps behind it.
Let's talk about some driving tech now.
The BSM button down here, blind spot monitor.
Not on every RAV4, but a lot of the packages have that like our [unk] package and that gives you little indicators in the mirror but no correction if you're drifting into someone.
Also has a cross traffic alert.
It'll keep me from backing
into someone who's gonna hit you sideways.
The main story here is that we've got a transmission that is a 6-speed but it's a full 6. It's actually a CVT with variable pulleys.
But that's better than the 4-speed cog transmission that we had on the outgoing model.
That was positively antiquated.
The Soviets were loaning them the Toyota or something.
No pedals on the wheel but you can drop it back here into a gate for sport mode and then shift within there up and down.
Now, of course, crossover vehicles descent from
sport utility vehicles.
So the utility matters in these guys.
Let's check it out on the rear end of the RAV4.
First of all, power lift gate on this model 'cause it's high trim.
I gotta say, it's one of the slower ones to start and it's pretty slow to go up.
I only bring it up because you get impatient day in and day out was slow powered tailgates.
This one kinda got on my nerves after a while.
Fold flat second row and it's very easy.
One lever at the side of the seat and wacking goes down.
Don't screwing around with multiple sort of leverage and pulls.
You'll also notice that you no
longer a 3rd row option.
The engines are new story as well.
The engines are not really new but now you no longer have the choice of a 6-cylinder.
It's an in-line four or you're not getting a RAV4 at all.
That's your choice.
The numbers 176 horse, 172 foot pounds of torque.
It's this 3,500 pound vehicle to 60 in about 9 seconds, that's very average of its class.
The MPG is not bad though, 2431 is nothing to complain about.
Now, we have a front wheel drive here.
It's also an all wheel drive variant and
limited slip differential is included on this front wheel drive as well.
Now, the first thing you notice about driving this car is there's not much to notice.
The power comes on just fine, you don't miss the V6 not being here really.
What you do notice though is a little bit of that yo-yo effect that is sort of a CVT and a 4-cylinder that's kinda struggling a little bit that does lead to some sort of strange kinda loopy spooly acceleration.
But there's plenty of power here.
It's just not really responsive.
I'm not crazy about the
degree and note of the engine noise you hear.
It's not the kind of engine noise that you listen to them, sounds good.
It's like kinda goes, engine.
Eco and sport don't seem to make much of a difference in the drive feel and the shiftable gate over here-- this is not a responsive transmission in terms of its full 6 gears.
I would never use it in kind of a sport way.
It doesn't really pay off.
Leave it and driving your fun.
Okay, this place is 2013 limited front wheel drive, about 29 grand delivered.
Remember, this is top of the stack.
Fourteen hundred or more will get you all wheel drive.
As a driving experience, it remains a relatively high tech, good value, civilized driving machine.
But it's not gonna blow you away in anyone direction.