My dad had the previous 1st generation RAV4 and that thing lasted forever and took a beating so he had to have a new one. He got the base model to avoid all the unnecessary electronics nowadays. Inside is very roomy, cloth seats are good and textured. Dash is well laid out and material quality is more than acceptable. Acceleration is great around town and on the highway. I have a hard time keeping up in my 2014 Subaru WRX STI in stop in go traffic unless I ring my STI out. No idea what Car and Driver means when it called acceleration "tepid"...absolutely not true.
Great commuting vehicle. Car has so much power we just leave it in ECO mode, which saps some power, and it still has plenty left you won't even notice a difference. Backup camera is standard. Roomy and great seating position (high up).
AC is decent but not great. Could always use more mpg. I get around 26 mpg hwy.
We compared this car to the nice '14 Forester and bought this for its interior design and Toyota reliability. I'm not sure I would do it again. I'm 6-4, 225 lbs, and 53 years old & need a car that is higher, easy to get into, and gets good MPG. This RAV4 is high enough, but the shape of the front door causes me to have to contort my body just a bit to enter. I do have plenty of room in the front and my knees do not touch the dash. But, the car feels cheap. The hood vibrates/shakes on certain kinds of rougher paved and dirt roads. The silver & "graphite" trim both scratch really easily. Car handles well, though the ride is stiff. Speakers are much worse than Camry, more like Corolla.
33-35 mpg on the road, 28 in my rural-urban commuting.
Fully loaded, bike on back, 4500 mile camping road trip got 32mpg.
Ability to change transmission mode (regular, economy, sport) is very cool and helpful.
Be smart & use it. Smooth shifting transmission.
Handling is very good.
Love the graphical display of fuel economy.
Rear camera is good (and needed since rear visibility is poor).
Bluetooth is very good for my Windows phone.
USB is great for playing my music.
Seats are high & reasonably comfortable.
Rear seat recline is excellent and it folds very flat & the seat drops.
The high center a/c-heater vent that can be opened to the back is good.
Make interior trim more durable, less easily scratched.
Remove light grey trim on top of dashboard that causes significant sun glare.
Soften suspension a bit.
Change hood shape so it doesn't shake while driving & so it does not cause unexpected, very disconcerting water blasts shooting up onto the windshield during braking.
Improve all speakers, especially rear.
2nd gear is too high and does not slow vehicle down to 25-30 mph on steep hills. Transmission sometimes auto downshifts on slight downhills, hurting fuel economy.
Increase the payload back to previous model rating of 1150 lbs.
Headlight cut-off is too sharp with a distinct line.
Make alloy rims standard.
I baught my 2013 rav 4 and everything was fine until I decided to open the back windows, while going down the highway. the noise hurt my ears. and I mean really hurt. I contacted the dealer. and he told me he new about the problem. and suggested that I shouldn't open my windows ??? I then contacted Toyota and explained the problem to them. they told me to go on a ride with the service manager, to show me that they all have that problem. But offered no remedy. I guess if that's the case! the windows aren't meant to be opened while driving!!!
I've owned the '96, '01, and '06 RAV 4's and loved everyone of them. Got over 100K out of each with no problems whatsoever. This '13 I just bought looks like it will beat all the others. It's more comfortable, has more guts, looks sharper, and rides quieter than the previous generations. The ride is a little stiff but I feel very secure in this vehicle. We also own a '12 Sienna, and this RAV is just as comfortable. I'm looking forward to many years of driving pleasure with this baby.
Quieter, more responsive handling than previous generation RAV's. Love the Bluetooth and backup camera which are standard. Interior is really sharp, classy. The 2.5 4 cylinder has plenty of guts getting me on the freeway with no problem. Yipeee, Toyota finally got rid of the rear external spare tire. This vehicle looks and rides great.
We bought this car to be able to take our dogs along with us as they love to go for rides. We also use it for daily transportation to work. The gas mileage has been great averaging between 28 to 29 MPG on winter-blend gas. (I expect the mileage to go up with summer-blend). We drive mostly city and 2 lane highways on our 32 mile round-trip to work. The ride is rough and we can feel every road imperfection and there is excessive tire noise. But, the car drives well with good power and smooth shifts and we are enjoying owning it. Would recommend this car but keep in mind its shortcomings. Even with these imperfections, it is a better car than the others we looked at: Ford Escape, Honda CRV, Kia
Pros: Large cargo space, rear seats fold flat to make cargo space usable, small flap that covers the gap between the cargo area and where the rear seats fold down keeps our dogs paws from being injured, great gas mileage: averaging between 28 and 29 MPG in mixed city/highway driving, smooth engine and transmission that shifts without jerks.
Cons: Rough ride-can feel every imperfection and expansion joint in the road, excessive tire noise, lack of overhead storage for sunglasses and general lack of storage, intermittent wipers have only one speed. (I think the last car I owned that didnÂt have variable-speed intermittent wipers was purchased new in the 1970s!)