For starters ... I rushed to upgrade from a 2011 Rav4 model I loved to a 2013 model I don't like very much.
After 5000 miles of city and highway, this SUV consistently disappoints.
While many overall improvements have been made as listed in great details throughout the other reviews, the fundamental issues are the power/train. combo and also the tire change up in this new model.
This is not a fund vehicle to drive (unlike the 2011 model).
The car feels sluggish, hesitant and often puzzled as if it doesn't know what gear to go into and when (automatic version and AWD).
Exterior redesign is definitely nice, more appealing and the lift door rather than the swing door a nice and long overdue change.
The interior is a mess of I don't know what - a blend of materials, colors and fabrics that just don't make any sense and definitely distract from what use to be a plain, ergonomically correct and utilitarian design for this type of SUV.
The absolute worst feature is the central console touch screen control center that easily vanishes and becomes unreadable in daylight and impossible in sunlight when the sun roof is open.
Terrible placement and design makes it useless.
I must agree with you... I too had an older model Rav4 (2009 Limited) which we really loved... unfortunately it was written off in an accident... so I went out and looked at a variety of smaller suv's and ended up with another Rav4, 2013... I wasn't real excited about the new one, but my wife is the main driver and she really like it...
I live in Canada not far from the Niagara Falls, New York border, and since the Rav4 is made in Canada, about an hour from where I live, I started to look for a Rav4 in the states as our dollar was really high and since its made in Canada, there is no duty... The only deal was is that Toyota of America will not sell a new vehicle to a Canadian, and since the Rav4 was so new, it was difficult to find a used one...
after a ton of looking I found one deep on PA (about a 6 hour drive for me) and without getting into too much detail I bought a 2013 Rav4 Limited with every possible option and only 694 miles on it.... and after taking everything into consideration, (gas to drive both ways, overnight in a hotel, meals, not counting my time) I saved around $6,000...
Nice little suv, not amazing... but nice... wish it had real leather not the fake stuff... not thrilled with the interior but its ok... ride is ok, but I agree, sometimes the 2.5L doesn't quite know what gear it wants to go into... seems like its not set up properly with the new 6 speed...
my biggest pet peeve is the exterior plastic that runs around the wheels and the bottom of the car and makes up the bumper... it get dirty and its impossible to clean... you can wash it, scrub it, but it still shows the staining from the dirt... the Toyota rep at the car show told me its the standard that all car manufacturers are going with now... what a joke... I'm going to look further into it because it looks horrible... keep that in mind if you are going in to buy a new one, or if you are going into buy a used one and the plastic looks like its all shined up, as soon as the shine goes away, you'll see the dirt stains... not impressed at all..