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Used 2013 Toyota RAV4 LE SUV Review

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2013 Toyota RAV4 LE SUV.

5 star(50%)
4 star(33%)
3 star(8%)
2 star(0%)
1 star(9%)
4.2 out of 5 stars
12 reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

4.63 out of 5 stars
Excellent Vehicle
Thomas Michlovitch,02/21/2015
LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Overall the car does a great job. I live in the North East and we get our share of snow. The car handles great in the snow. Sometimes we will get 6 to 8 inches overnight. I don't have time to clear my driveway in the morning and the car cuts right through the snow. The car is roomy, handles great, and is fun to drive. There are however some minor annoyances with the car. For … example, I would like to push the key-fob lock and lock the doors before closing them however the car does not allow that. If you leave the hatch open while driving the car will continuously beep. Very annoying when you moving something and can't close the hatch. There's no lock for the glove compartment.
4 out of 5 stars
A+ for safety...
LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Overall, I am very happy with this car. I have been able to test out the safety features in the snow and on icy roads and any slippage (due to sub-par snow tires) is immediately corrected. I feel safe, which is my #1 priority. I've read comments about feeling every bump in the road, maybe it is just because I've upgraded from a 2005 Camry, but I feel like I'm floating on clouds in this … car. One thing I'm not crazy about is the rear-center seat. The car should be wide enough to have a regular 3-seat bench, not sure why it has this funky belt coming out of the ceiling. Second thing is the lift gate. I think a power lift gate should be standard. It is not easy to get open with your hands full. Especially on the LE model. It has a rear back up camera standard, but a manual lift gate? Why? Even my 2005 Camry had an auto open button on the key fob for the trunk. Then there's the headlights. Instead of just turning off automatically, there is an annoying, high-pitched beep to remind you to turn them off manually. I've never driven a car made after 2000 that didn't turn the lights off automatically when you lock the car. I would gladly give back the back up camera to have auto-off lights and a power lift gate! My last complaint is storage. There is a glove box and small arm rest storage compartment, and under the center console is weird open storage that doesn't fit much. I can tell they were trying to make it look upgraded and modern, I'd gladly have old fashioned and functional! Despite my complaints, I am happy with this car and don't regret my purchase. I've always been happy with the low cost of ownership that comes with Toyotas and I like that I can confidently drive on snow and ice now. The little things do make the experience for me though, and I know the manual lights and lift gate will continue to grate on me...
4.13 out of 5 stars
Good and the Bad
LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Overall this car is very nice. I was previously an owner of a 2006 Honda CRV. When I compared the two in the 2013 models the Rav4 won out. However, after owing the car for a couple weeks I have some issues that I don't like about the design. First the low beam headlights are horrible. They are the worst of any car I have ever driven. There is a line across the lights that makes it so … when I am driving I can't see very far up the road. It is fine with the high beams but you can't run those all of the time. I hate the rear pass' windows. They are small and they slope up toward the back blocking visibility making a blind spot. The rear window does not open so you can't haul anything.
5 out of 5 stars
Main family vehicle owned for 3 years
LE 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
So, this is our main car! We go everywhere in this thing (wife and 4 kids). The Pros: It is a Toyota with great resale value, 0 mechanical problems than regular maintenance (oil changes, brakes and tires), comfortable interior for the entire family, LOTS of cubby hole storage hidden all over this car, handles great on sunny/rainy/snowy days (I feel very comfortable with my wife taking … a drive in the snow with the kiddos in this SUV). For the 4 cyl engine, it has a higher tow capacity than any other comparable SUV I have found. The Cons: Not really much to say here though have two very minor things to comment on: 1) the reverse camera does not allow you to toggle for directional tracking of where your car will be with the angle of the wheels. This is a very handy feature to have that is missing here. 2) The USB plug barely charges your phone. As this overrides the BT function of the radio and phone, your music and such are fed through the USB, but your battery will still drain. Leaving BT on and having my iPhone plugged in on a 2hr drive my phone lost 23% battery life instead of charging. Road performance. I have driven Toyota's many times in my life and am a huge fan of the Rav. It has a peppy pickup and go from stop or while in motion. Sometimes (especially in my town where speed limit is often 25mph) maybe a little too much pep? I find myself taking my foot off the gas very quickly to coast and ride the brake time to time in residential areas. The visibility for the driver can hardly be beat than with the Rav. Very few blind spots. A U-turn does require a little more than a standard 2 lane road with the expansion of the wheel base, but still, for the extra foot length of the car to its predecessor, I'll make the swap. Road noise is there but not bad at all. You feel the road without feeling like you are being beaten to death by it, lol. A smooth ride in a vehicle that can still hug curves at decent rates without squealing tires. Interior comfort. My kids have plenty of leg room in the back, and if the front passenger and driver are willing to give up a very little bit of theirs, adults can be in the backseat comfortably. The cup holders for front and back are well placed, and the seats are comfortable. Personally i feel the front seats have a bit more padding in them for the rump than the back seats. As I am a bigger guy and my knees don't like me squatting into and out of sedans much any more, I find the access very easy without having to climb up and in. The back area of the car with the rear seat up is quite large for a small SUV. My Mastiff ( a 160lb dog) fits back there comfortably. If I need both of my dogs to go somewhere, then the seats have to be folded down. Gas MPG is decent for an SUV with AWD. Before we moved to the mountains we were getting approx 26 in city and 32 on highway. Now I need to get my car tuned for the altitude as we are down to 22/28 MPG.

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Toyota RAV4 LE SUV

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy interior for both people and cargo
  • strikes a good balance between ride comfort and sure-footed handling.
  • No engine upgrade option
  • usefulness of available Entune system is diminished by cumbersome setup process.

Full Edmunds Review: 2013 Toyota RAV4 SUV

What’s new

The Toyota RAV4 is fully redesigned for 2013.

Edmunds says

The long-awaited redesign of the Toyota RAV4 is well executed, as this compact crossover SUV now has the performance, features and cabin accommodations to keep up with the leaders in this class. Although it's still not a standout in any one area, Toyota's entry is worth a look.

Vehicle overview

In just half a decade, crossover SUVs have become the go-to choice among car buyers. It's no accident; the full-size SUV craze of the late '90s and early 2000s addicted most American drivers to cavernous cargo spaces, elevated driving positions and eye-watering gasoline bills. The Toyota RAV4 was among the first models to downsize that addiction into a manageable package.

With the redesigned 2013 Toyota RAV4, the fourth generation of the popular crossover, the automaker has given and also taken away. Notably, the RAV4 no longer offers an optional V6. Although the burly six-cylinder could catapult the mild grocery getter to 60 mph in quick fashion, Toyota reports that the vast majority of buyers didn't want to pay the premium for it and stuck with the base four-cylinder engine. For 2013, the RAV4 comes with a four-cylinder only. Toyota's compact crossover also dispenses with a third-row seat, another option that the automaker says few shoppers deemed important.

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 does, however, get a six-speed transmission to replace the old four-speed automatic. It improves fuel economy and makes the crossover more responsive during merging and passing maneuvers.

Further, the RAV's styling is more sculpted and aggressive this year. Its physical dimensions have barely changed, though, as the old RAV4 already had plenty of interior room. One major upgrade is the debut of a roof-hinged liftgate, which replaces the old side-hinged gate that swung out to the right and hindered curbside loading. Even better, the spare tire is now housed under the cargo floor, rather than on the tailgate, so the latter isn't as heavy as in years past.

Compact crossover SUVs are quickly replacing midsize sedans as the family car of choice, so this redesign of the 2013 Toyota RAV4 could not have come soon enough. The small crossover class is full of interesting choices, including the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport and Mazda CX-5. Compared to these models, the RAV4 strikes us as middle-of-the road: It has no major faults but also doesn't stand out for its style, performance or interior accommodations. But with its ample cargo capacity, improved fuel economy and agreeable ride quality, the new RAV4 is definitely one to try.

2013 Toyota RAV4 models

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 is a five-passenger compact crossover offered in three main trim levels: LE, XLE and Limited. The LE comes standard with 17-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, power folding mirrors, rear privacy glass, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split and reclining second-row seat, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with 6-inch touchscreen, a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

The XLE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated side mirrors, roof rails, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control and sportier front seats. An optional package further adds a navigation system, Toyota's Entune smartphone integration system, satellite radio, HD radio and voice controls.

The top-level Limited comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, a height-adjustable power liftgate, keyless entry/ignition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat with memory settings, heated front seats and premium synthetic leather upholstery. The navigation system with Entune is available and can be bundled with a premium 11-speaker JBL audio system.

Performance & mpg

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic is standard, and the RAV4 is available with either front- or all-wheel drive.

In Edmunds testing, an all-wheel-drive Toyota RAV4 needed 9.1 seconds to hit 60 mph, an average time for this segment. The front-drive RAV4 returns an EPA-estimated 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway/26 combined, which is very good for a small crossover. The all-wheel-drive model, meanwhile, achieves 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined.


Antilock disc brakes, stability control, traction control, whiplash-reducing front head restraints, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags come standard on every 2013 Toyota RAV4. A driver knee airbag is also standard. Blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert systems are optional on the Limited trim.

In Edmunds brake testing, the RAV4 stopped from 60 mph in 127 feet, which is just a tad longer than average. Regarding Insurance Institute For Highway Safety crash tests, the new RAV4 earned a top score of "Good" for its protection of occupants in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. The RAV earned a Poor rating (the lowest) in the agency's new small-overlap frontal-offset crash test (in which a smaller portion of the vehicle's front bumper strikes a barrier). Several competing small SUVs also received a low rating in this test. The government gave the Toyota four out of five stars for overall protection, with four stars for total frontal protection and five stars for total side crash protection.


Although we miss the old RAV4's V6, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder is adequately powerful for most tasks and returns good fuel economy for this class. The new six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, but if you tend to drive assertively, you'll find it slow to downshift in passing situations. Additionally, when climbing steady mountain grades, we've observed that the transmission has a tendency to hunt between gears (rather than picking one gear and sticking with it). Both of these issues are a consequence of Toyota's efforts to tune the drivetrain for maximum gas mileage.

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 handles better than before and feels more substantial, refined and comfortable when cruising down the highway. A potential exception is the Limited model, which can get jittery on rough or broken pavement due to its big 18-inch wheels. In spite of that, the cabin remains very quiet, making Toyota's crossover a good option for families with young children who sleep in the car.

More demanding drivers will likely find the 2013 RAV4 less enjoyable to drive than the Ford Escape or Mazda CX-5. It lacks the responsive steering and sure-footed suspension tuning that make those models feel decidedly more carlike. Should you need to venture off the beaten path, however, the Toyota RAV4's available all-wheel-drive system quickly applies power where it's needed for optimum traction and actually gives it a decent amount of off-road ability.


The 2013 Toyota RAV4 features a new interior design that shares motifs with the current Camry and Avalon. Pronounced angles and lines form a more streamlined and modern-looking dash. Quality has improved, too, and some of the materials are nicer than what you'll find in the Camry. Overall, though, the RAV's design and materials are average for the compact crossover class. The cupholder count is adequate in the Toyota RAV4, but there aren't as many useful storage slots as in the CR-V.

The RAV4's optional navigation system includes Entune, a suite of smartphone-connected services that includes the Bing search engine, Pandora streaming radio and real-time traffic, sports and stock information. Getting started with Entune can be a hassle, though, since you have to install an app on your phone and register for an account, plus you always need an active data connection to use it. The touchscreen interface has straightforward menus, but it's sometimes unresponsive to user touch. On the upside, all the conventional controls in the 2013 RAV4 are easy to use.

Rear-seat passenger comfort in the 2013 Toyota RAV4 is hampered slightly by a low-mounted backseat, but space is nevertheless abundant enough for even taller adults. We also like how the seat reclines to an impressive degree.

The cargo bay measures 38.4 cubic feet and opens up to a generous 73.3 cubes when the second row is folded: one of the largest capacities in the class. There's also a payoff for that low-mounted rear seat: a very flat floor and low load-in height, both of which help minimize the strain of loading large items or even a couple of large dogs. The RAV4 finally gains a roof-hinged liftgate for 2014; it's power-operated and height-adjustable on the Limited.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Toyota RAV4 in Virginia is:

not available