Toyota took the wraps off the new generation RAV4 at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show and showed us a sporty new car with thoroughly upgraded interior, new equipment, and a cool new design. It only comes with four-cylinder engines though. The V6 model has been dropped.
The engine of choice for the 2013 RAV4 is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which will produce 176 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 ft. lbs. of torque at 4,100 rpm. Mated to a six-speed transmission with Sequential Shift, the car does 24 mpg city/31 highway (FWD) and 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway (AWD).
Toyota has also included some unusual features in this car which are not necessarily useful in a SUV, but are pretty damn cool. It has improved throttle response and steering response, and the six-speed automatic transmission in “S” Mode does an audible blip, making gear changes sound more fun. That is amazing.
The sophisticated AWD system in this car comes with Dynamic Torque Control and offers three different drive modes: Auto, Lock and Sport. Lock mode is for off-roading and disengages into Auto mode if you go faster than 25 mph.
The interior of the new Toyota RAV4 is one of its biggest strength points. It has soft-touch accents and driver-centric controls. The design of it appears to be inspired by the GT86, especially that small and chiseled steering wheel.
Standard safety features on the RAV4 include Star Safety System, which includes Traction Control, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control, Brake Assist, an Anti-lock Braking System and Smart Stop Technology.