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Review: The 2013 Toyota RAV4 ALA49R GX AWD

by jerm on January 21, 2014


For years, fans of the Toyota RAV4 have been clamoring for a diesel version of the famed medium-sized SUV. With the release of the 2013 Toyota RAV4, what was once just a fantasy is now reality. That’s just one of the many changes the 2013 model of the RAV4; which was significantly overhauled this time around, unlike the 2012 release. We took a look at Toyota’s newest addition to the RAV4 family on the DVG website and noted what we found below:

Under the Hood

Because of the major redesign, there is a lot to cover. To start with the all-new diesel engine; the 2.2-L turbo diesel power plant packs a maximum of 110kw of power and 340Nm of torque. These make uphill climbs a walk in the park, even when carrying a rather large amount of cargo. The fresh addition is connected to a six-speed manual/automatic transmission. Its tow rating is quite average compared to other vehicles in its category however, as it’s only capable of 550 kg. Toyota claimed that this conservative approach is tailored to Australia’s rather tough conditions.

Of course, a petrol version of the Toyota RAV4 remains available, which was also improved for this iteration. Toyota lends the 2.5-L four cylinder engines from the Camry to the 2013 AWD model of the RAV4. This power plant is capable of delivering as much as 132kw of power and 233Nm of torque, and is paired with a six-speed manual/automatic transmission. Unfortunately, the impressive MultiDrive Sport seven-step CVT with sequential manual mode is exclusive to the 2WD model.

Further improvements to the RAV4’s mechanism include the now electrically assisted power steering. Braking is top-notch in any weather, too, thanks to the four-wheel disc brakes with ventilated front rotors.

The Interior

Upon comparing the 2012 and the 2013 RAV4, one could easily observe the amount of polish that the latter received in this department. It’s definitely sleeker, as the materials used for the interior are evidently of superior quality—you’ll love the look and feel of the dashboard. The cabin is more spacious to boot, which is especially noticeable in the more generous leg room of the rear seats. The cargo area has increased in size as well, and it’s even easier to access due to the addition of the top-hinged tailgate.

The Exterior

The styling of the 2013 RAV4 displays a stark contrast with its counterparts from the yesteryears. While it retains the classic cues from its forefathers, the 2013 RAV4 looks stronger, bolder, and more contemporary than previous models. The exterior features redesigned headlights, bumpers, and fenders, among other elements, some of which were borrowed from the modern Corolla.

The 2013 RAV 4 is undoubtedly worthy of the name of Toyota’s beloved medium-sized SUV line. It’s competitively priced, too, which makes it quite an enticing buy. There’s not a lot that you won’t love about the stylish 2013 RAV4, so making it your next ride is certainly not a shabby idea. To see a video review of the new RAV4, click here.