The all-new 2013 RAV4 just rolled through The Times' Test Garage, so here's a quick look at the latest crossover from Toyota. Watch this space for a full review from Highway 1 in the coming weeks.
This is the fourth generation of the RAV4, a vehicle that competes with the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Chevrolet Equinox and Ford Escape.
The biggest change from the earlier RAV4 is the redesigned interior and exterior. The new look has more sharp angles than before, and the tailgate now swings up rather than from the side.
Under the new sheet metal is basically the same engine from the previous generation. It's a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. The big change in this 2013 model's drivetrain is the new six-speed automatic transmission.
The Barcelona Red model we tested was the mid-level XLE trim. It starts at $25,135 and comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, power moon roof, dual zone climate control and fog lights.
Our RAV4 added all-wheel drive for $1,400. It also had the only option package available. For $1,030 you get items like a touch-screen navigation system, backup camera, six speakers, Sirius satellite radio, Bluetooth streaming audio and integrated iPod controls. Thus, with destination, our tester's final price was $27,565.
If this new RAV4 looks familiar, it's likely you've seen it in Toyota's Super Bowl ads. In them, Kaley Cuoco, star of the CBS comedy "The Big Bang Theory," visits strangers and grants them wishes while Skee-Lo's 1990s hit "I Wish" plays in the background. Here's the most recent Super Bowl commercial featuring Toyota's RAV4:
Toyota joins automakers such as Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln, Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen in advertising during the 2013 Super Bowl. The game will be played Sunday and pits the Baltimore Ravens against the San Francisco 49ers. The average cost of a 30-second ad was up about 7% this year to $3.8 million. A 60-second spot cost $7.5 million.