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2013 Toyota RAV4

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Day by Day Review: 2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE toyota car test drives daily car reviews
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Since Paul has headed out on yet another glorious road trip that he will report back on in a few weeks I’m sure, he has handed over our long-term RAV4 to me for a week to keep me on my toes. You can read Paul’s introduction to our front-wheel-drive XLE tester here.

Since Paul covered most the basics of this new model I’ll dive right in and offer my thoughts on this new vehicle without going too much into the details.

Day by Day Review: 2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE toyota car test drives daily car reviews
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Although some may have preferred the look of the previous generation, I like this new RAV4, it is clean and somehow looks smaller. I will say that it does look a little generic in a class of crossovers that are all starting to look the same, but the pointy nose sets it apart a little.

On the inside this new RAV at first glance seems much improved. Our XLE tester has a leather trimmed dash with softer materials in places where you would expect them. I like the rear hatch-mounted tire delete as it cleans up the look a lot – I guess I never really liked the rear-mounted tire design, although it does tend to offer more interior space.

My thoughts on a front-wheel-drive SUV? Well, it will be hard to sell later (at least in Canada and the northern US). But all-wheel drive isn’t typically needed by many in urban areas and with it comes more weight and complexity and cost. If you lived with a front-wheel-drive sedan all your life this is nothing new, a front-wheel-drive SUV offers drivers a chance to get what most seem to be looking for these days – a higher driving position and a little more utility.

MSRP as tested (including destination): $29,905

For more information on Toyota and the RAV4 visit Toyota Canada

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About James Bergeron

James Bergeron is an Ottawa-based automotive journalist. He is also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).