By Rick Popely on September 23, 2013
Most significant changes: New Entune audio offerings, lane departure warning and automatic high beams
Price change: TBA closer to on-sale date
On sale: Late November
Which you should buy, 2013 or 2014? 2013
Toyota's popular compact crossover SUV, the RAV4, was completely redesigned for 2013, so changes are minor for its second season. Toyota is expanding its Entune audio system offerings across most of its vehicles, and four different versions are available on the RAV4 for 2014.
The base system that's standard on the LE has a 6.1-inch touch-screen with a backup camera, Bluetooth, iPod, USB ports and six speakers. The version that's standard on the XLE and optional on the LE adds HD radio with iTunes tagging and traffic and weather information in major metro areas.On the Limited, a premium system adds navigation and the Entune App Suite that allows engaging several mobile apps through smartphones. This system is optional on the XLE. Exclusive to the Limited is an optional version with 11 JBL speakers and a 576-watt amplifier.
Lane departure warning and automatic high-beam headlights are new features grouped with blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert in a Technology Package available on the Limited.
With the redesign for 2013, Toyota ditched previous RAV4 features such as a side-hinged tailgate with an exterior-mounted spare tire and an optional V-6 engine and three-row seating. All models seat five and come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
The 2014 RAV4 won't be available for a couple of months, so your only choice for now is a 2013. You won't miss out on anything major by buying one now.
Contributor Rick Popely has covered the auto industry for decades and hosts a weekly online radio show on TalkZone.com . Email Rick