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Toyota reveals all-new 2013 RAV4

By Frederick Olson, Automotive Contributor
Published On: Nov 28 2012 11:48:30 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 28 2012 03:20:53 PM CST
2013 Toyota RAV4

Image: Toyota

2013 Toyota RAV4

LOS ANGELES -

Toyota introduced its all-new RAV4 compact SUV Wednesday at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show.

This is the fourth generation for the popular people-mover, and it now picks up more angular styling cues seen in other Toyotas, like the Camry sedan.

Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager of Toyota division, said the new SUV will offer drivers the ability to switch between Sport and Eco modes.  In Sport mode, the car will be more responsive to the gas pedal, and handling will be a little crisper.  Eco mode is tuned for fuel economy.

Toyota estimates the 2013 RAV4 will reach 31 miles per gallon on the highway, which compares to 28 mpg in the 2012 model.

Gone is the V-6 engine of past generations – the new RAV4 will only come with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine.  Toyota, like many other car makers, is opting for smaller, more efficient engines that get better fuel economy while still reaching similar power levels of larger engines.

Getting that power to the road will be done in either a 2- or 4-wheel-drive mode.  Cars equipped with 4-wheel-drive will have the ability to automatically switch between 2- and 4-wheel-drive mode when the car starts slipping.

Inside, Toyota says the interior is going more upscale with available special stitching and a soft dashboard.  A back-up camera will now be standard on every model, too.

Safety is a concern too, and is covered with eight airbags, traction control, stability control, available blind-spot monitoring and other features.

The 2013 RAV4 goes on sale in January, and pricing will be announced closer to that date.

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