2014 Toyota Tundra


2014 Toyota Tundra

Raising A White Flag To The Competition2014 Toyota Tundra

By Michael HarleyRSS feedGoogle+

Posted Jul 30th 2013 11:57AM


Vital Stats

5.7L V8
381 HP / 401 LB-FT
6-Speed Auto
0-60 Time:
7.0 Seconds (est.)
Four-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
5,625 LBS
9,800 LBS
13 City / 17 HWY (est.)
Base Price:

We all benefit from highly competitive battles. In the automotive sector, few campaigns are so closely fought as the decades-long struggle for supremacy in the fullsize half-ton pickup truck segment. The Ford F-150 has dominated for ages, but Chevrolet,Ram and GMC have been closing the gap with freshly redesigned trucks that are rocking the industry.

Today’s half-ton trucks are better than they’ve ever been, and we have fierce competition to thank for that.

But where does the segment leave a truck from an automaker that has chosen to no longer fight and deliver its best product? What kind of vehicle comes from a company that has relinquished any desire to strive for the top of the class – one who is now content offering nothing more than minor updates and mediocrity in an aim to placate brand loyalists?

Such a calculated underachiever would look a lot like the 2014 Toyota Tundra.

2014 Toyota Tundra side view2014 Toyota Tundra front view2014 Toyota Tundra rear view

The looming economic crisis and loyal American truck buyers caused sales to fall to just 83,000 units.

Toyota introduced the completely redesigned second-generation Tundra at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show for the 2007 model year. Unlike the first-generation truck, this new Tundra was properly sized to compete with other full-size half-ton pickups in the segment. To wage the difficult battle against the Chevy Silverado,Dodge Ram, Ford F-150, GMC Sierra and Nissan Titan, Toyota fitted the body-on-frame truck with a fresh 5.7-liter V8 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The new Tundra was much more competitive than Toyota’s previous half-ton (sales peaked at just under 200,000 units in 2007) but the looming economic crisis and loyal American truck buyers caused sales to fall to just 83,000 units four years later.

Seven years after its introduction, at the 2013 Chicago Auto show earlier this year, Toyota introduced a refreshed Tundra set for sale as a 2014 model. “Tundra’s new exterior design and new interior were inspired by customer feedback requesting a more chiseled exterior and refined interior, with improved driver ergonomics and easy-to-use technology, giving customers more of what they want,” said the automaker. The reception for the mostly cosmetic changes was understandably lukewarm – especially amidst major redesigns by the fiercely competitive Detroit Three.

Six months after Chicago, with the ice and snow nothing but a memory, we found ourselves behind the wheel of the 2014 Toyota Tundra on a warm and soggy rain-soaked Pennsylvania trail.

2014 Toyota Tundra grille2014 Toyota Tundra wheel and tire2014 Toyota Tundra taillight2014 Toyota Tundra bed

A new soft-drop tailgate has “TUNDRA” embossed in the sheetmetal.

The exterior of the Tundra has lost much of its bubbly appearance in favor of a more “chiseled and masculine truck look,” says Toyota. Most noticeable is the front hood, raised 1.6 inches in height, and the new aggressive front grille (with a “mock-air inlet”) that reaches down to the top of the bumper. The resculpted front bumper is now a three-piece modular design, allowing consumers easier repair if a section is damaged (the bumper improvement is carried over to the rear as well). Other changes include single-bulb headlamps, new quarter panels with integrated fender flares and a new soft-drop tailgate with “TUNDRA” embossed in the sheetmetal. There are also four new wheel designs ranging in diameter from 18 to 20 inches.

Toyota has worked hard on the Tundra’s aerodynamics. Look closely to find tiny vortex generators (they look like small speedbumps) on the mirror bases and taillamps. These increase turbulence in the air passing over the body to reduce drag and aid high-speed stability.

The interior has also been redesigned and modernized to have a “true truck look,” says the automaker. Continuing that objective, the dash and doors have been restyled with more soft-touch surfaces and the instrument panel upgraded and moved over slightly to improve ergonomics. There is a new, larger center console and with additional power outlets (AUX, USB and 12-volt) above the console tray, and the infotainment system has been updated with Toyota’s latest Entune system. Four-door CrewMax models have also been fitted with a “tip-up” rear seat cushion to improve load capacity and utility.

2014 Toyota Tundra interior2014 Toyota Tundra fuel economy display2014 Toyota Tundra USB and AUX input2014 Toyota Tundra folded rear seat

With the exception of a new transfer case and driveshaft, the mechanicals have mostly been left alone. The Tundra’s frame (high-tensile steel boxed in the front with a C-channel under the cab and rearward for better weight distribution) and suspension (independent double-wishbone up front with a live axle in the rear) are unchanged, save for a set of retuned shock absorbers. And it’s the same story with the hydraulically assisted rack-and-pinion steering and ventilated disc brakes at all four corners.

We’d recommend giving up a couple MPG for the larger 5.7-liter V8.

The engines are carried over too. Those who aren’t towing much will likely be content with the 4.0-liter V6 (rated at 270 horsepower and 278 pound-feet of torque) and five-speed automatic that are standard equipment on the entry-level model.

Most Tundras will arrive with one of two optional V8 engines. The first engine, displacing 4.6 liters, is rated at 310 horsepower and 327 pound-feet of torque. It’s a nice powerplant, but we’d recommend giving up a couple MPG for the larger 5.7-liter V8, rated at 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque. Both optional V8s are bolted to a proven six-speed automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive models have an electronically controlled two-speed transfer case that requires the vehicle to be completely stopped and put into neutral to engage low range.

2014 Toyota Tundra engine

Unlike most other players in the fullsize pickup segment, Toyota rightfully brags that the Tundra is SAE J2807 compliant.

Unlike most other players in the fullsize pickup segment, Toyota rightfully brags that the Tundra is SAE J2807 compliant. This non-mandatory litmus test of towing strength challenges truckmakers to pull a real-world load (a heavy trailer plus a full load of passengers and cargo) under grueling conditions. Once the test is successfully completed, the new tow rating is calculated only after subtracting the vehicle’s load. Toyota has been in compliance since 2011, but other manufacturers are just coming aboard now. Properly equipped, the Tundra can tow upwards of 10,400 pounds with a gross combined weight rating of 16,000 pounds.

The latest generation of the Texas-built Tundra will be offered in five different grades. Buyers will be familiar with the carryover SR, SR5, Limited and Platinum models, but Toyota has added an all-new premium 1794 Edition that features unique 20-inch wheels, saddle brown embossed leather and suede upholstery. The name pays tribute to the San Antonio ranch, founded in 1794, where the assembly plant is now located. You’ll be able to have your five trim levels in three cab styles – two-door Regular Cab, four-door Double Cab and four-door CrewMax – and a choice of 4×2 and 4×4 powertrains.

Rather than spend just minutes in each of the dozen or so models, we split our time cleanly in half: morning was spent on the challenging off-road course in a Radiant Red SR5 Double Cab 4×4 optioned with the TRD Off-Road package, while the afternoon put us in a Blue Ribbon Metallic Limited Double Cab 4×4 on the (mostly) dry pavement. Both trucks we drove were equipped with the 5.7-liter V8 since Toyota estimates such a small percentage of owners will choose the V6.

2014 Toyota Tundra off-road2014 Toyota Tundra off-road2014 Toyota Tundra off-road2014 Toyota Tundra off-road

Visually, Toyota has achieved its mission objective in terms of a designing a more distinctive (if polarizing) exterior appearance. Even though it was a bit overwhelming at first, we quickly grew accustomed – even liked – the new façade and the embossed tailgate. The Tundra finally has some much-needed stage presence.

The Tundra finally has some much-needed stage presence.

The Tundra’s redesigned interior is also a pleasing improvement over last year’s model. The cabin materials feel more substantial and the ergonomics have been simplified. The meaty leather-wrapped steering wheel felt great in our hands and we liked the round, swiveling vents that allow better air distribution. We did discover, however, that those real metal rings quickly coat themselves with water droplets in humid air. The gauge cluster is also easier to read, with the new 3.1-inch color TFT display being particularly clear, and the Entune touchscreen is well placed for viewing from either seat and features a standard backup camera. Safety equipment stays largely the same as before, but the options list will now also include a segment-first blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert. Overall, we wished we were equally as smitten with this Toyota’s driving dynamics as we were with its updated cabin, but that isn’t the case.

On-road, the Tundra felt heavy, ponderous and frankly archaic compared to others we have driven in this segment. While wind noise was kept under control, the ride was firm and sharp impacts jolted the undercarriage noisily. Handling was sluggish, and the half-ton drove with a heavy feel that didn’t encourage us to push it even moderately on the twisty sections. The competition has been successfully taking the “truck” out of its half-ton offerings for some time now, leaving the Toyota feeling dated.

2014 Toyota Tundra lineup2014 Toyota Tundra off-road2014 Toyota Tundra off-road2014 Toyota Tundra off-road

The 5.7-liter is damn strong, but achieves its muscularity through displacement, not refinement.

While some in the class are using direct injection (GM), turbochargers (Ford) and eight-speed automatics (Ram) to improve fuel economy and drivability, Toyota’s “updated” setup adopts none of the above. In response to a heavy foot, the Tundra accelerated with authority off the line and it had plenty of grunt for passing. Yet we would never consider the 5,600-pound truck on the “quick” end of the scale. There is no arguing with the V8’s strength, as the 5.7-liter is damn strong, but it achieves its muscularity through displacement, not refinement. Fuel economy ratings have yet to be released for the 2014 model equipped with either engine, but we don’t expect them to exceed or even meet the domestic competition. For reference, the outgoing 2013 Tundra 4×4 with the 5.7-liter V8 gets EPA ratings of 13 city miles per gallon city and 17 highway, with the 4×2 eking out an extra mpg on the freeway.

Off-road, the Tundra performed much more admirably. Models optioned with the TRD Off-Road package will be fitted with specially designed Michelin LTX AT2 tires made with a compound specifically engineered to improve performance after the pavement ends. The new tires clamored through the muck and climbed wet rocks and logs with ease, yet still kept their composure on the asphalt. It’s a shame they aren’t offered across the board, as models without the TRD package will ride on all-season Bridgestone tires. We had plenty of fun in the mud and water, but yearned for a grab handle on the A-pillar each time we stepped out of the cab on a slippery slope, and we missed the optional forward-facing camera offered on the Ford SVT Raptor when we crested blind hills.

Vehicle launches should be both exciting and fulfilling as we grasp new automotive systems, experience innovative technology and learn about the exhaustive research that brought the product to life. Yet after driving Toyota’s updated half-ton pickup models over a variety of roads and terrain, the refreshed Tundra left us feeling, well… empty.

2014 Toyota Tundra rear 3/4 view

And, as is often the case, there is more to this story.

Even after selling a record 196,555 units in 2007, Toyota’s slice of the half-ton pickup market was but a fraction of the volume of the Ford F-150 (690,589 units), Chevrolet Silverado (618,259 units) and Dodge Ram (364,177) that year, despite offering an arguably better product at the time. American truck owners have always been very loyal to their badge, and the Japanese reasoned that earning additional conquest sales would be a prohibitively expensive undertaking.

Toyota appears to have ceded to the competition.

At some point in the recent past, the fate of the 2014 Tundra was sealed – the company would not make an investment in an entirely new truck, the existing engines would be carried forward and the talked-about small displacement diesel powerplant would be shelved.

When pushed for sales estimates, Toyota said it expects to sell about 107,000 half-ton pickup truck this year and about 130,000 in 2014. But the numbers will level off at that point. Rather than spend the money to build the segment’s best product to capture additional conquest sales, Toyota appears to have ceded to the competition. Stepping away from the hard-fought battle between the Detroit Three, it has chosen the path of least resistance – it will dial back its efforts and build the Tundra in Texas simply to satisfy the 100,000+ faithful Toyota owners who show up to buy one every year.

It’s that premeditated, defeatist mindset that bought us this refreshed but half-hearted pickup we drove in Pennsylvania. So you’ll have to forgive us for walking away from this Toyota with the same feeling.

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2014 Toyota Tundra Video

Posted in 2014 Toyota Tundra, Matt Scott, Matt Scott Rapid City, News you can use, Toyota of the Black Hills, Toyota of the Black Hills Blog, Tundra, What's new with Toyota, www.toyotaoftheblackhills.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2013 Toyota Land Cruiser Walk Around from Matt Scott at Toyota of the Black Hills


Here is a video that I put together to show you some of the interior functions of the Toyota Land Cruiser.  Enjoy the video and when you are ready to get a new vehicle contact me directly at 605-430-8468 or sellingtoyotas@gmail.com.


Matt Scott

Posted in Brand New Toyota Vehicle Videos, Just me Talking, Land Cruiser, Matt Scott, Matt Scott Rapid City, Toyota, Toyota of the Black Hills, Toyota of the Black Hills Blog, Toyota Technology, Videos of Vehicles for Sale on YouTube, What's new with Toyota, www.toyotaoftheblackhills.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2013 Toyota Rav-4 video from Consumer Reports

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2013 Toyota Rav-4 Article

Genchi Genbutsu and Waku-Doki.

These are Japanese terms we heard quoted by Toyotarepresentatives when describing its 2013 RAV4. Apparently the first one means “go and see for yourself” and the second means “heart pumping, adrenaline racing.”

Nice expressions, but not exactly the ones we’d choose. So we’ll introduce one of our own: “Same same but different.”

The latest version of Toyota’s compact crossover follows the same basic outline of models past. As ever, its on-road ride and handling are competent but not sporty, the powertrain is smooth and efficient and the price is reasonable. It’s a tried-and-true formula, but over the last few years, new competitors like the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape have stolen the thunder of Toyota’s original cute ute, leading the automaker to refine the mix of ingredients that go into the RAV4 in an effort to take back the compact crossover crown. Read on to see what’s new.

2013 Toyota RAV4 side view2013 Toyota RAV4 front view2013 Toyota RAV4 rear view

Let’s talk style. As in, this Toyota has some.

Let’s talk style. As in, this Toyota has some. Much has been made of Akio Toyoda’s corporate mandate that the automaker make no more boring cars, and the last few releases (most recently the redesigned Avalon) from the Japanese automaker have indeed offered more style and substance than in the last several decades. The new RAV4 is no different.

Up front, Toyota has adopted a split upper grille with attractive chrome accents that artfully extend into the headlight clusters. There are sharp creases along either side of the front fascia that, along with large fog lamps and sweeping bumper protrusion, form a distinctive face. The body sides also feature plenty of metal sculpting, and somewhat surprisingly, even though there are swage lines flowing in several different directions – downward-sloping through the roofline, upward along the window line and the lower doors and flatly horizontal through the tops of the doors – the overall look is cohesive.

2013 Toyota RAV4 grille2013 Toyota RAV4 headlight2013 Toyota RAV4 wheel2013 Toyota RAV4 taillight

The biggest inside is the deletion of the optional third row.

That stylish togetherness ends at the rear, however, with funky shelf-shaped taillamps that protrude from the body and an oversize spoiler above the rear window. One other noteworthy change for 2013: A regular liftgate is present instead of the swinging tailgate, a design made possible by the inclusion of an internal space-saver spare instead of the exterior-mounted units of all RAV4s past.

Adding that liftgate has allowed Toyota to offer optional power assist on Limited models, featuring a memory system that allows the owner to limit the height of the gate’s upward swing – useful when parking in garages where vertical space is at a premium. And unlike systems offered by other automakers, it doesn’t just default to fully open and three-quarter height positions. See the video demonstrated in our Short Cut video below.

Moving the party inside, the biggest change to the 2013 Toyota RAV4 is the deletion of the optional third row. We asked Toyota about the switch from seven passengers to five and were told that having a third row in the compact RAV4 wasn’t a priority. For the most part, we agree, as the way-back in the RAV4 was pretty tiny and uncomfortable for normal-size adults. In any case, there are plenty of three-row crossovers on the market, including Toyota’s own Highlander, catering to those who need more room than the compact ute has to offer.

The five remaining seats can be covered in two fabric types or a synthetic leather substitute that Toyota calls Softex. After sampling all options, we definitely prefer the cloth – we find it hard to believe anyone will be fooled by the imitation leather. Sadly, opting for Limited trim necessitates the Softex interior treatment.

Toyota wanted to “add to the RAV4’s sportiness” by making a “driver-centric seating area.” We’re not so sure it was successful – though all the switchgear, LCD screens and driver touch points are within easy reach, there doesn’t seem to be any specific sportiness to the overall look and feel of the cockpit. What the interior can be, though, is bold. Toyota has gone with a so-called color block concept inside the RAV4, with large swaths of contrasting materials that can be had in a somewhat jarring Terra Cotta finish on Limited models. It’s more mundane in black, gray and beige, but still effective at breaking up the monotony.

2013 Toyota RAV4 interior

Despite the deletion of the third row, rear-seat passengers have less room than before.

Materials are of average quality for this class, though there are a bunch of colors and finishes that don’t really match, such as the plastic surrounding the center stack being a different metallic bronze shade than the horizontal trim running atop the dash. We also don’t like the criss-cross plastic pattern used around the shifter and on the door panels front and rear. It’s so hard we could file our fingernails on it.

There’s a bit more room inside the 2013 RAV4 for the driver than last year. Toyota has added an extra 0.8 inches of travel at the back of the seat rail, along with an additional 0.6-inch of height adjustment that allows the driver to sit lower in the car. Add those important adjustments to the taller seatback and longer seat cushion and the end result is a comfy pair of seats.

Considering the deletion of the third row, it’s somewhat incongruous that rear-seat passengers have 1.1 fewer inches of legroom (37.2 inches) and 3.5 fewer inches of hip room (48.9) than the outgoing model. We assume moving the space-saver spare tire from the outside of the tailgate to a space under the cargo floor has something to do with this otherwise unexplainable reduction of interior space. In any case, we were still able to fit two occupants comfortably in the back seat even with the front chairs in adult-size positions, but not a third.

Standing outside the 2013 RAV4, it’s clear that Toyota has brought its compact crossover closer to the ground. A look at the spec sheet reveals an overall height of 65.4 inches, a reduction of about an inch from 2012. Ground clearance has fallen from 7.5 inches to a sedan-like 6.3 inches, which is probably fine since the RAV4 isn’t really intended to travel very far off the beaten path. Inside, headroom is down an inch (without the moonroof) with 39.8 inches available. Adding the moonroof subtracts about an inch of headroom.

2013 Toyota RAV4 rear seats2013 Toyota RAV4 rear cargo area

A 6.1-inch touchscreen audio system and a backup camera are standard.

We also can’t explain why the 2013 RAV4 weighs more than its predecessor. At 3,435 pounds with front-wheel drive, the 2013 model weighs 75 pounds more than the 2012. A loaded-up Limited model with all-wheel drive tips the scales at 3,610 pounds.

There’s one good bit of interior usefulness to report: Cargo volume is up to 73.4 cubic feet with the second row folded, which is a best-in-class figure, and there’s a reasonable 38.4 cu-ft available behind the rear seat.

As far as technology goes, Toyota has seen fit to offer its touchscreen Display Audio system as standard equipment, along with a backup camera integrated into its 6.1-inch display. That means all 2013 RAV4s will have an auxiliary jack, a USB port, hands-free phone capability and music streaming via Bluetooth. Navigation and Entune are optionally available on XLE and Limited trim levels, and a JBL sound system with 11 GreenEdge speakers can be had on the Limited. It’s a fine audio system that offers plenty of volume, which is good, since there isn’t going to be a beautiful soundtrack from the engine.

Stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist and smart stop technology, each with its appropriate acronym, make up Toyota’s Star Safety System, which comes standard on the 2013 RAV4. Optional on Limited models is a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. When so equipped, the driver will be warned of oncoming vehicles when the RAV4 is in reverse. Irritatingly, desirable bits and pieces like sun visor extensions (seriously, why are these not standard?), a smart key, heated seats and the aforementioned power liftgate come only with the Limited model, which also means accepting the fake leather Softex upholstery.

2013 Toyota RAV4 gauges2013 Toyota RAV4 instrument panel

The big news is a move out of Ye Olden Days in the transmission department with six-speed automatic.

LE models come equipped with 17-inch five-spoke steel wheels with “alloy-like wide vent” wheel covers which do a surprisingly convincing job of looking like alloys at a distance. XLE and Limited models are equipped with alloy wheels in 17-inch and 18-inch sizes, respectively.

Under the hood, buyers will find a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine offering up 176 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. This engine carries over from 2012 with only a few updates designed to improve efficiency, but the big news is a move out of Ye Olden Days in the transmission department. A six-speed automatic has finally replaced the old four-speed unit. Hooray! With two extra gears comes improved fuel economy of 24 miles per gallon city, 31 highway and 26 combined with front-wheel drive or 22/29/25 with all-wheel drive, increases of one to three miles per gallon across the board. What’s more, the 0-60 run now takes 8.9 seconds, a drop of well over a second from the 2012 model with the same engine, and there’s much better spacing between gears on mid-speed roads.

Toyota’s six-speed automatic gearbox also includes AI-SHIFT control, which attempts to deliver the kind of shift feel that the driver and road conditions dictate, and a Sport mode with Dynamic Rev Management that allows smoother and quicker shifting when activated. There’s also an ECO mode that kills driver involvement at roughly the same rate as it improves fuel efficiency. We engaged it, then immediately turned it off it.

2013 Toyota RAV4 engine

We could definitely feel the high-tech AWD drivetrain helping out when the road turned twisty.

The 2013 RAV4’s all-wheel-drive system is more sophisticated than before, with a computer-controlled electromagnetic coupling transferring power front to rear as required. Up to 50 percent of the engine’s torque can be sent to the rear wheels, and the system can be locked at speeds under 25 miles per hour. When set to Sport mode, RAV4 models with all-wheel drive now feature all kinds of computer trickery to help reduce understeer.

Adding all-wheel drive to any RAV4 model will likewise add $1,400 to the sticker price. Base LE models begin at $23,300, while mid-grade XLE trim models start at $24,290. Opting for the top-level Limited brings with it a window sticker of $27,010. Toyota expects the XLE to make up 40 percent of RAV4 sales, with the other 60 percent divided equally between LE and Limited trims. A heart-of-the-market, all-wheel-drive XLE with navigation and Entune will cost $26,720. If Toyota’s calculations prove correct, about two-thirds of the 200,000 RAV4s it hopes to sell in 2013 will be equipped with all-wheel drive. That sales goal, by the way, would represent an increase of about 30,000 units over the sales peak in 2007 that was nearly matched in 2010 before dropping to 132,000 in 2011. Ambitious plans, it seems.

On the road, we could definitely feel the high-tech AWD drivetrain helping out when the road turned twisty, actively rotating the rear of the vehicle through the corner. Enthusiast drivers take note: we suggest you test drive the all-wheel-drive RAV4 even if you don’t expect to drive in adverse weather conditions, and don’t forget to select Sport mode.

2013 Toyota RAV4 rear 3/4 view

“Pleasantly predictable” and “perfectly adequate” pretty much sum up our opinion of the 2013 RAV4.

The RAV4’s suspension has received plenty of tuning adjustments, but it’s still geared toward smooth running in lieu of sporty handling and road feel. Similarly, the electronic power steering delivers reasonable response and effort for a compact crossover, but don’t expect to feel much feedback from the road. Fortunately, big impacts are very well damped by the moving bits below, and we’d describe overall handling as pleasantly predictable.

Four-wheel disc brakes (ventilated up front) are standard, though we find it a bit odd that the LE model is fitted with smaller (10.8-inch diameter, .98-inch thickness) units than XLE and Limited models (11.7-inch and 1.1-inch). Rear brakes are the same all around, measuring 11.1 inches in diameter and .472 inches in thickness. Regardless of size disparities, we found the brakes perfectly adequate during our drive.

In fact, the descriptors “pleasantly predictable” and “perfectly adequate” pretty much sum up our opinion of the 2013 RAV4. Thing is, the same could be said of the 2012 RAV4 as well. We appreciate the updates Toyota has made to keep the compact crossover competitive, and we don’t really mind the deletion of the V6 engine option and the seriously cramped third row of the past. Whether or not Toyota’s comprehensive refresh of the 2013 RAV4 is enough to put it atop the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape is another matter entirely.

Posted in 2013 Rav-4, Matt Scott, Matt Scott Rapid City, Toyota of the Black Hills, Toyota of the Black Hills Blog, www.toyotaoftheblackhills.com | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2013 Rav-4 Announcement

Toyota Launches Fourth-Generation of Original Crossover SUV – The 2013 RAV4

  • All-New Bold, Dynamic Design
  • Six-speed Automatic with Sequential Shift and Sport and Eco Modes
  • Class-leading Cargo Capacity; Class-leading Eight Standard Airbags
  • Available Dynamic Torque Control AWD
  • Available Blind Spot Monitor and Rear Cross Traffic Alert

2013 Toyota RAV4 LE AWD 001


2013 Toyota RAV4 Limited 001


2013 Toyota RAV4 XLE 001


TORRANCE, Calif., Dec. 18, 2012 – – Toyota’s fourth-generation RAV4 arrives in January, a reinvention of the world’s original crossover sport utility vehicle. The new RAV4 offers balanced performance and capability, including great fuel efficiency, class-leading cargo capacity, striking design, and a compelling array of standard features. RAV4 is available in three trim levels: LE, XLE and Limited.
“RAV4 was the original crossover SUV, a design and engineering concept now widely adopted throughout the industry,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division.  “But RAV4 is the original, the first. For 2013, RAV4 is carefully tailored to the needs of the compact SUV market it created, with a fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, a new six-speed automatic transmission, two-row seating for five and exceptional in-cabin technologies.”

New RAV4: Dynamic Exterior, Sleek Roofline, Aggressive Character Lines
The 2013 RAV4 remains true to the original RAV4 concept, scaled to suit the needs of contemporary buyers. 
The new RAV4’s design achieves strong proportions while conveying the agile and fun character.  The dynamic exterior features a progressive silhouette, with a sleek-sloping roofline and an aggressive character line.  The new RAV4’s interior has a premium look with soft-touch accents and driver-centric controls. 
RAV4 pursues the design goals defined by Toyota President Akio Toyoda, with aggressively sculpted front and rear fenders, a low hood, the arc of the roofline and boldly proportioned taillights that define RAV4’s athletic presence.
In a significant break with its heritage, RAV4 will switch from its side-hinged rear door to a convenient roof-hinged liftgate with a space-saver spare tire stored under the cargo floor.  Standard on the Limited grade will be a one-touch power rear liftgate with driver-selectable memory height settings.
As on other recently introduced Toyotas, RAV4 engineers paid special attention to aerodynamics, the most obvious detail being small vortex generators molded into the taillight cases and near the base of the A-pillars.  Less obvious are the aerodynamic undertrays beneath the passenger cabin that help smooth and control airflow.
Halogen headlights with projector low beams give RAV4 a modern look, and provide outstanding illumination in an energy-efficient package. Brightness reduced, RAV4 high beams serve as Daytime Running Lights (DRL)that can be turned off. RAV4 XLE and Limited feature standard fog lamps that complement RAV4’s front architecture.
RAV4’s rear roof spoiler not only visually extends the arc of the roofline, enhancing RAV4’s aerodynamics, but incorporates a brilliant LED center brake light.
Following body engineering principles debuted in the 2012 Camry and 2013 Avalon, RAV4’s body structure includes high-strength steel to help achieve several significant goals, including a robust and stiff platform that enhances steering and handling precision, and a body structure that is both strong and light. RAV4 engineers used several grades of high-strength steel to form key structural components in the roof, rocker sills, floor, engine compartment and door frames.  A strut tower bar links the top of the suspension strut towers to the main bulkhead at the rear of the engine, helping to increase torsional rigidity.   
RAV4 offers nine exterior color palette shades that include: Blizzard Pearl, Super White, Classic Silver Metallic, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Black, Barcelona Red Metallic, Pyrite Mica, Spruce Mica, and Shoreline Blue Pearl.
Spacious Interior Design, Premium Materials, Class-leading Cargo Volume 
RAV4’s “human factors” engineers and designers collaborated to create a versatile seating arrangement, class-leading cargo space, and a quiet interior with high levels of standard equipment.
The new RAV4’s dash panel is driver-centric and asymmetrical, with primary and secondary controls all within easy reach. On the passenger side, the scalloped dash panel creates a sense of airy spaciousness.
RAV4’s dash panel and gauges all feature a new Clear Blue illumination, which provides crisp visibility in most ambient light conditions, and a unified, coherent appearance at night.
RAV4 will come standard with a manual tilt/telescope steering column, with the LE and XLE featuring a urethane steering wheel.  The Limited grade will have a leather-wrapped steering wheel.  All RAV4 steering wheels will have controls for audio, Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio, and the Multi-Information Display (MID).
All RAV4’s will have driver and front passenger seats with high seatbacks and a slim back, enhancing rear-passenger knee room.  The RAV4 LE and XLE driver’s seat is six-way adjustable, including seat height.
The RAV4 XLE driver and front passenger will ride in premium bucket seats with sport bolstering, providing ample support of the lower hips, lower torso and shoulders during cornering.  The XLE will have premium fabric with French stitching on the seats and portions of the dash panels.
The Limited comes equipped with driver and front-passenger seat bottom and seat back heaters in two temperature settings.  Limited has the same premium bucket seats found in the XLE but will also come equipped with an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory and lumbar support.  All RAV4 Limited seats are trimmed in high-quality, breathable SofTex with French stitching.  SofTex also covers the center armrest, and portions of the door and dash panels.  
All RAV4’s will feature 60/40 split/fold second-row seats that recline several degrees to enhance passenger comfort and retractable head restraints for improved driver rear visibility.
In contrast to 2013 RAV4’s compact exterior dimensions, the cargo area is deeper, larger and easier to access than in the previous generation, with just over 38.4 cu. ft. of cargo capacity behind the rear seats.  With rear seats folded, RAV4 has class-leading maximum cargo capacity of 73.4 cu. ft.
Privacy glass, Daytime Running Lights (DRL), cruise control, power side mirrors, power door locks and power windows are standard on all RAV4s.  RAV4 XLE and Limited feature dual-zone automatic climate control, integrated fog lights, power moonroof with sliding sunshade, and heated outside mirrors with turn signal indicators.
Standard Back-Up Camera, Entune®, Display Audio with a 6.1-in. Touchscreen
Standard on all RAV4 models is Display Audio with a 6.1-in. touchscreen, AM/FM/CD, Bluetooth® connectivity, USB and AUX mini-jack, and six speakers. For a uniform esthetic, the Display Audio, as well as primary and secondary gauges, features Clear Blue Illumination. 
Display Audio allows the driver and front passenger to operate the audio system, display HVAC settings, engage available navigation and access the available Entune™ multi-media system. Available on XLE and Limited, Display Audio with Navigation and Entune™ includes advanced voice recognition.
The Multi-Information Display (MID) is controlled through buttons on the right-hand spoke of the steering wheel. The MID provides an array of information including: distance to empty; average fuel economy; instant fuel economy; selected gear transmission; warnings, including low fuel, battery, TPMS, and more.
To further enhance the ownership experience, RAV4 offers SiriusXMÔ Radio, which includes a complementary 90-day trial subscription.
Available on RAV4 Limited, JBL Premium Audio features eleven GreenEdge speakers, including a subwoofer, and an eight-channel, 576-Watt max power amplifier. The system includes 3.1-inch “Unity” speakers located on the top of the instrument panel, combining tweeter with a midrange in one housing (a total of four speakers); a 6.7-inch woofer located in each front door panel; 6.7-inch coaxial speakers in each rear door (two speakers per housing for a total of four speakers); and a 7.9-inch subwoofer.
An eight-channel external amp powers the JBL Premium Audio system. Six channels are used to drive the six unique speaker locations (one channel for each speaker location). The remaining two channels are bridged and power the 7.9-in. subwoofer.  JBL Premium Audio includes Bluetooth capability and steering wheel-accessible audio controls.
JBL Premium Audio also includes Toyota’s Entune™ 2.0 as well as a complimentary three-month subscription to available SiriusXMÔradio.
Available on RAV4 XLE and Limited, Toyota’s revolutionary Entune™ 2.0 onboard multi-media system offers a collection of popular mobile applications and data services. Entune™ 2.0 includes three years of complimentary access to apps and services delivered via most smartphones and some feature phones. (After three years, an access charge will apply, except for Pandora.) Entune 2.0’s suite of applications includes: BingiHeartRadioMovieTickets.comOpenTable.comâ, and Pandoraâ. Customers can download any available EntuneÔ updates to gain access to new apps and services as well as keep the original suite of service current.
New Six-Speed AT,  Dynamic Torque Control AWD, Sport and ECO Modes 
For 2013, RAV4 will provide a number of powertrain technologies that help deliver an engaging and satisfying driving experience. RAV4 is available with Toyota’s 2.5-liter (2494cc) naturally aspirated four-cylinder, which produces 176 SAE net horsepower at 6000 rpm and 172 lbs-ft. of torque at 4,100 rpm. The optional V6 of the previous-generation RAV4 has been discontinued.
Replacing the previous-generation RAV4’s four-speed automatic is a six-speed transmission. First and second gear ratios are optimized for around-town performance. To enhance highway fuel mileage, fifth and sixth gears are overdrives.
Flex lock-up control can lock the transmission’s torque converter at speeds as low as approximately 12 mph, a marked difference from the previous generation’s approximately 25 mph engagement speed. RAV4’s flex lock-up control torque converter helps increase efficiency while also smoothing powertrain performance.
The all-new RAV4’s fuel efficiency is improved from the previous generation.  RAV4 has a moderate compression ratio of 10.4:1 and runs on 87 octane regular gasoline, which can help limit the cost of ownership.  A new Eco mode also promotes more efficient driving for maximum mpg.  RAV4 front-wheel drive models have received EPA-estimated fuel efficiency ratings of 24 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, while all-wheel-drivemodels are EPA-estimated at 22/29 mpg.
A sophisticated, high-speed interactive management system coordinates control of the RAV4’s new Dynamic Torque Control AWD, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Electric Power Steering (EPS) systems to enhance the compact SUV’s performance, handling and safety.
The new Dynamic Torque Control AWD system continuously monitors and controls the torque transfer between the front and rear wheels via an electromagnetically controlled coupling positioned in front of the rear differential.
Front to rear torque distribution can vary from 100:0 to 50:50, with front-wheel drive (100:0) automatically engaged under normal driving conditions to improve fuel consumption.
The Dynamic Torque Control AWD system uses information sent from various sensors (speed, steering angle and speed, throttle angle and yaw rate) to automatically govern the transmission of torque to the rear wheels, as required.
In Auto mode -when neither Sport mode nor Lock mode are activated- torque transfer to the rear wheels will take place not only when the slip is detected (as in the current-generation RAV4), but also when the system detects steering input and cornering forces while on-road. As a result, the overall agility and driving performance of the new RAV4 is enhanced during both on- and off-road driving.
When the all new Sport mode (standard on AWD models) is selected, torque transfer to the rear wheels will start from the moment the steering wheel is turned. The new Dynamic Torque Control AWD System, with the feedback from driver steering input, will adjust automatically a 90:10 front/rear torque distribution to reduce the load on the front tires.
If later, an actual understeer develops, torque transfer to the rear wheels are automatically increased by up to 50 percent, further reducing front tire loading to provide improved lateral grip.
As well as activating the ‘Dynamic’ behavior of the system’s front to rear torque transfer, the new Sport mode also modifies the RAV4’s power steering, throttle and transmissions; decreasing power steering assistance, sharpening throttle response and offering higher revs, automatic and CVT gearbox management, for a more dynamic, sporting driving experience.
For off-road driving, the system incorporates an AWD Lock button. This allows drivers to lock torque distribution in a fixed, 50/50 ratio at speeds up to about 25 mph.  Above this speed, the system automatically reverts to Auto mode.
In both front- and all-wheel drive RAV4s, Sport Mode sharpens shift timing, throttle response, and steering response.  When down shifting the RAV4 six-speed automatic transmission in “S” Mode, engine revs rise with a clearly audible “blip,” adding to the driving experience.
The RAV4s new Dynamic Torque Control AWD system automatically shifts from front-wheel drive (FWD) to AWD when accelerating or when sensors detect wheel slippage.
Front-drive RAV4’s feature an Automatic Limited Slip Differential (Auto LSD), which can be engaged by the driver at low speeds. Through pulsed application of the individual front brakes, Auto LSD helps direct power across the front axle, simulating the function of a limited-slip differential. Auto LSD is essentially a second layer of computer logic in the Traction Control system that can be engaged in certain low-speed situations, up to approximately 25 mph. Unlike Traction Control, Auto LSD allows a measure of controlled drive-wheel spin to help “dig” out of difficult conditions, like a sandy patch on an unpaved road leading to a campsite, or a driveway covered with snow.
RAV4 models with AWD have a single-speed transfer case that can smoothly deliver power to the rear wheels while enhancing fuel efficiency and reducing friction in the driveline. The aluminum case is a light, compact design, limiting weight at the front of the vehicle. Low-viscosity lubricant helps reduce friction and contributes to enhanced energy efficiency.
All-wheel-drive RAV4’s have a rear differential with an integrated electromagnetic control coupling. The coupling is engaged electronically when information sent to it by various sensors (vehicle speed, throttle input, and steering wheel angle) determines that additional torque should be delivered to the rear wheels. RAV4’s rear differential and electromagnetic coupling control provide smooth and efficient torque transfer to the rear wheels. Compared with the previous-generation RAV4, the rear axle carrier, retainer and gears are lighter in weight.
RAV4 has a MacPherson strut front suspension that delivers smooth suspension movements.  A double-wishbone rear suspension is engineered and calibrated to compliment the roll and handling traits of the front suspension. Major components of the rear suspsension are upper and lower arms, toe control arms, stabilizer bar, and a coil spring.
Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering with vehicle-speed-sensitive Electric Power Steering (EPS) is standard. The EPS has been tuned for a precision feel and quick response. In Sport Mode, steering has a firmer feel and sharper response to steering input.
The RAV4 LE will roll on standard 17-inch steel wheels wrapped with P225/65R17 radials. RAV4 XLE comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels with P225/65R17 all-season radials. RAV4 Limited is fitted with machine-finished 18-in. alloy wheels with P235/55R18 all-season radials.  Four-wheel disc brakes are standard on all grades.
Class-Leading Eight Standard Airbags; Blind Spot Monitor; STAR Safety
RAV4 combines the “active safety” of agile handling and four-wheel disc brakes with a range of safety technologies.
All 2013 RAV4s have a class-leading eight standard airbags: dual stage advanced driver and front passenger airbags, front seat-mounted airbags, first and second row side curtain airbags, driver knee airbag and front passenger seat cushion airbag.
Like every Toyota, RAV4 has the Star Safety System as standard equipment and includes: Traction Control (TRAC), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Enhanced Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Brake Assist (BA), an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and Smart Stop Technology (SST).
The body structure of the RAV4 is designed to help absorb collision-impact forces and help minimize impact deformation to the passenger cabin. High-strength steel is used in the roof, rocker sills, floor, engine compartment and door frames to help manage overall body deformation in the event of certain side collisions.
An electronic tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is standard equipment.
Whiplash Injury Lessening (WIL) front seats are designed to help support the driver’s and front passenger’s head during certain types of rear-end collisions. Specifically, the rigidity of the seatback frame, the shape of the seat, and the positioning of the seatback relative to the headrest can increase the likelihood that the seatback and headrest will help restrain the head and torso simultaneously during an impact, thus helping to reduce the incidence and severity of a whiplash injury through excessive head movement.
The Limited grade has an available Blind Spot Monitor system (BSM) that operates when RAV4 is traveling at approximately 10 mph or above. It can be turned off with a dashboard switch. When the system detects a vehicle in the adjacent lane, it alerts the driver using indicators on the side mirrors. If the turn signal is on when there is a vehicle in the blind spot of the driver’s intended lane, the indicator on the corresponding mirror will also flash.
The available Blind Spot Monitor incorporates Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), which uses the Blind Spot Monitor radar sensors at the lower rear bodywork of the vehicle.  When backing up, RCTA senses vehicles approaching from either direction and provides an audible warning combined with flashing indicators in the outside mirrors.

Daytime Running Lights (DRL) are standard on all RAV4s. The DRL system activates the high-beams at a reduced intensity. DRL does not activate the taillights and can be shut off with the headlight switch.
Toyota Care Complimentary Maintenance; 24-Hour Roadside Assistance
Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover the powertrain for 60,000 miles and against corrosion with no mileage limitation.
The RAV4 will also come standard with Toyota Care, a complimentary plan covering normal factory-scheduled maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.

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2013 Toyota Rav-4

Here is a Video of the Toyota Rav-4.

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