$13,450 - $16,675

2013 Toyota RAV4 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2013 Toyota RAV4 was new.


Interior: 5.9

Reviewers are pleased that the redesigned 2013 Toyota RAV4 offers more standard features, but not all critics are impressed with its interior materials. While some test drivers note that upscale materials and soft-touch surfaces give the RAV4 a premium feel, others are let down by some interior plastics.

  • "That leads us to one of the RAV4's downsides, its interior, a kaleidoscope of mismatched textures and faux stitching, it commits the crime of trying to look but not feel more expensive than it is, and fails in the attempt. When will somebody correct Toyota on this unjustifiable trend of applying fake French stitching to molded plastic?" -- AutoWeek 
  • "The new interior is much improved, with soft-touch materials right where your hands and elbows want them." -- Popular Mechanics 
  • "The interior is less polarizing and looks especially upscale in XLE and Limited models, where the dash panel is finished in soft-touch material with French stitching. The faux-metallic accent pieces and chrome-trimmed switchgear add to the premium feel, and the ergonomics have improved slightly." -- Truck Trend 
  • "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." -- Autoblog 


Unlike the 2012 model, the redesigned RAV4 is not available with a third row of seats. The 2013 RAV4 seats five, and most reviewers say that both rows of seats are comfortable, though one auto writer notes that the cabin is a little narrow. Cloth seats are standard on LE and XLE models, while the top Limited trim comes with heated, power-adjustable front seats and Softex leatherette upholstery. One test driver says that while Softex is nicer than most leatherette, real leather upholstery would give the cabin a more upscale feel.

  • "When you're behind the steering wheel, you feel more comfortable thanks to lower seating position, a more upright steering wheel and more fore-and-aft seat travel. Even so, you're always rubbing elbows with your neighbor. ..." -- Automobile Magazine  
  • "… we had little trouble finding comfort in the back seat (even with a nearly 6-foot frame)." -- Popular Mechanics 
  • "There's a bit more room inside the 2013 RAV4 for the driver than last year. ... the end result is a comfy pair of seats." -- Autoblog 
  • "Opt for the XLE and you'll get sportier cloth seats, while Limited covers those in a leather-like material called Softex. Real hide isn't on the options list and Softex is more convincing than your average synthetic, but the inability to sit on real cows further underlines the RAV4's glass ceiling status." -- Left Lane News

Interior Features

The 2013 Toyota RAV4 comes standard with a six-speaker stereo, which includes a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, a backup camera, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, an auxiliary input jack and a USB port. Options and features available on higher trims include dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a choice of two upgraded sound systems with navigation and a blind spot monitoring system.

Reviewers appreciate the redesigned RAV4’s long list of standard features, and note that the optional JBL sound system offers exceptional sound quality. Still, one test driver says that the standard backup camera could be brighter, and notes that the screen is difficult to see in direct sunlight.

See the full 2013 Toyota RAV4 specs »

  • "Just like a full-size luxury crossover, the 2013 RAV4 has an impressive suite of consumer-friendly standard features that include active and passive safety, comfort and convenience, and electronic connectivity." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "As expected, LE models ($24,145) have everything you need, including a standard back-up camera, Bluetooth and a USB input." -- Edmunds 
  • "We also enjoyed the crispness of the standard rear-view camera, but wished for more brightness in general from the screen. Amid the Arizona sun where we were testing the RAV4, the vehicle's screen washed out." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "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." -- Autoblog 


The 2013 RAV4 has 38.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, which expands to 73.4 cubic feet with the second row folded. That’s more cargo space than most SUVs in the class, including the RAV4’s chief competitor, the Honda CR-V. The side-hinged cargo door found on the 2012 RAV4 has been replaced with a conventional liftgate, and higher trims add the convenience of a power liftgate with height adjustment. While one reviewer would like more small-item storage in the RAV4’s cabin, most comment that the new RAV4 has plenty of room for cargo.

  • "… there's not as much storage convenience as we'd like, even though overall cargo capacity behind the front seats remains best in class at 73.4 cubic feet." -- Automobile Magazine  
  • "The rear seats fold almost flat, and though there's no easy-peasy auto-fold option, Toyota has added its own nifty convenience - a height-adjustable power liftgate that's standard on top-of-the-line Limited models." -- Edmunds 
  • "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." -- Autoblog 

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