Industry trends are moving to smaller engines for improved fuel economy, and the 2013 Toyota Rav4 is no different -- which is one reason the 269-hp V6 engine option has been dropped.
Low sales were another. Associate editor Blake Z. Rong reviewed the new Rav4 and said the V6 made up only 10 percent of 2012 model sales.
For 2013 only the 2.5-liter four-cylinder will be offered. According to Blake, the 176 hp and 172 lb-ft. of torque this engine puts out keeps the ride feeling sporty enough -- especially in sport mode.
An all-new six-speed automatic transmission complements the engine. The main goal is to improve fuel efficiency, but sport mode attempts to liven things up by giving drivers more revs to play with.
All-wheel drive continues to be available on all three Rav4 trims at an additional cost.
The Ford Escape has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that puts out 168 hp and 170 lb-ft. of torque with a six-speed automatic. The Escape also offers 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter Ecoboost options, giving it the widest array of choices in the bunch.
Honda's CR-V comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes a whopping 185 hp using a five-speed automatic while the Mazda CX-5 is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that achieves 155 hp. Unlike the others, the CX-5 is available in either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.
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By: Sherrice Gilsbach