By Staff Contributor
LA Auto Show: All New 2013 Toyota RAV4 and Updated 2014 Subaru Forester Make Powerful Debuts.
2013 Toyota RAV4
That RAV4 invented the compact family SUV segment back in the mid 1990’s and is redesigned from the ground up for 2013 now powered exclusively by a 2.5 liter 176 horsepower 4-cylinder and an updated 6-speed automatic replacing last year’s outdated 4-speed unit. The exterior look is all new and gone is the rear mounted spare tire on the side opening tailgate, replaced now with a more traditional upward swinging tailgate that can come with power assist with an adjustable opening level for shorter garage openings.
Overall, we were impressed with the stylish looks of the new RAV4 and think it will make for potent competition in the crowded field of CR-V’s, Mazda CX-5’s, Ford Escape’s and Kia Sportage’s that currently lead the marketplace. The interior of the RAV4 is also similarly updated with a class leading cargo hold with over 70 cubic feet of available load hauling ability and a standard back-up camera aiding driver’s via a 7-inch center mounted screen. Looks like this 2013 Toyota RAV4 will be another home run for Toyota.
2014 Subaru Forester
The 2014 Subaru Forester may look similar to its predecessor from the outside, with mainly a refreshed front end and rear end design giving hints that this is a heavily revised model, but there are many advances to be found under the skin of this 2014 model year full-time all-wheel drive family SUV favorite. The interior has been updated with a redesign brining it more in line with the look of the very popular new Impreza sedan and hatchback.
Power for the 2014 Forester will come from a 2.5 liter 170 horsepower boxer engine newly mated to a CVT automatic transmission giving this SUV amazing EPA fuel economy figures of 24 city/32 highway. Newly available will be an all-new turbocharged 2.0 liter boxer 4-cylinder engine with 250 horsepower and its own High Torque version of the CVT with a special manual shift mode capable of recreating 6 or 8 forward gears depending on your needs. Sounds like one fun to drive compact sport utility vehicle that we can’t wait to put in a comparison test in the new year.