There are a few things you should know about the new Toyota RAV4.  For 2013, it's been completely redesigned and is a much different SUV than before. But the new 2013 Toyota RAV4 is about what it doesn't have as well as what's been added or improved.

Improved Tech

One thing the previous RAV4 lacked was any kind of serious in-car technology. The RAV4 now has plenty of ways to stay connected. For example, Toyota's interface for connecting your phone via Bluetooth and running apps like Pandora is called Entune. There are several versions of Entune available in the 2013 Toyota RAV4.

In-car information and entertainment systems like Entune essentially work like any smartphone -- with one big exception -- it's integrated into the car, so making and receiving phone calls is as easy as pressing a button on the dash or steering wheel. Entune also allows you to play Pandora through the car's audio system. You can even create a new Pandora channel right from the RAV4's screen as long as the car isn't moving -- something you can't do with Ford's SYNC.

Better Interior

Inside the RAV4, the most dramatic changes are obvious. For example, there's no longer a third-row seat option. Toyota says not enough people were opting for that extra row of seating to justify offering it in the new RAV4. That's going to be a negative for many shoppers. If you really want a compact vehicle with seating for more than five passengers, check out the Mitsubishi Outlander or Mazda5. Overall, the RAV4's interior is gigantic leap forward in terms of how it looks and feels. The cabin is now filled with interesting textures and colors especially in the Limited versions.

Curiously, The RAV4 doesn't actually offer leather seats, opting instead for a synthetic material called SofTex. SofTex feels like leather, but is both more durable and easier to clean than normal leather. Another added benefit of SofTex is that the material isn't animal-based. If all of that sounds appealing, you should know that the new material is only available on the 2013 Toyota RAV4 Limited. Finally, the RAV4's interior is not only nicer, but roomier as well. Noticeable gains in rear seat legroom and cargo carrying ability are part of the 2013 RAV4 package.

Base price for the 2013 Toyota RAV4 is price at just over $23,000. Estimated fuel economy is 24 mpg city / 31 highway.

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Brian Moody heads up the editorial team. He has been an automotive writer and presenter for 15 years. Prior to that, Moody spent several years working in local television news and worked at a few used car dealerships in Sacramento, California. His first car was a 1964 Buick Skylark, but today he has a strange fascination with 1990s era GM luxury cars - don’t ask. Brian lives near Atlanta with his wife and two kids.

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