The RAV4 is a keystone in Toyota’s lineup. Through three generations, it has been the entry level crossover vehicle for over one million families. In the last 10 years the small crossover segment has grown from virtually nothing to almost 20% of the new car market. Because it is a segment filled with many first time car owners, or the first new car people have purchased, it’s also a critical segment for building long term customer loyalty.
The acceleration in development in this segment has been very brisk and what looked new and fresh just two or three years ago, looks cheep and outdated today. In to this Toyota brings its fourth generation RAV4, looking to cement its place among the volume sales leaders in the segment.
Toyota says that they have sold 1.7 million RAV4’s since the model came to market in 1994 and that 80% of them are still on the road today. The compact SUV market has gone from just a few models in the early 90’s to now 45 different models today.
In many ways what Toyota is doing with the trim levels of the new RAV4, harkens back to the days of the mid 80’s when, there would be two or three trim levels and few options to choose from. The fourth generation RAV4 comes in three trim levels, LE, XLE and Limited.. Toyota’s philosophy was to bring trim levels to a spec where each model offers 90-95% of the options that customers tend to order. This philosophy gives RAV4 customers more bang for their buck when they go to purchase. For 2014, all RAV4 models will come with a 6.1” touch display as well as a backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity and projector beam headlights with auto off.
As you move up trim specs you will get ENTUNE with Navigation, 17” alloy wheels, (18” alloys are exclusive to the Limited model), power moon roof and dual zone climate control. Cloth is the material of choice for LE and XLE, with Soft-Tex being offered on the Limited models. Toyota describe Soft-Tex as, “leather, without the cost”. There are soft touch materials through the cabin in all trim levels, and some hard plastic materials in high touch point areas for controls like the window switches, and the gear shift.
The RAV4 comes standard as front wheel drive, with All Wheel Drive being an option. Toyota also note that 65% of RAV4 purchasers will choose the AWD option. New in the AWD models is active torque control, which works to put the power where it’s most needed, and aids in sharpening handling on dry pavement. Sensors in the system will direct power to the wheels to aid in turn-in for corners giving the RAV4 a sporty feeling when driven on twisty roads. It is still possible to lock the differentials in AWD mode for off road driving, or in snow or muddy terrains, and Toyota has now made this a maintenance-free system as well.
Also aiding in handling, the RAV4 is 1.2 inches lower than the out going model, though it still maintains a healthy 6.3 inches of ground clearance.
A big change for the new RAV4 is the elimination of the V6 as an option. Across the range there will be one engine choice, a 2.5 -iter four-cylinder producing 176 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 172 ft/lb of torque at 4,100 RPM. While the peak power is higher in the engine range, Toyota is bringing the RAV4 into the modern age by dropping the previous models four-speed automatic gearbox for a standard for the class six-speed unit. With more gears spaced closer together, the RAV4 looses little in acceleration to the previous V6, yet sees considerably gains in fuel economy.
The 0-60 sprint takes 8.9 seconds and the EPA rating for the RAV4 is 24 city, 31 highway and 26 combined for front drive models, and 22/29/25 for AWD models.
Pricing for the 2013 RAV4 starts at $23,300 for the front-drive LE model, $24,290 for the XLE and $27,010 for the Limited, the AWD option adds a $1,400 premium. Toyota estimates that 45-50% of buyers will choose the XLE model, which will come with a moon roof, dual zone climate control and sports seats. There will be the option of Navigation with Entune for $1.030.
One of the trademarks of the RAV4 has been the spare tire carrier out back, and the swing open door to the rear cargo area. With the 2013 model, both of those are now gone. The spare tire is housed below the cargo floor and the rear hatch opens traditionally, and now with power assist and the ability to set an opening height for those that are short of stature or in areas with low overhead ceiling height. Not only does this aid in functionality, it also in rearward visibility.
Special attention was focused on making the cabin of the 2013 RAV4 much quieter. Acoustical glass was used for the windshield, and extra sound deadening materials were placed throughout the cabin. Driven back to back with the outgoing model there is a noticeable difference in wind and road noise that protrudes into the cabins of the two RAV4 generations.
While the new RAV4 lacks the fore and aft adjustments for the rear seats that the outgoing model had, the rear seat of the 2013 RAV4 has more leg room over the outgoing model, and the rear seats do recline for added passenger comfort. With the rear seats up, the cargo area has 38.4 square feet of cargo room and with the seats folded down it increases to 73.4.
The dashboard and the driver’s cockpit now look modern in the new RAV4. The use of soft touch materials and French stitching bring a new level of refinement. Going back and forth between the old and new RAV4’s lets you see just how much of a leap forward the new car is. Toyota is using what they call a “color block concept” in the interior, and it gives a strong bold look to the interior that refrains from being over the top.
Out on the road the new RAV4 is miles above the outgoing model in every way. The ride, handling, comfort, and NVH levels are noticeably better right off the bat. The new RAV4 has electric power steering for the first time. What buyers of RAV4 will notice is that below 10 miles an hour the steering is effortless, yet, picks up weight and feel as speed increases to give good feedback and confidence when going down the road.
Previous owners of the RAV4 will take note of is that there is no longer an option of third row seating. Toyota’s research deemed, that customers looking for seven passenger accommodations would be better served by stepping up to the larger Highlander. In making the RAV4 a five-passenger only configuration, they felt they could maximize space efficiency, passenger comfort and legroom.
With the 2013 model, the RAV4 is now competitive in its market segment. Some of its competitors may offer more space, and/or more power, however, it comes at price that is often times far north of the RAV4’s. What the RAV4 brings to the market is a solid product with exceptional value that stays true to what made it so popular, yet now, is competitive with its modern interior, amenities and numerious convenience features that buyers today expect.
Toyota Hollywood employees along with Helen Bernstein High School
students began their Winter planting today with Kale, Brussels sprouts,
beets, onions, carrots, turmeric and chives. The parent volunteers and
students also did an amazing job with “garden maintenance” by pulling
all those darn weeds and making it easier for us to plant today. Thank
you! Just look at the photos – the garden is so alive!
After a tragic year in Japan and a strain on the parts supply chain, Toyota still managed to find a way to produce over 1.25 million vehicles and 1.14 million engines in North America alone, along with completing three major expansion projects in the United States.
In total, Toyota produces 12 models in North America: Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, Matrix, RAV4, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma, Tundra, Lexus RX350 and Venza. What’s more, the following United States expansion projects were completed in 2011:
- Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia completed an expansion resulting in increased 6-speed automatic transmission production bringing the plant’s total employment to approximately 1,100.
- Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Alabama began 4-cylinder engine production in the fall, resulting in 240 new jobs.
- Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi began Corolla production in the fall, adding 2,000 jobs.
Looking forward, Toyota expects to assemble its 25 millionth vehicle in North America this year (2012), and will begin producing its all-electric RAV4 at its Woodstock, Ontario facility.
Toyota’s manufacturing site in Kentucky produced the most vehicles in the United States with 371,694 units produced, where over half of which were Camrys. Toyota’s Indiana plant put in a lot of work as well, producing just under 244,000 units, many of which were Sienna minivans. However, it was Toyota Manufacturing of Canada with the top number, producing 458,729 units, nearly all of which were Corolla sedans and RAV4 crossovers. Also of note is Toyota’s Virginia engine plant, which produced nearly half a million four and six cylinder engines. Kentucky was just under, producing over 415,000 four and six cylinder engines.
In the mid-sized pickup truck market, there’s one and only one truck that completely dominates the segment. And that title belongs to the Toyota Tacoma. And with major contenders like Ford withdrawing from the niche, the Tacoma stands out even more as the clear winner. But even though the Tacoma is the undisputed sales leader year-in-and-year-out, is the truck really that much better than the competition? The experts at pickuptrucks.com have the answer. The verdict: the Toyota Tacoma lives up to every ounce of its reputation as a dependable mid-sized truck, finding itself ahead of the pack when it comes to off-road ruggedness and is an overall standout in real-world performance.
Mark Williams, editor-in-chief of Pickuptrucks.com and his team pitted seven trucks in a free-for-all comparison test in multiple categories. The lineup included the 2012 Chevy Colorado, 2011 Ford Ranger, 2012 GMC Canyon, 2012 Honda Ridgeline, 2012 Nissan Frontier, 2012 Suzuki Equator, and the 2012 Toyota Tacoma. The trucks were thrashed, beaten and bruised on the dynamo, on the drag strip, in the desert, and on the highway — all to find out which truck is worthy of winning the high-budget, high-stakes comparison test.
To begin with, let’s have a look at the Tacoma on paper. With a starting price of just $22,100-$29,900, depending on the model, this purpose-built truck has the option of a 2.7-liter inline-four cylinder gasoline engine that puts out 159 horsepower with fuel economy rated at 10.0 L/100 km in the city and 7.7 L/100 km on the hwy. Upgrade to the 4.0L V6, and the output is bumped up to substantial 236 horsepower. Transmission offerings are diverse, with a 4-speed automatic, a 5-speed automatic, a 5-speed manual, and a 6-speed manual. Some rugged options include mud-guards, skid plates for the underbody, Hill Start Assist Control (HAC) and Downhill Assist Control (DAC). As a result, the Tacoma was given 372 points out of 400 in value judging and 142 points out of 160 in expert impressions as tallied by Williams and company. And while the Honda Ridgeline and Nissan Frontier came close to the Tacoma’s overall score of 514, the Toyota Tacoma won outright.
Another defining element of the Shootout happened to be the unladen quarter-mile testing. The testers collected data from the trucks every 200 feet as the trucks paced as fast as they could down a quarter-mile drag strip. To nobody’s surprise, the Tacoma finished near the top again, crossing the finish line with a time of 16.43 seconds at 85.1 mph. It was second only to the Chevrolet Colorado, which was equipped with a less-fuel efficient V8 engine, edging the Toyota by less than a quarter of a second in quarter-mile acceleration. Also nearly identical between the Chevy and Toyota was 0-60 mph acceleration, at 8.12 and 8.17 seconds, respectively.
The PickupTrucks.com team then filled the beds of all the trucks with 40-pound bags of rock salt, until each truck had its Gross Vehicle Weight Rating maxed. Being that each truck had different capacities, each truck carried a different load. For the Tacoma, it was 22 40-pound bags. It was the same story as before, with the Tacoma finishing just behind the V8-powered Chevy Colorado, accelerating from 0-60 in 9.27 seconds and crossing the quarter-mile finish in 17.18 seconds at 80.94 mph. But what’s the point of all that pep if the truck isn’t capable of stopping quickly? This is where the Tacoma stood out in a big way.
During empty testing, the Tacoma was the far-and-away winner, with an average stopping distance from 60-0 mph at 40.5 meters. The Honda Ridgeline finished a full 4.5 meters longer in second place, which ended well ahead of the rest of the pack, all in the 45s. During loaded stops, Toyota, once again was the standout winner with 43 meters, with the rest of the group bunching up over 3 to 5 meters longer.
While Toyota was a standout performer and victor in the aforementioned testing, it might have been its off-road performance that stole the show. Toyota’s TRD off-road package ended up being the proverbial gun to a knife fight, scoring 50 out of 50 points in hill climbing, which was double that of the Honda and five points ahead of the Suzuki. The Tacoma scored a perfect 50/50 again in the off-road course, edging the Nissan and the Suzuki once again.
So no matter what the job calls for, according to pickuptrucks.com, the Toyota Tacoma is the best tool in the box.
Gardens are a wonderful way for everyone to connect. Toyota of Hollywood employees along with the Garden Club, Journalism Club and and parents of Helen Bernstein High School planted, weeded, watered the garden. We planted tomatoes, basil, zucchini,cilantro, onions and strawberries.
We also planted marigolds. Did you know this flower is not only pretty but an insect repellent?
Toyota of Hollywood’s School Gardens Program is off to a great start! During the first week of the program, the LA Conservation Corps worked strenuously to remove the pre-existing shrubbery and brush and flatten out the garden area. Later in the week LA Conservation Corps built wooden garden beds and filled them with nutrient-rich soil to support a healthy garden.
Next week, the garden will really start to take shape when students at Helen Bernstein High School will start planting the first seedlings in the garden beds. We can’t wait to get the students involved in this wonderful program!
Toyota of Hollywood (an LAcarGUY dealership) is proud to announce our sponsorship of Environmental Media Association’s (EMA) School Garden Program at Helen Bernstein High School. This program is an innovative initiative between the EMA and the LAUSD to support gardens and greenery in urban schools across Los Angeles.
Community and environmental causes have always been a priority for LAcarGUY dealerships so we were excited to provide a hands-on educational opportunity through the Helen Bernstein school garden. This “living classroom” will enrich the learning experience for all students at Helen Bernstein and will help develop healthier food choices and eating patterns that can last a lifetime.
EMA launched an ongoing partnership with LAUSD to support gardens and greenery in urban schools across Los Angeles. The school garden will be a great opportunity for the children take their learning beyond the four walls, in a more dynamic environment. Math, science, nutrition, health, and fitness can all be taught through the use of these gardens. In addition to the garden itself, EMA will also provide a celebrity mentoring program for students with a member of their Young Hollywood Board that includes Amy Smart, Nicole Richie, Maroon 5 and Rosario Dawson!
We will continue to bring you updates and pictures of our newly adopted garden. If you’re involved in growing your own fruits and vegetables in your backyard, tell us your story and send in pictures. We would love to see them! We’ll continue to bring you updates and pictures of our newly adopted garden. If you’re involved in growing your own fruits and vegetables in your backyard, tell us your story and send in pictures. We would love to see them!
We’ve talked about it for quite some time, and now it’s finally here, the first new model of the Prius line, it’s the Prius V. V is for Versatility! The Prius V has as much cargo capacity as most CUV’s on the market today, yet returns the superior fuel economy you would expect from a Prius. As you may remember we had a chance to drive a Prius V back in June and wrote about it here on the blog.
Now, the Prius V’s are here, and we have them available at both the Toyota Santa Monica and Toyota Hollywood stores! We showed the Prius V off at the AltCar Expo, and we also shot this test drive video for you, have a look.
The 2011 SEMA Show will be the scene for the debut of the Oakley Surf Tacoma. From the coast of Baja to the cold water of Santa Cruz, Calif., the Oakley Surf Tacoma has the ability to live at the beach and go anywhere in search of mega waves. Australian surfing pro Tom Whitaker talked about the Oakley Surf Tacoma at a press conference in the Toyota exhibit at the SEMA Show.
Built using a rugged Toyota Tacoma 4×4 pickup equipped with a V6 engine and TRD supercharger that generates 304 horsepower, the truck was customized by Smithbuilt to be a Surfing Big Wave Assault Machine. Additional performance modifications include a Flowmaster stainless steel exhaust, an Icon stage 3 lift kit, Billet top A arms, new leaf springs for added height, a new front coilover system, and Walker Evans 17 x 8 bead lock wheels with a flat black finish mounted to BF Goodrich 285/75-17 all-terrain tires.
Inside modifications include Wet Okole Hawaii custom embroidered seat covers, Topstitch interior modifications on the door panels, head liner and carpet kit throughout, a Kicker sound system and an Oakley icon.
This unique Toyota Tacoma is a surfer’s dream as it is equipped with a purpose-built roof racking system for heavy hauling and can be accessed with ease for surf bag stowage and multiple board storage. The truck bed system, which has a lot of storage for wet suits and other equipment, also comes with an ice chest and barbeque grill. Meals and cold drinks can be enjoyed under a shade system that is equipped in the back of the roof rack system. Living comfort is also achieved with and integrated shower system. Illumination is supplemented with Vision X lighting in the bed and front driving lights.
After SEMA, the Oakley Surf Tacoma will follow the waves and appear at all Oakley surf competitions. Surf’s up!
OAKLEY SURF TACOMA FEATURES
- TRD Supercharged (304 horsepower)
- K&N air filter
- Flowmaster stainless steel exhaust
- Icon stage 3 lift kit
- Billet top A arms
- New leaf springs for added height
- New front coilover system
- Front – Arb Rear – Custom – Mike Smith Fabrication
- Arb deluxe bull bar
- ARB winch kit
- Two – eight-inch Vision X HID’s
- Mike Smith Fabrication rear bumper and tire rack
ROOF RACKING SYSTEM/REAR BED – MIKE SMITH FABRICATION
- Customized to hold 6-8 surf boards
- Custom access doors
- Integrated driving light by Vision X
- Oakley net system for extra storage
- Integrated shower system
- Custom storage system throughout truck bed
WHEELS AND TIRES
- Walker Evans 17 X 8 bead locks/flat black finish
- BF Goodrich 285/75-17 All Terrain Tires
- Wet Okole Hawaii seat covers custom embroidered
- Oakley icon
- Topstitch interior mods to include door panels, head liner and carpet kit throughout
- Kicker Sound System
- Storage cooler
- Storable barbecue grill
- On board air compressor supplied by VIAIR Corporation
- ARB rear canopy
- Walker Evans Wheels
- Vision X lighting
LAcarGUY is proud to be sponsoring the 21st annual Manhattan Beach Pumpkin Race on October 30th. Enjoy the spectacle of the Manhattan Beach Pier area transformed into Pumpkinrace Land, where creativity runs wild and cheaters never prosper. Dress in colorful costumes, enjoy fun activities for all ages, make your own Pumpkin Racecar and feel the thrill of competing in the fun-spirited World Famous Pumpkin Race. Free and fun for the whole family thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and volunteers. Handcrafted Pumpkin Racecars racing side-by-side in unpredictable and dramatic style! Families and friends race for fun and the coveted Championship Trophy. Prizes are awarded for Best of Show, Best Team Spirit, and Best Crash. http://www.pumpkinrace.com/
It’s free to enter! Compete in single elimination Open Qualifying from 1:00pm-4:00pm for your chance to race in the Championship Finals beginning at 4:00pm. Award ceremonies and sunset concert right after the finals!
Last year Toyota of Hollywood won Best Themed Pumpkin for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Have a look at this video from last year, and we will look to see you at the event!