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GREEN | 7 out of 10
2013 Toyota RAV4: 24/31 mpg or 26 mpg combined (FWD); 22/29 mpg or 25 mpg combined (AWD)
increases of one to three miles per gallon across the board
More importantly, fuel economy takes priority now. Last year's 2.5-liter four-cylinder is the sole engine on the 2013 RAV4; a hybrid version might show up later.
the real secret is a smooth yet crisp-shifting six-speed automatic transmission with both Eco and Sport modes.
Official EPA numbers aren't out yet, but Toyota says a front-drive model should return 31 mpg on the highway, which is right in line with the competition.
By Toyota's estimates, the 2013 RAV4 crossover will earn significantly better gas mileage than older models.
In part, that's because the four-cylinder models have upgraded their outdated four- and five-speed automatics for six-speed units. The RAV4's engine is essentially unchanged from the 2012 version, and the vehicle itself is nearly the size of the one it replaces.
The estimates for fuel economy come in at 24 miles per gallon city, and 31 mpg on the highway cycle with front-wheel-drive models. Adding all-wheel drive lowers the gas mileage to 22/29 mpg. These numbers are preliminary, and haven't yet been published by the EPA. We'll update any information from the agency as it is made available.
As it stands, the numbers are roughly equal to those of the Honda CR-V, but fall somewhat behind those affirmed by Ford for its 2013 Escape in its most efficient versions.
Last year's four-cylinder RAV4 topped out at 22/28 mpg, for comparison; the V-6 version is no longer available.
Gas mileage has improved with this year's Toyota RAV4; it's on par with the CR-V at 31 mpg highway.