At the surface, the safety ratings for the 2013 Toyota RAV4 look in the top tier among crossovers. But this is one of the cases where a little research is a good thing, as one of the latest, discerning crash tests reveals that the RAV4 might not have quite the same occupant protection level as some other top-performing models in this class, like the Subaru Forester.
The all-new Toyota RAV4 received safety ratings of "Good" across the board from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in that agency's carry-over tests–for frontal, side, and rear impact, along with roof strength; but in the new IIHS small overlap frontal test, which simulates the offset frontal collision with a tree or pole, the RAV4 doesn't do nearly as well—with 'Poor' results that indicate a higher likelihood of injury. To contrast, the Forester achieves the top 'Good' rating in that new test.
In NHTSA's tests, the RAV4 received four out of five stars for frontal impacts, five stars for side impacts, and four out of five stars for rollovers. The overall NHTSA score was four out of five stars.
Otherwise, the RAV4 ups its safety ante with eight airbags as standard equipment, including knee airbags. Also standard across the board: Bluetooth and a rearview camera. Blind-spot monitors with cross-traffic alerts are available on the top trim level.
All-wheel drive is an option on any trim level for $1400.