Filed under: Crossover , Toyota , New Car Reviews A Nicer View Than Ever Of Middle Of The Road When we had our first shot behind the wheel of the 2013 Toyota RAV4 , the overall judgment from Managing Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski could be summed up in a sentence along the lines of, “Eh, not bad.” The truth is that the compact crossover segment, now filled with not-so-compact offerings, is as cutthroat as any in the industry these days. When a heavyweight player like the RAV4 comes to market with a new generation, it is not at liberty to start from a clean sheet, lest it throw cold water on a vehicle that sells tens of thousands of units globally every month. Like De La Soul says, “Stakes is high.” If the choices in the marketplace were still largely limited to the Honda CR-V , as was the case when this market niche was green, the Toyota offering might actually seem like the exciting choice. But with new players offering better dynamic thrills ( Mazda CX-5 ), cool turbo motors and fancy technology ( Ford Escape ), or even crunchy cred ( Subaru Forester ), the small crossover shopper is really spoiled for choice in 2013. With Mr. Korzeniewski’s excellent First Drive review covering the granularity of the RAV4 specification so well, we chose to focus our notes this time around on living with the Toyota in its natural suburban habitat for a longer stretch. What’s more, we’ll try to mark out where the CUV wins, loses or draws with the rest of the strident segment. Continue reading 2013 Toyota RAV4 2013 Toyota RAV4 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 16 Apr 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds . Permalink
Filed under: Car Buying , Etc. , Chevrolet , Ford , Honda , Toyota Today’s vehicles are more powerful, more efficient and safer than ever before. In fact, today’s car buyer would be hard pressed to spend his or her money on a genuinely bad vehicle. But those overall improvements may have also led consumers to believe there are no real differences between the various products offered by the world’s major automakers. According to the Consumer Reports 2012 Car-Brand Perception Survey, Toyota , Ford , Honda and Chevrolet have all seen their scores drop by double digits compared to last year. The survey asks consumers to rate brands across seven categories. Consumer Reports says that by combining those categories, the organization can get a handle on how each brand is perceived in the marketplace. This year, Toyota continued to lead in the survey, though its persistent recalls saw the brand’s perception fall by 17 points this year. Ford, Honda and BMW all saw their perception scores plummet more than 20 points. The results may indicate consumers are seeing fewer differences between automakers as products continue to improve.