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When the 2013 RAV4 was first introduced, U.S. News & World Report ranked it as one of the most affordable compact SUVs in its segment. Now, many years later, its the best used SUV under $12,000, according to Autotrader.

Though, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it scored the top spot on Autotrader’s list of ‘Best SUVs Under $12,000.’ It’s stylish, safe, and those who have owned it haven’t had much to complain about. 

2013 Toyota RAV4
2013 Toyota RAV4 on display | Harold Cunningham/Getty Images

Features and amenities

The 2013 RAV4 can be had in three trim levels: the LE, XLE, and Limited. Opt for the base RAV4, and features like a six-speaker stereo, a 6.1-inch touch-screen display, a rearview camera, and Bluetooth connectivity are standard. According to U.S. News & World Report, “That’s more than you get from most rivals’ base models.”

While the XLE trim includes features like a power moonroof and power-adjustable heated outside mirrors, its the range-topping XLE that’s slathered in amenities. Those features include high-end creature comforts like leather upholstery, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory functions, and a convenient reclining, fold-flat second-row seat.

2013 RAV4 ratings and reviews

According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2013 RAV4 “feels well-balanced in just about every way.” Its acceleration is adequate, its ‘Sport’ mode sharpens steering response, and it’s just a comfortable SUV to drive. Kelley Blue Book’s only complaint? Its ‘Eco’ mode “made acceleration feel laggardly.”

While how the 2013 RAV4 drives is undoubtedly important, it’s also worth considering how reliable it is. Fortunately for used car shoppers, Consumer Reports gave it a 5 out of 5 score. J.D. Power also gave the 2013 model high marks, awarding it with a ‘Great’ quality and reliability rating.

And when it comes to safety? Though it won’t come equipped with the latest in driver-assist features, it can be had with safety-centric features like blindspot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts.  

All in all, though, the 2013 RAV4 earned itself a 4-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.) The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also scored it, ranking it as a 2013 Top Safety Pick.


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2013 RAV4 complaints

Though the 2013 RAV4 has been the recipient of several favorable ratings and reviews, there are a few things to watch out for with this used SUV. According to, the most commonly reported complaints concern the 2013 RAV4’s interior accessories, body paint, and its transmission. 

Honing in on problems with its interior accessories, says the 2013 RAV4’s top complaint is that its navigation screen is difficult to see when in direct sunlight. Its center console is also easy to scratch, and its glove box can become stuck, says

Consumer Reports also surveyed owners of the 2013 RAV4, giving it a 3 out of 5 score when it comes to overall owner satisfaction. While 62% of owners told Consumer Reports they would buy the 2013 RAV4 again, some owners did complain about how noisy it can be while driving.

Is a used RAV4 worth buying?

There are several reasons the 2013 RAV4 was included in Autotrader’s list of ‘Best SUVs Under $12,000.’ From its high safety ratings to its overall reliability, Autotrader says this used SUV “offers almost everything a buyer could want today.”

With that in mind, is a used RAV4 worth buying? If you have a chance to scoop up a 2013 RAV4, the answer is yes.