Q: Hesitancy

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My car is a 2013 Toyota RAV4 with about 50,250 miles on it. The car is very hesitant to accelerate 9 times out of 10; it will stay at about 2 RPM's until I force more gas and then it will skyrocket to about 5 RPM's, and the car will push through the hesitation to go faster. I have had two cars in my lifetime and have had this same issue with my older BMW 2001 325i with 130,000 when I was younger. Neither of the cars I had were hesitant with acceleration when I first purchased them... I would like to know if there are any quick fixes/suggestions you may have to help fix this issue. Thank you!

My car has 50250 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

I’m wondering if your RAV4 is one that has a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). You haven’t indicated if this is a recent change in your Toyota’s behavior or if it’s been like this since you got it. If it is a CVT, you may be just experiencing the unusual, but normal, feel of how they drive. They are designed (and programmed) to keep the engine RPM’s low and steady for increased fuel economy. Combine that with a smallish engine, and they do feel rather sluggish and hesitant to respond. I’ve experienced the same thing driving Subaru’s and Nissan’s CVT. Try to drive another CVT for comparison if you get a chance. However, I’d suggest getting a certified mechanic to diagnose the acceleration hesitation if you really feel like it’s abnormal. They will be able to address the issue firsthand and fix it accordingly.

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