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The two most compared SUV crossovers of 2015 are the Toyota RAV4 and Honda's CR-V. The same is expected for 2016 and beyond as these two vehicles go head to head, vying for the attention of family households with adventurous spirits. There's a lot of information out there, with industry bloggers and experts weighing in. It can be a daunting task for prospective buyers to research and draw conclusions as to which crossover SUV suits their lifestyles best, which is why we have laid out the information here, comparing the vehicles on key elements most relevant to you.
If you're considering the purchase of a crossover SUV, then chances are that cargo space is extremely important to you. The RAV4 has a Cargo Volume (Cu. Ft.) of 38.4 against the CR-V's 35.3, giving the RAV4 a near 9% edge in storage space. When it comes to loading up the vehicle for a long weekend excursion the RAV4 simply has more room. Winner: RAV4
"Cavernous Cargo Capacity - Despite being a compact crossover SUV, the Toyota RAV4 offers a lot of cargo space behind the second row. If that's not enough, fold those seats and you'll get a class-leading 73.4 cubic feet, all of it usable thanks to a flat load floor." - Kelley Blue Book
Another major space consideration when comparing vehicles is leg room. You need to feel completely comfortable in the place where you may spend hours on end on especially long road trips. The RAV4 owns 42.6 inches of front-row leg room over the CR-V's 41.3. When it comes to comfort, we all know that every inch (or 1.3 inches) counts. Winner: RAV4
3. Fuel Economy
The Toyota RAV4 gets 24 MPG (or 11.8L/100 KM) in the city, the same as the CR-V. On the highway, the RAV4 gets 31 MPG (or 9.1L/100 KM) while the CR-V gets 34 MPG (or 8.3L/100 KM). For day to day use this comparison alone is a "non-event" whereas when it comes to longer road trips 34 MPG works in one's favor when judging solely on highway fuel economy. It should be noted that judging a vehicle by fuel economy is quite variable, with mileage contingent upon how you operate and maintain your crossover SUV. It's also worth noting that the Toyota RAV4 has a slightly bigger fuel tank than the CRV, which is a consideration for those long road trips on the highway. Winner: TIE
When it comes to holding their own as a tow-vehicle, both the RAV4 and CR-V have the same maximum towing capacity at 1500 lbs, making either a popular option for those interested in strapping on a caravan and hitting the road. In particular, caravan-enthusiasts have maintained a decade long love affair with the RAV4, as evidenced in popular forum and review resources on the matter. Winner: TIE
The RAV4 packs horsepower/torque of 176/172, providing for sufficient power without sacrificing the feeling of stability on the road. The CRV has a slightly higher edge of horsepower/torque at 185/181. Winner: CR-V
While expert reviews may note that the CR-V has more horsepower they have also noted the CR-V's 2015 adoption of continuously variable transmission (CVT), contrary to RAV4's use of a six-speed automatic transmission. What does this mean to you? Well, early reviews of the CVT system have pointed out that CVT generates a loud and monotonous sound when the vehicle undertakes heavy acceleration. Forums all over the world have erupted over this concern with brands using the technology. Anyone averse to causing noise pollution when passing someone on the freeway or merging with highway traffic will prefer to opt out of CVT. RAV4's more traditional and proven transmission cuts down on potentially offensive engine noise. Winner: RAV4
Outward visibility is a primary concern when it comes to the safety of passengers inside. Thankfully for the consumer, both vehicles have backup cameras in the rear yet only the RAV4 connects via Bluetooth which is a standard feature and thus a big bonus. It must be noted that the Honda CR-V has narrower rear windows when compared to the RAV4 which is a safety concern, regardless of the rear camera. Winner: RAV4
RAV4 has been heralded by compact SUV enthusiasts for its aesthetic appeal, inside and out. The RAV4's exterior color options are far more dramatic than that offered by the CRV, with tones such as Barcelona Red Metallic and Blue Crush Metallic on the palette. The sleek lines on the exterior have you at "hello" but what's on the inside counts as well. Neil Vorano of The Globe & Mail recently stated "it's a design delight and one of the nicest cabins I've seen in a while". The Honda CR-V on the other hand, hasn't been receiving the best of reviews when it comes to style:
"(2015 Honda CR-V) Styling borders on ungainly." - The Car Connection
"Despite all the effort to make the dash look modern and hi-tech, the instrument cluster still looks like it belongs in the '80s. Hey Honda, it's 2015. How about giving us a nice sharp display screen?" - The Daily Star
Simply put, there is no need to sacrifice style for practicality with the RAV4 compact SUV. Winner: RAV4
Industry price comparisons give the Toyota RAV4 a $2690 USD ($3303 CAD) edge over the more expensive Honda CR-V. When you consider that the RAV4 wins five of the above categories and ties in two (as opposed to CR-V winning one and tied for two) this price consideration gives the Toyota RAV4 the vote for best value and thus the overall win.
Do you live in the Lower Mainland (BC) and are now ready to take the next step in your crossover SUV purchase decision? Contact Westminster Toyota today and set an appointment to test drive a RAV4 at your convenience.