Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4: The Ultimate Compact SUV Comparison

January 13th, 2021 by

It’s no surprise that people throughout North Carolina and the east coast have pondered this question since the mid 90s when both of these compact SUVs hit the market, and rightfully so. The Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4 are two of the most popular vehicles on the road. Just look around (safely, of course) during your commute to Jacksonville or Myrtle Beach and see how many of these SUVs you can spot. My guess is a lot. Like a lot a lot. These two have consistently ranked among the best with good performance, efficient power, and comfortability. So let’s break down these two juggernauts a little and figure out which one is best for you and your family.

Cabin and Cargo Space: CR-V vs. RAV4

One of the main reasons you upgrade to a compact SUV is because you want all the benefits of a car with the added storage of an SUV. Everyone wants to have their cake and eat it too, and with the new Honda CR-V (or the RAV4), you can absolutely do just that! While these two are similar in size (both being compact SUVs), the CR-V slightly beats out the RAV4 in indoor cabin space. The CR-V has an improbable amount of space inside, especially considering its length of 182 inches (just over 15 feet). The new Honda CR-V has comparable front seat space to the Toyota RAV4, but shows its true colors when you move towards the back. With over 40 inches of leg room in the back (compared to 37.8” from the RAV4), all 5 passengers will feel the same amount of comfort as the driver. Which is huge when you’re the middle child in a family of five… I know from experience.

Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4 | Stevenson Honda Wilmington

When we look at cargo space between the two, we see a similar story. While both of these SUVs have 60/40 fold flat seating in the second row, the CR-V offers more space with these seats up or down. The cargo volume of the Honda CR-V is 39.2 cubic feet (compared to the RAV4’s 37.6 cu. ft.) behind the back row and a wildly impressive 75.8 cubic feet of space when the seats are folded flat. That makes the new Honda CR-V the second most spacious cargo area among compact SUVs (Toyota ranks sixth). So, whether you want to pile the whole family in and pack the back with all the kids baseball gear, or ride solo to help your buddy move all of his stuff across Wilmington, the clear winner in this category is the Honda CR-V.

Honda CR-V Seating | Stevenson Honda Wilmington

Performance: CR-V vs. RAV4

When it comes to performance, these two SUVs are much closer in comparison. The new Honda CR-V comes with a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with 190 horsepower, while the Toyota RAV4 comes equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 horsepower. As you can see, not too much to separate the two. Both of these compact SUVs have a 1500 lbs. towing capacity that’s perfect for hooking the jet skis up to the trailer and taking a long weekend at the beach. On top of that, both models have extraordinary fuel economy ratings with the CR-V getting a whopping 28 / 34 / 30 mpg (City/Hwy/Combined) and the RAV4 getting an average of 27 / 35 / 30 mpg. When we look at reliability of both vehicles, J.D. Power rates the CR-V as a more reliable SUV than the RAV4, although the warranties on both vehicles are similar with 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty and a 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty. So, when it comes to performance, it looks like a tie between the two. The new Honda CR-V has great reliability and compares pretty equally to the Toyota RAV4.

Safety: CR-V vs. RAV4

If there is one thing that is important to every family in this country, its safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded both the 2021 Honda CR-V and the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Top Safety Picks. The highest rating that the IIHS gives on a test is a G (for Good), and both vehicles received a G-rating in six crash tests. They also both were awarded a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Honda has managed to keep the CR-V in the top-tier of safety through innovations. Some of the best standard safety features on this year’s model include a Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control, Multi-Angle Rearview Camera, and a Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS). With all of these features coming standard on the 2021 Honda CR-V, you can have the peace of mind that everyone in the car is safe. So, when it comes to safety, the CR-V has the slight edge.

Which Compact SUV is the Overall Winner: The New Honda CR-V

Surprise-surprise, the overall winner between these two insanely popular SUVs is… the new Honda CR-V! With all the features that come standard with all trim levels, coupled with the impressive amount of cabin space for all your passenger and cargo needs, there are so many reasons why the CR-V really is the perfect compact SUV in a crowded field of great compact SUVs. So, contact us today and our team can get you set up in your new Honda CR-V. Come in to Stevenson Hendrick Honda in Wilmington and see for yourself why this SUV is one of the most popular models to ever be produced.

MPG Disclaimer: Based on EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition, and other factors