2019 Honda CR-V vs. 2018 Toyota Rav4

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Compared to metal, the CR-V’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Rav4 has a metal gas tank.

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring has standard HondaLink Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the CR-V and the Rav4 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear cross-path warning and driver alert monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Honda CR-V is safer than the Toyota Rav4:

 

CR-V

Rav4

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

220

279

Neck Injury Risk

23%

35.8%

Neck Stress

194 lbs.

505 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

58/91 lbs.

502/540 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

283

388

Neck Injury Risk

29%

37.3%

Neck Stress

124 lbs.

236 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

183/200 lbs.

396/219 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Honda CR-V is safer than the Toyota Rav4:

 

CR-V

Rav4

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

137

168

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.6 inches

Abdominal Force

130 G’s

163 G’s

Hip Force

354 lbs.

381 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

125

189

Spine Acceleration

53 G’s

54 G’s

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

15 inches

HIC

390

427

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V third among compact suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Rav4 isn’t in the top three.

Engine

The CR-V LX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 8 more horsepower (184 vs. 176) and 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (180 vs. 172) than the Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 14 more horsepower (190 vs. 176) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (179 vs. 172) than the Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Honda CR-V is faster than the Toyota Rav4:

 

CR-V LX

CR-V 1.5T

Rav4

Zero to 60 MPH

7.7 sec

7.5 sec

9.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16 sec

15.8 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.4 MPH

89 MPH

82.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CR-V gets better fuel mileage than the Rav4:

 

 

 

MPG

CR-V

 

FWD

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/32 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

28 city/34 hwy

 

AWD

2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

25 city/31 hwy

 

 

1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

Rav4

 

FWD

LE/XLE/Adventure 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/30 hwy

 

 

SE/Limited/Platinum 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

 

AWD

2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

The CR-V has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The CR-V has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the CR-V’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the Rav4:

 

CR-V

Rav4

Front Rotors

11.1 inches

10.8 inches

The CR-V stops much shorter than the Rav4:

 

CR-V

Rav4

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

146 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CR-V has larger tires than the Rav4 (235/65R17 vs. 225/65R17).

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the CR-V is 1.4 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Rav4.

The CR-V Touring AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Rav4 SE 4WD pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The CR-V LX executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Rav4 XLE (27.7 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the CR-V has a 2.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Rav4 (8.2 vs. 6.1 inches), allowing the CR-V to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The CR-V’s minimum ground clearance is 1.7 inches higher than on the Rav4 SE/Adventure (8.2 vs. 6.5 inches).

Chassis

The front grille of the CR-V uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Rav4 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The CR-V uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Rav4 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the CR-V Touring AWD is quieter than the Rav4 SE 4WD (40 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space

The CR-V has 4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Rav4 (105.9 vs. 101.9).

The CR-V has .3 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom, 3.2 inches more rear legroom, .6 inches more rear hip room and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Rav4.

Cargo Capacity

The CR-V has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Rav4 with its rear seat up (39.2 vs. 38.4 cubic feet). The CR-V has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Rav4 with its rear seat folded (75.8 vs. 73.4 cubic feet).

The CR-V’s cargo area is larger than the Rav4’s in almost every dimension:

 

CR-V

Rav4

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37.5”/71”

37”/74.1”

Max Width

54”

52.5”

Min Width

41.5”

43.2”

Height

41”

37”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CR-V’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Rav4 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the CR-V. The Rav4 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

While the Rav4 SE is not recommended to tow, any CR-V can tow a minimum of 1500 pounds.

Servicing Ease

The CR-V has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Rav4 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Rav4 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The CR-V EX-L/Touring’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Rav4 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The CR-V’s standard driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the switch, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Rav4’s standard power window’s switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully. The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s front power windows open fully with one touch of the switches, and its driver’s window also automatically closes. With the Rav4 XLE/Adventure/SE/Limited/Platinum’s power windows, only the driver’s window opens or closes automatically.

If the windows are left open on the CR-V the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Rav4 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The CR-V Touring’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Rav4 XLE/SE/Limited/Platinum/Adventure’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The CR-V’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Rav4’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

Both the CR-V and the Rav4 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the CR-V has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Rav4 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the CR-V owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CR-V will cost $185 less than the Rav4 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CR-V is less expensive to operate than the Rav4 because it costs $459 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CR-V than the Rav4, including $64 less for a water pump, $43 less for front brake pads, $90 less for a fuel pump and $656 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Honda CR-V has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

CR-V

Rav4

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

TRUE

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V first among compact suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Rav4 isn’t in the top three.

The CR-V was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 17 years. The Rav4 hasn’t been picked since 2008.

Motor Trend selected the CR-V as their 2018 Sport Utility of the Year. The Rav4 has never been chosen.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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