2020 Toyota Rav4 vs. 2020 Honda HR-V

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Rav4 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The HR-V doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Rav4 (except LE/XLE) offers optional Rear Cross-Traffic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The HR-V doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Rav4 Adventure/Limited AWD/TRD Off-Road’s standard Downhill Assist Control allows you to creep down safely. The HR-V doesn’t offer Downhill Assist Control.

The Rav4 Limited/TRD Off-Road offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The HR-V only offers a rear monitor.

To help make backing safer, the Rav4’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The HR-V doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Rav4’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The HR-V doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Rav4 has standard Safety Connect™, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The HR-V 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 Rav4 and the HR-V 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 and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Rav4 for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the HR-V.

There are over 18 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Honda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Rav4’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Honda is ranked 12th.

Engine

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The Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 62 more horsepower (203 vs. 141) and 57 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 127) than the HR-V’s 1.8 SOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota Rav4 is faster than the Honda HR-V:

Rav4

HR-V

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

10.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.5 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

18.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88 MPH

81.1 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Rav4

FWD

XLE 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

28 city/35 hwy

LE/Limited 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/35 hwy

AWD

LE 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/34 hwy

XLE 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/33 hwy

Adventure/Limited 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/33 hwy

TRD Off-Road 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

25 city/32 hwy

HR-V

FWD

1.8 SOHC 4-cyl.

28 city/34 hwy

AWD

LX 1.8 SOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/31 hwy

1.8 SOHC 4-cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Rav4 LE AWD/XLE/XLE Premium’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The HR-V doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Rav4 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the HR-V (14.5 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Rav4

HR-V

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.5 inches

The Rav4 stops much shorter than the HR-V:

Rav4

HR-V

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Rav4 has larger standard tires than the HR-V (225/65R17 vs. 215/55R17). The Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the HR-V (235/55R19 vs. 215/55R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited has standard 19-inch wheels. The HR-V’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Toyota Rav4 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Honda HR-V has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Rav4 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Rav4 flat and controlled during cornering. The HR-V 4x2 suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Rav4’s wheelbase is 3.1 inches longer than on the HR-V (105.9 inches vs. 102.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Rav4 is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the HR-V.

The Rav4’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the HR-V’s (59.6% to 40.4%). This gives the Rav4 more stable handling and braking.

The Rav4 Adventure handles at .84 G’s, while the HR-V EX-L AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Rav4 Adventure executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the HR-V EX-L AWD (27.5 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Rav4 LE/XLE’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the HR-V’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Rav4 LE/XLE has a 1.7 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the HR-V (8.4 vs. 6.7 inches), allowing the Rav4 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Rav4 XLE Premium/Limited/Adventure/TRD Off-Road’s minimum ground clearance is 1.9 inches higher than on the HR-V (8.6 vs. 6.7 inches).

Chassis

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

Passenger Space

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The Rav4 has 1.2 inches more front hip room, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, .3 inches more rear hip room and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the HR-V.

Cargo Capacity

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The Rav4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the HR-V with its rear seat up (37.6 vs. 24.3 cubic feet). The Rav4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the HR-V with its rear seat folded (69.8 vs. 58.8 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Rav4 (except LE) offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or, optionally on the Rav4 Limited, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The HR-V doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The Rav4 has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The HR-V has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Rav4 offers a 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 HR-V doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the Rav4 (except LE/XLE/Adventure/TRD Off-Road), the optional memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The HR-V doesn’t offer memory seats.

The power windows standard on both the Rav4 and the HR-V have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Rav4 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The HR-V prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Rav4’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The HR-V’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Rav4 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. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the HR-V can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Rav4 XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited/TRD Off-Road’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The HR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Rav4 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The HR-V doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Rav4 and the HR-V offer available heated front seats. The Rav4 Limited also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the HR-V.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Rav4 Adventure/Limited/TRD Off-Road keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The HR-V doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Rav4 XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited/TRD Off-Road’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The HR-V doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Rav4 has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The HR-V doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Rav4 XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited/TRD Off-Road’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The HR-V doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Rav4 and the HR-V offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Rav4 XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited/TRD Off-Road has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The HR-V doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Rav4 Adventure/TRD Off-Road has a 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The HR-V doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Rav4 is less expensive to operate than the HR-V because typical repairs cost less on the Rav4 than the HR-V, including $100 less for a muffler, $128 less for a starter, $86 less for front struts and $186 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/05/30

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Toyota Rav4 and the Honda HR-V, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Toyota Rav4 outsold the Honda HR-V by over five to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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