Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4

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Automotive Editor

Cynthia Gast is an automotive writer with a lifelong interest in how things work, including cars. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading the works of other writers, visiting historic sites, quilting, going to the drag races, and, of course, figuring out how things work.

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, Automotive Editor - November 14, 2013

Perennially among the top-selling compact SUVs in the U.S., the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4 offer buyers many similarities. While lists of standard equipment are not identical, they both include most of the items that consumers look for in these family-oriented vehicles. Cargo capacity? Nearly the same, with the RAV4 edging out the CR-V by about 3.5 cubic feet. Ease of driving? Both get good reviews for agile steering and ease of parking. Is there anything that sets one of these SUVs apart? We take a look to find out.

See a side-by-side comparison of the CR-V & RAV4>>

What the Honda CR-V Gets Right

Among the features owners like in the CR-V is its easy convertibility from a five-passenger vehicle with some cargo space to a two-passenger vehicle with a lot of cargo capacity. The rear seat comes equipped with an auto-fold mechanism that lowers the seat back with just a flip of a lever in the cargo bay. Inside the cabin, there are also numerous storage spots, including a front-seat center console large enough to hide a large purse.

Parents ferrying children to school and activities also appreciate the CR-V’s overall five-star rating in government crash tests, along with Honda’s long-standing reputation for reliability.

What the Toyota RAV4 Gets Right

When the RAV4 got a makeover in 2013, Toyota included several of the newest safety technologies, including blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic warning systems as available options on the top Limited trim level. (They aren’t available at all on the CR-V.)

The redesign also switched the rear door to a liftgate and added a height-adjustable version as standard on the Limited trim.

Which Is Better?

These two SUVs are so similar that what makes one seem better to a buyer may boil down to brand preference. Some reviews say that the RAV4 still feels a bit more truck-like than the CR-V, so city drivers may prefer the Honda although both handle urban driving chores with ease. On the other hand, the RAV4 offers some newer technology than the CR-V as well as an available JBL sound system with 11 speakers.

Our Verdict: Honda CR-V

Honda’s reputation and the company’s ability to give most consumers exactly what they want propels the CR-V to the top.

Take a closer look at the Honda CR-V >>

Take a closer look at the Toyota RAV4 >>

, Automotive Editor

Cynthia Gast is an automotive writer with a lifelong interest in how things work, including cars. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading the works of other writers, visiting historic sites, quilting, going to the drag races, and, of course, figuring out how things work.

Follow On: Google+ | Website

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