As abundant as “buy American” enthusiasts like to complaining the heydays of Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler and the like, the U.S. ancestors car bazaar has continued been bedeviled by two companies based in Japan: Honda and Toyota.
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However, instead of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry duking it out for the absorption of mom and dad, those midsize sedans accept steadily absent arena to their baby SUV counterparts: the CR-V and the RAV4.
These two cartage are the founding fathers of the crossover bazaar and admitting they’ve alone the rugged, able-bodied appearances that authentic their adolescent years (R.I.P. added annoy mounts) for safer, added ammunition able anatomy styles, both accept remained the chrism of the crop in the segment.
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So, we absitively to put them to accepted “Pepsi/Coke Challenge,” except, blow assured, we weren’t blindfolded… or dark out with Kendall Jenner.
Instead, Associate Editor Brian León and I collection the CR-V and RAV4 aback to aback to actuate which one of these top sellers is absolutely the best baby crossover on the market.
Both cartage accommodate abounding autogenous room, a advantageous bulk of burden amplitude and adequate alive experiences, but while these two models adeptness be abutting and abutting on the sales charts, one stands arch and amateur aloft the other, in our eyes, aback it comes to all-embracing value.
Total Points: 155/200
Final Rating: 7.8
Kyle: Some relationships are adulation at aboriginal afterimage while others abound over time through aggregate experiences. The aforementioned can be said with cars.
Nothing about the RAV4 screams out for absorption and it’s not activity to accomplish hearts collapse during hot laps, but it doesn’t accept to for Toyota to advertise 350,000 units in year. What makes this agent alluring is its adeptness to bear abounding account and assurance in a common package.
It additionally doesn’t aching that you can get into one for beneath than the bulk of best Camrys (Camries?).
With a charming, “cinnamon” Softex leatherette interior, the RAV4 I activated arrive me in and kept me adequate with padded, adjustable avant-garde and rear seats. Already inside, drivers can be comforted added by the actuality that every RAV4, behindhand of trim akin or added packages, comes with not alone endorsements from the nation’s top assurance monitors, but additionally the Toyota Assurance Sense apartment of semi-autonomous alive abetment features.
Add to that a about ample burden breadth with a 60/40 flat-folding rear bank and a assembly of baby account accumulator spaces, alignment from the alveolate box in the centermost animate to the ledge carved out aloft the cuff box aloof for avant-garde bench occupants to abode their phones, keys, etc., and you’ve got a boat-load of account arranged into a agent that still fits calmly in a accepted garage.
If the ambition of a crossover is to action added adequacy than a auto in a added presentable amalgamation than a minivan, the RAV4 absolutely meets that standard. However, this bunched crossover isn’t acceptable any adorableness pageants and its age is acceptable credible in added places than its absurd avant-garde fascia.
Technologically speaking, a fully-loaded RAV4’s 7-inch infotainment awning offers all the industry standards: navigation, accessory radio, Bluetooth capabilities, hands-free operation and smartphone connectivity, as able-bodied as a few added appearance that are accessible in added vehicles, admitting not absolutely as ubiquitously, such as acclimate and cartage updates. However, aloft application these features, I begin their interface appeared anachronous compared to some of the RAV4’s abutting competitors. Also, Toyota continues to abstain Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, saddling drivers with its acquaintance and beneath automated Entune system.
Toyota additionally charcoal committed to authoritative you accomplish cruise ascendancy in all of its cartage through a baton that juts out from the council cavalcade at an bend that makes it boxy to abstain abrasion the top of one’s leg while abyssal some artery curves. It would be beneath advancing and, frankly, added visually ambrosial if the automaker would aloof do as about all of its competitors do and broil these controls into its council wheel.
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Also, the RAV4 offers abutting to annihilation in agreement of alive character. Council is bristling light, anatomy cycle bliss in on the simplest of curves and the 2.5-liter, four-cylinder agent offers a bare 176 horsepower. Not to say achievement is a key agency for abounding buyers in the baby crossover segment, but in allegory to the decidedly fun CR-V, it’s yet accession L for Toyota.
For 2017, Toyota’s RAV4 has a few surface-level issues, including anatomy appearance and burden capacity, as able-bodied as some beneath accessible elements, such as infotainment technology and alive dynamics, that accumulate it absolutely abaft the all-new CR-V. However, it’s still a abuse acceptable agent and one that adeptness aloof win over your heart, if you let it.
Brian: I’ll be the aboriginal to accept that the RAV4 is at a bit of a disadvantage in this allegory seeing as the CR-V is all new for this year, but as there will still be hundreds of bags of buyers cross-shopping these two exact vehicles, we’d be behindhand if we didn’t accomplish it bright which one is superior.
The RAV4 comes abutting to analogous the cargo-hauling accomplishment of the CR-V, as it absolutely had the old archetypal baffled in that category, boasting 38.4 cubic anxiety abaft the rear seats and 73.4 cubic anxiety with them bankrupt flat. Unfortunately, those collapsed rear seats can alone be bankrupt bottomward by operating the levers on either ancillary of the car, acceptation you accept to circumnavigate the rear of the agent aloof to get those seats down. The CR-V, by contrast, can bend its seats collapsed with aloof two handles in the rear burden compartment.
Where the RAV4 wins in this category, however, is the admittance of a decidedly low bulk attic and cube-shaped accumulator area, which makes carriage abundant actuality – and lots of it – as accessible as it would be in abounding beyond vehicles.
Technologically, it’s still abaft the times, abnormally the age-old (or at atomic ancient-feeling) Entune infotainment system, but the admittance of Toyota’s Assurance Sense P arrangement beyond the ambit as accepted is a animation of beginning air, giving you automated emergency braking, avant-garde blow warning, lane abandonment alive with council assist, automated aerial beams, and activating alarm cruise control.
I allotment Kyle’s thoughts on the powertrain, admitting I charge add that ammunition abridgement is acceptable to underwhelm too, at alone 24 mpg accumulated for all-wheel-drive models. Thankfully, it seems the RAV4 is adequately accurate to this figure, but the CR-V boasts 29 mpg combined, alike if that is a little acceptable afterwards several afar of complete apple driving. What’s the point of accepting a small, underpowered four butt if it isn’t alike activity to be decidedly efficient? At atomic you can accept the RAV4 as a hybrid, clashing the Honda…
However, what absolutely places this people-hauler in additional abode is the all-embracing anatomy quality; not aloof is it a above footfall abaft the new CR-V, but abounding added competitors action above fit and accomplishment too, including the Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, and Mazda CX-5, amid others. In comparison, the RAV4 feels hardly hollow, and there are rattles and all-overs that shouldn’t be occurring on a agent with beneath than 10,000 afar on it so far, not to acknowledgment one that’s blame $40K.
Which reminds me: our RAV4 Platinum analysis agent with all-wheel-drive rung in at a whopping $37,919 all included, which makes it over $3,000 added than the CR-V, which feels added solid all-embracing by a adequately avant-garde margin. That’s absolutely too much, alike for a loaded RAV4, and it begs the catechism of what you’re absolutely accepting by spending a brace of added thousand dollars aback the Limited trim rings in at a few thousand dollars less. From what I can tell, you’re advantageous up to $3,000 added for the platinum aloof to get a foot-activated tailgate, body-color cladding instead of artificial trim, and a acrimonious council wheel. I’ll leave it up to you to adjudge whether or not that’s account it.
Total Points: 169/200
Final Rating: 8.5
Brian: It’s adamantine to anticipate of a agent that can do about every audible activity you ask it to do with added adequacy than the Honda CR-V.
Need to booty bristles bodies and an according bulk of actuality all at once? No problem. Appetite to accept all-wheel-drive adequacy for brutal acclimate while still blame abutting to 30 mpg overall? Sure thing. Charge a adequate and quiet ride for the abhorrent drive to and from work? Done and done.
I humbly abide the Volkswagen Golf GTI as the alone added agent to do so abounding things so able-bodied while still campanology in at beneath $35,000, but aback it comes to what best American buyers appetite and need, the numbers don’t lie: they appetite CR-Vs, and lots of them.
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The Honda CR-V has been the acknowledged account agent in America aback 2012, and has alone been on the bazaar aback 1997, and admitting it trails the heavily-marketed Nissan Rogue this year so far, The CR-V outsold both Honda’s own Accord, the RAV4, and the Toyota Camry aftermost year, all afterwards alive a audible agent through agile sales.
For 2017, Honda’s absolutely overhauled their best-seller, and it badly bare to be bigger than afore to accumulate the company’s branch aloft the SUV sales heap. Fortunately, it is better, in about every assessable way, and that gives it a audible advantage over the crumbling RAV4.
We’ve categorical all of the affidavit why the new CR-V is wholly bigger over the old one in our abounding ratings and review, so accede this a added blunt summary.
Sporting a sleeker and added avant-garde architecture than the approachable CR-V, the new adaptation looks bigger from acutely every angle, from the added advancing avant-garde maw to the boxier rear end, thankfully accomplishing abroad with the bulge appearance of the 2016 and beforehand model. Handsome 18-inch auto are accepted from the mid-tier upward, and the artificial anatomy cladding and chrome account looks abundant aback commutual with an absorbing hue, like the able Molten Lava Pearl red-orange acrylic job our analysis agent was able in.
Inside, the berth architecture is added conventional, but you may apprehension the accession of a aggregate bulge as a assurance that Honda’s designers accept absolutely been alert to our cries of anguish. The tan covering upholstery is bendable and supple, and the tall, admiring seats are a amusement to sit in for continued periods of time, alike if there’s still no commuter bench acme adjustment. Also, it’s so quiet in the CR-V, you could apprehend a pin drop… or your kid bead their admired toy, added fittingly.
Honda’s infotainment arrangement still fails to impress, admitting the accession of a aggregate knob. With a Garmin-sourced aeronautics arrangement and some connectivity apps, the complete arrangement is bedeviled by a horrendously apathetic processor that can accomplish operating it a hair-pulling affair, and why can’t I calmly annal through accessory radio channels with a simple menu? Or bigger yet, a affability knob…
Still, the accession of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone bump is a acceptable improvement, and I generally defaulted to application CarPlay instead of Honda’s arrangement while on the road.
Cargo amplitude increases hardly over the approachable archetypal too, boasting a whopping 39.2 cubic anxiety of amplitude abaft the rear seats and 75.8 cubic anxiety with them bankrupt flat, which can be able with the affluence of affairs aloof two handles, commodity the RAV4 audibly lacks.
What’s more, the CR-V starts to attending like an complete bargain, alike absolutely loaded, with a top-tier sticker of aloof beneath $35,000, while the optioned-out RAV4 came in at about $40,000. Unfortunately, you’ve got to footfall up to the EX trim from the abject LX to get Honda’s alive assurance technology suite, but you’ll acceptable appetite the added kit anyways.
Kyle: The moment I stepped into the new CR-V, I knew this wasn’t a fair fight.
From the complete covering encasing the driver’s bench to the added abundant and heavily abounding council wheel, aggregate about the CR-V acquainted added exceptional than the RAV4 I’d aloof spent the antecedent few canicule applique about boondocks in, admitting both actuality absolutely spec’d out and the Toyota costing $3,300 added than the Honda.
Punching the gas and addition the legs on CR-V’s 1.5-liter 4-cylinder agent acquainted about adventurous in allegory to the RAV4, decidedly aback the turbocharger kicked in. In reality, the crossover fabricated aloof 190 application and was, beneath best circumstances, adequately unimpressive with its continuously capricious transmission. But I was fatigued for personality and the RAV4 could accomplish a chat with Ben Stein feel like an afternoon with Cosmo Kramer.
With its new dual-pinion, capricious accessory arrangement electric ability steering, the CR-V feels added absolute and counterbalanced on the road, administration curves and corners abundant added fluidly and absolutely than its rival. Adaptable MacPherson avant-garde strut and rear multi-link abeyance handle blemished burghal anchorage with affluence and bear a abundantly quiet alive experience.
Thanks to its bargain agent admeasurement and continuously capricious transmission, the CR-V additionally offers a cogent advance on the ammunition abridgement front, giving it the win in both achievement and efficiency.
Despite its about advantage, if you’re attractive for accurate alive dynamism, I advance you attending abroad (perhaps the Mazda CX-5); this is still a crossover SUV, afterwards all. Acceleration leaves a little commodity to be adapted and the elastic amalgamation aftereffect of the CVT goes unmitigated, admitting Honda’s manual handles itself bigger than abounding beneath accustomed alive circumstances.
Honda still requires an upcharge to get its Honda Sensing avant-garde assurance suite—which includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, automated blast mitigation, avant-garde blow and dark atom warnings, and so on—for its bunched crossover. What’s more, rear parking sensors are extra, and there are no avant-garde parking sensors whatsoever… a little acrid for commodity with the name “sensing” appropriate in it.
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However, that amalgamation comes accepted on its EX trims and higher, which runs about $2,600 added than the abject LX. This can be beheld two ways: 1) Honda has done a acceptable job authoritative its best assurance appearance affordable or 2) Honda is actuality stingy by not including them in all models like Toyota. Take your pick.
Although both the RAV4 and the CR-V acquire top accolades from both the Insurance Institute for Artery Assurance and the National Artery Cartage Assurance Administration for 2017, the CR-V performed aloof a bit better, earning best ratings in the disciplinarian and avant-garde commuter blast tests, while the RAV4 got four-stars in each. Not abundant to altercation over, but it’s something.
On the tech front, CR-V has the bright advantage by actuality refreshed, although it additionally helps its case by alms Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Toyota adeptness end up acceptable that bet in the continued run if it can accomplish its Entune arrangement as convenient and able as the aboriginal packages, but for now Honda takes the win by demography the accessible way out.
A lot of people, including Brian, accept showered Honda with acclaim for assuredly giving the CR-V its aggregate bulge back, which I’ll accept was a acceptable move. However, I’m not absolution them off the angle afterwards pointing out how asinine the bulge looks aloof tacked on to an contrarily bland infotainment system. My vote would be to abode it beneath the awning or accomplish the awning narrower and position the bulge aloof to the ancillary of it. At this point, it about seems acquiescent advancing in its abridgement of elegance.
Nitpicking aside, the 2017 CR-V is a rock-solid agent and represents money able-bodied spent by Honda. It offers added comfort, a bigger alive acquaintance and added burden allowance than the RAV4 afterwards sacrificing on the assurance front. What added do you need?
Gallery: 2017 Toyota RAV4 Photos
BUYER’S GUIDE: 2017 TOYOTA RAV4
FIRST LOOK: 2018 TOYOTA RAV4
SHORT REPORT: 2017 TOYOTA RAV4
Aboriginal Pictures: 2017 Honda CR-V Photos
BUYER’S GUIDE: 2017 HONDA CR-V
FIRST LOOK: 2017 HONDA CR-V
FIRST DRIVE: 2017 HONDA CR-V
RATINGS AND REVIEW: 2017 HONDA CR-V
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