Today’s crossover SUV segment is one of the most crowded in the automotive space, as seemingly every automaker has at least a handful of these models. Two great examples of quality SUVs are the 2023 Toyota RAV4 and 2023 Honda CR-V. Can’t decide between these two? Our Toyota RAV4 vs Honda CR-V head-to-head review may help clear things up for you.
First impressions are critical, and where does this start with a vehicle? The exterior, of course. Let’s look at each vehicle and see how they stand out and share similarities on the outside.
The Toyota RAV4 features a sportier and more rugged design thanks to its wider stance, bolder body lines, and upright styling. Up front, a bold grille and lower fascia give it an aggressive and ready-for-anything look. The RAV4 also has more ground clearance than the CR-V (211 to 216 mm versus 198 to 208 mm), giving it an edge in off-road adventures. Additionally, the RAV4 comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, giving it a great look.
The Honda CR-V has a more classic design that features a sleek front fascia and a streamlined silhouette. Its smaller grille is subtler than the RAV4's, making its design more refined and sophisticated.
The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V include LED headlights, daytime running lights, and taillights. The RAV4 goes a bit further by adding LED fog lights for improved visibility in adverse weather conditions.
As for sheer size, the Toyota RAV4 checks in at 4,596 to 4,611 mm long and 1,854 mm wide, while the CR-V is slightly larger at 4,960 mm long and 1,940 mm wide. The RAV4’s smaller size may come in handy if you encounter frequent city traffic.
Overall, the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V have exterior features that make them stand out. It ultimately comes down to personal preference and what you value most in a car's exterior design.
The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V have similar interior materials and options, including comfortable and easy-to-clean standard cloth seating and six-way manual driver's seats. Both models also include standard heated front seats and 60/40 split-folding rear seats for added flexibility.
The CR-V sets itself apart with optional leather-trimmed seats, while the RAV4’s top-level seating surface is synthetic leather. Both models offer optional ventilated seats for warmer summer days.
As for styling, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 share surprisingly similar looks. Both feature a dash-top infotainment touchscreen, a centre-console-mounted gear shifter, and a three-post steering wheel. The RAV4 shows off its more rugged side with a blocker dash and knurled knobs for enhanced grip.
Finally, both vehicles have plenty of storage space for all your gear. The RAV4's cargo area checks in at 1,059 litres with the rear seats upright and 1,977 with the rear seats folded. This is plenty for hauling luggage, groceries, and other items. The CR-V's cargo area is slightly roomier, thanks to its larger footprint. It rings in at 1,113 litres with the rear seats upright and 2,166 litres with them folded. If cargo room is your deciding factor, the CR-V may be the way to go.
As for the rear seats, the CR-V comes out on top again. Its rear seats are very spacious, offering 970 mm of headroom 1,042 mm of legroom. The RAV4 is also roomy, with 1,001 to 1,060 mm of headroom and 960 mm of legroom. Depending on what’s more important to you, headroom or legroom, it’s a tossup as to which model is best for you.
The Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V are popular SUVs today, and each has several powertrain options to fit a range of driving needs. Let's take a closer look at their engines and transmissions.
The Toyota RAV4 comes standard with a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine, producing 203 horsepower (hp) and 184 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque. This engine pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth and responsive shifts. The RAV4 comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD) for those slippery Canadian winters.
This standard powertrain delivers decent fuel economy at 7.9 to 8.5 L/100 km combined. Most RAV4 models can tow up to 680 kg, but the more rugged Trail trim bumps the towing capacity to 1,588 kg.
If you're looking for even better fuel efficiency, opt for the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid model. The hybrid model uses a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and an electric motor to produce a combined 219 horsepower. It also has an electronic continuously variable transmission (ECVT) and AWD.
With an estimated 6 L/100 km combined, the RAV4 hybrid is one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs. This thrifty hybrid SUV can tow up to 794 kg.
Finally, the RAV4 lineup also offers a plug-in hybrid variant, the Toyota RAV4 Prime. With its 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine and electric motor, the RAV4 Prime delivers a combined 302 hp and a 1,134-kg towing capacity.
On a full charge, the RAV4 Prime can drive up to 68 km on electricity alone and delivers a 2.5 Le/100 km fuel-consumption rating. Once you deplete the battery, the RAV4 Prime delivers 6 L/100 km combined.
The Honda CR-V’s base powertrain includes a 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder engine with 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The CR-V comes standard with FWD and has optional AWD for those seeking optimal traction in the snow and ice.
The base CR-V delivers 7.8 L/100 km combined, and adding AWD increases that to 8.4 L/100 km. This model also delivers up to a 680-kg towing capacity.
If fuel efficiency is your focus, the CR-V also has a hybrid option. The Honda CR-V Hybrid features a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and two electric motors that combine for 212 hp. This power flows through an electronic continuously variable transmission (e-CVT) and to all four wheels.
With an estimated 6.4 L/100 km combined fuel-consumption rating, the CR-V hybrid is also one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs on the market. You lose a little in towing, though, as it maxes out at just 453 kg.
The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V offer similar power and fuel economy in their traditional and hybrid powertrains, but the RAV4 will work best for those looking to tow. Also, for drivers looking for a more spirited driving experience or even better fuel economy, the RAV4 Prime stands out from the crowd.
The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V are both top-notch in the safety department. Both vehicles have earned high safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but one stands out with a special honour from the IIHS.
The 2023 Toyota RAV4 features the standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.5 system. This robust collection of advanced safety technology includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and oncoming traffic detection, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and more. On top of all this, the RAV4 has eight airbags throughout the cabin to protect passengers in a crash.
All this and “Good” crash test ratings earned the 2023 Toyota RAV4 the IIHS Top Safety Pick award — the second-highest honour.
The Honda CR-V has its own collection of advanced safety gear called the Honda Sensing system. This collection of stay-safe equipment includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, traffic sign recognition, and more. The CR-V includes six airbags throughout the vehicle and a rearview camera to assist with parking and backing up.
All this earns the 2023 Honda CR-V the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, the institute’s highest honour.
Overall, the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V are among the safest SUVs on the market. They have all the advanced safety tech you need and the strong structure to keep you safe. However, the CR-V weeks out a slight win with the higher award from the IIHS.
Cars are now packed with technology, and the RAV4 and CR-V are no exceptions. Let’s check out all the high-tech features these compact SUVs offer.
When you peek at the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V’s technology, you’ll see some similarities between these small SUVs. Both models feature standard Bluetooth, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which allow you to access all your favourite smartphone apps, such as navigation, streaming audio, and more, right from the infotainment screen.
The infotainment screen is where they differ, as the RAV4 has a standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, whereas the Honda’s standard touchscreen is only 7 inches. You can upgrade to a 9-inch touchscreen in the CR-V, but this again falls short of the RAV4’s optional 10.5-inch touchscreen.
The RAV4 also features Amazon Alexa integration, allowing you to control certain vehicle features, such as locking and unlocking the doors or starting the engine, using voice commands.
Other desirable tech standard features in the RAV4 include five USB ports, an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM, a 7-inch multi-information display (MID), and more. Buyers can upgrade and add things like dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12.3-inch MID, an 11-speaker JBL audio system, and more.
The CR-V’s no slouch either, as its standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, two USB ports, and more. Buyers can also add options like SiriusXM, eight- or 12-speaker audio systems, HD Radio, rear USB charging ports, a wireless charging pad, and more.
The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V offer great technology, but the RAV4 has a slight advantage in its standard equipment.
Finally, we’ve got to discuss one of the most important factor for many car buyers, pricing.
The Toyota RAV4 starts at $35,874.50, while the hybrid model starts at $38,134.50. The RAV4 Prime rings in with a base MSRP of $53,234.50.
The 2023 Honda CR-V starts at $36,355, and the hybrid model starts from $51,005. The hybrid is so costly because it’s only available in the CR-V’s range-topping Touring trim.
Overall, the 2023 RAV4 certainly has value on its side, particularly in the hybrid model. However, the price and feature gaps are thin enough in the traditional models to make this a tossup.
The used market is the way to go if you’re looking for the ultimate value. Because the RAV4 and CR-V are popular models, you’ll find plenty of pre-owned inventory at great prices.
You can find a used Toyota RAV4 or used Honda CR-V starting a few thousand dollars under the new MSRP.
So, which comes out on top in the Honda CR-V vs Toyota RAV4 head-to-head battle? They are so closely matched that it depends mostly on your preferences. No matter which model you choose, you’ll drive home in a great crossover with lots of features, legendary reliability, and top-notch safety.
You can add to that value by purchasing a quality used Toyota RAV4 or used Honda CR-V from Clutch, Canada’s premier online automotive retailer. Rest assured you’ll get only the highest-quality pre-owned SUVs from Clutch, as every vehicle we sell includes a 90-day or 6,000-km warranty and a 10-day or 750-km test-own period. If you don’t love your used SUV from Clutch within the test-own period, you can exchange it or return it, no questions asked. Plus, the Clutch experience is 100% online, so there’s no need to set foot in a dealership. We’ll even drop the vehicle off for you.
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Need financing, Clutch can connect you with financing after filling out our online financing application. It doesn’t get much easier than this.