2017 Honda CR-V vs Toyota RAV4: Looks, Feel, Drive

There are so many options for SUVs in the market at the moment, and in the next few years the choices would be even more maddening. In spite of that, there aren’t any more reliable picks than the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

Three areas that matter most when comparing these two options are how they look, how they drive, and how much they consume. In regard to safety, both the CR-V and RAV4 are among the top-rated nameplates as per the NHTSA and IIHS.

Judging by their looks, the CR-V finally catches up with the RAV4 as it moves into its fifth-gen model in 2017. It gets rid of unnecessary visual clutter and adopts a sportier demeanor.

The fundamental design language of Toyota which sees its vehicles wear a mean, perennial scowl comes with the risk of the automaker going overboard with some of its designs, such as the Prius and C-HR. So it’s nice to see that the RAV4 is fairly stripped down in that department.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Between the two, the CR-V is newer, so it would be a major letdown if the Honda best-seller doesn’t have a more impressive cabin than the RAV4. From the digital instrument cluster to the more refined infotainment panel, the CR-V is clearly superior to its long-standing rival.

It also has better cargo space, though not any better in terms of rear occupant space. Let’s not forget that Honda has now included Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support to its mid-sizer. We wonder if Toyota would ever get on board this tech train.

As for driving pleasure, there’s a clear winner here. The 1.5L turbo-four adapted from the Civic helps the CR-V to 190hp, and according to Motor Trend that mill is good for a 0-60mph run of 7.5 seconds, superior to the RAV4 which manages 8.7 seconds in comparison.

The CR-V is rated at 30mpg combined by the EPA, far ahead of the RAV4 at 26mpg. But tests by Motor Trend and Car & Driver have shown that that’s not the case, claiming that the Toyota SUV is the superior one in this aspect. In fact, the latter managed to get 31mpg from the RAV4.

In any case, the CR-V would still lose out from the fact that it doesn’t have a hybrid option. The RAV4 Hybrid is rated at 32mpg combined.