2020 Toyota RAV4 vs 2020 Honda CR-V
  • Comparisons

2020 Toyota RAV4 vs 2020 Honda CR-V

By Autolist Staff | June 29 2020

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Honda CR-V

Our User's Take

What owners think


No Ratings Yet.
Would you buy it again?
Review this car
No Ratings Yet.
Would you buy it again?
Review this car

2020 Toyota RAV4 score: 7

Highlights:
  • Lots of standard driver assistance technology
  • Efficient powertrain choices
  • Spacious interior and cargo area
  • Distinctive off-road models

2020 Honda CR-V score: 8

Highlights:
  • Standard Honda Sensing, combined with stellar safety ratings make the CR-V one of the safest SUVs on the market.
  • Legroom, headroom, cargo space, and overall practical interior use are plentiful and class-leading.
  • Stellar fuel-efficiency and a hybrid option provide confidence to more environmentally-conscious consumers.
  • A great overall combination of quality materials, driving comfort, fuel-efficiency, practicality, available features, and good pricing means that the CR-V continues to shine in the value department.

How they stack up:

Safety Features:

Toyota RAV4: 8

  • The RAV4 comes standard with an extensive list of driver assistance features, called Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. All models come with adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and assist, automatic high beams, and road sign recognition. Some models also get blind-spot monitoring and front and rear parking sensors with rear cross-traffic alert. While rivals from Ford, Honda, Subaru, among others, also make much of this equipment standard, many others still don’t.

  • The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2020 Toyota RAV4 its Top Safety Pick award, its second-highest honor. Crash test and prevention scores were all high, but most RAV4 models come with headlights the agency deemed insufficient. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the 2020 RAV4 its highest five-star overall rating.

Honda CR-V: 9

  • A variety of standard safety equipment on the CR-V includes lane-keeping assist, road departure mitigation, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control, all of which give it some of the highest ratings in crash avoidance. Additional equipment such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high beam headlights further enhance its ability to deliver any customer to their destination safely.

  • As great as the standard Honda Sensing systems are in the CR-V, the vehicle itself is also engineered to offer class-leading safety. Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have awarded the CR-V with some of the highest crash ratings available, making it one of the safest vehicle purchase options available today.

Value:

Toyota RAV4: 6

  • While the RAV4’s base price and standard equipment are competitive, higher grades get expensive quickly and approach the highest levels in the compact SUV class. And that’s before factoring in that, hybrid versions aside, the RAV4 doesn’t offer a more powerful engine option to rival the turbocharged Mazda CX-5 or V6-powered Jeep Cherokee, for example. And fully equipped versions of the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester cost less than a top-tier RAV4.

  • The XLE Premium, at around $31,000 to start, is the least expensive way to get desirable items such as dual-zone automatic climate control and a power liftgate. The off-road-oriented models begin with the RAV4 Adventure at just over $34,000, which is about the same price as the more capable Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk.

Honda CR-V: 9

  • The CR-V is an easy choice for those looking to get the most bang for their buck. It is not the least inexpensive compact SUV, but it will also not break the bank for most average buyers, even when fully-equipped. Chief rivals like the Toyota Rav4 and Mazda CX-5 both start at higher price points with the Mazda costing much more than the CR-V in its highest trim levels. Even at its lower price point, reviewers favor the larger interior dimensions, more comfortable ride, and overall practicality the CR-V has to offer compared to most other rivals.

  • Competing SUVs like the Ford Escape and Subaru Forester undercut the CR-V’s starting price, but most do not offer the ride quality, material quality, and fuel efficiency the CR-V has to offer. A hybrid powertrain adds one more consumer option to the lineup, and even though it is not as efficient as the Ford Escape or Toyota Rav4, it is less expensive than both.

Efficiency:

Toyota RAV4: 8

  • The 2020 Toyota RAV4 2.5-liter gasoline is rated by the EPA at 28 mpg city, 35 highway, and 30 mpg combined. All-wheel-drive LE models fall one mpg in city and highway, while all other all-wheel-drive models drop between 2 and 3 mpg highway compared to the standard model.

  • RAV4 Hybrid models are rated at 41 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 40 mpg combined.

  • All of the RAV4’s EPA estimates are near or at the top of the class. The Ford Escape and Honda CR-V front-drive models come closest to the RAV4.

  • Both the Ford and Honda are also available as hybrid variants, but only the Ford’s front-drive hybrid edges the Toyota. Compared to other gasoline models, the RAV4 boasts better EPA figures than many subcompact SUVs, which is worth considering if fuel economy is a priority.

Honda CR-V: 8

  • The 2020 Honda CR-V leads the compact SUV segment when it comes to efficiency. Its standard 1.5-liter gasoline engine produces a combined 30 miles per gallon with its standard front-wheel-drive layout. Even opting for the all-wheel-drive option only brings the combined fuel economy down by one mile per gallon.

  • The CR-V’s hybrid powertrain brings its efficiency score down by just a touch. A larger 2.0-liter gasoline engine combined with two electric motors produce a combined 38 miles per gallon. This puts the CR-V behind its chief rival, the Toyota Rav4. But, its price point is also lower than that of other hybrid SUVs, including the RAV4. Bolstering its stellar efficiency regardless of powertrain or trim is the CR-V’s standard continuously variable transmission.

Driving Experience:

Toyota RAV4: 6

  • The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine provides adequate performance, but not much more. While its 202 horsepower rating is somewhat higher than the standard engines offered in many rivals, it’s less responsive than models with standard turbocharged engines. The transmission also works hard to tap into that power, and engine noise levels are higher than expected. The hybrid powertrain is more responsive and quieter in certain conditions.

  • Steering and handling are also off from the best-in-class, and generally make the RAV4 drive larger than it is. The all-wheel-drive system in Adventure and TRD Off-Road models can at least be programmed for different terrain surfaces and conditions while switching to two-wheel-drive mode when four-wheel traction isn’t needed. It offers better-than-expected off-road performance, and more than most drivers will likely need.

Honda CR-V: 6

  • A 1.5-liter engine offers efficiency and performance in equal parts by producing a reasonable 190 horsepower. The hybrid powertrain feels livelier due to its increased torque and power numbers from the electric motors, but the hybrid also causes the engine to drone on at freeway speeds, which gets annoying after a while.

  • But, where the CR-V may lack in sheer sportiness, it more than makes up for in ride comfort easy driving. The spacious interior, supple suspension, even acceleration, and solid brake feel all contribute to a rather pleasant, if not mundane driving experience. Road noise is kept to a minimum as well, but reviewers note that the continuously variable transmission can be slightly noisy when a large amount of throttle is necessary.

Tech Features:

Toyota RAV4: 7

  • With the addition of Android Auto for 2020, the RAV4 is finally competitive in terms of in-car technology. All models get Android Auto, as well as Apple CarPlay now, which nearly all of its rivals include as standard now. A seven-inch touchscreen is standard on base-level cars, while higher trims can be upgraded with an eight-inch version, and an audio package includes a JBL sound system and built-in navigation. While relatively easy to use, Toyota’s infotainment system lacks the clarity and ease of use from systems found in Jeep models and the Chevrolet Equinox, and it’s not as responsive as that found in the Volkswagen Tiguan.

  • In addition to driver assistance technology, the RAV4 can be equipped with up to five USB ports, a 360-degree camera, and ventilated front seats. Also available is a digital rearview mirror, which is able to switch from being a traditional mirror to a camera projection of what’s behind the vehicle. No other vehicle in the RAV4’s class offers that feature, even if it’s likely to be most useful when towing a trailer, because all models come equipped with some form of a backup camera.

Honda CR-V: 6

  • Honda delivers the most basic standard tech features to make the CR-V competitive. Automatic climate control, a five-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth, and a USB port all come as standard equipment.

  • Even though additional cash is needed to add more features, opting for a higher trim level adds much more equipment and competes better with others in the segment.

  • An average infotainment system prevents the CR-V from outshining the competition. Notable standard feature omissions include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, putting Honda farther behind the segment leaders, though these features are standard on most trims.

Style & Design:

Toyota RAV4: 7

  • The RAV4 is essentially available in three appearances, with traditional models keeping a corporate Toyota look. LE models make do with standard steel wheels, while many other rivals now offer alloy wheels across the line. The XSE models have a sportier appearance, while the Adventure and TRD get a rugged look. It’s a matter of preference, but at least Toyota offers distinct choices between trims, something most vehicles in the segment do not offer. If anything, the off-road-oriented variants of the RAV4 stand out most in this class. All versions, at least, offer an excellent glass area for good outward visibility.

  • The interior design is sound and quality of materials satisfactory for the class. The touchscreen is mounted high for good visibility, while several physical knobs and buttons make adjustments easy while driving. Base models, however, have some lower-rent fabrics. And all versions lack the visual panache of the Mazda CX-5 or the higher quality plastics in a VW Tiguan.

Honda CR-V: 8

  • While the Mazda CX-5 is usually considered the style frontrunner in the segment, the Honda CR-V is not necessarily a slouch. It is a sleek, handsome, well-designed SUV that combines a slightly sporty look with a touch of luxury, especially with its slightly refreshed design for the 2020 model year.

  • The CR-V’s interior spells out much of the same story as the exterior. It is not as edgy as some of the exterior lines, but the cabin is well thought out, contains quality materials, and has a refined, if not simple, look and feel. Most reviewers agree that interior quality and style are better than most in the class.

Practicality:

Toyota RAV4: 8

  • All RAV4 models benefit from a spacious cabin and highly usable cargo area, despite it being on the smaller side of its immediate rivals. Headroom and legroom for four adults are generous, even if five is a squeeze. Those installing car seats should find the process easy, thanks to rear doors that open wide. Cargo space is among the best in the class, although the Subaru Forester’s boxier and taller shape may provide more usable space than the slightly sloping rear end of the Toyota.

  • Only the three-row Volkswagen Tiguan and Mitsubishi Outlander offer more space for cargo and people, but those who regularly use three rows of seats in an SUV will be better served by a midsize crossover, rather than a compact.

  • The RAV4 is also capable of towing a maximum of 3,500 pounds when properly equipped. That’s among the highest in the segment, save for the V6-powered Cherokee. Given its four-cylinder engine, however, it may not be the most pleasant towing experience.

Honda CR-V: 9

  • Like most other Honda models, the CR-V is incredibly practical. It can do just about everything exceptionally well, a difficult feat for any vehicle manufacturer without some serious sacrifices. Perhaps where it shines the most is its use of interior space. Cargo room is class-leading with the CR-V besting its chief rival – the Toyota Rav4 – by two cubic feet with the rear seats in their upright position and six cubic feet with the seats folded down.

  • For additional practicality, the CR-V is offered with all-wheel-drive, 1500 pounds of total towing capacity, an optional hands-free tailgate, and a roof rail system for additional storage. Serious off-road capability and outdoors adventuring may be off the table for the CR-V, but most buyers will use its utility features more for daily commuting and family hauling, all of which are adequate for the everyday urban adventurer.

Cost of Ownership

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Honda CR-V

Annual Fuel Costs

$1,168
15k miles at $2.102/gal
$1,087
15k miles at $2.102/gal
Fuel Economy

25 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
27 mpg (miles per gallon)
City
32 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway
32 mpg (miles per gallon)
Highway

Safety

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Honda CR-V

NHTSA Crash Test Results

Overall
Overall
Safety Features

Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Autonomous Braking
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Blind-Spot Warnings
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Adaptive Cruise Control
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Lane-Keep Assist
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert
Standard
Cross-Traffic Alert

Interior

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Honda CR-V

Interior Features

Standard
Leather
Standard
Leather
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Moonroof
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Heated Seats
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Keyless Entry
Standard
Climate Control
Standard
Climate Control
Technology

Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Apple Carplay
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Android Auto
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Satellite Radio
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Bluetooth
Standard
Navigation System
Standard
Navigation System

Under the Hood

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 Honda CR-V

Powertrain

Transmission
Transmission
FWD
Drivetrain
FWD
Drivetrain
Drivetrain

N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Horsepower
N/A
Torque
N/A
Torque
N/A
Cylinders
N/A
Cylinders