2016 Honda CR-V 2WD vs 2016 Toyota RAV4

2016 Honda


2016 Toyota

Yes185 HP No176
Yes181 Torque No172

2/2 Winner

  • Horse Power 100% 100%
  • Torque 100% 100%

Crossovers dominate the market – every car maker is getting in on the action, with even avowed anti-crossover brands such as Bentley finally giving in and moving a model to market. They crowd the car lots and shopping malls, with a mix of versatility, styling, and user-friendly wares that make them hard to look away from.

It’s for good reason too, as the combination of car-like driving characteristics and SUV versatility is a mix that fits the needs of 75% of the drivers out there. This combination helps to avoid the detractors of different styles, as the unwieldiness of the full-blown SUV and the small trunks of the mid-size sedans are cast off

Surprisingly, for a decidedly American concept, it is the Asian car companies that seem to have the best grasp of what the people want. Year after year, they battle it out for supremacy, and it boils down to the old guard of the segment – the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4, two models with over 20 years of solid sales numbers. While Toyota continues to battle, it seems that the CR-V is just too hard to catch.

A Tempting Turbo

The base engine under the hood of the 2017 Honda CR-V is a potent 2.5-liter inline-four engine making 184 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard as it is on the RAV4, though all-wheel drive is an excellent option for folks in poor-weather areas or, for those who live in area where pavement is a standard, where poor road conditions are common. The 2017 RAV4 has the same size engine under its hood, but it lacks a little bit of oomph, making only 176 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque. As with the CR-V, all-wheel drive is available.

Yes26 City MPG* No24
Yes33 Highway MPG* No31
Yes29 Combined Fuel Economy (City/Highway) No26

3/3 Winner

  • City MPG 100% 100%
  • Highway MPG 100% 100%
  • Combined Fuel Economy 100% 100%

Here’s where Honda throws the curveball. While many crossover SUVs have been hedging their fuel economy with available Hybrid models, the RAV4 included, the 2017 Honda CR-V steps up with a brand-new 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with an output of 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. Sure, those numbers aren’t a dagger through the RAV4’s heart, but…

Hybrid Economy without Hybrid Headaches

One of the major appeals of crossovers is they bring along the fuel economy of the mid-size sedans. The majority of folks in the market for a new crossover are a bit more interested in getting somewhere cheaper, rather than faster.

The base 2.5-liter engines of both the CR-V and RAV4 return similar economy, with the Honda achieving 25 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. That is noticeably better than the 23 mpg in the city the RAV4 gets, and the RAV4 only gets 30 mpg on the open road.

The 1.5-liter engine throws the wrench in Toyota’s hybrid aspirations. The RAV4 Hybrid is a major chunk of change out of your pocket, bumping up the price by thousands. It ups the city fuel economy to 34 miles per gallon, but highway remains the same – if you’re a long-distance commuter, there’s no benefit. The turbocharged powerplant in the 2017 Honda CR-V, meanwhile, offers the best fuel economy of any compact crossover. Period. And while real-world fuel economy may differ from estimates, Honda has an annoying habit of underestimating its efficiency.

Yes413.1 City Range No381.2
Yes520.2 Highway Range No492.9
YesStandard Overhead Console Storage YesStandard
Yes104.1 Passenger Volume No101.9

4/4 Winner

  • City Range 100% 100%
  • Highway Range 100% 100%
  • Overhead Console Storage 50% 50%
  • Passenger Volume 100% 100%

By Its Cover

Crossovers aren’t books, and while they both may contain quite a bit of importance, you are certainly allowed to judge a crossover by its cover.

Up front, the RAV4 has a look that can only be described as “divisive,” with a slit upper grille bordered by futuristic, drooping headlights. Combined with the large lower grille, it bears more than a striking resemblance to a Stormtooper’s visage. The rest of the vehicle isn’t quite so entertaining, with a sloping roofline, slab sides, and a beltline that leads to jutting taillight assemblies.

On the 2017 Honda CR-V, it’s clear that the design team has worked together to complete a striking, mature design. The front fascia wears Honda’s corporate styling, with the headlights moved up to be even with the top of the grille. This creates a look that is a bit more modern and cohesive than the outgoing model.

2017 Honda CR-V vs 2017 Toyota RAV4

“The latest version of the RAV4 – that’s short for Recreational Active Vehicle with 4-wheel drive – isn’t the most stylish or exciting CUV around…” – Left Lane News

“Honda’s numerous upgrades to the popular CR-V have resulted in a compact crossover that’s better positioned than ever to do battle in this competitive segment… no other competitior offers such a well-rounded package as this more efficient, more refined, and better-equipped CR-V does.” – Automobile Magazine

9/9 Winner

  • Over all 100% 100% 16 Best Family Cars Best Buy Award   U.S. News Best Cars for Families   2016 IIHS Top Safety Pick+   NHTSA 5-Star Safety Ratings

2016 Honda CR-V is the clear winner!

This is Leading, Not Following

In a class where every vehicle seems to be playing “follow the leader,” why would you pick anything other than the leader? Effortlessly combining the best in design and power, the 2017 Honda CR-V takes the class even further with the Honda Sensing suite. This package includes cutting-edge active safety systems such as Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Blind-Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Monitor, and Automatic High-Beam Headlights. Honda doesn’t hold your safety hostage either – all versions above the base LX have Honda Sensing as standard equipment, a move that is far ahead of even big-dollar luxury brands.

The Honda CR-V continues to be the benchmark of the compact crossover class, over two decades after its introduction. While the RAV4 makes a valiant effort, it clearly has ground yet to make up.


Fuel economy estimates and driving range based on EPA test data. Your actual driving distance will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle. Based on 2014-2016 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors. Complete comparison details can be found at Awards and accolade information can be found at

The 2016 CR-V has been named to the list of 16 Best Family Cars of 2016 in the 2-Row SUV class by Kelley Blue Book’s[1]. Each vehicle was praised for impressive comfort, driving dynamics and family practicality. [1] For more information, visit Kelley Blue Book is a registered trademark of Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. We’re proud to announce that the 2016 Honda CR-V has been named Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy of the Year in its respective class of Small SUV/Crossover. [1] For more information, visit Kelley Blue Book’s Kelley Blue Book is a registered trademark of Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. U.S. News has recognized the 2016 CR-V as the Best Car for Families in its class of Compact SUV. This vehicle was recognized for its expansive standard features, spacious interior, and safety and reliability ratings. [1] View U.S. News Best Cars at The 2016 CR-V Touring has been awarded the coveted 2016 TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in recognition of its superior crash safety performance. Safety matters most, and the 2016 CR-V earned top marks with a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)1. [1] Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New Car Assessment Program ( Model tested with standard side airbags (SAB).