2017 Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4: A Side-By-Side Comparison

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Crossover SUVs have become the most popular and competitive vehicles in the automotive industry. They’ve gained their dominant position in the market because of their utility, efficiency, and safety ratings, making them exquisite family-centric vehicles. Let’s a closer look at what separates the two top contenders in the class: the 2017 CR-V and rival Toyota RAV4. Which is the best SUV for your money? Which is the safest? Which will have you yearning to take that next road trip?  

Honda’s State-of-the-Art Design vs Toyota’s Refresh  

The 2017 Honda CR-V was completely redesigned from the ground up in order to increase cargo space and ground clearance, enhance handling, and improve overall driving performance. Honda engineers took the opportunity to improve the quality and comfort in the CR-V’s cab for a more refined driving experience, and it’s quite obvious from the moment you cozy into the driver’s seat.  

Toyota’s 2017 RAV4 is basically a refresh of the older RAV4 platform, though Toyota did add a new Platinum trim level to the top of the lineup. But is it enough?? 

Reviewer and auto critic James Riswick wasn’t too impressed with the Toyota RAV4 interior, but the Honda CR-V made quite a positive impression. “Not only is [the CR-V] superior to the RAV4, but it sets a new benchmark for the segment,” says Riswick in his review at Autotrader.com. He pointed out the CR-V’s genuine leather seats and interior in the uppermost trims as “legitimately luxurious,” while noting that the RAV4 is too utilitarian with its unconvincing synthetic leather and an overabundance of black plastic throughout “an industrial dash design.” 

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Photo: automobiles.honda.com 

Cargo Space: Honda CR-V is Best in the Class 

Adequate cargo space is a critical parameter when you’re searching for a family-friendly SUV or crossover (it is probably the prime motivator leading consumers to consider an SUV in the first place). Space for small kayaks, bikes, dogs, kids, strollers and all the stuff that comes with them is mandatory, right?  

The new Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are ranked #1 and #2 (respectively) when it comes down to how much cargo you can haul around. The 2017 CR-V is rated as the most spacious crossover on the market thanks to a cargo area that offers a whopping 75.8 cubic feet, significantly edging out the RAV4’s 73.4 cubic feet.  

Engines and Efficiency: Honda CR-V Turbo has the Edge  

EPA ratings show that the Honda CR-V, with its 1.5-liter turbocharged engine delivering 190 hp, can achieve a very respectable 28 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway. The RAV4 is rated at just 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, while its larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine makes just 176 hp. While most test-drivers agree that the RAV4 is “adequately powered,” the CR-V’s turbo technology gives it superior acceleration off the line, and that fuel efficiency is wowza 

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Photo: automobiles.honda.com 

Safety: 2017 Honda CR-V is #1 (Again) 

The 2017 Honda CR-V scored a 9.7 rating (out of 10) from US News and World Report, giving it the #1 spot in its class, without a doubt. This outstanding safety rating is also backed by an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award and a 5-star overall rating by the NHTSA. The 2017 RAV4, ranking #12 in the compact SUV class by usnews.com, fell just a bit short of matching the CR-V’s safety ratings. 

While both SUVs feature lane-keeping assist and advanced forward-collision detection and braking technology, it’s the new Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) in the Honda CR-V that puts this SUV ahead of the competition. The CR-V’s smart ACC will slow, stop, and resume speed automatically when specific traffic conditions are met. Honda’s intuitive ACC system can even coast to match traffic flow when necessary, making it the perfect SUV to handle rush hour around Miami, OK or Springfield, MO. 

Toyota’s RAV4 ACC system didn’t exactly receive rave reviews from the critics in 2017. The RAV4 ACC “loves to grab the brakes abruptly if the car in front comes even slightly too close,” says reports test driver Steve Elmer at autoguide.com. Elmer goes on to complain that the RAV4’s ACC is not suitable for stop-and-go traffic since it cancels entirely if the vehicle is slowed down too much.  

Driving Performance: The CR-V Makes Waves 

Motor Trend's Zach Gale track-tested the CR-V and found that it outpaced all other 4-cylinder SUVs in 0-60 trials, which is impressive, to say the least.  

Critics across the board agree that the 2017 CR-V offers a superior driving experience, especially when compared to the RAV4. Autotrader calls the Honda CR-V a “grownup SUV with quieter cab, stronger engines and a degree of comfort and composure that is superior to the Toyota RAV4,” which Autotrader rates as more of a “suburban runabout.” 

Steve Elmer also notes that, when considering performance, the CR-V and RAV4 are obviously “cut from opposite cloth,” but the CR-V’s smooth riding suspension is clearly superior to the RAV4’s stiffer steering and bouncy ride quality. 

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Photo: automobiles.honda.com 

Grab a 2017 Honda CR-V at Roper Honda 

The reviews are in, and our Joplin Honda dealers think the case has been made for the 2017 Honda CR-V to be crowned the champion of its class. Thanks to superior fuel efficiency, performance, safety features, and spaciousness, Honda’s new CR-V is a better choice than the Toyota RAV4. 

With the year-end rolling in fast, now is a great time to get the 2017 Honda CR-V you've been waiting for. Our Honda dealership near Pittsburg, KS has a huge selection of 2017 CR-V models for sale and lease, as well as many other new Honda models and pre-owned vehicles. And be sure to check out our various Honda specials to save money on your CR-V!  

Contact us at (417) 625-0800 or visit our car dealer in Joplin, MO at 902 N Rangeline Rd to take a test drive in the world’s finest crossover: the 2017 CR-V. 

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Categories: New Inventory