The Toyota RAV4 was the world’s first compact crossover, and it
continues to build
on its long track record of success with key marketplace advantages that are missing
from the Honda CR-V. While both vehicles are popular choices, an examination of both
of their features will help us conclude which is the best pick overall.
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A Dynamic Driving Experience
Leveraging nimble proportions and agile reflexes, the
2015 RAV4 caters to enthusiastic drivers with a dedicated
“Sport Mode” that doesn’t seem to be available in the
Honda CR-V. As result, Toyota drivers can automatically
fine-tune the RAV4’s throttle response, shifting program
and more, all with a single press of a button.
Of course, the RAV4 also has an “Eco” mode that prioritizes
fuel-economy, along with another driving benefit that the
CR-V is lacking: a standard limited-slip differential for AWD
models. It’s additionally worth noting that the RAV4
supplies a standard six-speed automatic transmission that
delivers a traditional, yet refined shifting experience.
The CR-V, in contrast, is fitted solely with a CVT.
The main reason folks choose a crossover over a
hatchback or sedan is that the former features
significantly more versatility than the latter, and
it just so happens that the RAV4 offers more than
the CR-V, too. For example, the RAV4 serves up
noticeably more total cargo space than the Honda
and, just as importantly, it provides more room for
gear even when its rear seats are in use. Front-row
passengers enjoy more space to spread out as well,
thanks to 1.3 more inches of legroom as compared
to the Honda.
Also plenty convenient are Toyota’s customer-care
programs, which Honda doesn’t match: The RAV4 not
only provides a 24-month complimentary-maintenance
program, unlike the CR-V, but it further adds an extra
1 year/12,000 miles of roadside assistance coverage.
The 2015 Toyota RAV4 really pulls it all together
for drivers, offering some of Toyota’s top
technologies in one mid-priced model that, in a
number of key areas, is more than a match for
the range-topping CR-V. Consider: While the
RAV4 XLE can be configured with a comprehensive
infotainment system that includes the Entune App
Suite for smartphone integration, that technology is
not available in even the most-expensive CR-V.
Buyers are also forced to pay for the upper-range CR-V
if they want turn-by-turn navigation, although the
RAV4 XLE makes it available despite its lower MSRP.
Meanwhile, in terms of standard goodies, the XLE
exceeds the comparable Honda by providing HD Radio,
a three-month complimentary subscription to satellite
radio, roof rails, heated outside mirrors, reclining rear
seats and more.
People love how technology enhances their lives, and the
Toyota RAV4 accommodates that desire better than the
Honda CR-V. The mid-level RAV4 XLE comes with standard
HD Radio with traffic and weather reports, and SiriusXM All
Access Radio with a three-month complimentary subscription.
These features, and many more like the optional Entune App
Suite, are displayed on a 6.1-in. touchscreen. None of these
are offered on the comparable Honda CR-V EX. And navigation,
which is available on the XLE, requires upgrading to the
CR-V EX-L which costs an additional $4,150.