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Mazda CX-7 v Toyota RAV4 v Honda CR-V

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Comments

  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    I think the RAV4 V6 Sport and the CX-7 are most definitely competitors. Similar size, price, power and space. However, they go about things differently with the CX-7 being (mostly likely) the sportier ride and with the turbo-4, certainly aimed more at enthusiasts then socccermoms. The RAV4's big V6 will most likely have better towing numbers.

    However, the performance numbers on the V6 RAV4 are pretty darn impressive. I'd bet that in measured performance testing, these two will be neck and neck.

    I'm taking a wait-and-see approach at the moment. I'd liek to rreplce my Protege5 sometime this summer or fall.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    Does anyone have accurate pricing on the new 2006 Toyota RAV4?

    What I got from Toyota's web site:

    RAV4 Base...$20,300
    RAV4 Sport..$21,875
    RAV4 Lim....$22,555

    It seems to be thousands less....but I'm still looking to see if the equipment is similar. Usually Toyota's are very expensive once they come nicley equiped. i.e Toyota 4-runner
  • You get nothing for that price on RAV4. No side airbags, no curtain airbags, no keyless entry/start, crap Toyota stereo. You definitely need to add a few grands on top of that for a decent car.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    A mid-level, V6 RAV 4 with plenty of options is going to run around $26k. Those numbers posted above are for the 4cyl. Version.

    I actually think that similarly equipped, the CX-7 and RAV4 V6 will be very similarly priced.

    I plan to look at both.
  • Does anyone know if the basic cd player in the CX-7
    also includes an MP3 jack?

    Does anyone know if the CX-7 engine can be detuned
    somewhat to reduce horsepower and increase gas mileage
    for a first-time teen driver?

    Thanks.

    Dan Clark
  • lilarrylilarry Posts: 13
    The CX-7 does not seem appropriate for a first time teen driver. IMHO the best new car for a new teen driver would be the Mazda 3i (2.0 liter) with ABS/airbag package and AT. Volvo inspired (if not designed) safety cage and full complement of airbags. It's cool, quick, fun, practical, economical and quite affordable.
  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
    Hi All:
    "What car to get for the kid" is a question I've discussed at length with my wife, friends, relatives and associates. The comment universally offered is one that is nice, safe, but is either a "hand-me-down", or a small car, or an otherwise "lesser" car than that of the parents.

    While this at first seems logical, it is actually quite illogical, thoughtless and even selfish. Most parents think that their children should not have cars nicer or more expensive than theirs. But who's more likely to get into an accident?, parent or child? Child, obviously.

    That having been said, my first concern is the safety of my child which overrides any premise of buying them a small Mazda 3 (as nice as it is), or an older car lacking safety features. When I buy or contribute to buying a car for my child, you'd better believe it will be midsize or larger, it'll be new or nearly new with excellent braking, handling, and all the safety features available that day that I/we can afford.

    If one can afford to buy their child either a 3 or a CX-7, which one makes more sense once the priorities are rearranged? Teaching a child about money and working for what one has are things a child should learn long before they're old enough to have a car, so the arguement that buying or subsidizing a relatively expensive car for child spoils them, is a weak one - especially if it places such teachings above their own safety.

    Consider this. Like most parents, I value my children far more than I do myself. The CX-7 will provide comparable or better handling, and with nearly a thousand more pounds of steel, airbags and VSC between the driver and outside world, and the CX-7 will be (should be - we'll see when it's tested) a lot safer in a crash.

    Remember, the highway safety geeks agree that higher vehicle weight is the number one factor in determining safety in a crash. Happily, if not miraculously, despite the extra weight, the CX-7 has shorter braking distances from 60mph than the 3 or almost any other car on the road today (read all the current articles out there - it's true).

    Think about it. I know there are other factors not discussed, but gas mileage, resale value, etc are non-issues when weighed against safety. Theoretically, if a parent has a fixed $$$ amount to spend, get a larger, slightly used but heavier and safer midsize car than the new compact/subcompact or 7 year-old "hand me down".

    There's probably lots more to say, but that what forums are for aren't they? So go ahead and say. let's talk.

    Regards,
    Deanie
  • richmlrichml Posts: 156
    I agree with much of what you say. We live in a town next to a very wealthy community. The parents there seem to have no problem spending lots of money on their children's cars (it is unbelievable to see what these kids are driving), but style and performance seem to be what they are buying, not safety.

    One quibble with your comments is when you state that the CX-7 will provide comparable or better handling than the Mazda3. I love the CX-7, but I wonder how you define "handling?" Edmunds rates the handling of the 3 as Excellent, and it scored 69.0 in the slalom test. I can assure you, it handles curves like it is riding on rails.

    I can appreciate the "bulk is better" view once a crash occurs, but I don't think any SUV (I've owned three) handles as well as the 3 or many other cars.
  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Posts: 792
    I also considered the CX-7, but the cargo area is significantly smaller. Coupled with the split sliding second row seats, the cargo area meets my needs for a work vehicle far better than that of the CX-7.

    The RAV4 uses regular fuel, adding to the savings over the CX-7.

    The CX-7 does offer a factory navigation system, something Toyota does not yet offer. I'll bet that Toyota is being surprised by the number of people who want Limited V6 four wheel drive versions of the RAV4. Perhaps they will add a navigation system option when they see the demand for the fancer models. The dealers here (southern CA) are already adding Sirius radio for about $100 (totally integrated, not aftermarket). Of course, Toyota would probably prefer that people buy a Highlander or 4Runner for $10,000 more than a RAV4, so they may be slow to adjust to reality.

    I owned a 1996 Chevrolet Impala SS, and it is interesting to note that the RAV4 V6 is faster to 60 MPH and seems to handle as very well, or even better, than the Impala.
  • deaniedeanie Posts: 172
    Hi richml:
    Your're right, I was going from memory and didn't check the 3's stats. The 3 handily outslaloms the CX-7, but the 1000lbs of steel, better braking #'s and VSC make the CX-7 a safer overall choice than a 3. CX-7 aside, the 3 is a great car and though a few years old, still rests at or near the top of the heap of the compact/subcompact world.

    With the upcoming Mazaspeed 3 arriving with the same (similar) engine as that in the Speed6 and CX-7, that'll be a car to watch.

    Thanks for your reply! If I talk to my wife or even my friends about cars for more than a sentence or two, their eyes glaze over. I'm glad this place exists.

    Regards,
    Deanie
    P.S. I just got out of an 05 Avalon (that's another story) and the constraints of family require a compromise. I want a G35 (way too narrow - only seats two in the rear), but now I'm considering a CX-7, 07 Avalon Touring, or a Honda Odyssey. I'll be able to discuss these choices further when I've driven a CX-7. I'm in Montgomery County, Maryland, and they aren't expected in until the end of May.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,915
    If you are truly worried about safety and want to save some money, buy your teeanger a Volvo (98 or 99). A new car, insurance and that accident waiting to happen is not a good combination.
  • nissmazlovernissmazlover Posts: 136
    I'm sorry, I have to chime in here.

    Do you really think that you CAN'T spoil a teenager? If so, you are sorely mistaken. Teaching children about values and hard work goes way beyond 16 or 17 years old, which is the approx. age they are able to drive.

    Also, there is an exhaustive list of passenger cars that are safer than SUV's. Just because SUV's are bigger doesn't necessarily mean they are safer. Plus, the best way to survive an accident is to avoid one all together. By my experience, I have noticed that a car's handling and a driver's reflexes are the most important factors in accident avoidance. Having that in mind, the Mazda 3, can handle circles around the CX-7 and thereby increase accident avoidance (and keep a child humbler). Perhaps the CX-7 handles great, but it handles great "FOR AN SUV". The Mazda 3 handles great period. Keep that in mind. In addition, there are many safe, inexpensive cars on the road - and many used cars STILL have great safety features.

    Children at 17 years old are still children. If they have mommy or daddy buy them a "hot/cool ride" they are most likely going to become cocky, which leads them to be careless, and will think of themselves as superior to others, even if they deny it - it's only human nature, especially when coupled with immaturity. I agree with the other poster, too, that many parents with money buy their children hooked up cars, but not because of safety reasons - And it IS unbelievable to see what some spoiled children are driving these days with no regard for hard work or economical values! Would you also think that them having the latest and best cell phone w/camera/mp3 player/gps navigator is also a safety feature as opposed to getting them a basic cell phone? You probably would.

    Even if I HAD the money, I would NOT buy my children cars. If they need to use a car SO bad, they can borrow mine. I would make sure MINE is the nicest, safest car I can possibly afford and I would, as I do, keep it properly maintained in order to ensure its safe working order. If, by some chance, they can't borrow the car, then they can take a bus, a train, hitch a ride with a friend, or I will take them. No big deal. When they're older, they can start working and saving up to buy their own wheels, and when they have enough dough to do so, I will surprise them with monetary assistance toward their purchase. THIS would teach them good economical values and make them see that Daddy ISN'T cheap and does want to help out, NOT outright buying them a brand new, just came out, hot/cool ride like a hooked up Mazda CX-7 when they're only teenagers, under the premise of providing safety. Please.

    Just my two cents. :P
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,582
    Well, everybody's kids are different and many are mature enough to "handle" a cool ride and I'm sure some have more money smarts or a stronger work ethics than their parents.

    It's probably better to talk about the features of the various cars and SUVs out there instead of generalizing about teens and whether someone is spoiling their kid.

    Check out Insuring teenage drivers for the cost of insurance angle. That's always an eye opener!

    Steve, Host

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • don_shindon_shin Posts: 2
    I copy my writing from Test-Drive Thread because it had my comparison with RAV4.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    In fact, my brother test drove CX-7, and I was sitting in the back seat with my roommate.

    Earlier, we test drove Suzuki Grand Vitara and Ford Escape, but I found out that CX-7 belongs to a totally different class. It felt more like Lexus sedan than an affordable SUV. Very quite, couldn't even notice the engine was on! Good acceleration, good handling, decent interior space and finish!

    Right after test-driving CX-7, we went to Toyota dealer to try RAV4 V6. It had more power (because it was V6? or because it was lighter?), but it was just an SUV with good power. RAV4 had some noise at low gear for quick step on gas, which is normal and also acceptable for an SUV, but CX-7 was better at quiet speeding. A pleasantly quiet zoom zoom!

    RAV4 lacked the feel of refined vehicle that CX-7 appealed to me with. The exterior and interior of RAV4 was just okay, but far behind Mazda. So, CX-7 beat RAV4 in and out.

    Cloth seats of CX-7 felt a lot better than RAV4's. I am a big fan of leather seat, but cloth material of CX-7 seemed good enough.

    RAV4 has more power, better MPG, but today's overall winner was CX-7.

    To grade 1-10, Suzuki Grand Vitara 5, Ford Escape 7, Toyota RAV4 8, and CX-7 9.

    To allow myself a little exaggeration, I felt that buying CX-7 will save $10K because it seemed more like one of the SUVs with $10K higher sticker price.
  • carlitos92carlitos92 Posts: 458
    I had built my RAV4 on the internet dozens of times, had test driven one, and was getting ready to buy a Limited V6 4WD when the CX-7 started getting advertised. I remembered seeing the CX-7 at the local auto show in April, but you could not touch it or sit in it then. The only other vehicle I was considering was an Acura RDX, but as pictures and specs started to surface, I got more and more turned off by it. The RDX's price was the last straw. My "dream version" RAV4 was optioned out to about $31K.

    I have since picked up my GT AWD CX-7 (just plain fell in love with its looks) and it was also optioned out to about $31K MSRP. I won't argue about the "intangibles" like how much more sporty the CX-7 may or may not be, but having shopped both, here's my quick summary:
    CX-7: no third-row seat, slower than a V6 RAV4, delayed DVD availability.
    RAV4: no HIDs, less sophisticated interior, lower-quality radio, less styling "pizazz," generally more "trucky" in seating position and feel.

    Okay, so maybe it really DOES come down to intangibles :blush: - IMHO the CX-7 just feels like a Lexus compared to the RAV4, without a significant price premium. Bottom line: to me, the CX-7 is like an RX-8 on stilts,the RAV4 is like a Corolla on stilts. Your choice.
  • jessterjesster Posts: 5
    The RAV and CX were my two top picks on paper with a few other straggerlers. Just sitting in the RAV almost nocked it off the list and the drive didn't help its cause. Couldn't get the seat/steering anything approaching comfortable and the overall fit an finish seemed a little cheap and clunky.
    As soon as I sat in the CX, I knew my search was over. Had my electric blue GT AWD for a week and a half and put over 1000 miles on it. I am a person who believes driving should be fun and this car delivers! The turbo has such great kick and I am amazed at the versatility of the six speed tranny. This car has done everything I have asked of it and not even broken a sweat. Inside is spacious, comfortable and well positioned. Feels like European Luxary at a distinctly none Euro price.
  • dash5dash5 Posts: 418
    I'm torn between the Rav, a CR-V and a Mazda CX-7. Anyone else go through this exercise? Anyway here's how I see it, hopefully it's a help to someone out there and people can add to it:

    Toyota Rav4 V6 Limited:

    My impressions after test drive:

    Pro: Good look to it, more of a rugged look than the Mazda. Pretty good interior if you get the leather and Limited version. Great performance. The V6 really has some oomph to it for this class of vehicle and it's smooth and refined. Good handling to it as well as solid braking. I like the one touch rear seat folding, nice utility inside in general. Bluetooth, heated seats, power seats etc are all available.

    Cons: It's a bit noisy in the cabin, you dont get the smooth feel that you find in the larger SUV/CUVs. I find the noise level to be closer to the Infiniti G35 we own as opposed to a Mazda CX-9 or Volvo XC-90 which we test drove. Understanding that the bigger CUV will be more apt to be quiet and smooth, still this vehicle isnt the smoothest in the smaller class but it's certainly not harsh. That said, performance is closer to the G-35 as well so it's a trade off. Dont love the hinge rear door but it's not that bad to deal with for me. Interior is not great even with all the upgrades, could definitely be improved.

    What the experts say:

    Edmunds: Editors give it an 8.0 rating for 2008. They rate it a "top pick for a small SUV" and laud it's V6 engine and 3rd row seat availability. They dont like the "budget" interior and note the driver seat may be a problem for tall drivers.

    Consumer Reports: They love this SUV. It got an 83 rating for the V6, which is the highest in the class by far. Recommended status. 80% in owner satisfaction and excellent in reliability. Going solely by CR, this SUV the clear top pick of the three based on score.

    Mazda CX-7:

    My impressions after test drive:

    Pro: Sexy look, nice interior. Good performance i.e. acceleration, braking, handling. Drives like a car which is good. Coming from an Infiniti G-35 it's not as drastic a performance and feel difference as I'd expected, I dont feel like I'm driving a huge ungainly vehicle. I like the one touch rear seat folding mechanism. Ample space. I like that it has DVD Nav available. Cool features like Bluetooth and smartkey available.

    Cons: Kind of noisy in cabin, a bit too much of a sports car ride. Driving the CX-9 compared to this is a much smoother, quiet ride, which we preferred so it makes you notice the noise more in the 7. Again I realize the larger CUV will be smoother in general, but it's a consideration.

    What the experts say:

    Edmunds: Ranks this car as Honorable Mention for 2007 SUV under 35k They note it is fun to drive and sporty. Call it "sylish" say it is "eye-catching" and "solid built quality" Editor rating is 7.9 overall and they call the ride "on the firm side" but not "overly harsh", wind and road noise they term average. On the down side they note the mediocre fuel mileage and premium fuel requirement. The premium is now only "recommended" according to the dealer for 2008 models.

    Consumer Reports: They give it a score of 62. Feel it is "much worse than average" in terms of reliability, and show it in the low to mid 50's in terms of owner satisfaction percentage. So CR is not particularly fond of this vehicle although they do say its handling is 'agile and secure', the midrange power is 'ample' and interior is 'well put together'.

    Honda CR-V

    My impressions after seeing one. No test drive yet:

    Pro: The CR-V had the "nicest" interior. While I'd say the CX-7 is the coolest of the 3 and most sporty looking inside, the CR-V is the most "luxurious" of the 3. Which is not to say it's a luxury car, but it's nice inside. I like the rear door that swings up instead of out. Has all the amenities like DVD NAV, bluetooth, heated seats, power everything etc.

    Con: Styling looks closer to a mini-van than any of the others to my eye, but if you really trick it out it's pretty nice looking. Dont like how the rear seats fold up, Honda should take a queue from Mazda or Toyota on this.

    Edmunds: Loves the CR-V, calling it "A winner" and an "extremely well-rounded runabout that should be high on your test-drive list". Editor rating in 2007 was a 9.0 which is high by virtue of Comfort, Function and Design/Build Quality and only average in terms of Dynamics. This matches my impression as well.

    Consumer Reports: They rate it a 74 and rank it "near the top of the small-SUV category". CR echos Edmunds in the nice interior, smooth ride commentary. They give it much better than average reliability and it scored 76% in owner satisfaction.

    Conclusions so far:

    Mazda CX-7 is the sports car of the 3, sexy and stylish. Fun to drive and nice to look at. It has a nice interior and good amenities with plenty of power and good cargo room. On the down side it needs premium gas to get the most zoom-zoom, consumer reports rates it very low comparatively and shows poor reliability predictions. Not to mention MPG is the worst of the 3. Sacrificing practicality for performance. Right now CR reports are making me skittish of choosing this one.

    Honda CR-V is the small family SUV. It's nice inside, should be a smooth ride, has plenty of space and things like cup holders and storage bins. It's not a mini-van but it's not a sport vehicle either. Both Edmunds and Consumer Reports rate it at the top of the pack and it's the best selling small SUV in the US. Resale will undoubtedly be high. On the down side it's sort of "meh" looking to me unless fully blown out, and even then I like the Rav or CX-7 styling better. Again, dont like the rear seat folding mechanism much, but not a biggie.

    Toyota Rav4 V6 seems to be the
  • jchuah83jchuah83 Posts: 1
    Hi,

    I'm currently thinking between the 3 cars listed in this thread. As this is my first new car, I am not too sure how to go about the process.

    Do I test drive the car, decide which one to get, then get quotes online? Or should I get the quotes online first then go down to do a test drive and then decide which to buy?

    Do you usually get the online quotes through sites like Edmunds.com, CarsDirect.com or through Honda.com or through the dealers themselves? Will it matter much?

    Thanks in advance! =)
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Yes, absolutely...

    Just "wire" the wastegate fully open, and then mill the heads to get a compression ratio on the order of the 12:1 range appropreate to DFI, Direct Fuel Injection.

    You will likely see an FE improvement for hwy use in the range of 30-50%
  • Hi Jesster.
    Thank you so much for the informative post.
    I am considering the CRV bit i just feel it has too much of a minivan feel too it and also I am not too happy with the steering..i think its a little big for my taste.
    But the Rav 4 is a slightly above the budget with all the bells and whistles.
    I will go with the CRv:-)
    Thank you once again.
  • Bought '07 Cx-7 in October---2006....currently 37000 miles. No real problems since new, averaging about 20 mpg in town. Not unhappy with vehicle, would buy again. Does use premium fuel, could have less plastic in the interior.
  • aviboy97aviboy97 Posts: 3,159
    For 2010 we will see some changes for the CX-7. There will be 2 engine choices. The exact specs are not known, however, it is presumed that one will be the 2.5L and the 2.3L DISI Turbo might become a 2.5L DISI Turbo. I would expect some interior enhancements as well. Hopefully better quality plastic more on par with the Forester or CR-V.
  • I own a 2007 CRV LX-AWD/ great car. Extremely reliable however boring to drive. I dare to say that the CRV is a Chick car and not a manly ride. The engine on the CRV is great on gas, I drive long island to nyc and I get about 21.5 on highway/ 19 on city driving. Inside the CRV, is great if you need room for a baby seat and groceries. The CRV engine hardly has any humf, afterall it is only 165HP.

    I also own a 2008 CX-7 GT-AWD / awesome engine response, great braking system (better than Honda) This car aims to be a BMW from the inside and a wanna be Lexus rx330 from the outisde. Yes it is a bit noisey and perhaps not ergonomically well put as the CRV, trust me it is for sure a fun car to drive.
    I drive a lot so highway I get about 19 MPG/ 15 MPG for city driving.
    What can I say it is a hungry engine, love the turbo when it kicks in specially at highway speeeds.

    Overall both cars are great on snow /rain, space and ergonomics thumbs up for HONDA
    Engine, brake system and awesome sports looks thunbs up for MAZDA :)
  • blueiedgodblueiedgod Posts: 2,797
    Looks like both cars are chick cars: Niether has a clutch! :P
  • CRV is slightly cheaper than Rav4 but i really dislike the front end. I think Rav4 has more power too.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    I'm beginning to believe "chicks" do have more common sense and therefore are well deserving of "holding" 70% of the wealth.
  • My first experience with the RAV4 was test driving it in a V6. I was impressed with its power to the point where it had me questioning why would Toyota put this much power under the hood of a compact SUV. Considering the gas mileage is almost identical to the 4 cylinder, I thought perhaps it was not worth even test driving the 4 cyl. However after some thought and analysis, I noticed that the 6cyl. cost about 2000 dollars more than the 4cyl. and will also eat up brakes and tires much quicker than the 4 cyl. With that in mind I test drove the 4 cyl. engine. Although I have always gone for the bigger is better approach, this time around I was more careful. I noticed the 2.5 4 cylinder had plenty of torque and pep and was better suited for the RAV4 in everyday driving. So I bought one in the 4 cylinder. Now that I have been driving it for 2 weeks, I love it. It is quiet, smooth and has plenty of power on and off the highway. As a matter of fact, Toyota will put this 4cylinder in its bigger Highlander for late 2009. So considering the extra mile or 2, I get per gallon, coupled with the initial 2000 dollar savings on the smaller engine, the 4 cyl. is a great chioce. Hey, who knows where gas will go in the future. It was 5 bucks a gallon only 6 months ago and since then it has dropped over 100 dolllars a barrel to a 1.34 per gallon price. I think 2009 will be the year Americans start to focus more on saving then spending. After all that is what has got us in all this trouble to begin with. "out of control spending". Waste less, save more and you will come out ahead.
  • almattialmatti Posts: 164
    I have a CRV EX-L 2007 too. A Very, very good car for it's intended purpose - a CUV with AWD. My wife loves it. We're in the same gneral area that you are - Westchester Co, NY. I definetely agree with you, It's a "chick" car, even Honda's literature will tell you that. It was designed specifically for women with young children - easy access, a "cute" look to it, etc. I too liked the Mazda CX-7 , a lot. test drove it, didn't like the turbo lag and seeing the poor mileage results reported here and other sites. If it had the 3.0 Duratec V-6 , the one that was in the Mazda 6 (2005 that was totalled - not even a scratch with my son driving at UMASS - flipped over on Black Ice), I would have taken that in a nanosecond.
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 314
    It may be advertised as a "chick" car but I see plenty of men driving them in Boston area. Prefer the previous generation boxy look with its superior cargo space and visibility, only feature better in current generation is the upward folding cargo door.
  • phisherphisher Posts: 175
    You and your damm hatred of the slush box. ;)
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