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Toyota RAV4 vs Honda CR-V

dridri Posts: 6
edited December 2013 in Honda
Hi, maybe this is an old debate, but my angle on it is a little different. I live in a country with horrible roads - I mean REALLY big potholes, a lot of dirt trails, that kind of thing. For this reason, I was decided in favour of importing a US RAV4. I wasn't totally clear that RAV4 handled this kind of driving better, it was just a hunch.

Now, of course, there is the whole recall thing. This has made me wonder if I should opt for the CRV instead. What do you all think? We are family with 1 kid so far - safety's very important and I know CRV also scores highly on that front...

Thanks a lot for your opinions!


  • vmrgvmrg Posts: 9
    If you are really concerned about that, you can get a true off-road vehicle. Jeep Patriot comes to mind in that price range but its reviews are not that great other than the off-road capability.
  • dridri Posts: 6
    Hi, thanks for that, but no - we are looking for comfortable family driving in urban and rural areas (without the car falling apart in the latter!).
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    There is a whole line of vehicles that could fill this category without further qualification. Do you need 4WD/AWD or need a V6 (towing ability, etc?)
    Other vehicle manufactures are giving far better warranties than Toyota these days too.(many people have blindly bought on Toyota's perceived reputation for quality and I'd rather have a good bumper to bumper warranty in hand say 4.5 years in when maybe a fluke problem takes out your tranny, AC, etc). I once considered the RAV-4 as meeting my needs (V6 , 4WD, towing, etc)and went elsewhere when I found the arrogant attitude on pricing , lower warranty and last of all that swing door that gets in the way when curbside parking and unloading in the city.( maybe it works in Japan where they drive on the other side of the road?) I hope Toyota gets a clue in the future. Besides what you mentioned try Hyundai (Santa Fe and Tuscon) Mitsubishi Outlander, Subaru Forester, and perhaps some of the new redesigned GM products that seem much better than their past counterparts in features, gas mileage, and warranties). It's a big field these days!!!
  • dridri Posts: 6
    comem47, thanks a lot for all that information! Only issue is that the North American guarantee will not be valid in South America where I live (it's still worth using duty free import entitlement because vehicles are twice as expensive here). So I don't even look at that as part of the decision.

    Agree with you on Toyota perception vs reality, but at same time that is even more the case here than in the US -- Toyota enjoys shockingly high resale value, which was an important reason for us to opt for the RAV4. But Honda is well-perceived also, unlike Hyundai and the other manufacturers you mention (blind prejudice in the market - I had a Santa Fe before so I know they are good). You don't give much credit to the Hondas? We don't need 4WD or towing really. We just need a vehicle that won't be shaken apart by these massive potholes after a couple of years.

  • tocatoca Posts: 147
    I have one and IMO, can't go wrong with this selection. Solidly built and most consumer based publications rate reliability very high.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    Sorry Dri, I didn't know you were talking about South America.
    Indeed, Hondas are very nice vehicles too, but also suffer from inflated, fixed prices like Toyota in the US because of their reputation over time. I briefly looked at CRV specs and had to rule it out personally because of my towing needs. One thing I would say because of the potholes is to select the base wheel package if offered.(taller profile tires over "sexy looking" low profile wheel/tire combinations). I look at Tiger Woods damaged Escalade (see below) and laugh thinking that those wheels would be trashed at the first pothole. (these are Compact Utility Vehicles after all, not low rider show cars!!!) You'll just have to actually test drive some cars from the local dealers over the same potholes and compare the ride to be sure. For me. in the US and owning every vehicle several years or more, the warranty is important as well as entry price.

  • Hey;
    I'm wondering the same thing! I'm looking at a used car for <$6000. Warranties will be long gone in any event. What ACTUALLY holds up well?
    I can get a CRV. I might get a RAV4 (the fuel economy is very poor compared to the CRV?), but only because there's one for sale near me with suspiciously low mileage for the price (I'd pay a mechanic to look it over before purchase to be sure). Maybe cosmetic body damage? None I can see in the photos. But in general the RAV4 is indeed shockingly expensive for the age/mileage and initial retail price.

    Heard from the CRV forum that the airconditioning compressor gives out, and is expensive; but that at least is a bit optional. I can still drive, albeit sweatily, if I haven't the funds at that moment.
    What tends to die on the RAV4?

    Looking for a wagon or light duty suv, that can carry volume and some weight in the bed but get better fuel economy than a pickup.

    Heard that subarus have headgasket issues?
    On the other hand, for the prices people want, I can pick up a subaru outback for $3000 and still have $3000 in my pocket for the when the headgaskets do blow. Maybe a safer bet than spending $6000 on the CRV or RAV4 with nothing left for any problems, crossing my fingers that it runs for the next hundred thousand miles!
  • apologies; there were spaces and indentations that made that above posting more legible, that got cut out when I posted. I didn't mean for it to be a solid block of text!
  • dridri Posts: 6
    Hi, comem47, sorry I didn't get notified of your post. Thanks for the advice on the base wheel package - that's a good one to look out for. I suppose from what you're saying that you think that the CRV vs RAV choice is much of a muchness on the durability front?

    (That Escalade is a JOKE!)
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    For future reference, after posting, you may edit your post for 30 minutes.
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    I guess if I wasn't looking for V6 power or towing ability I'd be more partial to the CRV personally because that swing door is a functional turn-off (Honda dumped that back in 2007 for the CRV when I was looking , but Toyota keeps hanging on to it). I haven't researched the current wheel choices on either, but as I previously mentioned the lower the tire profile, the more likely of bending/fracturing a if your in pothole land I would go for function over beauty on that option.(if you have a choice).Sometimes you can get the better overall package you desire and the dealer will swap wheels or tires and adjust the price (if the overall circumference is the same between the 2 sizes to not effect speedo error this would work)
  • comem47comem47 Posts: 399
    Someone posted this review in another group. Applicable here, giving high marks to the CRV (particularly in ride, which dri was concerned about) The whole article is worth reading. and show things don't stand still from one year to the next. .html
  • dridri Posts: 6
    Thanks for that comem47 - boy I wish they had been able to keep the RAV4 in the running! At this stage I'm very much inclined towards the CRV, though we have to buy second hand (Ecuador has a $20k limit on the value of the car), so if an amazing RAV pops up for that money it might clinch the deal!

    Thanks a lot for all your feedback!
  • We have been married over 30 years and keep cars forever. Our Voyager Van is 12 years old, over 200,000 miles and has been excellent. We are excited to be looking for a new car that we plan to keep for a long time. I (the wife) have always liked the look of the Honda CR-V. Hubby feels like he really wants a 6 cylinder which unfortunately is not possible with CR-V. We never liked the look of the RAV4 with the outside tire but today found they have a new "Sport" version which hubby really likes. I just wasn't thrilled with it. Some things we are looking for: max 5 seats, good for long road trips. We both work at home so commuting is not a factor. I must admit, I have always liked and trusted Honda and we have a new really nice dealership in town - they also offer free car washes and $19.99 oil changes for the life of the car. Also, when we were in Honda yesterday, they only had 2 CR-Vs and pretty much said if we didn't buy then and there don't expect to see them again. Is it really that crazy getting the one you want? We are brand new to all of this!
    I need to convince my husband that the CR-V will be spunky enough or do you have a suggestion for a 6 cylinder that we should check out? Thanks!
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,373
    Heads up: The Sport model has no spare, thus shod with 18" run-flat tires... Rough riding and expensive to replace...

    I can think of a dozen reasons why I'd rather have the CR-V, but if your husband is stuck on a 6-cylinder, they won't matter much...


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 26,317
    my wife and I were out looking recently and scoped out both (in the showroom, did not drive either one). really did not care for the Rav at all. The rear door was a big negative, but the interior, equipment, etc. all left something to be desired.

    the CRV my wife liked. Just seemed much nicer overall. No, not as fast, but these are compact CUVs, not corvettes!

    If you really want a V6, and don't mind something slightly bigger, we loved the Santa Fe. Still reasonably sized, but roomier, nice driving, well equipped, etc. And available with a nice V6.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • tjc78tjc78 JerseyPosts: 6,653
    The CRV is a brand new design so that tips the scales in it's favor IMO. I also like the look better. The Sport model RAV with run-flats? I wouldn't own a car with those rolling bricks!

    My mother has a RAV4 4x4 4cyl. It's just OK. I like Toyota but the interior isn't all that great and I'm a big guy and get never get quite comfortable in it. The one shining star is the Toyota's 2GR V6 is fantastic. It's smooth as glass and does darn well in the FE dept.

    Not to make things harder, but I would also check out the Equinox/Terrian. They can be had with a V6.

    2017 Buick Enclave / 2017 Hyundai Elantra

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree with pretty much everything you said.

    The V6 is a gem, both powerful and efficient.

    I wish it came in a better package, though. We ended up getting a Sienna LE, which avoids the run-flat tires people complain about so much.
  • Thanks for the great responses. Okay, crossed RAV4 off list and hubby is warming up to the CR-V :)
    A friend is encouraging us to test drive Subaru ( 6 cylinder) Outback. Any thoughts on that one?
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 26,317
    very nice car. certainly give it a look.

    2018 Hyundai Elantra Sport (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • Okay, we drove the 3.6R Outback (6 cylinder) today. Husband definitely likes the feel and the power. It will be my car to drive around town and the car we take on road trips. Originally I wanted something smaller than our current Voyager van but this is a big car too. Goodness, not an easy decision!
  • zeeboyzeeboy Posts: 25
    edited April 2012
    Is this true comparing the base models CRV/RAV4

    1) The CRV is safer
    2) The RAV4 sit higher and has more ground clearance (17 in wheel vs 16 inch )
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,373
    I don't know about #1, but regarding #2, ground clearance has nothing to do with the diameter of the wheel..


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  • zeeboyzeeboy Posts: 25
    I meant the vehicle sits higher. I believe the redesigned CRV is lower than the 2011 for improved aerodynamics.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,373
    Their websites show 7.5" ground clearance for the RAV4 vs. 6.7" for the AWD CR-V..


    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • zeeboyzeeboy Posts: 25
    wished their were specs for seat height (how high you sit above the ground)
  • john_ufojohn_ufo Posts: 6
    toyota rav4 . but the honda crv is a close second. it was a diffucult choice. the honda was $ 400.00 cheaper plus you get a rear view camera. the toyota has a little more interior space . and a better realiablity record so i bought another toyota ..... the sport version 4 cyclnder . i like the suv so far but ive had the rav4 only 2 1/2 weeks so far.

    both cars run smooth on normal roads but you feel every bump . if you want more quiet and comfort i think the honda is a better choice . if you want more space and speed get the toyota.
  • zeeboyzeeboy Posts: 25
    How do you figure the RAV4 is more reliable than the CR-V?

    Also, the RAV4 isn't as safe
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 320
    June 2012 Consumer Reports states CRV suffers from road noise. Ties with RAV4 for overall mpg, and is faster accelerating.
  • john_ufojohn_ufo Posts: 6
    edited May 2012
    i read the reviews and and read the repair records from diffrent magazines. such as consumer reports and overall the toyota rav 4 got a higher score .
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