Highlander vs RAV4 vs Honda CR-V

budrewbudrew Member Posts: 16
edited May 2014 in Honda
Many years ago I owned a 4Runner and absolutely loved it. Horrible gas mileage but back then it didn't matter. Today, I'm looking for a new family car to replace my current Subaru Outback wagon (which replaced the 4Runner).

I'm most interested in the Highlander and I'm curious what drew others to it over other options. Mainly, the Rav4.

The Highlander feels a little big to me, the Rav4 a little small, but sportier and with better mileage. The CR-V is about right, but did not appeal to me as much because of its more sedan like feel.

I'm sort of ambivalent about the looks of the 2008 Highlander and like the sporty look of the Rav4. The CR-V looks a little "frumpy' to me.

Not having a navigation system as an option on the Rav4 could be a deal breaker plus I'm just not sure about the side swinging rear door. The third seat on the Highlander seems excessive.

In the end what drew you to the '08 Highlander over the others you looked at?


  • bigausbigaus Member Posts: 8
    Not sure how tall you are, but if you are over about 6ft sit in the driver seat of the two cars and feel the difference. The Rav4 drivers seat area/legroom etc is just to small...otherwise I'd probably take it.
  • budrewbudrew Member Posts: 16
    Great point. I'm 6 feet 4 inches. The Rav4 felt fine at the time, but that was a brief demo.
  • bigausbigaus Member Posts: 8
    Well don't take my word for it...but from what I can remember the lower dash was just too close to my legs...just keep in mind if you test again.
  • ratbastidratbastid Member Posts: 3
    I sat in an 08 Highlander LTD the other day. Then, just to do due diligence, I sat in a Rav4. Absolutely no comparison. Tenderloin vs Chuck Roast. Ritz Carlton vs Motel 6.

    The Rav has this cute little storage hatch above its glove compartment proper, with this "OPEN/CLOSE" button. You push it down and it mechanically slides the door open, push it again and it mechanically slides it closed. It felt so mechanical and cheap, I'd be surprised if you got 100 pushes out of that thing. It's like that all over--it's "cute", not "quality".

    I mean--it's a Toyota so it's quality TOO, but... mainly it's "cute".
  • gc4autogc4auto Member Posts: 34
    I started out looking at the highlander too - but in the end its also too big for me.

    The only reason i would choose a RAV4 over the CRV is if i absolutely had to go V6. I test drove both, the brand new RAV4 i test drove actually had a half-hanging panel underneath the steering wheel.. to me, and this is IMHO, the CRV is better constructed and more refined. Also Toyota should move the spare and redesign the tail-gate for 2009.. it's really a pain to use.
  • br3ndabr3nda Member Posts: 1
    Why is the Subaru no longer an option for you? I ask because I'm in the market for a new SUV and the Outback caught my eye but I don't know any current owners.
  • johnscjohnsc Member Posts: 14
    I tend to agree that the only reason for the Rav4 would be the V6. I just got a CRV and couldn't be happier. It's getting 27-28 in light city use, short trips, 45-65 mph with several traffic lights. I read owner reviews and the CRV got better mileage and handled better. For comparison, the 08 Kia Spectra5 2.0 compact car got the same 27-28 around town and much worse on the highway. The CRV has a 5 speed transmission. It is a very solid ride and handles amazingly well. It has plenty of power for me but if you need a V6 then the Rav4 has that option that also has the 5 speed transimission. I speak for the Subaru but always read that they don't get good mpg. If you don't need AWD it does get worse mpg. The CRV also has a FWD, and if one tire is spinning it shifts to the other, or you can get AWD.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Sounds as if you're a good buyer candidate for the new Venza.

    And I would NEVER again buy a captive GPS/Nav system.
  • cbmortoncbmorton Member Posts: 252
    Hopefully he's made up his mind and chosen a vehicle already since his original post in September 2007.
  • godeacsgodeacs Member Posts: 481
    Was thinking the same thing! Not sure these folks realize how old the post is they are responding to.....LOL
  • johnscjohnsc Member Posts: 14
    yes I did notice the original post was 07, but the Rav4 and CRV are still very competitive choice.. so why not discuss them? I mean you understand that other people will be reading these post not just the OP :confuse:
This discussion has been closed.