In December, the 2016 Toyota RAV4 passed the Honda CR-V in monthly sales. Honda’s outstanding CR-V had been the sales leader for most of the year and did earn more sales for the full year. However, the new RAV4 seems to have struck a chord with the buying public, and the low-volume RAV4 Hybrid is likely lending hand. In January the RAV4 was ahead again.
The Honda CR-V was updated first, and its top-spec Touring trim is hard not call the best vehicle in the segment. However, the new RAV4 Limited has matched the CR-V Touring for safety by including forward collision prevention and adaptive cruise control. The new RAV4 changes in 2016 definitely seem to have made an impact on sales volume. Both vehicles are now Top Safety Pick Plus rated by IIHS.
For January, the RAV4 garnered 21,554 unit sales, up 18% on a daily sales rate basis over last January. The Honda CR-V earned 19,208 sales, down 11% for the month. This is the second consecutive month that the Toyota RAV4 had a sales increase, and the Honda CR-V had a sales decline.
We would be ready to say this trend is confirmed except that December is a weird month of sales. Many manufacturers run special promotions and pull in sales at low profit. Other don’t. This past January was also an odd sales month. An unusually large snow storm essentially stopped sales for a week in some markets making it hard to call it a “typical” month of sales. Based on these facts, we would say that this battle for the number one spot in the most important vehicle segment is far from over.