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Toyota RAV4 Gearing Up To Pass Honda CR-V In Sales In 2016

Honda’s CR-V and Toyota’s RAV4 finished 1-2 in 2015 U.S. sales in the hottest automotive segment. How will this year turn out?

The two vehicles that started the compact crossover craze are the top two for sales as of the end of the year. The Honda CR-V ended up on top overall with sales of 345,647 units. That number topped the Toyota RAV4, which ended the year with sales of 315,412. If both models were showing slow and steady growth, that would pretty much be the end of the discussion. However, that is not the case at all. Rather, the RAV4’s sales were up year over year by about 18% and in December, RAV4 was up over its 2014 sales by 39% at 31,866. The Honda CR-V, by comparison, was only up about 3% year over year and in December its 31,185 units were actually down over December 2014.

The upshot of this analysis is that in December Toyota’s monthly sales had already passed the CR-V and are on track to pass the Honda if current sales trends continue. The Toyota RAV4 however, has two things pointing it towards faster growth. First, the main model line is receiving more driver automation at the lowest cost in the industry right now. That makes the main model line even better able to match the CR-V. Second, the RAV4 Hybrid is joining the party.

Honda’s strengths might be its top-spec model trim which surpasses the RAV4’s. However, more mid-trim models sell and Toyota’s two years of included maintenance tip the value balance its way in many customers’ eyes.

Ford’s Escape is not out of the fight, though. With sales just 10% behind the two leaders, Ford could make up some ground with incentives or model changes that tip sales its way.


Parks McCants    January 27, 2016 - 6:58PM

I've driven them all John, and still hand the crown to Honda CR-V based on over all ride characteristics, initial standard feature value and interior comfort. We'll see where it goes. As you've stated, it's a tough call. All 3 are viable contenders.