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2020 Toyota RAV4 vs 2020 Honda CR-V: Key Reasons RAV4 is the Better Choice

We look at why you may decide to pick the 2020 RAV4 versus the similar 2020 CR-V. See how your criteria compare with our categories.


In a battle of sport utility vehicle heavyweights, we put the 2020 RAV4 up against a formidable foe – the 2020 Honda CR-V. In the public eye, both Honda and Toyota are known for high quality and reliability. Let’s dig a little deeper, though.

In reviewing the popular trim level RAV4 XLE versus its basically equivalent CR-V EX grade, I found several points in favor of RAV4. Let us see if your thoughts agree with mine.

Gas mileage 2020 RAV4 vs 2020 CR-V

One of the main factors a potential customer may look at is how much and how often they will have to fill up at the pump. RAV4 has the edge over CR-V with front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and in hybrid fuel efficiency as well.

The 2020 RAV4 XLE FWD offers drivers 28 city / 35 highway / 30 combined, while 2020 CR-V EX FWD provides 28 city / 34 highway / 30 combined. All-wheel drive for RAV4 XLE is 27 city / 33 highway / 29 combined and CR-V EX AWD is 27 city / 32 highway / 29 combined.

READ NEXT: Compare Honda CR-V vs Subaru Forester by Torque News reporter Denis Flierl.

2020 Honda CR-V red profile and front end

For bonus measure, we can also compare hybrid models. The extremlely popular RAV4 Hybrid offers drivers 41 city / 38 highway / 40 combined, compared to CR-V Hybrid’s 40 city / 35 highway / 38 combined.

RAV4 vs CR-V Horsepower

Normally I would have put each vehicle’s horsepower ratings first in my comparison. However, it is interesting to note that 2020 RAV4 beats 2020 CR-V in power while still giving families better gas mileage in the process.

A 2020 CR-V utilizes an in-line 4-cylinder engine with turbocharger. This produces 190 horsepower and 179 lb.-ft. torque, according to In comparison, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 delivers 203 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. torque with its 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, citing

It might be important to talk hybrids too. RAV4 Hybrid produces 219 total system horsepower versus 2020 CR-V Hybrid that has 212 total system horsepower. Gas ratings highly favor RAV4 while still providing more power than CR-V.

Infotainment 2020 RAV4 vs 2020 CR-V

We are looking at RAV4 XLE and CR-V EX specifically, but there are a couple other interesting notes with other trim levels.

In order to have popular applications Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in your 2020 CR-V, you will need to make sure you buy at least the EX trim level. According to, their base entry LX grade does not feature either of these “must-haves.”

A 2020 RAV4 offers both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay across the board on all levels. In fact, every trim of RAV4 also includes Wi-Fi hotspot connect and Amazon Alexa connectivity.

VIDEO TEST DRIVE: See how RAV4 performs while driving in snow.

Although both CR-V EX and RAV4 XLE feature 7-inch multimedia screens, I had to deduct points for Honda’s base entry system. A 2020 CR-V LX gives drivers an antiquated 5-inch screen. RAV4 LE has standard 7-inch screen.

RAV4 XLE vs CR-V EX Pricing

This one here is close enough to not call an advantage either way. RAV4 XLE FWD has a factory MSRP of $27,245 compared to CR-V EX FWD at $27,560.

An all-wheel drive option is similar. RAV4 XLE AWD starts at $28,545 and CR-V EX AWD is $29,060.

“I’ll take Potpourri for $200 please Alex”

2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid barcelona red profile view

Other notes of interest to consider. The RAV4 XLE offers passengers 5 USB ports, while CR-V EX has 3.

RAV4 provides 8 airbags compared to 6 in the CR-V.

You may also find the RAV4 XLE multi-terrain select helpful while driving on uneven or slippery conditions. It allows drivers to select various levels of traction to handle more challenging terrain such as mud and sand, rock and dirt and snowy conditions.

Time for your thoughts on CR-V vs RAV4

Do you own either the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4? If so, what things do you like and dislike about them?

Do you feel my ratings categories are practical or not really at all? What categories do you find useful when comparing vehicles in the same class?

Thanks for reading everyone. See you next story when I show off several cool gadgets you may need to see in the 2020 RAV4.

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Ken Gilmer (not verified)    April 28, 2020 - 1:54PM

I considered both the 2020 RAV4 and CRV in higher trim levels and went with the CRV touring.
CRV felt roomier in the front and rear cabins and the seats were far superior especially for longer trips
Drivability of the Rav4 was the deal breaker for me with that noisy, reving engine. I must say the drivability of the Hybrid was great at a small price penalty, however I keep my vehicles for many years and needing to use an expensive dealer for many repairs and also concern over long term durability of the complex components turned me off Hybrids.
The CRV is much superior at absorbing bumps and potholes and is actually quicker in acceleration tests than the Rav4 although having less hp. It feels quicker off the line with the turbo’s torque.

Vanbriggle (not verified)    April 28, 2020 - 3:44PM

But you forgot to mention the main reason NOT to select a RAV4 - the multiple class action lawsuits over the fuel tank issue effecting almost all 19 and 20 model year hybrid models. Mine is typical: I picked up mine in August and within four days was reporting that the tank only took 3-5 gallons at a time, and is getting only 26.1 mpg. After half a dozen requests for a buyback, and a vehicle out of service for over six months, and contact from our state Attorney General’s office, Toyota finally agreed to “investigate.” Their conclusion is that these are “normal operating characteristics.” Buyer beware - they’ve lost a longtime customer. I can’t believe they are going to make me sue them to try to get my money back on a vehicle that all in cost me over $47k, when they didn’t deliver what I contractually purchased. A vehicle costing a year’s income, with a range of 120 miles. Fraud.

Jean (not verified)    April 28, 2020 - 5:31PM

Actually we own both vehicles. I have the RAV4 & Husband has the CRV. I like the back up camera and the cushion of the head rest better in the CRV. Other than that the RAV4 is better

Larry Goldberg (not verified)    April 29, 2020 - 8:01AM

I enjoyed the comparisons. However, you didn’t compare comfort space or storage. These are two critical areas, I believe in car buying decisions.

JWR (not verified)    April 29, 2020 - 11:01AM

I don’t think your “paper” review comparing specifications is at all meaningful. There is little significance in a difference of 1 mpg in EPA highway mileage ratings. Same is true of horsepower. There are a lot more relevant things to look at. How are the seats, the luggage room, the driving experience the handling etc.