October 9, 2020
The 2020 Honda CR-V versus the 2020 Toyota RAV4. Both are titans in the SUV class and the CR-V has definitely made a name for itself as the more friendly on-road crossover while the RAV4 is a tried-and-true favorite with a reputation of being Toyota’s little off-roader. But which is better for the daily commute? Honda and Toyota are both known for their reputation of reliability and high-quality vehicles. Is the CR-V the better choice for your daily commute or does the RAV4 take the cake because of its reliability and fun on both the pavement and dirt? Below we analyze these two best-selling rigs to help you make your choice of SUV.
The 2020 CR-V is one of Honda’s best-selling vehicles due to it being practical, well-designed, and refined. The CR-V also offers two fuel-efficient powertrains, as well as a hybrid, to help it take on one of its main rivals, the 2020 Toyota RAV4. All trims of the 2020 Honda CR-V come with a slew of driver and passenger comforts and its standard technology features make it a top choice for people looking to purchase an SUV. Plus, the CR-V has earned top marks for crash-test ratings which will appeal to families.
The 2020 CR-V saw a facelift this year with a few exterior styling improvements versus the 2019 model. The main feature to note is the hybrid powertrain which sports a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and two electric motors to optimize your fuel economy. A previously optional turbocharged 1.5-liter engine is now standard on all CR-Vs besides the hybrid model. The 2020 CR-V continues to improve with more standard and optional equipment to up the value, starting with more than a few driver-assistance features that are standard on all models.
A good move would be to upgrade to the EX model. Spending the extra cash will add features most customers find essential to cars nowadays, including a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, a sunroof, and more. You also have your choice of the standard front-wheel-drive or you can upgrade to all-wheel drive for an additional $1500.
The 2020 Honda CR-V has a very calm and relaxing environment thanks to a fashionable and roomy interior. Honda’s familiar layout coupled with quality materials make for a modern look and feel. The Touring model has a refined balance of faux-wood accents, brushed-satin finishes, and chromed plastic to create an air of sophistication. Receiving high marks and class-leading cargo capacity and luggage space, the CR-V is ready to haul almost anything you need in its rear cargo hold.
Technology in which Honda continues to frustrate customers with the base LX’s 5-inch color radio screen as opposed to the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system found in all the upper trim models. Navigation and the 9-speaker audio system are both optional but Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM are standard in the EX and above.
Honda made a move towards advanced performance in the CR-V by installing its first turbocharged 1.5-liter engine that makes 190 horsepower. Pair that with one of the best continuously variable automatic transmissions and you got yourself a top player in the compact SUV class. One drawback is the CR-V’s towing capability which is one of the lowest in terms of SUVs with a capacity of only 1500 pounds so don’t expect to be towing a boat for your weekend lake excursions any time soon. The 2020 Honda CR-V hybrid is powered by a 2-liter 4-cylinder engine and two electric motors that combine to produce 212 horsepower.
For those quick trips to the grocery store to those long summer road-trips, the 2020 CR-Vs smooth ride, enthusiastic steering, and strong brakes will please buyers. But acceleration wise you may be disappointed when you put the pedal to the metal to try to pass slower drivers on the highway. Overall, though, the quiet and smooth ride more than makes up for a slight lack of power when trying to accelerate.
Stylish, good to drive, and great on gas, is one of the top fuel-efficient SUVs on the market today. The EPA weighs in with an estimated 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway for the gas-only models. If you are predominantly a city driver and looking for even better gas-mileage then the CR-V Hybrid is the way to go earning 40 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. Of course, the Toyota RAV4 hybrid is slightly better with a rate of 41/38 mpg city/highway.
The 2020 CR-V earned a 5-star crash-testing rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and was named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Even though the CR-V has earned a 5-star crash-test rating and Top Safety Pick, Honda still wants to avoid collisions all together and has added a bunch of driver-assistance technology features.
Your CR-V is covered by Honda’s limited and powertrain warranties that are inline competition-wise with most manufacturers.
The 2020 RAV4 is by far one of the better crossover SUVs out there building on over 20 years of reliability and the high-end quality that is Toyota’s reputation. It is attractive, comfortable, and had a complete redesign in 2019. All trims have a more rugged styling with harder angles, chunkier fenders, and wider bumpers that embody the feel of the 4Runner and Tacoma. Passengers will love the legroom in both the front and rear seats, and the cargo room is competitive, challenging the Honda CR-V for most space. All-in-all the RAV4 is a standout in the crossover SUV category and is one that is hard to beat.
What really stands out for 2020 is the TRD off-road package that was released this year. The TRD model comes with matte-black 18-inch TRD alloy wheels that roll with the hard-hitting Falken WILDPEAK A/T Trail tires, a TRD-tunes suspension kit, and plenty of TRD logos inside and out to make sure everyone knows you’re behind the wheel of the TRD Off-Road model. Overall the RAV4 has embraced Toyota’s off-road styling and ran with it. If you are looking for a great daily driver that looks rugged on your drive to work then the RAV4 is right up your alley, there’s even a hybrid model that gets an estimated 41 mpg city and has a little more power and sporty-ness behind it.
While the TRD Off-Road model may inspire you to spend a bit more than you were anticipating you might want to go with the mid-price range XLE Premium model. It has plenty of standard equipment that you won’t find in the LE or XLE models like 19-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power liftgate, and faux-leather upholstery just to name a few. Aside from those comfort qualities, Toyota has made its driver-assistance features standard across the entire lineup. So, unless you are really wanting that TRD badge there might not be a reason to go with the pricier trims.
New for 2020 is Toyota making SiriusXM satellite radio and Android Auto standard across all versions of the RAV4 but there is always a negative to the positive as the sunroof is no longer standard; you’ll need to spend a bit more and select the Convenience Package if you are looking for a sunroof in your ride. The RAV4 prioritizes driver and passenger interior comfort and cubby storage across the board. Cargo wise, the rear seats stow easily as they fold to nearly a flat position to open up the cabin for almost anything you might need to pack into your RAV4.
The base trim doesn’t come with a lot of distinct features, having only a mix of soft-touch surfaces and nice plastics (but let’s face it, plastics can’t really be that nice). The next step up from the base, the RAV4 XLE, has a few more perks but the better move is the XLE Premium which includes faux-leather upholstery, a stitched and padded dash and center-center console armrest, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
On the technological front, the lower trims come with a 7-inch touchscreen but you can upgrade to an 8-inch screen starting at the RAV4 XLE level. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a standard thing across all models but you can add a 4G LTE mobile hotspot and Amazon Alexa to your infotainment center with a bit more money and in the higher trim levels. Some very cool available options include a JBL premium audio system, navigation, and a wireless charging pad for your smartphone.
The 2020 RAV4 has two different transmission options for you to choose from. One option is powered by a 203-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission while the other is the Hybrid’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine which is assisted by two electric motors for a combined output of 219-hp. Four-cylinders is definitely the theme in this article as the Rogue has the same engine, just different performance numbers.
Opposite of the 2020 CR-V’s quiet ride, the RAV4 can get a bit noisy when you really rev up the engine. Overall the RAV4 is a solid drive on the straightaways and holds its own on the winding roads. The front-wheel-drive RAV4s get an estimated 35 mpg highway and the all-wheel-drive RAV4s clock in at slightly lower efficiency at 32 mpg highway. Those numbers put it neck in neck with the Honda CR-V.
The 2020 RAV4 comes in with a 5-star Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (man, can that name get any longer?) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick+. Buyers have the option of adding blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross-traffic alert features for a little more money on the base trim. If you aren’t wanting to add those options to your ride, Toyota has provided a variety of standard driver-assist features across all models which include:
Toyota’s warranties offer competitive three years of bumper-to-bumper coverage and a five-year powertrain warranty. Couple that with two years of complimentary scheduled maintenance, which is pretty rare in the industry, and you have one of the top warranties available to buyers.
|2020 Honda CR-V EX-L AWD||VS||2020 Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium AWD|
|190-hp, 1.5-liter I-4 (regular gas)||Engine||
203-hp, 2.5-liter I-4 (regular gas)
2-speed CVT w/OD
|Transmission||8-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual|
|190 @ 5,600 rpm||Engine Horsepower (@ RPM)||203 @ 6,600 rpm|
|179 @ 2,000 rpm||Engine Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)||184 @ 5,000 rpm|
|27 City / 32 Highway / 29 Combined||EPA MPG Rating||27 City / 33 Highway / 29 Combined|
|All-Wheel Drive||Drivetrain||All-Wheel Drive|
|14 Gallons||Fuel Tank Capacity||14.5 Gallons|
|Not Available||Navigation||Not Available|
|2||Front LCD Screen||2|
|8||Number of Speakers||6|
|Standard||Primary Monitor Touchscreen||Standard|
|Bucket||Front Seat Type||Bucket|
|Driver & front passenger heated-cushion, heated-seatback||Heated Front Seats||Available: Driver & front passenger heated-cushion, heated-seatback|
|Not Available||Cooled Front Seats||Not Available|
|60-40 split-bench||Rear Seat Type||
|Dual-zone front automatic||Air Conditioning, Front||Dual-zone front automatic|
|Driver & Passenger||1-Touch Window Up||Front & Rear|
|Driver & Passenger||1-Touch Window Down||Front & Rear|
|Not Available||In-Vehicle Assistance Service||Standard|
|Driver & Front Passenger||Front Airbags||Driver & Front Passenger|
|Seat-Mounted, Driver & Passenger||Side-Impact Airbags||Seat-Mounted, Driver & Passenger|
|Curtain 1st & 2nd Row||Side-Curtain Airbags||Curtain 1st & 2nd Row|
|Halogen||Headlight Type||LED Low/High Beam|
|Standard||Daytime Running Lights||Standard|
|Not Available||Blind-Spot Monitoring System||Not Available|
|P235/60HR18.0 BSW AS||Tires||
P235/55HR19.0 BSW AS
|18″ silver w/painted accents aluminum||Wheels||19″ chrome PVD aluminum|
|Compact steel||Spare Tire & Wheel||Compact steel|
|Fixed||Rear Window Type||Fixed|
|Power Liftgate||Rear Cargo Door||Power Liftgate|
|Dual Power Remote||Mirrors||Dual Power Remote|
|Standard||Heated Side Mirrors||Standard|
1st row regular express open/close sliding & tilting glass
1st row regular express open/close sliding & tilting glass
|Variable Intermittent||Windshield Wipers, Front||
|Standard||Remote Keyless Entry||Standard|
|Standard||Keyless Access System||Standard|
|Power w/2 Stage Unlock||Door Locks||Power w/2 Stage Unlock|
|Standard||Rear Child Safety Door Locks||Standard|
|Standard||Content Theft-Deterrent Alarm System||Available|
|Standard||Adaptive Cruise Control||Standard|
|1||12-Volt DC Power Outlet||2|
|Standard||Retained Accessory Power||Standard|
Front & Rear
Front & Rear
|Standard||Programmable Garage-Door Opener||Available|
|3,536 lbs.||Curb Weight||
Both crossover SUVs are alike in some regards but with each, there are different attributes that set one apart from the other. Some similarities are the roomy seating for 5, comparable starting prices, and AWD available but not standard. The biggest standouts for the RAV4 are the Adventure Trim and TRD packages that give it some off-road capabilities, the hybrid option, and of course, because it is a Toyota, great resale value. The 2020 Honda CR-V boasts a quieter and more relaxed ride than the RAV4 and has upped its performance game by adding a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine option.
Which SUV is right for you? It just depends on your preferences. Looking for a more rugged off-roady look, then the 2020 Toyota RAV4 is right up your alley. If you are wanting a smoother ride with the superior storage and is a little speedier on the highway, then the 2020 Honda CR-V is your choice ride.Contact Us