Honda Laura Match-Up: 2017 Honda CR-V vs 2017 Toyota RAV4

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In the small SUV market, these two vehicles have been going head-to-head for years. In this Honda Laura video, we put them each in a corner and let the best vehicle win. On the right is the 2017 Honda CR-V EX, courtesy of Herb Chambers Honda of Seekonk. On the left is the 2017 Toyota RAV4 XLE, courtesy of Herb Chambers Toyota of Auburn.

Very similar price points start these two road warriors in their face off challenge. The CR-V offering a slight advantage when it comes to MSRP costs at $27, 995. The RAV4 in question is available for $28,230. This will become the theme throughout this match-up, as these cars are offer way more similarities than differences. Choosing a winner might become extremely difficult.

Exterior Comparison:

Both the CR-V and the RAV4 offer projector beam headlights, daytime running lights, LED turn signals and brake lights, and fog lights. Turn signal indicators built into body-colored side mirrors are also included, as well as chrome accents throughout the exterior bodywork. Moonroofs, deck-lid spoilers, and back-up cameras round out the similarities between them.

Where they differ:

  • The CR-V rides on 18” alloy wheels, rather than the 17” rims on the RAV4.
  • The RAV4 features super cool looking and functional roof rails.
  • Both have keyless entry systems, but the CR-V uses the Smart Entry system.

Under the Hood:

Let’s keep it simple and just look at the stats, side-by-side, on the powertrains for both vehicles.


  • 4-cylinder, 1.5L turbocharged engine, yielding 190 HP
  • CVT transmission
  • Fuel economy ratings: 27 mpg city, 33 city, 29 combined


  • 4-cylinder, 2.4L VVTI engine, yielding 176 HP
  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • Fuel economy: 22 mpg city, 28 highway, 25 combined

Interior Comparison:

When it comes to interiors, the best way to break it down is that the Honda CR-V offers more bells and whistles, while the RAV4 offers the classic styling. Comfortable heated seats with dual zone climate controls, plenty of storage, touch-screen audio displays, and USB charging ports in both options continue to keep these two on a fairly level footing. The CR-V comes with a touch more storage than the RAV4 (39.2 cubic feet vs 38.4 cf with the back seats up, 75.8 cf vs 73.4 cf with the back seats folded down.)

Additional differences include:

  • CR-V uses the High-Res instrument cluster, while the RAV4 has the standard TFT gauge displays
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather, soft-touch dash accents are included on the RAV4
  • CR-V includes Honda Sensing standard (mitigated braking, blind spot information, cross-traffic monitors)
  • RAV4 includes all-weather floor mats, as well as reclining back seats
  • CR-V seats can be folded down from the back, whereas the RAV4 controls must be accessed from the side door
  • Voice commands are more responsive and quicker on the RAV4

Like I said, this is a tough choice! No wonder these two have led the small SUV market for so long. Both vehicles are comfortable and offer plenty of functionality. As much as you know I loooove my personal CR-V, I have to admit that the RAV4 is a slightly quieter ride, with less road noise. But the CR-V continues to outperform when it comes to all the technology that comes standard, even on these base model trim lines.

The bottom line is, there really are no losers in this match-up. Choosing one over the other comes down to personal preference. Are you looking for all the bells and whistles Honda offers? Or are the classic, traditional stylings of the Toyota more to your taste? Cast your vote and let us know which one you’d prefer parked in your driveway in the comments section. My friends at Herb Chambers Honda in Seekonk can help make it happen.



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