2022 Honda CR-V vs Toyota RAV4
While you shop around for a brand-new small SUV to replace your current ride, you might be a bit shocked to learn how saturated the market is with these vehicles at the moment. This segment is indeed highly competitive, and all of these small SUVs are trying to edge one another out in terms of power, fuel economy, and their included technological features. Two such rivals that will probably end up on your to-best-test-driven list are the 2022 Honda CR-V and 2022 Toyota RAV4, and they are truly some fierce competitors.
The 2022 Honda CR-V combines swift acceleration with a high fuel efficiency from its base engine. The CR-V's ride performance illustrates a moderate degree of athleticism, especially concerning how well it handles. It also demonstrates a smooth ride quality. Honda ensures that the CR-V's interior is thoughtfully crafted with a plethora of space, small item storage areas, and a versatile cargo area setup. Also, the line-topping Touring trim now comes with standard all-wheel drive (AWD).
The downside to the CR-V is that there is no separate tuning knob, which makes the fussy touchscreen infotainment display even more difficult to use. Add to that the fact that the CR-V's 1,500-pound max towing capacity sits well below the industry average.
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 gives you a ton of off-roading capabilities, especially on the aptly named TRD Off-Road trim level. The controls are all straightforward for the average user, and you get an abundance of space in the cargo area as well as inside of the cabin. Also, the cabin is remarkably tranquil, and the ride quality only serves to buffer that sense of comfort.
Of course, this year's RAV4 has a few pitfalls, too. The steering system comes off as being way too vague to inspire any driver confidence. Additionally, the engine delivers some disappointing acceleration, which puts it behind how the CR-V is able to perform.
Which one of these two small SUVs is going to check all of your boxes? Does one offer more all-around value than the other? Which price tag best fits your budget? Read through this comparison review to find out.
A capable powertrain can make owning a small SUV a superb experience. You won't need to spend a lot of fretting over how you're going to merge onto or pass another vehicle on the highway. However, an under-powered powertrain can leave you feeling as though you're being left in the dust by many other vehicles sharing the road with you.
The 2022 Honda CR-V is powered by a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts forth190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. It is paired up to a continuously variable automatic transmission (also known as a CVT). FWD is standard with AWD being an option for any trim level save for the Touring, on which it has recently been made standard. If you are at all curious about hybrid SUVs, there is a CR-V Hybrid available from Honda that gives you even better fuel economy.
The turbo engine is swift off the line, getting from 0 to 60 mph in just about 8.2 seconds. This might not sound all that exciting, but it is a decent showing for this segment, especially compared to the RAV4. The CVT is refined when it comes to upshifting and downshifting, and it has the added benefit of being a bit more fuel savvy than a regular automatic transmission. Handling feels stable and even somewhat sporty for this class. What's more, the steering comes off as being both precise and responsive.
EPA estimates put the FWD equipped 2022 CR-V can get 30 mpg in combined driving while the AWD models are able to draw about 29 mpg combined. While this places the CR-V near the top of its class, achieving these numbers seemingly depends on your driving style. If you drive with a 'lead foot', you will probably see lower numbers. However, if you are gentle on the gas pedal, you might see a return that is closer to these estimates - maybe even a little bit better.
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 is powered by a standard four-cylinder engine that musters up 203 horsepower. This is the only engine that you can get on the RAV4. An eight-speed automatic transmission is mated to this engine. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard on most of the RAV4's trim levels while AWD is available as an option on all trims save for the Adventure and the TRD Off-Road. On these two trim levels, AWD comes standard as an upgraded system that enhances the vehicle's traction on slippery and loose road surfaces.
The RAV4's engine is respectable enough while cruising around town, and even passing or merging on the highway are simple. You should not push yourself into a hurry though, as you will feel the RAV4's mild power delivery. This SUV needs 9.1 seconds to go from 0-60 mph, making it almost a full second slower than the CR-V. Also, the steering feels too vague and lacks proper heft. This might lead you to misjudge your inputs. At least the optional upgraded AWD gives you rear-axle torque vectoring and advanced traction control that includes hill descent control and selectable terrain settings. Coupled with its ground clearance, the RAV4 Adventure offers better-than-average off-roading for a small SUV.
The RAV4 achieves an EPA estimated 28-30 mpg in combined driving, and real world tests place the AWD model at about 28.6 mpg. This reflects that these estimates are accurate. Just like with the CR-V, there is a hybrid available if you want to go that route.
Drivability is an all-encompassing word that we use to describe how well-rounded a vehicle works as a daily driver. How comfortable is a vehicle to ride around in? Is the ride quality plush and smooth enough without coming off as too floaty? Are the interior materials of a high enough quality? Are the cabin's controls intuitively laid out? Are the tech features user-friendly? How much cargo space is available? How easy is it to use all of the storage spaces? These are some of the main factors we talk about when discussing a vehicle's drivability status.
The 2022 Honda CR-V is a small SUV that has a comfy ride quality despite the fact that a small amount of wind and tire noise make their way into the cabin at higher speeds. While riding along on rougher road surfaces, the suspension can dispatch bumps and jitters of all sizes, even with the optional 19-inch tires equipped on the Touring trim. The front seats provide ample, well-sculpted support for lengthy drives, and the reclining rear seatback boosts comfort for backseat passengers. The only pitfall is that the automatic climate control system does not always maintain the temperature you set it to.
Getting into the CR-V's cabin is effortless enough due to its wide door sills. Then, once you are inside, you can simply adjust the steering wheel and driver's seat to your liking. You will feel how cavernous the cabin is, and it bests a lot of the competition in that regard. The physical controls on the dashboard are simple to use, but those buried within the touchscreen menus are more finicky. On top of that, sunlight will wash out the display on the digital temperature gauge.
Honda's technology is user-oriented for the average user. Smartphone app integration is standard on all but the base LX trim level. The higher trim levels add on two USB ports in the rear that are only for charging. The voice controls could do with some fine-tuning, and of course, the touchscreen menus are clunky. However, the navigation screen generates well pixelated, clear graphics.
With the 9.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, the CR-V offers a lot of volume to work with. You can max the cargo volume out to 75.8 cubic feet by folding the rear seats down, and they will fold flat. There are also numerous small item storage spaces located throughout the cabin, with the center console's deep bin and configurable sliding tray proving to be a smart and helpful. The LATCH system makes installing car seats in the back easier than in most rivals, and you will have plenty of space there for even bulky rear-facing car seats. You will, however, likely end up wishing the CR-V had about 2,000 pounds more in towing capacity, as it sits at a measly 1,500 pounds max.
The 2022 Toyota RAV4's suspension serves up a good balance between being soft and stable. Bumps of all sizes get quickly dispatched before entering the cabin. The front seats are padded and sculpted alright, but the seat bottoms tend to feel pretty flat after a few hours of sitting on them. The passenger's side lacks ample adjustment, which makes it hard to find a comfy position. The RAV4 remains tranquil on the highway except for when you smash down the gas for a quick thrust of power, and the engine starts sounding rough when you do this. The climate system has a comfortable air flow, and the forward vents can be completely closed off.
Many elements of the RAV4's interior are well constructed, but the front passenger seat is set too high and cannot be adjusted on any trim level but the Limited. There is a good range of adjustability on the driver's seat although taller drivers might yearn for even more. The controls are intuitively dispersed along the dash with massive labeling assigned. The climate control system and sound system are set off on their own though. Everything else is where you'd expect, and the climate control knobs are easy to use. The touchscreen is set a stretch away from the driver, and the tuning knob requires a real reach.
The RAV4's technology is mostly user-friendly. Even though it is relatively new, the touchscreen has some outdated-looking graphics. There's nothing stand-out about the sound system either. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and you will rely on them versus the native Entune system.
The RAV4 offers 37.5 cubic feet when the rear seats are in place and 69.8 cubes when they are folded down. The low cargo floor makes it easy to load up. Up front, the cabin has numerous shelves and bins to handle assorted road-trip paraphernalia. You can tow up to 3,500 pounds, which is a great showing for this class.
Safety is a huge concern for almost every driver on the road. Auto makers are certainly aware of the demand for advanced safety features and designs. Both Honda and Toyota are well versed in how to create functional driver aids and include quite a few of them on their SUVs. And they sure do seem to love competing for best-in-class safety ratings.
Honda equips the CR-V with a standard suite of advanced driver aids. These include forward collision mitigation, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping assist. A multi-angle rear-view camera is also included on the CR-V, with dynamic guidelines coming on the higher trim levels. On the EX trim and above, you get a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.
Similarly, the 2022 Toyota RAV4 has its own bundle of advanced driver aids. You get a traffic sign reader, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, a lane keep system, and automatic high beams. The XLE has a blind-spot monitor, and a surround-view camera system remains optional.
Which Has the Best Value?
Before you finalize your decision on which small SUV you want to buy, you ought to consider what contributes to a vehicle's value for you. Which vehicle has the most overall value? Test-driving a vehicle can only tell you so much, which is why buyers need to do their research and hear about owners' experiences.
2022 Honda CR-V owners will find that they get plenty of value from their vehicles as well. Honda's interior build quality is clean and of higher quality than others in this class. The available leather upholstery found in the higher trim levels looks high-end, and the standard turbo engine serves up supple power delivery without sipping too heavily on gasoline. Warranty coverage and roadside assistance are all industry average though.
2022 Toyota RAV4 owners get a lot of chic, stylized interior materials with a number of tactile design elements. The available simulated leather upholstery is durable and soft, featuring some nice stitching. Toyota has industry-average warranty coverage, but the two years/25,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance adds some value.
Which is Better?
Both the 2022 Honda CR-V and 2022 Toyota RAV4 have a bunch of safety and tech features equipped to make them worth their weight. However, the CR-V has a slightly better track record with its powertrain. The CVT is probably the most refined you will find on the market, and you get a great amount of power from the engine. AWD is helpful to have, but it isn't as off-road oriented as the RAV4 can be. However, not all buyers want an off-roader, and that is why we think more buyers will be attracted to the CR-V this year.