2022 Honda HR-V vs Toyota RAV4
As you shop either online or in person for a new small SUV to replace your current cruiser, you might be quite surprised to find out just how inundated the market is with these vehicles at the moment. This is one of the most highly competitive segments, and these small SUVs sure do strive to surpass one another in terms of power, fuel economy, and available technological and safety features. Two such rivals that will probably end up on your to-best-test-driven list are the 2022 Honda HR-V vs 2022 Toyota RAV4, and they compete quite ferociously with one another.
The 2022 Honda HR-V is a tiny SUV that somehow manages to create a spacious cabin and cargo area. You can comfortably fit a couple of adults in the rear seats, and there is enough room for some luggage in the back. The HR-V is further enhanced by some strong fuel efficiency and clear outward visibility from your position in the driver's seat.
What holds the HR-V back, however, is its lackluster engine performance. This engine even gives off a lot of noise and vibrations when you put it under a bit of stress. With a fussy touchscreen display and not as many tech features made available, the Honda HR-V doesn't seem up-to-par for such a normally competent automaker.
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 delivers better-than-average off-roading capabilities, especially on the TRD Off-Road trim level. The controls are user-friendly and logically dispersed up front. Also, you get an abundance of space in the cargo area as well as inside of the cabin. The cabin present an interior that is superbly quiet, and the ride quality only serves to enhance that feeling of comfort.
But there are a few drawbacks to owning the RAV4. The steering system seems much too vague to inspire any real driver confidence. Additionally, the engine features some disappointing acceleration, which isn't something that helps it on or off the beaten path.
Which one of these two small SUVs is going to meet your needs the best? Does one offer a lot more value than the other? Which price tag best works itself into your budget? Let's compare these two vehicles to find out, then you can make an informed decision.
A powertrain can make owning a small SUV a great experience, especially if it blends fuel economy with power. You won't need to spend a lot of time planning 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 every other vehicle, and you could end up shelling out more than you'd like for gas.
The 2022 Honda HR-V is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that musters up 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. This engine is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT, for short) Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard while all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional on any of its four trim levels: the LX, Sport, EX, and EX-L.
With a little more power, the HR-V would be a much more likable vehicle. Sure, its steering and handling are top-of-the-line and represent what we've come to expect from Honda. Its well-tuned suspension gives the HR-V strong handling capabilities and can even be exciting to drive along winding mountain roads. Body roll is hardly existent, and the HR-V remains balanced and planted as it travels along.
But the underwhelming engine and CVT make for a rather bland and disappointing driving experience. The HR-V's 1.8-liter engine does well enough on flat road surfaces, but longer grades lead to it feeling strained. Don't even think about trying to floor it to quickly pass someone on the highway. Getting from 0 to 60 miles per hour takes the HR-V a droning 10.4 seconds — a very slow time for this segment.
That being said, the HR-V is a subcompact SUV that is not thirsty for fuel. It is EPA rated for 29 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving when you equip AWD, and FWD models do slightly better. This happens to be one of the best showings for the segment. Too bad the engine and transmission are so disappointing; otherwise, this would be a really rewarding ownership experience.
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 is powered by a standard four-cylinder engine that puts forth 203 horsepower. This is the sole engine available for the RAV4. An eight-speed automatic transmission is paired to it. FWD is standard on most of the RAV4's trim levels while AWD is kept as an option on all save for the Adventure and the TRD Off-Road. AWD comes standard as an upgraded system on these two trims that improves the vehicle's traction on slick and loose road surfaces.
The RAV4's standard engine is adequate while cruising around town, and even passing or merging on the highway are effortless enough. Just don't be in a rush, as you will then notice the RAV4's meager power delivery. This SUV takes 9.1 seconds to go from 0-60 mph, which is slower than most of its competitors. On top of that, the steering feels vague and lacks appropriate bulk, leading you to misjudge your inputs. At least the optional upgraded AWD serves up plenty of rear-axle torque vectoring and advanced traction control that includes hill descent control and selectable terrain settings. In conjunction with its high ground clearance, the RAV4 Adventure offers better-than-average off-roading for a small SUV.
The RAV4 garners an EPA estimated 28-30 mpg in combined driving, and real world tests place the AWD model at about 28.6 mpg. This shows that the estimates are accurate. There is a hybrid available if you wish to save more on fuel costs.
Drivability is an umbrella term that we use to describe how well-rounded a vehicle is as a daily driver. How comfortable is a vehicle to ride around in? Is the ride quality comfortable and smooth enough without coming off as too drifty? Are the interior materials of a high enough quality? Are the cabin's controls laid out in a logical manner? Are the tech features user-friendly How much cargo space is available, and how easy is it to use? These are some of the major factors we talk about when discussing a vehicle's drivability status.
The 2022 Honda HR-V is kind of a mixed bag, as we previously hinted at. While the powertrain is a major let-down (and boy, is that engine a noisy one), there are other aspects of the HR-V that deliver comfort. Once you are finally about to get this mouthy little number up to speed, its seats and ride quality are able to shine through. The seats are well padded for comfort and have enough adjustments up front. The ride quality feels refined enough, too. The touchscreen climate control does exhibit a few usability flaws, but on the whole, the system cis able to keep cabin temps controlled with ease. The HR-V is surprisingly road-trip-worthy, given its ability to provide comfort on long stretches of highway.
The HR-V's interior is truly superb and provides an abundance of space for adults of all sizes to sprawl out and chill. A good driving position is easy to find thanks to the seat's numerous adjustments. Visibility from the sides and out the front of the HR-V is expansive given how slender the front pillars are; the low dashboard, massive windshield, and wide windows definitely assist. Rear visibility is even decent, and the vehicle's blind spots are quite small due to the huge rear windows.
Most of the HR-V's controls are easy enough to understand and use, and you will probably find that you like the smattering of multi-functional buttons placed on the steering wheel. However, the touchscreen audio and climate control systems are not as likable. Why? Where the main touchscreen is concerned, what would normally be simple tasks require you to take long, distracting looks and spend time manually manipulating the touchscreens. At least Honda now includes a volume control knob.
Technology feels a bit lacking but is mostly functional. The HR-V has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone app integration as a standard feature on the Sport and above trim levels. You just cannot get it on the base LX trim (which most buyers skip over anyway). Although this vehicle is tech-friendly, its voice controls and included touchscreen controls detract from its straightforward nature.
The HR-V is a segment-best vehicle when it comes to creating immense cargo space, both with the rear seats up and when you fold them down. The rear seat can be folded down flat to help maximize that space. Cargo capacity with the seats left in place is an impressive 23.2 cubic feet, but when you fold the rear seats down, you get 55.9 cubes — much better than what you get in both the Mazda CX-30 or Jeep Renegade. Car seat accommodation is effortless due to all the space you get in that back seat, but you might have to dig around a little bit for the anchors, which are wedged between the seat cushions.
Small-item storage could be more generous though, as you do not get much space in the center console or in the door pockets for your smaller items. There are under-console storage areas that help out a little bit, but they are not all that big and are difficult to reach.
The 2022 Toyota RAV4's suspension provides a good balance between being plush and controlled. Bumps of all sizes get smoothed out. The front seats are sculpted and padded well enough, but the seat bottoms might seem flat after a while of sitting. The passenger side lacks adjustment, which makes it hard to find a comfy position. The RAV4 quiet on the highway save for when you hit the gas for a quick burst, as the engine starts to sound rough. The climate system has decent air flow, and the forward vents can be fully closed off.
Most aspects of the RAV4's interior are solid, but the front passenger seat is set high and cannot be adjusted on any but the Limited. There is a nice range of adjustment on the driver's seat, but taller drivers might want more. The controls are laid out intuitively with massive labeling assigned. The climate control system and sound system are self-contained. 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.
Tech is generally user-oriented here. Despite being fairly 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 has 37.5 cubic feet with the rear seats in place and 69.8 cubes when folded. The cargo floor being low as it is makes it easy to load up. In the front of the RAV4, the cabin has plenty of bins and shelving units designed to handle all kinds of things you'd take with you on a trip. This vehicle lets you tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped, which is a superb showing for this segment.
Safety is a major 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.
The 2022 Honda HR-V is outfitted with the Honda Sensing suite of driver aids on the EX and EX-L trim levels. This includes lane keep assist, forward collision mitigation, and lane keeping assist. You also get blind-spot monitoring, which is referred to as Honda LaneWatch. Adaptive cruise control can be a bit finnicky, but everything else seems to work without any real issue.
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?
As you go about making your final decision on which vehicle to purchase, consider what brings the most value to a vehicle for you. Which vehicle has the most overall value? Buyers need to do their research and hear about owners' experiences since taking a vehicle for a test-drive can only tell you so much.
The 2022 Honda HR-V doesn't offer a whole lot of standard features to make it all that alluring. In its class, sure, it has more than some extra-small SUVs, but many buyers will likely find themselves upgrading to the more popular CR-V, which is actually not all that much more expensive. It just happens to have the full array of Honda features everyone knows and loves. Plus, its powertrain is much, much more capable. The HR-V is well-constructed and more spacious than its closest rivals, and you get a decent fuel economy. It just isn't industry-leading anymore.
2022 Toyota RAV4 owners get an immense display of chic, stylized interior materials with an abundance of tactile design elements. The available simulated leather upholstery is soft and durable, highlighting some truly 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?
The 2022 Honda HR-V is not in the same segment as the 2022 Toyota RAV4, so you will want to consider size first and foremost. The HR-V is smaller, but it makes the most of what space it gets. It's just dramatically under-powered compared to the off-road-friendly RAV4. The RAV4 is indeed more powerful and offers you more features for an overall better value. While we don't hate the HR-V, it doesn't showcase Honda's knack for creating a stellar vehicle. The Toyota RAV4 will likely have more curb appeal for the average buyer.
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