2019 RAV4 vs. 2019 Honda CR-V



Greater Fuel Economy.


Stronger Engine.


Advanced Standard Safety Tech.


Higher Resale Value.


More Trim Options.


Back in the 1990s, Toyota and Honda began a new class of compact crossover SUVs. At that point in time, they had modest sales, but now, they are leading vehicles not only in their own classes but among all vehicles. According to J.D. Power, in 2018 the Toyota RAV4 sold 427,168 units in the US, and the Honda CR-V sold 379,013. The RAV4’s sales were not only the highest among compact SUVs, but they were the fourth highest number of any vehicle sold in 2018. Now, for 2019, you may be wondering which of these titans is best for you. Allow us to make a case for the 2019 Toyota RAV4.

For the 2019 model year, the RAV4 was redesigned. In its new version, the RAV4 earns an impressive base fuel economy of 26 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined. Considering the average mpg for a vehicle is 27 according to the EPA, this is a solid number. In fact, it beats out the 2019 Honda CR-V’s base fuel economy of 26 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway, and 28 mpg combined.

The 2019 CR-V does have a trick up its sleeve, though. With its optional 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, the CR-V earns a 28/34/30 city/highway/combined mpg split. With this engine, the fuel economy is essentially tied, but the 2019 RAV4 has a trick of its own. The RAV4 has a hybrid option that comes standard with All-Wheel Drive. In this guise, the RAV4 manages a 41/38/40 mpg split. That is a full 13 mpg in the city, 4 mpg on the highway, and 10 mpg combined better than the 2019 Honda CR-V.

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 does not stop there. With superior fuel economy numbers, one might expect the RAV4 to have a weaker engine, but this is simply not true. For 2019, the RAV4 arrives with 203 horsepower. This allows the RAV4 to get off the line quicker, merge onto highways easier, and pass more efficiently. The base 2019 Honda CR-V, on the other hand, only has 184 hp.

Granted, that 184 number is only for the base CR-V. All other trims get a moderate boost to 190 hp. Despite this boost, the CR-V still trails the standard 2019 RAV4 by 13 hp. The difference grows further once again with the RAV4 Hybrid. With its hybrid engine, the RAV4 makes 219 hp. That means the most powerful RAV4 has a 29 hp advantage over the most powerful CR-V.

If you thought the 2019 Toyota RAV4 was gonna stop there, you would be wrong. Not settling for superior fuel economy and horsepower, the 2019 RAV4 also comes standard with superior safety technology. The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) recommends that all vehicles come with four safety technologies. These are Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Crash Imminent Braking, and Dynamic Brake Support. The 2019 Honda CR-V does not have any of these standard, but it does have Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning on trims that are higher than the base trim. In contrast, the 2019 RAV4 not only offers all four of these technologies, but all four of them are standard on every trim level.

With all of these technologies in tow, it should be no surprise that the 2019 Toyota RAV4 was given a Top Safety Pick+ award by the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety). While this award is dependant on specific headlights, the 2019 Honda CR-V also depends on specific headlights to earn its Top Safety Pick award. Despite earning a Top Safety Pick spot, the 2019 CR-V could not earn the +, the highest designation. Additionally, both vehicles receive ratings of Superior for front crash prevention. The difference is that the CR-V’s rating is dependant on the Forward Collision Warning system that is not standard. The RAV4’s Superior front crash prevention rating is universal across all trims.

Fuel economy, horsepower, and safety technology. What more could you ask for? How about maintained value? Once again, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 has you covered. MotorTrend and IntelliChoice measure the five year cost of ownership for vehicles, and they have both the 2019 RAV4 and the 2019 CR-V ranked as Above Average. In fact, the CR-V has a slightly lower base five year cost ($32,123) than the RAV4 base ($32,849). But that is ignoring context.

As has been established with the safety technology, the 2019 CR-V does not offer the same features on its base trim that the RAV4 offers on its base trim. Another feature that is standard on the base RAV4 and missing from the base CR-V is Apple CarPlay. This service allows you to use an Apple-oriented interface on your standard 7.0 in. touchscreen that connects to your iPhone. This is not available on the base CR-V’s 5.0 in. touchscreen. The comparable trim to the RAV4’s base on the 2019 CR-V is actually the EX trim, which has some safety tech and Apple CarPlay. In its EX trim, the five year cost of ownership rises to $33,703, almost $1000 more than the base RAV4.

With this in mind, it is no surprise that the 2019 Toyota RAV4 maintains excellent resale value. Kelley Blue Book awards vehicles by category each year for best resale value. Among compact SUVs, the 2019 RAV4 comes in at second with 57.7% of its value maintained after 36 months and 43.6% after 60 months. The 2019 Honda CR-V is not among the top three.

If all of that does not have you convinced, the 2019 RAV4 even offers more trim variety than the 2019 CR-V. The CR-V’s trims are pretty standard. Each of the four builds on the last to be more luxurious in a straight line. While the RAV4 follows this path for the most part, it does veer off the common path. One of the most interesting offerings among the RAV4’s trims is the Adventure model. This model is designed with going off the beaten path in mind, but luxury is not forgotten. Special orange stitching adorns the inside, and a unique grille graces the vehicle’s front.

So, are you convinced? The 2019 Toyota RAV4 offers something for everyone. Fuel economy, horsepower, safety tech, maintained value, and variety. It truly is an incredible vehicle, but do not just take my word for it. Come on in to Evans Toyota and try one out for yourself. You can find us at 515 W Coliseum Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46808. You can also call us at (260) 482-3730. We hope to see you soon.

Websites/Articles Mentioned (in order mentioned):

J.D. Power 2018 Best Selling Compact SUVs and Crossovers: https://www.jdpower.com/cars/suvs/10-most-popular-compact-suvs-and-crossovers?make=&model=

EPA Fuel Economy Comparison: https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=sbs&id=41122&id=41307&id=40852&id=40853

NHTSA 2019 RAV4 Safety Ratings: https://www.nhtsa.gov/vehicle/2019/TOYOTA/RAV4/SUV/FWD

IIHS 2019 RAV4 Safety Ratings: https://www.iihs.org/ratings/vehicle/toyota/rav4-4-door-suv/2019

Kelley Blue Book 2019 Resale Value Awards Compact SUV/Crossover: https://www.kbb.com/new-cars/best-resale-value-awards/best-resale-compact-suv-crossover/