By Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

May 5, 2023
Compare Mid-Sized Hybrid SUVs: Toyota RAV4 vs Honda CRV

When looking to buy a new mid-sized hybrid SUV, you have several options to consider. Two popular choices on the market today are the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Both of these vehicles are known for their fuel efficiency, comfortable interiors, and cutting-edge technology, making them strong contenders for your next purchase. As a new driver, it's essential to find a vehicle that is not only eco-friendly but also user-friendly, offering you a seamless driving experience.

In comparing the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, several factors come into play, such as handling, interior noise levels, and available trim options. 

According to a Motor Trend comparison test, the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid has a slightly quieter interior, and it handles marginally better than the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. 

On the other hand, the RAV4 Hybrid has a greater variety of trims, including the rugged Woodland Edition and the sporty SE, allowing you to customize your vehicle according to your preferences.

As you weigh your options, keep in mind that the starting price of a 2023 Toyota RAV4 is substantially lower than the 2023 Honda CR-V, making the RAV4 potentially more budget-friendly for a new driver. Overall, both hybrid SUVs have strengths and weaknesses, but considering factors like handling, interior noise, and starting price may help you make an informed decision that best suits your needs.

Toyota RAV4 vs Honda CR-V Overview

Toyota RAV4

When considering the Toyota RAV4, you'll find it's a popular mid-sized SUV that boasts excellent fuel economy and rugged looks. You'll appreciate its Android Auto integration, which was added in 2020. The base engine for the 2023 RAV4 is a 2.5-liter I-4 that produces 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and available with either FWD or AWD.

The RAV4 Hybrid has a wider variety of trim options, offering a total of seven, including the rugged Woodland Edition, the sporty SE, and more. Starting at $27,975, it offers a more affordable base price compared to the Honda CR-V, making it a good choice for budget-conscious buyers.

Honda CR-V

On the other side, the Honda CR-V is also a well-received mid-sized SUV offering top-notch reliability and an upscale, spacious interior. It's easy to drive and has a good reputation for its performance on the road.

For the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid model, there are only two trims available, limiting your options compared to the RAV4. However, if you're more interested in the standard model, the higher base price isn't something to worry about.

When comparing the ride experience, the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid's cabin is slightly quieter than the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. The Honda also handles slightly better, providing a smoother driving experience for new drivers.

In conclusion, both the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V are excellent choices for mid-sized SUVs. Selecting the best option for you ultimately depends on your personal preferences and priorities. Consider factors such as budget, trim availability, ride quality, and aesthetics when deciding which SUV best meets your needs as a new driver.

Fuel Economy Comparison

When comparing the fuel economy of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Honda CR-V Hybrid, it's essential to consider how their respective mpg ratings will affect your driving experience. Let's take a closer look at the fuel economy of these mid-sized hybrid SUVs and help you determine which might be the better option for a new driver.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD has an impressive fuel economy of up to 41 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, making it an attractive option for those who spend a lot of time driving in urban environments. With a 14.5-gallon fuel tank, you can expect a range of over 500 miles between fill-ups, reducing the frequency of those inconvenient trips to the gas station.

On the other hand, some reviews suggest that the Honda CR-V Hybrid's fuel economy might be slightly lower than the RAV4 Hybrid, but still very competitive. For example, a 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid vs. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Comparison Test mentions the RAV4 Hybrid as the more affordable option with standard all-wheel drive, but does not provide specific fuel economy numbers for the CR-V Hybrid.

To summarize their respective fuel efficiencies:

  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: 41 mpg city / 38 mpg highway
  • Honda CR-V Hybrid: Competitive, but specific numbers not available in this source

Please note that these numbers can vary depending on driving conditions, individual driving habits, and other factors. As a new driver, it's essential to consider how your driving habits line up with the fuel economy offered by each model, as well as the potential cost savings in fuel that you might experience with each option. Also, you should check for official fuel economy ratings and do your research to ensure the information is accurate and up-to-date.

In conclusion, the choice between the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Honda CR-V Hybrid will depend on various factors, including fuel economy and price. Keep researching and comparing the two to make an informed decision that fits your personal requirements and preferences.

2023 Toyota RAV4

Pricing and Trim Levels

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Pricing and Trims

For the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, there are a variety of trims and configurations available to suit your needs. With a base MSRP of $30,725, the RAV4 Hybrid offers an affordable option among hybrid SUVs1. There are 7 different trim levels to choose from, allowing you to find the perfect combination of features for your driving needs2.

Some trims available for the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid include:

  • LE Hybrid
  • XLE Hybrid
  • XLE Premium Hybrid
  • Limited Hybrid

Each trim comes with a unique set of features, so you might want to compare them carefully to ensure you get the ideal option for your preferences2.

2023 Honda CRV

Honda CR-V Hybrid Pricing and Trims

When considering the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid, you might notice it comes with a slightly higher price tag compared to its Toyota counterpart. For an all-wheel-drive CR-V Hybrid, the price gap grows to about $4,0003, which you should keep in mind when selecting a mid-size hybrid SUV.

Popular trim levels for the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid include:

  • LX Hybrid
  • EX Hybrid
  • EX-L Hybrid
  • Touring Hybrid

Just like with the RAV4 Hybrid, each trim level for the CR-V Hybrid has distinct features that cater to different driving needs, so comparing all trim levels is essential for finding your perfect match3.

In conclusion, both the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid offer a variety of trim levels to fit your needs, but the RAV4 Hybrid has a slightly lower starting price. Take your time to explore each trim level and compare their features so you can make an informed decision on your new mid-sized hybrid SUV.

Performance and Handling

When it comes to performance, both the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid and the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid offer impressive acceleration and handling, making them great choices for new drivers.

In terms of acceleration, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has an edge over the Honda CR-V Hybrid. The RAV4's slightly quicker acceleration is due to its powertrain consisting of a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine, combined with electric motors that provide a total output of 219 horsepower. On the other hand, the CR-V Hybrid features a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine, coupled with electric motors that generate a total output of 212 horsepower.

You'll find that the Honda CR-V Hybrid has a slightly better handling experience compared to the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. The CR-V's superior handling is attributed to Honda's exceptional engineering in suspension systems and the placement of the battery pack, which results in a well-balanced and composed ride. However, the RAV4 Hybrid is still an excellent performer, offering a smooth and comfortable ride for daily driving.

Another advantage of the Honda CR-V Hybrid is its quiet cabin. The CR-V Hybrid's interior noise levels are lower than the RAV4 Hybrid's, allowing you to enjoy a more serene driving experience. This is particularly important for new drivers, as it helps to keep you focused on the task of driving.

Both the CR-V Hybrid and RAV4 Hybrid provide plenty of torque for responsive acceleration and smooth city driving. The RAV4 Hybrid's torque output is slightly higher, giving you that extra push when you need it during highway merging or overtaking. Overall, both vehicles give you a safe and enjoyable driving experience.

To recap:

Honda CR-V Hybrid:

  • 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine
  • 212 horsepower
  • Better handling
  • Quieter cabin

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid:

  • 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine
  • 219 horsepower
  • Slightly quicker acceleration
  • Higher torque output

So, whether you choose the Honda CR-V Hybrid or Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, both mid-sized SUVs offer a great balance of performance and handling for new drivers. Evaluate your specific preferences and test drive both to determine which vehicle suits your needs best.

Dimensions and Interior Space

When comparing the mid-sized hybrid SUVs Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, it's essential to consider the dimensions and interior space they offer. Both SUVs cater to new drivers, so understanding the differences between them can help make an informed decision.

Starting with dimensions, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid offers generous space for both passengers and cargo. With the rear seats up, there's 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space, which expands to 69.8 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down. In terms of passenger space, the RAV4 provides ample room for five occupants to travel comfortably.

On the other hand, the Honda CR-V Hybrid also offers seating for five passengers, ensuring that you and your friends have plenty of room. The CR-V's overall dimensions are slightly more expansive than the RAV4's, which contributes to its impressive interior space.

2023 Honda CRV interior

When it comes to rear-seat comfort, the Honda CR-V is known for its spaciousness, making long trips more enjoyable for rear passengers. You can expect more legroom and shoulder room in the CR-V compared to the RAV4. This extra space allows for more relaxed and comfortable seating, especially during longer drives.

Size-wise, both SUVs have similar measurements; however, an important thing to remember is how these dimensions affect the overall driving experience. The Honda CR-V's dimensions make it slightly bulkier, which could be a factor to consider for new drivers who prefer a more compact and easy-to-maneuver vehicle.

In summary, when comparing the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid, both vehicles offer sufficient interior space and comfortable seating arrangements. The Honda CR-V tends to provide more rear-seat space and has a larger overall dimension. Feel free to investigate further when making your choice – keeping your specific needs, requirements, and preferences in mind should lead you to the perfect vehicle.

Cargo Space and Towing Capacity

When comparing the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid, it's essential to consider cargo space and towing capacity, as these factors impact your day-to-day driving experience and overall versatility.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid offers an above-average cargo capacity for a mid-sized hybrid SUV. You'll have 37.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 69.8 cubic feet when folding these seats down. This makes it suitable for carrying groceries, luggage, and even larger items when necessary. A manual liftgate is standard, but you can opt for a power liftgate or a hands-free power liftgate for added convenience.

On the other hand, the Honda CR-V Hybrid also provides a generous cargo volume. Although exact dimensions are not readily available, you can expect a similar level of practicality and storage capacity. It's worth noting that both the RAV4 and CR-V have designed their hybrid systems not to compromise cargo volume, which is great news for those seeking a fuel-efficient vehicle without sacrificing space.

When it comes to towing capacity, the Honda CR-V Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid are not primarily designed for heavy towing duties. However, they can manage light to moderate loads efficiently. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a towing capacity of 1,750 pounds, sufficient for transporting small trailers, recreational equipment, or other light loads.

The Honda CR-V Hybrid's towing capacity is not explicitly mentioned by the manufacturer. Nevertheless, it should be comparable to the RAV4 Hybrid, considering both vehicles' similar size and power output from their hybrid systems.

In conclusion, both the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid deliver impressive cargo space and reasonable towing capacities for mid-sized hybrid SUVs. Whether you're a new driver, a family on the go, or just seeking a versatile vehicle for city living and weekend getaways, either of these options should serve you well.

Standard and Available Features

When comparing the mid-sized hybrid SUVs Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid, it's essential to look at the standard and available features as this will help you decide which one is a better buy for a new driver like yourself.

Both the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid have generous standard features, such as climate control, airbags, and brakes, ensuring a comfortable and safe driving experience. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid comes with a base MSRP of $30,725, which offers a good value considering its many standard safety and convenience features like adaptive cruise control, wireless Apple CarPlay, and all-wheel drive.

Meanwhile, the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid starts at a slightly higher price point, but it also provides an array of standard features that make it an attractive option for new drivers. Here's a brief overview of the key features for both vehicles:

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid:

  • 219 net horsepower
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Multiple airbags for safety
  • Anti-lock brakes

Honda CR-V Hybrid:

  • All-wheel drive
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Several airbags for safety
  • Anti-lock brakes

Both vehicles also offer optional features, such as a moonroof, which can enhance your driving experience. Keep in mind that choosing additional options may increase the overall cost of the vehicle.

In summary, when considering which mid-sized hybrid SUV is a better buy for a new driver, it's essential to compare the standard and available features of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid. Keep in mind your personal preferences and budget, as well as the features that are most important to you as a new driver.

Safety and Driver Assistance

When comparing the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid, safety and driver assistance features are essential factors to consider, especially for new drivers like yourself. Understanding which vehicle offers the best features for your needs can help you make an informed decision.

In terms of safety ratings, both the RAV4 Hybrid and CR-V Hybrid have received excellent scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This means you can feel confident knowing that both vehicles provide a high level of safety for you and your passengers.

Honda Sensing and Toyota Safety Sense are the respective safety suites included with the CR-V Hybrid and RAV4 Hybrid. Both packages offer an impressive array of safety features. Some of the notable safety features offered by both vehicles are:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Lane-Keeping Assist
  • Lane-Departure Warning
  • Blind-Spot Monitoring

Adaptive Cruise Control is a valuable feature for new drivers since it can help maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front. By automatically adjusting your speed, the system can reduce the risk of rear-end collisions. Both the Honda CR-V Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid come equipped with this advanced technology.

Beyond these common features, the Honda CR-V Hybrid also offers additional driver assistance features, such as the innovative Road Departure Mitigation System. This system can detect if you are unintentionally drifting off the road and apply mild steering corrections to get you back on track. It's an excellent addition for new drivers who are still perfecting techniques and learning to stay alert during long drives.

When it comes to controls and user experience, MotorTrend reports that the CR-V Hybrid has a slightly better handling experience than the RAV4 Hybrid. A more intuitive driving experience can be vital for new drivers as it allows them to focus on learning and mastering driving skills.

In conclusion, both the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid offer a comprehensive set of safety and driver assistance features, making them ideal choices for new drivers. While you can't go wrong with either vehicle, the additional features and slight edge in handling might make the Honda CR-V Hybrid a more appealing option.

Drivetrain and Transmission Options

When it comes to drivetrain and transmission options in mid-sized hybrid SUVs, both Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V have distinct offerings to cater to your needs.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid comes equipped with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with electric motors, providing a combined output of 219 horsepower. This powertrain uses an electronic continuously variable transmission (eCVT) which offers seamless shifting for a smoother driving experience.

Moreover, the RAV4 Hybrid features a standard all-wheel drive (AWD) system. This means that power is distributed to all four wheels, resulting in enhanced traction and improved handling, especially in challenging road conditions.

Honda CR-V Hybrid

On the other hand, the Honda CR-V Hybrid comes with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine combined with electric motors, delivering a total output of 212 horsepower. Like the RAV4, the CR-V Hybrid also utilizes an eCVT for smooth and efficient gear changes.

The Honda CR-V Hybrid offers an all-wheel-drive system as standard as well. This ensures that you maintain adequate grip and control, no matter what the road throws at you.

To compare the two vehicles, here's a quick overview of their main features:

Feature

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Honda CR-V Hybrid

Engine

2.5-liter 4-cylinder + electric

2.0-liter 4-cylinder + electric

Horsepower

219 combined

212 combined

Transmission

Electronic CVT

Electronic CVT

All-Wheel Drive

Standard

Standard

As you consider these drivetrain and transmission options, remember that both the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid offer exceptional performance, efficiency, and all-wheel-drive capabilities. Depending on your personal preferences and driving requirements, either of these mid-sized hybrid SUVs can make an excellent choice for a new driver like you.

Warranty and Reliability

When it comes to warranty and reliability, both the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Honda CR-V Hybrid are excellent choices for new drivers like you. However, there are some differences between the two that you should consider before making a purchase.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is known for its reliability, and Toyota backs this up with a comprehensive warranty package. The standard warranty for Toyota RAV4 Hybrid includes:

  • Basic Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Hybrid System Warranty: 8 years/100,000 miles
  • Hybrid Battery Warranty: 10 years/150,000 miles (for 2020 models and newer)

In addition to these warranties, Toyota also offers complimentary maintenance for the first two years or 25,000 miles, giving you added peace of mind.

Honda CR-V Hybrid

The Honda CR-V Hybrid also boasts an impressive reputation for reliability. Honda's warranty coverage for the CR-V Hybrid is similar to the RAV4 Hybrid but with some slight differences. The Honda CR-V Hybrid warranty includes:

  • Basic Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
  • Powertrain Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles
  • Hybrid System Warranty: 8 years/80,000 miles (in some states, it's 8 years/100,000 miles)
  • Hybrid Battery Warranty: 8 years/120,000 miles

While Honda does not offer complimentary maintenance with the CR-V Hybrid, their warranty coverage still provides a solid foundation for your new vehicle experience.

Ultimately, your choice between the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Honda CR-V Hybrid will largely depend on your personal preferences and requirements. Both SUVs offer excellent warranty and reliability options, ensuring that you can drive with confidence as a new driver. Take the time to assess your needs and desires, and you'll be able to make a well-informed decision that suits your lifestyle.

Comparison: Which is the Better Buy for a New Driver

When comparing the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and the Honda CR-V Hybrid, there are several factors to consider to determine which mid-sized hybrid SUV is the better overall buy for a new driver. Let's look at some of the key aspects that could influence your decision.

Performance and Fuel Efficiency

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid offers a combined fuel efficiency of 40 mpg, while the Honda CR-V Hybrid delivers a slightly lower fuel-efficiency rating at 38 mpg combined. While both vehicles feature similar performance specs, the RAV4 Hybrid has a slight edge in terms of fuel economy, which could be an essential criterion for a new driver looking to save on gas costs.

Pricing

Price is always an important consideration for a new driver. The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid starts at $31,110, while the 2023 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a starting price slightly higher at around $32,000. Although the difference isn't significant, as a new driver, you might appreciate the lower starting price of the Honda CR-V Hybrid.

Safety Features

Both vehicles are equipped with standard safety features, making them ideal choices for a new driver. The Honda CR-V Hybrid comes with the Honda Sensing® suite, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and more. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, on the other hand, features Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0, which offers similar advanced safety features as the Honda Sensing® suite.

Interior Quality and Comfort

The Honda CR-V Hybrid boasts a spacious cabin with significant legroom for passengers, whereas the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid has a slightly more conservative interior space. However, both vehicles provide comfortable seating and ample cargo space. The Honda CR-V Hybrid edges slightly ahead in interior quality with its more user-friendly infotainment system and additional convenience features.

To sum it up, both the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V Hybrid offer excellent features that cater to a new driver's needs. However, the Honda CR-V Hybrid takes the lead with its lower starting price, slightly better interior quality, and comparable safety features. While the RAV4 Hybrid does have better fuel efficiency, the other factors mentioned might lead you to lean towards the Honda CR-V Hybrid as the better buy for a new driver.

Footnotes

  1. U.S. News ↩
  2. Cars.com ↩ ↩2
  3. Motor Trend ↩ ↩2

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Anthony Santiago - Editor-in-Chief

About the author

I am a passionate car enthusiast who likes to help people save money and avoid headaches when it comes to cars. I believe that everyone can find the right car at the right price. I share my tips and experience so you can learn quickly and maximize your next SUV, truck or car purchase.

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