2019 RAV4 vs 2018/2019 CR-V – Which is better?

2019 RAV4 vs 2018/2019 CR-V

The 2018 CR-V has won many awards and the 2019 CR-V is likely to do the same. The Honda CR-V is a vehicle everybody knows is dependable, cost-efficient, spacious, and functional. We are here to show you just how much better the 2018 and 2019 CR-V are than the all-new 2019 RAV4.

There’s a reason that MotorTrend named the CR-V 2018 SUV of the Year: Honda absolutely nailed it with the 2018 CR-V redesign. The CR-V boasts a smooth ride, incredible steering, solid second-row space, Honda Sensing safety features, and most importantly, a fantastic value. The RAV4 has always been close behind the CR-V, but the features listed above put the CR-V a cut above the competition.

Engine, Transmission and Power

When it comes to Honda Engines, Motortrend said it best:

“Here’s the thing about Honda engines: You never notice them. You push the start button, the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder fires up, and that’s about it. No one who drives a CR-V will ever think about the way the silky, seamless engine sounds. That’s far from the case with the RAV4. Even commuters with no interest in cars will notice the Toyota 2.5-liter I-4 sounds coarse, unrefined, and obnoxiously loud.”

The RAV4 does have a slight edge when it comes to power: The CR-V’s 4-cylinder turbo puts out 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque versus the RAV4’s engine has 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. But what use is a little extra power if your engine sounds gravelly and off-putting? On top of this, the Honda CR-V has far superior power delivery thanks to the tried and true CVT they’ve developed which is constantly hailed as one of the best CVT systems ever developed.

Handling and Safety Features

Another thing that puts the Honda CR-V a cut above even the latest 2019 RAV4 is the superior handling you are going to get. No matter how hard you manage to push your CR-V, you can expect a much more balanced ride with no body roll or issues during hard cornering. Honda’s CVT keeps the power delivery constant, something that the RAV4’s 8-speed automatic just never seems to be able to keep up with.

When it comes to technology and safety equipment, there is simply no comparison. Honda’s driver-assist features are much more reliable. Adaptive cruise control will speed you up and slow you down reliably and smoothly. The Lane Keep Assist system will actually keep you centered instead of ping-ponging between the stripes. Apple Carplay has been a part of Honda for years now whereas the Toyota just got it with this most recent RAV4 (which had trouble even during it’s official press release due to glitches). To top it all off the user interface in the Toyota RAV4 is slow at best:

” ‘Entune 3.0 is super slow and unresponsive,’ Ogbac complained. ‘The layout is simple, but you’re left waiting for it to load most of the time.’ These quite possibly are prototype issues that have yet to be resolved. ” – MotorTrend

Since Honda has made technology, safety, and convenience paramount for years you will notice an immediate difference here between the CR-V and RAV4.


Final Verdict

Here is the final tale of the tape:

Category  2018 Honda CR-V  2019 Toyota RAV4
Pricing $35,145 $37,465
Technology Smooth, Advanced interface with very little lag Slow and Unresponsive, frequent and longer load times for all tasks
Transmission Peerless CVVT System Laggy 8-speed automatic
Horsepower 190 hp @ 5,600 rpm 203 hp @ 6,600 rpm
Drivetrain All-Wheel Drive Front-Wheel Drive
Handling Handles tight corners with smooth and effortless ease Noticeably unresponsive, especially during corners
Safety Honda Sensing, LKAS, ABS, Blind-Spot Camera are elegant and functional SafetySuite 2.0 lane-keep assist systems leave much to be desired, with less advanced software


Toyota has done a great job revamping their RAV4 this year with a full exterior redesign, upgraded tech features, and a little bit more power in their engine. But when it comes up against the 2018 CR-V – even with all the changes they have made this year – there is just no contest. The Honda CR-V is constantly a best-seller in Canada for a very good reason.

Us telling you about it is one thing, but why not come test the Honda CR-V for yourself?