|40.4||Rear Legroom (in)||37.8|
|75.8||Cargo Space (cu.ft.)||69.8|
|12-way Avl.||Power Seats||8-way Avl.|
The 2022 Honda CR-V vs 2022 Toyota RAV4 battle is nowhere near finished, especially as Honda has huge plans for its beloved crossover. How do you begin comparing Honda and Toyota's two iconic SUVs without considering a few things? Normally, style over substance is something that is far too common in the industry. Honda and Toyota, on the other hand, are both highly respected for their ability to combine both style and substance seamlessly.
The first difference is the pricing for both of these SUVs. The base CR-V, the LX, sports an MSRP of $26,400.[a] By comparison, the 2022 RAV4 LE starts at an MSRP of $26,525, and moving across its six trim levels tells a similar story––an off-roader, and a premium option, among others. Interestingly, the price gap between upgrades is larger on Toyota's side. For example, stepping up from the CR-V LX to the Special Edition is a $1,200 difference.[a] Comparatively, moving up from the base RAV4 LE to the XLE will run you an extra $1,470.
You'll be spending a lot of time within your vehicle's cabin. This means that you should seriously consider the interior of any SUV you are interested in. As compact SUVs, the CR-V and RAV4 have one benefit over the sedans in each respective lineup––cargo space. Each compact SUV here seats a maximum of five passengers, and you can fold down the back row to greatly improve your cargo space. This is especially true for the CR-V, which offers 93% more cargo space when the rear seats are folded downwards, and by doing the same on the RAV4, you'll see an 86% increase. Yes, still highly respectable, but it doesn't hold a candle to Honda's SUV.
If you're one to purchase an SUV because you won't be driving alone often, you'll likely be keeping the back seats upright to allow more passengers. SUVs are highly versatile, meaning you can bring the kids to soccer practice, bring home massive quantities of groceries, or pack luggage to take the family on a fun-filled vacation. With that said, you'll want the SUV that offers more cargo space in these situations, which is what you'll get with the CR-V's 39.2 cu.ft. of space against the RAV4's 37.6 cu.ft. Without too much consideration, it may not sound like much, but that all changes once we fold the seats downwards. Doing so reveals 75.8 cu.ft. within the CR-V's cabin and a lesser 69.8 cu.ft. with the RAV4.
Cargo space isn't everything, however, because you also have to consider the most important cargo of all––yourself and your passengers. Unfortunately for Toyota, their measurements were a tad off if they wanted to compete with Honda in this category. Both front and back seat passengers should expect a generally more comfortable fit in the CR-V. Starting in the front seats, the CR-V offers you 40.1 inches of headroom. Should you invest in the moonroof-equipped RAV4, you'll only have a measly 37.7 inches of headroom. Legroom in the front row is less severe against the two, with the CR-V only slightly beating out the RAV4 with 41.3 inches against 41 inches.
In the rear-row, however, the RAV4 offers a slight advantage in headroom, with 39.5 inches against the CR-V's 39.2 inches. Rear-row legroom is far more pronounced among the two, which is an important metric because there is often a misconception that compact SUVs are tight on space in the back row. In the CR-V, passengers behind you will have a respectable 40.4-inches of legroom, which is nearly the same amount as the driver. With the RAV4, this is decreased to a lowly 37.8-inches, which is over 6% less than the CR-V.
A host of shared features can be found on both the CR-V and RAV4, with a few exceptions. It's worth noting that receiving the upgraded infotainment center inside of the CR-V requires bumping yourself up from the base trim. Given the appeal of the Special Edition, which sits right above the base model, it's not unexpected for shoppers to take that extra step, or even beyond with the likes of the EX-L and Touring, for example. With that said, both vehicles have support for game-changing features built into their infotainment centers, including, but certainly not limited to, a Bluetooth connection, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. If you're purchasing any vehicle from 2022, omitting these features would be unacceptable, and both manufacturers would agree.
The media experience will be driven through the included infotainment center. Although the RAV4 offers a slightly larger 9-inch display in its priciest form, it's not too large of a difference in real-world usage. Meanwhile, most of the functions you'll find on the CR-V's infotainment center match the RAV4's feature set. Features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto mean the CR-V and RAV4 will directly link with your smartphone via the infotainment center.
Mostly every modern-day vehicle features mechanical moving parts within the front seats. By default, however, both the CR-V and RAV4 have 6-way manually-adjustable seats. For many drivers, manual seats are hardly a deal-breaker, but it's worth noting for those who are hoping for something a bit more classy. This is where the following trim levels come into play.
Trims such as the EX-L and Touring for the CR-V swap out the manually-adjustable cloth seats for an extraordinary 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat made with real leather. Not only that, but these same seats include 4-way lumbar support for ideal lower-back positioning, and if you invest in any trim but the base model, the front seats will be heated too. As for the RAV4, the manual seats can only be upgraded to an 8-way power-adjustable seat with lumbar support, and as for the materials, you're stuck with fake leather. One advantage the RAV4 has over the CR-V is the optional 8-way power-adjustable seat, as opposed to the 4-way power seat the passenger next to you will have in Honda's SUV. Ultimately, however, it's easy to see that Honda has a feature-packed interior.
Any way you slice it, vehicles are still an amalgamation of metal parts that quickly move down the road. For the longest time, vehicles could only become so safe, and we could only rely on seatbelts and airbags for so long. Metal frames have gotten stronger over the years and are undoubtedly a large part of why vehicles are safe today, but research and development go far beyond the boundaries of hardware. Nowadays, safety is measured in a couple of ways; you have the integrity of the vehicle's frame and the newer driver-assist software that makes travel substantially safer.
One look at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and it's immediately obvious that the 2022 CR-V is the overall safer vehicle. More specifically, the CR-V is a 2022 Top Safety Pick, while the RAV4 isn't.[b] Nobody knows highway travel better than the IIHS, and they felt the CR-V deserved the Top Safety Pick, an award that is only given to models that can pass their strict standards, including crash tests, driver-assist system tests, headlight brightness tests, and more.
Both SUVs offer safety suites courtesy of their respective manufacturers. For the CR-V, we have Honda Sensing, and on the RAV4, there's Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. Among the included features that each suite offers, you can expect to find the likes of Automatic Braking and Pedestrian Detection, which are found in the Collision Mitigation Braking System for the CR-V and the Pre-Collision System on the RAV4. In addition to this, both safety suites include software to realign your vehicle on the freeway with Toyota's Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Honda's Road Departure Mitigation System. The 2022 CR-V also has a Lane-Keeping System, which Toyota matches with Lane Tracing Assist. Both SUVs deserve praise for including these features standard but combined with the Top Safety Pick rating the IIHS gave the CR-V, it's undoubtedly the safer vehicle.[b]