Are you in the market for a compact crossover with a sporty flair? Get ready for the battle between the 2020 Honda CR-V vs 2020 Toyota RAV4. These two fuel-efficient models are both at the top of their game, offering incredible reliability, safety, and utility. But which one of these market-leading models is better? Let’s look at the various features and options that each one has to offer to find out!
Since both vehicles are classified as compact crossovers, they each have seating for up to five people and ample cargo space for groceries, luggage, or sports equipment. The 2020 Honda CR-V offers 37.6 cubic feet of room behind the back row, and if you fold the second row of seats down, you can gain access to 75.8 cubic feet of space. If that still isn’t enough, you have the option to fold the front passenger seat down too. This expands the cargo to a maximum of 81 cubic feet. As for the 2020 Toyota RAV4, it has a slightly larger 39.2 cubic feet of room in the back. However, the maximum cargo area is only 69.8 cubic feet, which is quite a bit smaller than that of the Honda CR-V.
These two vehicles are running a close race. Both feature a single engine option, which means that you don’t have to study a spec sheet to figure out how to equip your SUV. This makes things a lot easier, as your only choice is whether to go with front-wheel drive or pay a bit extra for the security of all-wheel drive. However, despite their similar performance, the two powertrains are very different designs, with the Honda CR-V offering a more modern set of features.
Toyota took the traditional route for the 2020 RAV4, building it with a 2.5L four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. While nothing groundbreaking, this is still a solid powertrain combination that provides a good balance between power and fuel economy. But Honda chose a different route for its compact crossover. Under the hood of the 2020 Honda CR-V, you will find a modern 1.6L turbocharged engine paired with a continuously variable transmission. This setup gives the CR-V an extremely efficient and smooth drive from city streets to the highway, as well as providing more responsive power at low speeds.
Standard Safety Systems
Where the Honda CR-V really outshines the Toyota RAV4 is in safety. Every trim level comes with the Honda Sensing suite of safety systems. Lane-keeping Assist with Road-Departure Mitigation is included in this suite. These two features work together to keep you in your designated lane and help you change lanes when it’s safe. Forward Collision Warning is another standard function in the Honda Sensing package. It monitors the road ahead for any potential collisions. Finally, our personal favorite safety feature on the 2020 Honda CR-V is its multi-angle rearview camera. This gives you three separate camera modes to choose between, allowing a full view of your surroundings when backing up.
Switching gears for a moment, let’s discuss the standard safety features on the 2020 Toyota RAV4. Every trim comes with the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite. This includes Lane-Tracing Assist and Lane-Departure Warning, which is on-par with the Honda Sensing package. Pre-Collision Warning is also included as well as Road Sign Assist, Automatic High Beams, and Emergency Braking. A rearview camera is also part of this setup, but it is the typical single-view design with no advancements. This is the main reason why we prefer the Honda CR-V. We love the multi-angle camera feature!
Now, let’s take a peek inside the two base trims. The 2020 Honda CR-V LX comes with many great features designed to keep you comfortable on the road. Remote keyless entry, automatic climate control, and a rearview camera are all included standard. It even has a 5-inch LCD monitor for the infotainment system. Operating with Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity, you can stream your favorite music through the 4-speaker stereo system.
Meanwhile, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 LE includes the aforementioned Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 package along with a very impressive infotainment interface. Displayed on a larger 7-inch touchscreen, this system functions with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. However, it is up to you to decide if the nearly $1,000 dollar price increase and loss of cargo space is worth it.
While we do love the Honda CR-V base model, we like the EX even more. This second-level trim brings the vehicle’s infotainment system up to par with the Toyota RAV4’s system. This upgraded interface is displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen, and it uses Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Two extra speakers have been added as well as satellite and HD radio. Push-button start technology gives the vehicle more of a racecar feel, and dual-zone climate control allows you and the front-seat passenger to maintain personal temperatures. Heated front seats and a one-touch moonroof bring a dash of luxury to this model as well. Oh, and did we mention that this trim also comes with rear cross-traffic alert and blindspot monitoring?
On the other hand, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 XLE only adds a few of these features. Keyless entry comes into play along with push-button start technology. Dual-zone climate control and blindspot monitoring have also been added, but this model is missing a lot of the standard luxury features that the CR-V EX has. If you want heated seats or a moonroof on the RAV4 XLE, then you will have to open up your wallet for optional packages.
Moving up the ladder, the 2020 Honda CR-V EX-L adds some great luxury features into the mix. The power-adjustable seats are covered in leather-trimmed upholstery, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror has been added. Also, the upgraded stereo comes with eight speakers. In contrast to the CR-V EX-L, the Toyota RAV4 XLE Premium comes up short with its synthetic leather upholstery. It also continues to only offer heated seats as part of an optional package.
The top-of-the-line Touring trim level on the 2020 Honda CR-V includes some incredible features. Ambient cabin lighting allows you to set a relaxing mood for longer drives, and the heated steering wheel will keep your finger warm in the winter. Meanwhile, the wireless charging pad helps to reduce clutter, and the voice-activated navigation system comes with real-time traffic updates so that you’ll always be on time. Finally, it comes standard with a convenient hands-free power liftgate.
The RAV4 Limited trim finally gets heated front seats and some infotainment updates. However, it still only offers synthetic leather instead of real leather, and if you want a hands-free power liftgate – you guessed it – you will have to pay more. Given that the RAV4 Limited already costs more than the CR-V Touring, this choice is rather disappointing.
Find a Compact Crossover
The winner of the battle between the 2020 Honda CR-V vs 2020 Toyota RAV4 is clearly the Honda. Not only does it offer more cargo space for greater utility, but it also has more standard features and a lower price tag. That combination gives this compact SUV simply unbeatable value. If you are looking for affordability, utility, and comfort, the 2020 Honda CR-V is the right pick. Contact your local Honda dealer to test one today!