Trucks & SUVs

2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid vs. Honda CR-V Hybrid — Which Is the Most Efficient Mountain Climber?

Both the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V, the non-hybrid models, are always being compared to each other. It’s not surprising that the hybrid versions would see them competing against one another as well. 

With each SUV being relatively new on the market, people are wondering which one they should put their money on. The Fast Lane Car reviewers decided to put them both to the test to answer that question, and they put out a video of it. What did they find?

Overview of the 2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

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The hybrid version of the RAV4 made its splash in 2019. Very little changed for the 2020 model, but they added a powered driver’s seat for the XLE trim and heated front seats as part of the weather package. Otherwise, it remained pretty much the same going into the newer model year.

The hybrid runs on a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a 1.6 kWh battery. The two motors combined puts out a total of 219 hp that allows the RAV4 to get an acceleration time of 7.4 seconds when going 0 to 60 mph. 

AWD comes standard for the hybrid version, but Toyota utilized it a bit differently than the CR-V. They split the drivetrain with the gas engine running the front wheels and an electric motor powering the rear. 

The price for the XSE model, the one used in the video, cost $38,074 as the reviewers noted. The interior was impressive, but had a slightly less amount of legroom than the Honda had. 

What the Honda CR-V Hybrid offers

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Honda released its hybrid version of the CR-V for the 2020 model year. Despite being the new kid on the hybrid block, the CR-V sported some impressive specs and awesome features. 

Powering this SUV is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine running alongside a 1.4 kWh battery and paired with a CVT transmission. The exhaust-gas recirculating motor combined with the Li-Ion battery puts out a total of 212 hp as reported by Car and Driver in their review of the CR-V.

The CR-V Hybrid Touring, like the one seen in the video, cost over $36,000 with plenty of features. It comes with a spacious interior, 18-inch wheels, backup camera, dual zone climate control, and connectivity for Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. 

Which one is the clear winner?

The Loveland Pass, the location used in the video, was the perfect place to test these two hybrid models. The long trek starts off with warm, clear weather and ends at the top, 12,000-feet above sea level, with cold, snowy conditions. 

Both SUVs impressed the reviewers with their overall performance. They handled the road well, shifted fine, and both offered a smooth drive. But, by the time the almost 150-mile trip was over, there was one glaring difference in their performances. 

EPA rating for the Honda CR-V was set on paper at 35 highway mpg. According to their calculations, based on that road trip, it was really close at 35.2 miles. The Toyota, having gone toe to toe with the Honda SUV hybrid, came out of the test getting 41.1 mpg. Not only was it better than the CR-V, it was also better than the EPA stated rating of 38 highway mpg.

The Toyota RAV4 hybrid comes out on top with this test, but the Honda CR-V was a very close second. The mileage rating the RAV4 could put out, gave it the edge it needed to take its place in the winner circle.