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If you want to see a fierce rivalry in the auto world, the 2023 Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 give you what you want. These two compact crossover SUVs have been butting heads since the late 1990s and continue to do so today. For the past few years, the CR-V has held an advantage in most comparison tests, but could that remain for the 2023 model year? Let’s take a look.

The 2023 Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 aren’t in the same place in their respective generations

2023 Honda CR-V vs 2023 Toyota RAV4 spliced photo
2023 Honda CR-V vs 2023 Toyota RAV4 | Honda, Toyota

Honda brings us an updated CR-V crossover SUV to start the new sixth generation for this SUV. 2023 isn’t anything new for the Toyota RAV4, which is in the middle of its fifth generation in the market. Will the new CR-V hold serve against the RAV4?

Which compact crossover SUV has a better powertrain?

Consumer Reports compact SUVs owner satisfaction
2022 Toyota RAV4 XSE | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

The 2023 Honda CR-V enters a new generation but brings the 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine from the previous model. This engine returns 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. This engine attaches to a CVT and gives consumers an FWD layout with the option of AWD. Fuel mileage for the AWD version reaches 27 city/32 hwy mpg.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 has a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. This engine mates to an 8-speed automatic transmission and offers either FWD or AWD. Fuel mileage for the RAV4 is 25 city/32 hwy mpg.

If you want better city fuel mileage, the Honda CR-V is the right choice, but if you want more power and a traditional transmission, the Toyota RAV4 has you covered.

What’s more reliable, the Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V?

Front angle view of blue 2023 Honda CR-V crossover SUV
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

Normally, you might think the Toyota RAV4 holds an edge over the Honda CR-V for reliability. Toyota holds a strong reputation for reliability, and they have for many years. If we look at the J.D. Power reliability ratings, we see the CR-V has a slight edge over the RAV4 in the compact SUV class.

Are the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V the same size?

This competition goes one of two ways when you talk about size. Some shoppers might want a smaller crossover SUV while others are looking for as much size as possible in the compact market. That said, here are the measurements for these 2023 models:

2023 Honda CR-V2023 Toyota RAV4
Wheelbase106.3 inches105.9 inches
Length184.8 inches180.9-181.5 inches
Width 73.4 inches73-73.4 inches
Height66.2-66.6 inches67-68.6 inches

The Honda CR-V has a slight advantage in overall size, but both of these SUVs should be easy to park and drive.

Which has more room, RAV4 or CR-V?

A gray 2022 Honda CR-V small SUV is parked on a roof.
The 2022 Honda CR-V | Honda

Interior cabin space is where it matters when you’re looking for a crossover SUV that gives you the right size for your family.

The new Honda CR-V offers 41.3 inches of legroom in front, 41 inches in the rear, and 36.3 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats. When the rear seats are folded, the cargo room expands to 76.5 cubic feet.

Turning to the Toyota RAV4, we see 41 inches of legroom in the front and 37.8 inches for rear passengers. The cargo area behind the rear seats measures 37.6 cubic feet, which expands to 69.8 cubic feet when the rear seats are flat.

Overall, the 2023 Honda CR-V has more room than the Toyota RAV4. The Toyota SUV only has an advantage over the Honda crossover when the rear seats are upright, and that advantage is minuscule.

Which compact crossover SUV should you drive?

Front angle view of Modern Steel Metallic 2023 Honda CR-V crossover SUV
Modern Steel Metallic 2023 Honda CR-V crossover SUV | Honda

Based on the criteria we’ve covered, the 2023 Honda CR-V stands above the Toyota RAV4. In this case, the RAV4 has more power, but the CR-V is more reliable, slightly larger, and offers more room in the cabin.

Next, check out the new Chevy Blazer SUV, or watch the 2023 Honda CR-V and 2023 Toyota RAV4 comparison in the video below:


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