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Two of the most popular compact SUVs are the 2023 Toyota RAV4 and the 2023 Honda CR-V. Although these two diminutive giants offer many similarities, there are some items you’ll find in the RAV4 that aren’t available for the CR-V.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 has a lower starting price than the 2023 Honda CR-V

Honda all but deleted its base trims from the entire lineup, leaving the EX trim as the starting point. This immediately puts the CR-V at a higher price than the Toyota SUV. The starting point for a 2023 RAV4 is $27,975, while the 2023 CR-V costs at least $3,600 more. If you’re searching for a more affordable base model, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is clearly that compact SUV.

You’ll find better acceleration in the RAV4

Blue 2023 Toyota RAV4 Parked
2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Although CVTs have come a long way, there’s something enjoyable about a transmission with eight real gears. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is powered by a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine that delivers 203 horsepower. This power routes to the wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. This is the formula for quick acceleration at highway speeds.

The turbocharged engine and CVT of the Honda CR-V can’t keep up with the natural power of the RAV4. Granted, this isn’t a heavyweight battle of muscle cars, but the Toyota SUV does the job better when you want to get to highway speed sooner.

The 2023 RAV4 has a slight fuel economy advantage over the 2023 CR-V

The FWD base models of these two compact SUVs offer nearly identical fuel economy figures. The 2023 Honda CR-V returns 28 city/34 hwy mpg while the RAV4 delivers 27 city/35 hwy mpg (six of one, half-dozen of the other). The real difference is in the AWD versions of these SUVs.

The difference in the AWD models is still slight, but more significant than the FWD SUVs. The AWD RAV4 offers 27 city/34 hwy mpg while the AWD CR-V returns 27 city/32 hwy mpg for a slight advantage for the Toyota SUV.

 The RAV4 Adventure and TRD Off-Road trims offer significant tow rating advantages

A white 2023 Toyota RAV4 small SUV is driving through a puddle.
The 2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Most trims of these two compact SUVs include tow ratings of 1,500 pounds. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 Adventure and TRD Off-Road trims deliver tow ratings of 3,500 pounds, according to U.S. News & World Report. That difference of 2,000 pounds could be a big deal when you’re heading into the wilderness.

Toyota has a slight advantage over Honda for the driving aids in the RAV4

According to J.D. Power, the Toyota RAV4 has a slight advantage with more safety and driving assistance features. Both the Honda Sensing Suite and the Toyota Safety Sense package include several driving aids to keep you out of trouble. That said, the RAV4 adds more at higher trims to offer more alerts and intervention features. Some of the additional items are:

  • Blind-spot warning
  • Rear cross-traffic alerts
  • Rear cross-traffic braking
  • Front and rear park assist with automatic braking (optional)

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 has a significant infotainment advantage over the 2023 Honda CR-V

Dashboard View 2023 Toyota RAV4
Dashboard View 2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Honda is behind the times with its 7-inch base touchscreen and 9-inch upgraded version. This seems odd since the 2023 Honda CR-V is the start of a new generation for this Honda SUV. The Toyota RAV4 offers a standard 8-inch touchscreen and a 10.5-inch display at higher trims. All models of the RAV4 include wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; you have to reach the EX-L, and Sport Turing trims of the CR-V to receive this wireless connectivity.

Next, check out what the 2023 Honda CR-V has that the RAV4 doesn’t, or learn more about the 2023 Toyota RAV4 in this video below:

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