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Toyota and Honda are often compared to each other because they are both Japanese automakers, their vehicles are affordable, and both are very reliable. The Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V are just one set of comparisons often made, and it can be hard to choose which is the best vehicle. Recent studies have shown that the CR-V may be the better choice, however, as the RAV4 costs more to own over time.

The Toyota RAV4 may cost you more than the Honda CR-V

One thing many of us forget to take into consideration when buying a car is maintenance and repairs. This is especially true if the vehicle is fresh off the lot, and there isn’t even 100 miles on it yet. Thankfully, Edmunds has given an estimate for how much you’ll invest in your vehicle over five years.

The 2023 Honda CR-V has an MSRP of $28,510. Edmunds ranks the true cost to own at $32,884. The cost breakdown is $0.44 average cost per mile, $9,486 depreciation, $5,993 financing, $1,126 taxes and fees, $9,318 fuel, $3,475 insurance, $2,718 maintenance, and $768 repairs.

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 has an MSRP of $29,485. The true cost to own is $38,324, which is $5,440. The cost breakdown is $0.51 average cost per mile, $11,748 depreciation, $6,607 financing, $1,218 taxes and fees, $9,318 fuel, $3,990 insurance, $4,795 maintenance, and $648 repairs.

In most areas, the RAV4 costs more than the CR-V. For example, the depreciation is $2,262 more than the CR-V. The real increase in cost is the maintenance, however. It will cost owners an estimated $2,077 over five years. 

Don’t forget that these are estimates

Before you rush out to buy a Honda CR-V because it’s cheaper, you need to remember that these are just estimates. This is based on data that covers a wide range of vehicles, and may not apply to yours.

For example, someone who doesn’t change the oil often enough will begin to develop engine problems in their vehicle that a vehicle with regular maintenance will not have. On the other hand, sometimes you simply end up getting a lemon, and no amount of maintenance in the world will be enough to save it. 

Another factor is insurance. There are several factors agents take into consideration when offering you an insurance rate, such as age and your driving record. This will vary from individual to individual. While you should not ignore the 5-year cost to own data, you need to dig a little deeper before making a decision on which vehicle to purchase.

How are the two vehicles comparable?

Edmunds ranks the 2023 Honda CR-V as number two in small SUVs, while the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is number 10. They have a lot in common, although there are a few key differences. 

The RAV4 has a more powerful engine. It’s 2.5 L inline 4 engine produces 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. In comparison, the CR-V has a 1.5 L inline 4 engine that generates 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. The fuel economy is almost exactly the same, with the CR-V getting 28 city, 34 hwy, and 30 mpg combined, while the RAV4 gets 28 city, 35 hwy, and 30 mpg combined.

The RAV4 has a ground clearance of 8.4 inches, which is more than the CR-Vs 7.8 inches. The RAV4 is taller, while the CR-V is longer. 

Even though Edmunds recommends the CR-V over the RAV4, consumers seem to feel differently. On average, the RAV4 tends to outsell the CR-V. Still, both are excellent choices that will last you for many years to come.


2023 Honda CR-V Has Massive Edge Over Toyota RAV4 for Lasting Longer