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Two small goliaths collide whenever the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V are pitted against each other. These two compact crossover SUVs battle regularly to see which will sit at the top of the class. Could the Toyota RAV4 be a better SUV than the Honda CR-V? Let’s find out

How is the Toyota RAV4 better than the Honda CR-V?

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 above the 2023 Honda CR-V SUV
A 2023 Toyota RAV4, 2023 Honda CR-V | Toyota, Honda

When it comes to the reported problems by owners of these two compact crossover SUVs, the Toyota RAV4 has fewer issues. According to RepairPal, the top three problems with the RAV4 and the number of owners that reported these problems are:

  • Replace EVAP canister to correct EVAP system problems – 231 owners
  • Software update to correct false catalytic converter failure – 205 owners
  • Oxygen sensor may fail – 107 owners

The top three issues and the number of owners reporting them for the Honda CR-V are:

  • Air conditioning is blowing warm air – 1078 owners
  • Door lock may be sticky and not work due to worn door lock tumblers – 256 owners
  • Groaning noise on turns due to differential fluid breakdown – 171 owners

When you add up these issues, it’s easy to see the most often reported problem for the Honda CR-V has more results than all three of the top Toyota RAV4 problems combined.

What is the Toyota RAV4 reliability rating?

2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime best SUV
2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

RepairPal gives the 2023 Toyota RAV4 a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0. This places the RAV4 in the third spot among 26 compact SUVs. This ranking is based on annual maintenance and repairs cost, frequency, and severity. The Toyota RAV4 beats the vast majority of competing crossovers in all three areas.

What is the Honda CR-V reliability rating?

Blue 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid
Blue 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid | Honda

Although the Honda CR-V has more reported problems by real owners, RepairPal gives the 2023 Honda CR-V a higher reliability rating than the 2023 Toyota RAV4. The CR-V earns 4.5 out of 5.0 to sit in the second spot on this list.

Is the Toyota RAV4 better than the Honda CR-V?

When we turn to US News & World Report, the better compact SUV is the 2023 Honda CR-V. Both of these compact SUVs sit at the top of most lists, sometimes swapping places from one expert to another. These two longstanding best-selling crossovers give you efficient powertrains, reliable drives, and excellent safety scores.

US News tells us the leader in the following categories are:

  • Price – Toyota RAV4
  • Reliability – Not yet determined
  • Seat Comfort – Honda CR-V
  • Cargo Space – Honda CR-V
  • Interior Quality – Honda CR-V
  • Interior Features – Honda CR-V
  • Acceleration – Toyota RAV4
  • Fuel Economy – Toyota RAV4
  • Ride and Handling – Honda CR-V
  • Towing Capacity – Toyota RAV4
  • Safety – Tie

If we turn to the experts at JD Power, we see a different criterion for rating these two crossovers. The criteria and winner in each category from JD Power are:

  • Price and Value – Toyota RAV4
  • Reliability and Quality – Neither
  • Performance and Efficiency – Toyota RAV4
  • Safety and Driving Assistance – Toyota RAV4
  • Infotainment and Technology – Toyota RAV4
  • Comfort and Utility – Honda CR-V

Based on this criterion, we can surmise the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is better than the 2023 Honda CR-V.

Which compact SUV should you drive?

Front angle view of red 2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime crossover SUV
2023 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

Some will lean toward Toyota, others toward Honda, but it’s hard to argue with expert ratings and the number of real owners that have reported problems. Considering these factors, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is better than the 2023 Honda CR-V.

Next, check out some excellent compact luxury SUVs, or watch this Toyota RAV4 vs. Honda CR-V comparison video below: