Should I Buy the Toyota Highlander Hybrid or Honda CR-V Hybrid?

The hybrid vehicle market is an ever-expanding one. We’ve previously looked at the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid compared to the Ford Explorer HybridToyota RAV4, and Lexus RX Hybrid so far. The Toyota Highlander has performed very well in all of these head-to-head reviews. This time we are going to compare it against the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. Can it live up to the hype and the expectations when compared to the Honda? Let’s look at cost, safety, and overall driving experience.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid driving on city street
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid | Honda

Looking at some similarities first, both have Back-Up Camera, Adaptive Cruise Control, Keyless Start, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, and a 4 Cylinder Engine Gas/Electric I-4. On higher trims, they both have standard Satellite Radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Premium Sound System standard, as well as leather seats and heated front seats. There are some additional similarities, but the differences are where this comparison lies.

2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid driving on road in the sun
2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

Cost Comparison

The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring AWD has an MSRP of $35,950 with the base model coming in at around $27750 where the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE AWD has an MSRP of $39,800, and a base model of $38,200 at the high end the Highlander Limited Platinum comes is around $50,000. There is a significant difference in the cost factors of these two vehicles. The question is, are the values of the two worth the difference in cost?


Looking at safety first, both the Toyota and the Honda received the 2020 Top Safety Pick from IIHS. Knowing this is confidence on the road that regardless of choice, you will arrive safely. So they are evenly matched in this area. 

Overall Driving Experience 

Beginning with fuel economy, the EPA estimates that the CR-V Hybrid gets 38 mpg combined (40 city/35 highway). And the Toyota Highlander Hybrid has fuel economy estimates of 35 mpg combined (35 city/35 highway), meaning the CR-V wins on fuel economy. On the higher trims, the CR-V has 212 HP @ 6200 RPM and the Highlander sports 243 HP @ 6000 RPM. The higher horsepower comes with a slightly lower fuel economy of 35 MPG city 34 highway. 


Edmunds says, “The Honda CR-V is one of America’s most popular small SUVs, and it’s currently our top-ranked model in that class. Now Honda has come out with the CR-V hybrid for 2020. This is the first time there’s been a hybrid version of the CR-V. The CR-V Hybrid provides higher fuel economy than the regular CR-V as well as more power.” 

Additionally, Edmunds says this of Toyota, “Car shoppers have more choices than ever for a three-row midsize SUV. But don’t forget about one of the crossovers that started it all. The redesigned 2020 Toyota Highlander steps back into the mix with key changes that uphold its spot as a solid pick in the class.” Giving the Honda CR-V four stars and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid four and a half stars. US News rates the 2020 Toyota Highlander as #3 tied with the Hyundai Kona EV in their Best Hybrid and Electric SUVs for 2020 review with the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid coming in at #6. 

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid 2020 ranks in the middle of the class of hybrid and electric SUV. It has a snappy and powerful powertrain, a pleasant ride, user-friendly features, and a projected high-reliability rating. Its tight third-row seats and poor handling are its detractions. The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid sits in the center of some ratings on hybrid and electric SUV. It creates a comfortable ride and adequate interior space, but a large and dated infotainment system brings it down slightly. For the difference in cost, the Honda CR-V is a much better vehicle for the value. However, Toyota’s reliability rating lets you know that it will be around for quite a while.