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In the battle of the compact SUV heavyweights, we find two traditional models that have duked it out for years. In one corner we see the 2023 Honda CR-V while the other corner is where the 2023 Toyota RAV4 resides. Both are top-selling, affordable, reliable, and efficient SUVs, but what does the Honda CR-V offer that the Toyota RAV4 does not?

The 2023 Honda CR-V is completely redesigned

A gray 2023 Honda CR-V (L), a white 2023 Toyota RAV4 (R).
A gray 2023 Honda CR-V (L), a white 2023 Toyota RAV4 (R) | Honda (L), Toyota (R)

The 2023 model year marks the start of a new generation for this compact Honda SUV. The new build and improved style give the CR-V a fresh face and answer to previous consumer concerns. Unfortunately, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 soldiers on, continuing a generation that began in 2019.

The new Honda SUV is larger than the 2023 Toyota RAV4

A 2023 Honda CR-V driving down a desert road.
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

An all-new generation allows an automaker to rebuild its vehicles. The 2023 Honda CR-V is the product of a rebuild. This new version has more passenger and cargo space than before, adding four inches to the overall length and 1.6 inches to the wheelbase. The CR-V also has a wider track than before, giving it a more stable stance on the road.

The overall interior size of the Honda SUV is impressive compared to the Toyota SUV. The RAV4 features 98.9 cubic feet of interior volume while the CR-V offers 103.5 cubic feet in the cabin. The cargo area behind the rear seas in the Honda CR-V measures 39.3 cubic feet compared to 37.6 cubic feet for the Toyota RAV4.

 You’ll find body-stabilizing seats in the 2023 Honda CR-V

Honda has made a point of giving its seats special names to ensure we think of them when either comfort or utility enters the conversation. The former Magic Seats of previous Honda models were made to fold up against the rear of the front seats to offer more usable cargo space.

In the new CR-V, you’ll find standard body-stabilizing front seats. These seats are comfortable and supportive with added features at higher trims. The EX and Sport models feature 10-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat and cloth upholstery. Move to the EX-L or Touring trims and you’ll find leather upholstery and lumbar support in the driver’s seat. At these higher trims, the front passenger seat includes a 4-way power adjustment.

The interior quality of the CR-V is much better than the 2023 Toyota RAV4

2023 Honda CR-V Interior - this is a huge advantage over the 2023 Toyota RAV4
2023 Honda CR-V Interior | Honda

Upscale interior materials have begun to make their way down the market to some of the more traditional vehicles. The newly designed Honda CR-V has a much more upscale look and feels than it did in the past. This puts the Honda SUV ahead of the Toyota SUV when it comes to interior quality. This fresh and modern look extends all the way down to the base model of the CR-V.

To go along with the interior quality, the 2023 Honda CR-V offers more features, some optional, than the RAV4. U.S. News & World Report tells us the base trim of the CR-V comes well equipped with items you don’t normally find in the compact SUV class. This trim can be had with:

  • A moonroof
  • Dual-zone automatic climate controls
  • Heated front seats

The infotainment system in the CR-V also features physical control, which makes it pretty easy to use.

The 2023 Honda CR-V offers better ride and handling than the 2023 Toyota RAV4

A dark blue 2023 Honda CR-V Sport Touring compact SUV model parked outside a luxury home near a forest lake
2023 Honda CR-V Sport Touring | Honda

The newly designed Honda SUV benefits from a platform shared with the Honda Civic sedan. This new platform provides more chassis stiffness to bring improved handling to this compact SUV. The suspension delivers a smooth ride and the steering feels more responsive in this all-new Honda SUV.

Next, check out how the CR-V stacks up against the Kia Sportage, or learn more about the new 2023 Honda CR-V in this video below:


3 Things You Want to Know About the 2023 Honda CR-V SUV