2012 Toyota RAV4 vs 2012 Honda CR-V

The 2012 Toyota RAV4 and 2012 Honda CR-V are probably on every midsize SUV shopper’s list.  Both have grown from small gas sippers that were dwarfed by the land yachts of the 90s into much larger, more comfortable kid haulers.

The 2012 Toyota RAV4

The 2012 Honda CR-V

The 2012 Toyota RAV4 starts at $22,650 for a four-cylinder model with front wheel-drive and ranges up to $28,650 for a V6-powered AWD model.  The 2012 CR-V has a starting price of $22,295 with front-wheel drive and a four-cylinder engine.  A top-of-the-line EX-L model, which comes with the same four-cylinder and all-wheel drive costs $29,795.

As mentioned, there is only one engine available on the 2012 Honda CR-V, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 185-hp and a 23-mpg city, 31-highway gas mileage rating with front-wheel drive.  Fuel economy drops to 22-mpg city, 30-mpg highway with all-wheel drive.

The base engine for the 2012 Toyota RAV4 is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 179-hp that gets 22-mpg city, 28-mpg highway with front-wheel drive and 21-mpg city, 27-mpg highway with all-wheel drive. Drivers with a lead foot will want the Toyota’s optional 3.5-liter V6 engine that gives the RAV4 269-hp and 246 lb-ft of torque.  Gas mileage is 19-mpg city, 27-mpg highway with the V6 and front-wheel drive, not a huge sacrifice for the extra hundred or so horsepower.  Adding all-wheel drive drops the V6’s mileage by 1-mpg highway.

Inside, the Toyota RAV4 is slightly taller than the CR-V, but the CR-V is a little bit wider.  The 2012 RAV4 has 40.8 inches of head room, 41.8 inches of leg room and 53.8 inches of hip room up front.  The CR-V has 39.9 inches of head room, 41.3 inches of leg room and 54.5 inches of hip room in the front.  In the back seat, both SUVs have 38.3 inches of leg room.  The Rav4 has 39.7 inches of head room, a full inch more than the CR-V’s 38.6 inches.

Trunk space is better in the CR-V, with 37.2 cubic feet with the seats up to the RAV4’s 36.4.  With the seats folded, the RAV4 has 73.0 cubic feet of cargo room while the CR-V has 70.9 cubic feet.  Both the 2012 Toyota RAV4 and 2012 Honda CR-V can tow up to 1,500 lbs.