The 2019 Honda CR-V holds top billing among compact sport utility vehicles for most critics. U.S. News declared the CR-V the best compact SUV for the money. And it’s easy to see why. The CR-V is affordable, safe, fuel thrifty, comfortable, and more. For comparison’s sake, we’ll pair the Honda CR-V with the bestselling Toyota RAV4 to show you exactly what we mean.
Fuel Economy: Tie
Both the CR-V and RAV4 are brilliant when it comes to saving you money at the gas pump. The CR-V gets 28 city miles and 34 highway miles per gallon with its optional turbo-four engine. Meanwhile, the Toyota RAV4 gets 26 city and 35 highway mpg. In either case, it’s about 30 mpg combined, so we’re calling this one a tie. But before we do, you should know that these are almost best-in-class numbers. And fuel economy this good is nearly impossible to find among compact non-hybrid SUVs.
Safety: 2019 Honda CR-V
Another feather in Honda’s cap is the CR-V’s 2019 Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. That’s because the CR-V earned the highest marks of any compact SUV, with a perfect score in every category except headlights, which were rated ‘Acceptable.’ Available safety features include lane keep assist, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, collision mitigation, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, road departure mitigation, rear parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control.
The Toyota RAV4 did well too, but not quite as well as the CR-V. The RAV4 got a ‘Good’ rating in every test from IIHS, but a ‘Marginal’ rating on its headlights. But the RAV4 does have more standard safety features, including automatic high beams, a rearview camera, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and driver drowsiness monitoring.
Price: 2019 Honda CR-V
Fuel economy was a tie, but where the CR-V really starts to pull away is in price. The Honda SUV has a starting price of $24,350. Standard features on that base trim level include cloth seats, rearview camera, 5-inch audio system display screen, Bluetooth, USB port, and four speakers. But we recommend the next trim level up to throw in for a host of safety features, plus 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, six speakers, heated front seats, 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat with four-way lumbar support, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, moonroof, and fog lights.
The Toyota RAV-4 has one of the highest starting prices in its class: $25,500. For that price you get what the base CR-V offers, as well as a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Wi-Fi hotspot, and a six-speaker audio system. You just need to ask yourself if those few extra systems are worth the uptick in price.
*Any MPG listed is based on model year EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery pack age/condition (hybrid only) and other factors. For additional information about EPA ratings, visit http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/learn-more-PHEV-label.shtml.
** Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) New Car Assessment Program. Model tested with standard side airbags (SABs). For additional information on the 5-Star Safety Ratings program, please visit www.safercar.gov.