Cross-shopping RAV4 hybrid and CRV hybrid

Discussion in 'General' started by some_other_dave, May 9, 2021.

  1. some_other_dave

    some_other_dave Well-Known Member

    So, Da Boss has decreed that we need to get a new trucklet in the next few months. Gas is expensive (and going to stay that way for this vehicle) so she is OK with the idea of getting a hybrid. We aren't going to be able to park it some place we can plug in, so a plug-in hybrid or a BEV are not going to work well or at all for us, respectively.

    We are cross-shopping the RAV4 hybrid and the CRV hybrid. Any others we should be throwing into the mix? Do people have any strong opinions on which is better?

    I know that the RAV has better EPA ratings and costs a bit less, so on paper that is my choice so far. We haven't driven either one, so that could change my opinion. We are still doing the research, and not buying quite yet.

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  2. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Why not the Escape?

    The Tucson hybrid should be arriving later this year.
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  3. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I have driven my friend's 2019 RAV4 Hybrid
    a number of times , and it's GREAT. I would
    go for the Prime if possible , but it is a fair amount of coin.
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  4. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

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  5. Jay

    Jay Well-Known Member

    The 2022 Kia Sportage (sort of the sister vehicle to the Tucson) should be for sale later this year. It's a dark horse option to consider.
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
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  6. some_other_dave

    some_other_dave Well-Known Member

    I honestly hadn't considered any American brands, and I didn't realize there was a Korean one available. I'll have to check those out; thanks!

    EDIT: Not seeing anything compelling in the specs for those. And I think Da Boss has sworn to never buy another Ford, so the Escape is probably out just due to that.

    So far, the RAV4 has the numbers on its side, while the CRV has familiarity in its favor--we have one now.

    Last edited: May 11, 2021
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  7. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Hi soD,

    I haven't read of any glaring flaws in either RAV4 or CR-V hybrids, and it may come down to brand preference and hopefully a test drive of each to ensure there are no characteristics that will bother either of you. One of the "must have" features on my wife's shopping list in the past 6 years has been a heated steering wheel, and that in itself limited my choices. And then color was of primary importance as well.

    I'm a numbers guy so I look toward the following links, beyond what the car companies and car review sites provide. comparison

    fuelly RAV4 hybrid vs. CR-V hybrid

    I was surprised that the RAV4's EPA highway number was so much better. That would sway me a little even though I don't do a lot of highway, but the few long trips a year would certainly benefit from highway numbers and I would certainly feel better getting the higher highway number.

    Fuelly didn't have any 2021 numbers for the CR-V so the 2020 numbers will have to suffice. Real world people seem to be doing better with the RAV4 by about 8.5%, similar to the EPA highway rating difference.

    Good luck and you enjoy the car buying experience. It can be stressful, but I've done okay the past few purchases.
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  8. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    My wife insists on a heated stereo volume knob.

    Just kidding. I'm not married.
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  9. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics


    A foot-activated rear hatch was on the "nice to have" list. Luckily, both of our current cars have very light rear hatches and we haven't missed the automatic open feature.
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  10. some_other_dave

    some_other_dave Well-Known Member

    We saw a Kia Niro hybrid out on the road the other day. I liked the smaller size, Da Boss wasn't so sure. Checked the specs, and *really* liked the listed economy!

    Then saw it is only offered in FWD, no AWD option at all. And that is evidently a deal-breaker for Da Boss, so it's back off the list.

    Still haven't gone and driven the RAV or CRV. Waiting for Da Boss to get back from some travel.

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  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Dave:

    My $0.015 worth here. Every two-motor Honda Hybrid I have driven since 2014 has the same issue at speed. If you need to climb a mountain or just drive 80 mph down the highway, the Honda engines are running up on 4k for a large portion of your drive. It is not a good thing as the drone is rough. I have not driven the CR-V Hybrid yet but have spent more than my fair share of time behind the RAV4 HEV and RAV4 Prime.

    2020 Prius Prime w/ 2021 RAV4 Prime

    Prime meet Prime.​

    The CR-V looks and feels like it has a larger passenger volume front and rear and its passenger volume bears this out. Rear cargo is a pick em.

    EPA Passenger/Cargo Volume (cu. ft.)

    2021 RAV4 HEV - 98.9 w/moonroof/37.6 seats up and 69.8 seats down
    2021 RAV4 Prime - 98.9 w/moonroof/33.4 seats up and 63.2 seats down
    2021 CRV HEV - 102.9 w/moonroof/33.2 seats up and 68.7 seats down

    Driving dynamics? I am going by the CRV, not the CRV HEV I drove last year. The CRV is well thought out and easy to drive no matter the situation. The RAV4 HEV rides stiffer and the Prime is an ungainly due to its much higher mass (+ 500 lbs!) and the 19's I was stuck with on the Press Loaner.

    The CRV EX has a nicer looking and feeling interior. All RAV4s still have the Toyota ergonomics problem for taller driers.

    I would pick the Prime over the 2 other choices because you can pick it up for less with the Fed TC and from any state that provides incentives plus it is a plugin. HOV lanes anyone?

    2021 RAV4 Prime SE is $41,359 w/ Convenience and Weather Pkg. and all weather mats and cargo
    2021 RAV4 HEV XLE - $33,729 w/ Convenience and Weather Pkg. and all weather mats and cargo
    2021 CRV HEV EX - $32,037 w/ all weather mats and cargo

    The RAV4 and RAV4 Prime include power rear liftgate, heated rear outboard seats, and 8" vs the CRVs std. EX 7" display.

    In CA, the RAV4 Prime with the Fed TC ($7,500), State TC ($1,000), Clean Fuel Rebate ($1,500), and HOV Lane Access comes to just $31,359.

    Just my opinion and good luck with whichever vehicle you choose?

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  12. some_other_dave

    some_other_dave Well-Known Member

    So, we finally made our decision.

    We are shipping one of my wife's cars to HI instead of buying a car for there. The numbers work out better--because you can buy a heck of a lot of gas (even at $5/gallon) for the ~$20K that a new vehicle would cost. And that's even if you figure in the ~$2K shipping cost.

    Besides, it's a convertible. It'll be fun to drive a convertible in Hawaii...

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  13. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Hi soD,

    I didn't know you were moving out to Hawaii. Congrats! I guess you're used to high gas prices in California so Hawaii's high fuel costs won't surprise you much. Great opportunity to get into renewable energy. :D But... I won't bore you with the benefits or try to convince you. :)

    Best wishes and luck with your soon-to-be island life.
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  14. some_other_dave

    some_other_dave Well-Known Member

    Well, it's part time.

    I think that relying on energy that has to be literally shipped in from 2500+ miles away is pretty silly, especially when the islands have some pretty decent energy sources already here! (Geothermal, and LOTS of sun!) Unfortunately, the condo complex does not currently allow for solar panel installation by individual owners.

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  15. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    I want to like the CR-V Hybrid, and was very impressed with the cargo space and packaging when I saw it at an auto show in early 2020. I'm also a much bigger fan of Honda than Toyota in general, and I like the idea of Honda's series-plus-onespeed hybrids despite Wayne's (and others') complaints about droning during climbs.

    But I'm just not that impressed with the real-world MPG being reported for the CR-V. Despite not being a Toyota guy, I have to acknowledge the RAV4 hybrid has knocked it out of the park. I also don't like that the CR-V uses a driveshaft to send power to the rear, and I suspect that's part of the mpg problem, as this drivetrain otherwise returns near 50mpg in the similar-mass Accord; I know others here have expressed a preference for AWD with a driveshaft that can send near 100% power to the rear axle, but it seems to me that only makes a difference in off-road conditions or deep snow. I personally prefer the mechanically simpler (and I suspect more efficient) idea of having a rear motor; the RAV's has several times the power of the 7hp Prius AWD, and by all reports even that mild-AWD system makes a world of difference on icy roads, if not deep snow. Should be more than enough for most low-traction situations where you're lucky to get 50hp to the road anyway. Finally, while I'm not sure about the Toyota's infotainment systems, I'm disappointed in the ones in most recent Hondas and that includes the CR-V.

    If it were me, I'd probably go for the Toyota, though I'd be tempted by the Tucson hybrid. Best-looking of the bunch by far, not that that's worth a lot to me, but I can't help noticing. Hyundai isn't as bad as some brands for first-year-of-a-generation reliability, but I'd still wait until it's been out a while before pulling the trigger.

    Ford? Like the CR-V I want to like it, not least because I like dark horses, and it has an FWD version. AWD is emphatically not a requirement for me personally, here in well-plowed and well-salted Minnesota. But I'm hearing terrible things about the Escape Hybrid's reliability from its first year. Hopefully they're working those bugs out and it will prove more reliable in future years (as have the C-Max and Fusion Hybrid), but with Ford that is not guaranteed.
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  16. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    You mention the Niro, which of course is FWD-only but looks like these other vehicles. I really like the look of the Niro, but it's pretty space-challenged in back. I would actually take its Ioniq twin (which I think is 5-6" longer) over the Niro, despite the sloping hatch and poor rear visibility. If Hyundai/Kia had put the Niro's roofline and hatch on the Ioniq, they'd have a stellar offering slotting in just below the Tucson.
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  17. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Really ? I will check Honda's website. And even if the mass is similar , how about the aero ?

    And I agree , the RAV4 Hybrid is best-in-class.
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  18. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    According to Edmunds, the Honda Accord Hybrid is 3327lb (lighter than I thought, actually!), whereas the CR-V hybrid is 3649. A 10% difference isn't insignificant, but is in the ballpark I would consider "similar."

    Yes, of course the aero is the downfall of CR-Vs, but I factor that in when I think that this drivetrain, if good for near 50 in the Accord, ought to be good for at least 40 in the CR-V - and it's far short of that on the highway. I still suspect the spinning driveshaft as a culprit here.
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  19. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    Spinning gears in oil absorb more power than spinning a shaft in air.
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  20. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Perhaps so, but I'm still thinking that's the explanation for why the CR-VH's real world FE is so much lower than the RAV4H's. Both will have spinning gears in oil out back, of course: I've got to assume the RAV4H uses a reduction gear like most electric applications.

    Remember that both of these SUVs have basically adapted the drivetrains of their respective companies' existing midsized sedan hybrids (Accord to CR-V, Camry to RAV4) and added AWD: Honda using shaft AWD, Toyota using an electric motor. Both SUVs are very substantially less FE than their sedan counterparts, but the CR-V substantially more so, from everything I'm hearing. Still thinking a separate rear motor is the more efficient approach.
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