It’s only fair that if you’re shopping for a new Honda CR-V that you do your homework and check out the competition. The compact SUV segment is not lacking for options but if you research the category and the Canadian market correctly, you’ll quickly find out that the 2020 Honda CR-V and 2020 Toyota RAV4 are the greatest of rivals, and serious best-sellers.

In fact, the rivalry goes back more than 20 years as these two small SUVs were some of the originators of what has becomes the most popular vehicle segment in the country. Although they’ve evolved along in similar ways over all these years, they have recently taken different paths to get to the top.

The Honda CR-V is powered by a small displacement turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine which delivers a generous 190-horsepower and 179 lb.-ft. of torque. The Toyota is motivated by a normally-aspirated 2.5-liter 4-cylinder mill that produces 203-horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. AWD is available on both vehicles. The Honda’s transmission is a smooth-operating Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) while the Toyota relies on a conventional 8-speed automatic transmission. All told, combined average fuel consumption is of 8.1L/100km for the CR-V, and 8.2L/100 km for the RAV4, with the optional AWD system.

Although the Toyota RAV4 has more power on paper, it’s actually slower than the CR-V. That’s because the Honda CR-V’s engine is turbocharged. That means that it delivers its torque at lower RPMs which translates into quicker accelerations and more confident passing.

The main difference between the two is that Honda’s taken safety extremely seriously. Standard on all 2020 Honda CR-Vs are adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation with braking, lane keeping assist and much more. The RAV4 offers some of these features but the Honda’s are more evolved.

On the topic of technology, both compact SUVs deliver standard 7-inch displays, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a number of other infotainment accessories.

In the end, only one of these two drives like a Honda. Now is the time to come and sample the new 2020 Honda CR-V and discover first-hand why it’s a best-seller.

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