RAV4 v CR-V v Fusion

Discussion in 'CR-V' started by C. E. White, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. C. E. White

    C. E. White Guest

    I spent the last three days riding all over the eastern US in three
    different vehicles - 1) 2007 Toyota RAV4, 4 cylinder, Automatic, FWD; 2)
    2007 Ford Fusion, V-6, AWD; 3) 2007 Honda CR-V 4 cylinder automatic FWD. I
    own the Fusion, my SO owns the RAV4, and a good friend owns the CR-V. I
    regularly drive the Fusion and RAV4. This past weekend I drove the RAV4 to
    Annapolis Md and back (350 miles or so one way). Next day I drove the Fusion
    300+ miles and on the same day rode around 120 miles in the CR-V. I did not
    actually drive the CR-V, so my impression of it are from the passengers
    seat. The RAV4 is about 1 year old and has around 15k miles. The Fusion is
    10 months old and has around 15k miles as well. The CR-V is only a couple of
    months old and has less than 3K miles. Here is how I see the pluses and
    minuses of the three vehicles (I understand the Fusion is not actually a
    competitive vehicle, but it is my primary frame of reference) -

    Looks - The Fusion is a car and looks ok if you like cars, but you cannot
    compare it to the two small SUVs. Of the two SUVs I prefer the exterior
    appearance of the CR-V. It is just a little cleaner looking to me. However,
    there is not a great deal of difference in the looks of any of these small
    Crossover SUVs. Interestingly while we were in Annapolis, we had the chance
    to look over a 2008 Highlander. My SO thought it was a RAV4 until she sat in
    it and realized it was a lot bigger.

    Interior - This is definitely a question of taste. I prefer my Fusion - more
    "German" looking - simple, clean, functional. The CR-V was also very good. I
    especially liked the CR-V's radio. The CR-V was greatly improved compared to
    my son's 2003 Accord. The RAV4 looked like they tossed the controls in the
    car and nailed them down where ever they fell. It has the worst controls
    layout of any car I have ever driven, but I have gotten used to it. The
    design of the gear shift alone should have gotten a department of engineers
    fired. The idiot that designed the cruise control thingy should hide in
    shame. If you like simple white on black instruments arranged in logical
    manner, you'll like the Fusion dash. If you like overlapping chrome ringed
    instrument with weird colored lights, then the Honda and Toyota instrument
    panels will be appealing. Of those two, the Honda gauges are the easier to

    Engine - If you want a quiet smooth 4 cylinder, the CR-V is awesome. You
    couldn't even tell it was running when it was idling. It never sounded
    harsh, even under hard acceleration. By comparison, the RAV4 4 cylinder was
    a tractor engine. It was definitely noticeable at idle, and was harsh when
    pushed. At a cruise, it was as silent as the Honda 4 cylinder. Since I
    didn't actually drive the CR-V I cannot comment on how well it performed
    relative to the RAV4. The Toyota 4 cylinder is very powerful. We had four
    people and luggage in the RAV4 for our trip to Annapolis. I had no trouble
    keeping up with traffic on I-95 either up hill or on the level. The only
    problem was the horrid cruise control. Usually I engage the cruise control
    on the Interstate. It was not possible to do so with this RAV4. On the
    slightest incline the car would violently down shift, then upshift, and
    generally jerk us all over the place. My SO says this is only a problem with
    the A/C on and when you try to cruise at 60 to 65 mph. To me the
    performance of the RAV4 cruise control was totally unacceptable. I want my
    SO to take it in and get it fixed (it has to be broken - no way any company
    could sell something that horrid). The Fusion has a V-6 so it is not
    directly comparable. In terms of power, it is clearly stronger than either
    of the 4 cylinders (as you would expect). It runs very smoothly, but is
    nosier than the CR-V but quieter than the RAV4. I give the edge in
    transmissions to the CR-V with the RAV4 and Fusion not far behind in that
    order. They all shift smoothly, but the Fusion transmission shifts too
    frequently for my tastes.

    The rides are a matter of taste. The RAV4 has the "softest" ride. The CR-V
    has the stiffest ride. The Fusion is somewhere in between. My Fusion has AWD
    and definitely handles far batter than the RAV4. However, it is not fair to
    compare the handling of a car to an SUV - even a small crossover SUV. I did
    not actually drive the CR-V but it "felt" nervous compared to the RAV4. It
    also had less body lean.

    At a cruise, there was not much difference in the noise. It is my impression
    that the Fusion was the quietest and the RAV4 the noisiest. Both the RAV4
    and CR-V suffered from more wind noise than the Fusion, but I suppose that
    is normal when comparing an SUV to a car. The RAV4 definitely had more road
    noise than the other two, but that is likely related to the tires installed
    on the vehicles. Under hard acceleration the RAV4 was far noisier than the
    CR-V or Fusion, but at a cruise the engine noise disappeared. None were

    All three vehicles got similar gas mileage. The one tank average for the
    RAV4 on the trip to Annapolis was around 27 mpg (give or take 0.5 mpg - I
    really packed the tank full at the beginning and probably didn't get in
    quite as much in Annapolis). According to their trip computers, both the
    CR-V and Fusion were getting around 26.5 mpg on the highway. I'd guess
    individual driving styles and traffic conditions overwhelmed any inherent
    gas mileage differences between the three vehicles. It should be pointed out
    that the Fusion was AWD, and the other two were front wheel drive only
    vehicles. The AWD option hurts the Fusion's fuel economy (1 to 2 mpg). Last
    year we drove a Grand Marquis to Annapolis, and it actually got better gas
    mileage than the RAV4 (despite being bigger and faster).

    I can't say anything meaningful about the relative reliability of the three
    vehicles. None have been back to the dealer. The RAV4 needs for something to
    be done to the cruise control , but otherwise it has been perfect. The
    Fusion has a similar number of miles (compared to the RAV4) and has been
    perfect so far. The CR-V is virtually brand new. All three were well
    assembled. No squeaks, no rattles.

    I am a large guy. Of the three, I find the seating position in the Fusion
    the best. It also has the best seats. The CR-V was a close second. The seats
    in the RAV4 were the least comfortable, but it is a base model, while the
    other two are higher line models. Two things bug me about the RAV4 - the
    travel on the driver's seat seems unnecessarily restricted (i.e., it doesn't
    go back as far as it could) and the console jams the side of my leg. The
    console in the Fusion also jams my leg if I move the seat forward, but since
    the seat goes back much further, I can move the seat back and stretch out my
    leg and reduce the interference. The console in the CR-V is of a superior
    design. However, I hated the locks on the CR-V. They automatically lock the
    doors, and unlike the Fusion, they don't automatically unlock when you pull
    the front door release.

    I do oil changes on both the RAV4 and the Fusion, and although the Fusion is
    not bad, it is not nearly as easy as the RAV4. The RAV4 is one of the three
    easiest cars I've ever performed an oil change on. The RAV4 is starting to
    wear the front tires in an uneven manner. It may need an alignment, but at
    least part of the problem is the lack of routine tire rotation (my SO
    doesn't want to have them rotated).

    Of the two small SUVs, I'd give the edge to the CR-V, but the differences
    are small. Individual preferences would overwhelm the small differences. My
    opinion might change if I drove a higher line version of the RAV4. The RAV4
    and the Fusion were very close in cost, the CR-V was slightly more

    All three of us are happy with our choices. I am well satisfied with the
    Fusion. My SO loves her RAV4. My good friend is sure his CR-V is perfect (it
    is really his wife's car and she likes it - so he likes it).

    Ed White
    C. E. White, Oct 9, 2007
  2. C. E. White

    Lynn McGuire Guest

    All three vehicles got similar gas mileage. The one tank average for the
    I am waiting for the diesel CR-V with the 6 speed manual - perhaps
    in 2009 here in Texas ? 35 mpg city, 40 mpg highway (conjecture
    based on UK numbers).

    Lynn McGuire, Oct 10, 2007
  3. C. E. White

    EdV Guest

    I agree, the CRVs external appearance looks better than the RAV4. But,
    I think the 2007 Camry has a better appeal vs the Fusion... Its a
    personal preference, I'm not a big fan of those big chrome grills. But
    for FWD, instead of RAV4 or CRV I would rather get the new Scion Xb
    The 07 4cyl Camry has the same 2AZ-FE engine as the RAV4, I also have
    the cruise control disappointments you have, and it doesn't matter if
    AC is on or off. I thought that was due to the 5-spd junk transmission
    but the RAV4 has a 4-spd. Camry 3307 lbs RAV4 3300 lbs. Is the Fusion
    drive by wire and have the "tip tronic" (or whatever you call it)
    transmission like a Camry v6. There are several customer complaints on
    message boards on the Camry transmission. Why does Honda have one
    engine for the CRV and no V6?
    The fusion would definitely have more driver room since it's a mid-
    sized sedan, the RAV4 is like a corolla when it comes to interior
    size. But on cargo space, the rav4 and crv has the advantage over a
    Tell her an alignment is much more expensive than a tire rotation =)
    and you can't DIY an alignment.
    EdV, Oct 11, 2007
  4. C. E. White

    EdV Guest

    This is the first time I heard of a Honda diesel, except for power
    generators. Toyota diesel engines are common in Asia and my former
    employer has a Toyota diesel van for employees, and those things can
    go.. 2.0 diesel engine carrying 10 passengers . The team up of Isuzu
    and Toyota to build diesel hybrids is something too look forward to.
    EdV, Oct 11, 2007
  5. C. E. White

    Lynn McGuire Guest

    I am waiting for the diesel CR-V with the 6 speed manual - perhaps
    Honda has been building a 2.2L 138 hp turbo diesel in the UK
    since 2004. http://www.channel4.com/4car/di/honda/cr-v/1022/1

    Honda's new diesel that meets US emission is supposed to be
    160+ hp: http://www.leftlanenews.com/honda-diesel-line-to-include-civic-accord-cr-v.html

    Lynn McGuire, Oct 11, 2007
  6. C. E. White

    drb Guest

    That's funny I own a 2003 Accord and test drove a 2008 CR-V and I like
    the Accord better. I was not that impressed at all with the CR-V's
    acceleration and the rest of it was okay at best. Nope, I prefer my
    Accord (4 cyl auto) between the two of them. Yeah I know the CR-V is
    supposedly a good vehicle but my Accord has proven to be a good
    drb, Oct 13, 2007
  7. C. E. White

    Lynn McGuire Guest

    That's funny I own a 2003 Accord and test drove a 2008 CR-V and I like
    I would not a buy a CR-V until they get the 2.2L diesel in it here in
    the USA (supposedly in 2009, 160+ hp, 250+ ftlb torgue, 35 mpg
    city ???, 40 mpg highway ???).

    Lynn McGuire, Oct 15, 2007
  8. C. E. White

    EdV Guest

    Having a diesel version of the CR-V is fine, Honda might want to
    consider making the Pilot or the Ridgeline as diesel given its lower
    EdV, Oct 16, 2007
  9. C. E. White

    Lynn Guest

    Having a diesel version of the CR-V is fine, Honda might want to
    Funny you should say that:

    Lynn, Oct 16, 2007
  10. C. E. White

    EdV Guest

    Wow even the Odysseys! Nice! maybe its time for me to get a minivan
    On what other countries do they already sell diesel Hondas?, or does
    Honda want to make the US as their "test" market.
    EdV, Oct 16, 2007
  11. C. E. White

    Lynn McGuire Guest

    Wow even the Odysseys! Nice! maybe its time for me to get a minivan
    The 2.2L diesel has been sold in the Accord, Civic and CR-V in
    the UK since 2004 ?.

    I think that the V6 diesel is an all new engine.

    I read somewhere recently that Honda is building a new factory in
    Poland to build 1,500,000 diesel engines per year.

    Lynn McGuire, Oct 17, 2007
  12. C. E. White

    who Guest

    Laws against diesels in several USA states prevent that.
    who, Oct 29, 2007
  13. C. E. White

    Ray O Guest

    I don't think that there are laws against diesels. The emissions standards
    in some states are so stringent that diesels have difficulty meeting the
    Ray O, Oct 29, 2007
  14. C. E. White

    Josh S Guest

    Quite different vehicles.
    I would expect the Accord to perform better than the higher CR-V.
    Josh S, Oct 29, 2007
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