There is a lot of competition in the car market. Due to the great selection from many top brands, each car needs to wow you in all phases in order to win you over. To some, space is their biggest concern, while to others, having the latest technology might be theirs. Combine this with all of the smaller features that each car may or may not have, such as heated leather seats or a moon roof, and you have one hundred different scenarios for why someone may or may not buy a particular car. Okay, maybe not one hundred, but you get the idea.
As part of our Wellesley Toyota blog, we will be highlighting one of our feature models and compare them to the competition to see how they stack up. We try to act as neutral as possible in these comparisons to give you the best information to hopefully pick the right car for your needs.
This week’s comparison will feature the Toyota Rav4 facing off against the Honda CR-V and the Nissan Rogue. All of these models are compact SUV’s and offer similar designs and features, but we will dig in further to see just what each model offers.
Trim Levels and Prices
We will begin with trim level and pricing. The Rav4 All-Wheel Drive comes in three different trims, the LE, XLE, and the Limited, and are priced accordingly with MSRPs starting at $25,560, $26,550, and $29,270. The Honda CR-V also has three trim levels. They offer the LX, EX, and EXL with starting MSRPs at $25,025, $27,125, and $29,774. Last is the Nissan Rogue, which offers (you guessed it) three trim levels as well. They offer the S, SV, and SL with starting MSRPs at $23,840, $25,580, and $29,420. All are pretty comparable in price; however, Nissan’s price is substantially lower for their S and SV trims, something to consider.
The dimensions of all the vehicles are pretty comparable, within 4 inches of each other, but the largest of the three is the Nissan Rogue because of the optional third row seat. If exact size is important to you, you should be satisfied with any of these vehicles. However, for discussion sake, we’ll make this more interesting.
Have you ever had to make a trip to either the hardware or furniture store and wound up with an awkwardly sized item to place into your already full trunk like a game of Tetris? If so, you’ll hopefully appreciate the available cargo room of the Rav4. The Rav4 easily beats the competition with 73.4 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded down. That’s two and three feet more, respectively, than what the CR-V and Rogue can offer even though the Rogue has the longest vehicle length and third row seating. If you value your cargo space, the Rav4 may be your best bet. If you like Tetris, any compact SUV will do.
All three models offer that sleek and sporty feel now commonly found on most crossover SUVs. My one pet peeve when it comes to the designs however, is when something is added that obviously doesn’t need to be there. Case in point, the CR-V’s bulging trunk hatch. It is drastically different from the Rav 4 and Rogue’s more classic rounded sloping design and seems to distract from an otherwise nicely designed vehicle. But, other than that and depending on personal taste, any one of these vehicles should catch your eye.
Auto manufacturers have come a long way in the technology department in order to better serve their customers and make driving more convenient and safe. Navigation is something that you used to buy separately and mount on your dash and if you were lucky, it wouldn’t fall off while you were on the highway. Many car models, including the three we’re comparing in this article, now have navigation built right in to the center console. However, the Rav4 and Rogue have navigation available on all but their base trim levels whereas the CR-V only has navigation available on their top of the line EXL trim. Lastly, a back-up camera is available on all three models and trim levels.
A convenient feature of many Toyota models is the Smart Key feature that allows the driver to push a button to start the vehicle as long as the key fob is inside. This feature is only available on the Rav4 Limited and not available at all on the CR-V. The Rogue also has their own version of the Smart Key, creatively called the “Intelligent Key”, that comes standard on their SV and SL trim levels.
All three models have a similar powertrain with 2.5 Liter engines and comparable horsepower and torque. The main difference between all three is that the Rav4 has an available 6th transmission speed, which allows for better fuel economy and an overall smoother ride. On the flip side, the Rogue offers their CVT transmission that has been said to be noisy. The overall combined fuel economy for all three vehicles is par across the board at 25 mpg for the Rav4, 25 mpg for the CR-V, and 24 mpg for the Rogue.
Also, something that shouldn’t be understated is that all three vehicles offer both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, however, the Rav 4’s all-wheel drive feature is active when in reverse whereas the CR-V is not. This can be important during winter in the greater Boston region as well as the rest of New England.
An area where vehicles are sharply scrutinized is in the safety department, and for good reason. Whether you are buying a vehicle for yourself or someone in your family, you want it to be as safe as possible. Because of the great advancements in the auto industry, there is a new standard for what passes as safe. The blind spot monitor feature is great to have because it will warn you if a car is in that one spot where you can’t see. The CR-V does not offer this feature on any trim level, but the Rav4 offers it on their Limited series and the Rogue offers it on their SV and SL trims.
The Rav4 easily wins the airbag competition with 8 standard airbags whereas the CR-V and Rogue only have 6. Additionally, the Rav4 also developed a “knee pad” airbag that cushions and protects the knees that would otherwise be exposed to injury in a head on or driver side collision, as well as whiplash lessening seats to reduce the effects of whiplash in an accident.
Cost Of Ownership
Obviously, if you are looking to keep your expenses low, you are also looking for a vehicle with a low cost of ownership. Cost of ownership is the total amount you will be spending year-to-year for your car. This includes fuel costs, tax, maintenance, insurance, and depreciation. The Rav4 does a nice job of keeping yearly expenses manageable while maximizing the most from your vehicle. The Rav4’s 5-year cost of ownership is $34,341 while the Rogue’s is nearly four thousand more at $38,161. The CR-V however had the best 5-year totals at $33,018, just slightly better than the Rav4.
All three models have the same warranty that feature a 3 year or 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5 year/ 60,000 mile powertrain warranty. However what separates Toyota from the competition is its 2 years of free maintenance called Toyota Care. This includes your oil changes, tire rotations, and fluid refills. You also will receive two years of complimentary roadside assistance if that wasn’t already enough.
Overall, each vehicle offers very similar features, however, the CR-V appears to offer the least. The Rogue was the least expensive but had the highest cost of ownership throughout five years. What we noticed was that the Rav4 held steady across the board and could match toe to toe in any category with the Rogue and CR-V, whether it was technology, performance, cost, or safety. If you are looking for a compact crossover SUV that holds its value while providing you the best bang for your buck, we recommend that you look no further than the Toyota Rav4. Come to our MA Toyota Rav4 Dealership today and check it out!