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Choice. It’s the one word that dominates our life. Just about everything we do each day must begin with a choice. Should I floss? Should I have bacon and eggs or waffles for breakfast? Should I wear jeans or a skirt? Should I go out to a movie or stay home and binge-watch Netflix? Should I play Pokémon or do the laundry?

You get the idea.

Perhaps nowhere is there a better example of choice than in the automotive industry. There are dozens of car manufacturers, each offering a dizzying assortment of models and trim levels. This is particularly the case in the hotly contested crossover SUV market. Crossover SUVs, which combine the ride and handling of a passenger car with the versatility of an SUV, are extremely popular.

So if you’re looking for a crossover SUV these days, you may be a bit overwhelmed by all the choices you have. Let’s narrow things down a bit and focus on two distinct SUVs, the 2016 Honda CR-V and the 2016 Toyota RAV4. Both of these crossovers share similarities in size, features, and capabilities. But when you make a side-by-side comparison of the two, it’s apparent that one SUV comes out on top. And that should make your choice a whole lot easier.

2016 CR-V The Award-Winning Choice

As we saw during this year’s Rio Olympics, sometimes a competitor has a decided advantage over his or her opponents. U.S. gold medal winners Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky, and Michael Phelps are perfect examples of athletic dominance in their respective sports.

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In 2015, the Honda CR-V had a golden moment of its own when it received the automotive industry’s highest award, Motor Trend Magazines’ coveted “SUV of the Year” honors. Just as in Rio, winning the coveted “Golden Calipers” meant going head-to-head against some of the top SUVs on the market. The CR-V was at the top of its game, winning accolades from Motor Trend’s panel of judges.

CR-V Racks Up Style Points

The new 2016 Honda CR-V gets high marks for its new, fresh, and unabashedly youthful styling. Recently redesigned in 2015, the 2016 CR-V’s exterior carries over largely unchanged. A new front grille and lower fascia, new projector-beam headlights with available LED lighting, handsome new sport alloy wheels, and signature vertical taillights set the CR-V apart. The available power tailgate that raises or lowers with the touch of a button, available side mirrors with integrated turn signals and an aerodynamic silhouette enhance the CR-V’s already winning personality.

That’s not to say that the RAV4 looks dowdy. It also features sporty looks that some folks will like. However, as John Voelcker, senior editor for TheCarConnection.com, points out “…the rear is chunky, upright, and has unusual taillights…” Of course, how a vehicle looks is often a matter of personal taste. So we don’t want to judge the RAV4’s exterior sheetmetal too harshly.

CR-V’s Interior Gets The Win

Both Honda and Toyota have long histories of crafting excellent interiors, so you would think that this is a category where the CR-V and the RAV4 would be pretty evenly matched. In reality, the CR-V pulls out ahead of the RAV4 with more interior volume, better quality materials, and improved ergonomics.

As we saw in the Olympics, the margin of victory can literally come down to a matter of inches. By the numbers, the CR-V offers up to 104.1 cubic feet of total interior space compared to the RAV4’s 101.9 cubic feet, giving it the clear win. In fact, Motor Trend’s judges praised the CR-V’s revamped cabin, noting that it features easier access to the rear seats, more cargo capacity, and better fit-and-finish than many of its rivals.

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Some of the CR-V’s high points include premium-grade leather seats, an available 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with two memory presets and a large center console with a handy USB port. With 37.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the 2nd-row seats and a total of 70.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, there’s plenty of room to haul your team’s gear and more.

The RAV4 not only gives away interior volume, but it’s also somewhat less accommodating. TheCarConnection.com notes that its back bench is “less supportive than many adults will prefer” and that its rear seat fold mechanism is “one step shy of the Honda’s.”

CR-V Has The Winning Technology Package

Both the 2016 Honda CR-V and the 2016 Toyota RAV4 offer lots of high-tech options and standard features. Bluetooth®, steering wheel controls, touchscreen displays, hands-free dialing, turn-by-turn navigation, SiriusXM® Radio, and rear backup cameras are just a few of the many tech items most car shoppers are expecting to see these days.

The RAV4 wraps its infotainment bundle into what it calls its “Entune App Suite™” which offers most of the functionality we previously mentioned.

The 2016 CR-V also offers a full complement of advanced audio, entertainment, information, and navigational features. These include Bluetooth Streaming Audio®, PANDORA®, SiriusXM® Radio, HD Radio®, and a 7-inch Display Audio Touchscreen. HondaLink Next Generation® lets you pair your compatible smartphone and enjoy your music playlists, podcasts, and more.

CR-V’s Performance Takes The Prize

The new 2016 Honda CR-V clearly vaults ahead of the Toyota RAV4 in both performance and fuel economy. The CR-V sprints to the finish line with a 2.4-liter, direct injection 4-cylinder Earth Dreams i-VTEC® engine boasting 185 horsepower and 181 lb.-ft. of torque. The RAV4 falls a few steps short, losing the competition with a more anemic 176 horsepower 2.5-liter engine that offers only 172 lb.-ft. of torque.

Thanks to fuel-efficient engineering and a thrifty Continuously Variable Transmission, the CR-V beats the RAV4 with an EPA-estimated 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway compared to the RAV4’s 24 mpg city/31 mpg highway numbers. That gives the CR-V a highway range of 520 miles compared to just 492 miles for the RAV4.

CR-V Scores With Safety

Both Honda and Toyota take safely serious. So it’s not surprising that the 2016 CR-V and 2016 RAV4 earn IIHS top Safety Pick+ and NHTSA 5-star ratings. Each SUV offers multi-angle rearview backup cameras, multiple airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, and traction control.

The CR-V’s cutting-edge, driver-assist safety technologies called Honda Sensing™ consists of Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking, and Forward-Collision Warning. Additionally, Honda’s exclusive energy-absorbing ACE™ body structure and advanced SmartVent™ airbags with rollover sensors offer a higher level of safety.

The RAV4 has its own complement of passive and active safety features that are comparable to the CR-V’s.

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CR-V Has The Winning Edge

Style, performance, interior versatility, technology, fuel economy, and handling are just some of the reasons why the new 2016 Honda CR-V SUV for sale near Dayton, Ohio at your Miami Valley Honda Dealers edges out the 2016 Toyota RAV4 and takes home the gold.

But don’t take our word for it. Stop by a conveniently located Miami Valley Honda Dealer near you today and judge for yourself why the new 2016 CR-V beats out the competition.

Now is your golden opportunity to save with incredible Honda lease offers on select models of our many new 2016 Hondas for sale in Dayton, Ohio. Or get a championship deal on our top-quality Honda Certified pre-owned vehicles in Dayton that could save you thousands compared to a new car.

Go with the winner. Go with Honda.

Sources:

https://automobiles.honda.com/cr-v/

https://www.toyota.com/rav4/

https://www.thecarconnection.com/review/1100355_2016-honda-cr-v_styling_2

https://www.thecarconnection.com/overview/toyota_rav4_2016