A used Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V? which one is a better option in Nigeria?


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The head-up of two of the most sought after crossovers in Nigeria. What you ask for more from this used Toyota Rav4 and Honda CR-V comparison review?

1. Overview

The idea of Compact Sport Utility Vehicles got popular after automakers discovered the possibility of making SUVs on the same platform of sedans and wagons. This kind of SUVs is referred to as crossover SUVs. Compact crossover SUVs are compact cars that have a higher ground clearance than regular sedans but still had the comfort and driveability of sedans. 

Many agree that the Toyota RAV4 vs Honda CR-V review is one of the most talked-about comparisons in the world of non-luxury compact SUV cars. While the Honda CR-V when it was released meant Comfortable Runabout Vehicle and later Compact Recreational Vehicle, the Toyota RAV4 means Recreational Active Vehicle with 4WD.


Compact SUVs are meant to be easy to drive 

For what he two have proved, they are basically the go-to compact-sized SUVs for Nigerian car buyers today all thanks to their friendly body styles, unlike station wagons.

Used Toyota RAV4 vs Honda CR-V which is better? You can't know the answer to that question just like that, that is the purpose of this comparison today. Affordability, Price, Design, Performance, Reliability, Safety, and Technology would be the main areas of comparison between the two cars but first, let me share the Nigerian background of these cars with you.

2. Nigerian background of the cars 

Naturally, women tend to have slightly less available strength than men except in rare cases. Female Olympics javelin, shot-put and discuss weigh less than that of men. I am moving back to cars, forgive my digression.


Both cars are perfect family cars (family of 5 though)

Standard mid-size and full-size SUVs look like they require more strength to drive and this is why Nigerian women prefer compact cars and SUVs to satisfy their need for cars with off-road and cargo-carrying ability but still easy to drive.

For Nigeria, it is a fact you must know that there are more female Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V drivers than men. And as said earlier, the CR-V means Comfortable Runabout Vehicle while RAV-4 means Recreational Active Vehicle with 4WD. From these meanings, you can see why the two cars sound fun to Nigerian men and women. 

The relevant years of the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV-4 models in Nigeria are from 2000 and 2002 year model till present respectively. Now, let us go into the comparison of these cars properly.3. Comparison Review

3.1. Exterior Style and Design

Both cars have been through 5 generations and each has seen great succession in designs over the years.

The Honda CR-V started in 1997 as a boxy shaped crossover SUV with signature vertical rear lights while the RAV-4 started in 1996 as a curvy looking small SUV that still looked rugged.


The RAV4 has more of a fun look than the CR-V

As the years went on, the Toyota Rav4 maintained a small size but looked better. The Toyota Rav4 2005 looked way better than the Honda CR-V 2005 also available with a long-wheelbase option and in 2007.

  • Bonus fact: the Toyota Vanguard was released as a long body and luxury version on the RAV4 platform.

The CR-V clearly always appeared bigger than the RAV4 which is why the RAV4 always looked better than the CR-V till 2007. The first two generations of the Honda CR-V design clearly was just a Honda Civic model in production with foglights on the bumpers, vertical taillights, and a boxy appearance. This was very clear with the 7th generation Civic and the 2nd generation CR-V.

However, Honda got its CR-V design right and stood up to its Toyota RAV4 rival. The Honda CR-V 2007 had a very curvy and attractive appearance.

When both cars got to the 4th generation, Toyota came out with the Toyota RAV-4 2015 that looked stole the spotlight from the Honda CR-V 4th generation. Toyota had 2 years to design something better. Right now, the present generation of both cars is a tie to me based on appearance. From what I see, the Honda CR-V 2019 stands very equal to the design language of the Toyota RAV-4 2019. It now depends on which one appeals to you more.


They kind of look alike but they are very different

What I can conclude as a fact here is that Toyota started the RAV-4 before Honda started the CR-V but along the line, Honda redesigned the CR-V 2 years ahead of Toyota which gave Toyota more edge to put out a better exterior design. Here is a table to show the better-looking design across all 5 generations of the RAV4 vs CR-V.

3.2. Interior Style and Design 

The Honda CR-V kept a strong family car design language on the interior, creating space even in front for utility by mounting its gear shift knob first along the steering column then later years had it positioned along with the centre stack. On the other hand, the RAV4's interior design language is like that of a normal sedan.


The CR-V provides more space by placing the gear shifter strategically

The Toyota RAV4 2018 model vs Honda CR-V 2018 model explains this very well. A centre stack mounted gear shifter always creates more space in the front compartment of the car and that is what Honda does with the CR-V.

It's funny how the RAV4 has less overall interior space than the CR-V and Toyota still wasted this space. The cargo space of the CR-V over the years has also always been bigger than that of the CR-V.

The quality of the interior for the Honda CR-V is also better than that of the Toyota RAV-4. The Honda CR-V. The Honda CR-V 2010, for example, has the EX-L trim that provides a standard leather interior upholstery but the Toyota RAV-4 2010 lacks this kind of option. The present generation Honda CR-V has a better looking and refined centre stack with the infotainment system embedded in the dashboard while the RAV-4 has an overly exposed infotainment system. 


The RAV4 interior is all over the place

Based on interior features, judging with the present generations of both cars the Honda CR-V offers more options of features to buyers. Along the years of production of both cars, they have both had similar features but the Honda CR-V just always had more options except the 3rd generation with the Rav4 coming with options like the push to start button and third-row seats plus an all-electric version for the Toyota RAV4 2012 and 2003.

Taking reference from the Institute for Highway Safety ratings, the CR-V and RAV4 are wheeled vehicles that are very safe to drive. Stability Control, Lane Monitoring, dual airbags, side airbags, curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, and other Driver assistance packages are available on both cars.

>>> Here is expert advice on How to buy a used Honda CR-V in Nigeria

>>> Here is expert advice on How to buy a used Toyota RAV4 in Nigeria

3.3. Performance 

Performance-wise, the Toyota RAV4 has been the better car. The RAV4 even had a V6 engine option for the 3rd generation to power the 3rd-row seat. The RAV4 has always been the quicker car while the CR-V only offers a 4 cylinder 2.4-litre engine for a long time then on the present generation there is a turbocharged 1.5 litre 4 cylinder.  

The present generation has a 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine that accelerates way faster than the Honda CR-V's drive-by-wire throttle system. Up till now, RAV4 still offers a manual transmission for a sportier drive. The two cars have closely similar ride heights meaning they can both go off-road to a certain extent making them both perfect for Nigerian roads but the CR-V has a better suspension setup for that on base models.


The model of the Toyota RAV4 offered a 2-door soft-top version for sports SUV lovers

However, the 2019 RAV4 has a TRD special option package that has a dedicated off-road ability setup. Except you buy the TRD RAV4, the Honda CR-V will also give you more comfort when driving on uneven (bad roads) in Nigeria. They are both available as 4-wheel drives too. 

3.3. Durability and Reliability

The common Toyota Rav4 problems include:

  • The engine oil easily burning up at higher mileages
  • The paint generally coming off
  • Trunk seizures
  • Engine and transmission-related problems

The Toyota RAV4 2002 and 2008 are the most problematic Toyota RAV4 years to avoid you can buy because it has a lot of engine problems.


Both cars have been rated safe by the testing bodies

The common Honda CR-V problems include:

  • Unwanted acceleration when braking on the Honda CR-V 2011
  • Check engine light problem 
  • Dilution of oil
  • Steering assembly failure 
  • Unwanted engine vibration in the 2016 CR-V

The RAV4 has still proven to be the more reliable car when compared to the Honda CR-V because, until 2011, Honda CR-V models in Nigeria suffered from sudden steering assembly failure popularly known has 'Honda Dabbing' or 'yawo yawo' problem in Nigeria which affects the Honda CR-V price.

Toyota engines also withstand Nigeria's weather conditions better than Honda's engines.

Now, let me show you how affordable it is to own both cars in Nigeria.

4. Affordability

4.1. Fuel Economy

The CR-V has always been the more economical compact SUV until 2019. The average fuel consumption of the RAV4 across all models is a rating of 24.2 (9.72 litres per 100km) MPG while the CR-V has its rating on 24.6 (9.56 litres per 100km).


Cars like this that still have low-cost fuel economy should be bought by everyone 

From the table, you can see that the fuel consumption of both cars has always been very close to each other. There is a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Honda CR-V also with Hybrid technology for buyers that strictly want a very low-cost fuel consuming compact SUV. 

This is extra information but just so you know; between 1997-2003 and 2012-2014 there was an all-electric model of the RAV4 but it didn't do well in the market as Tesla has dominated that market already.

4.1. Maintenance and Cost of Spare Parts

The Toyota RAV4 is a cheaper car to maintain and that is why buying a used RAV4 in Nigeria

is not an extreme sport. The RAV4 doesn't have parts that must be replaced from time to time unlike the CR-V year models before 2011.

5. Price

In Nigeria, you can get both the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 as locally used and Foreign used or Tokunbo at the following prices.

Prices of Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V in Nigeria
  Locally Used  Foreign Used
 Year Model   RAV4/CR-V RAV4/CR-V
Toyota RAV4 2001-2004/ Honda CR-V 2001-2004 ₦800,000 million – ₦2.5 million/ ₦750,000 – ₦1.7 million  ₦1-7 million – ₦3.5 million / ₦1.6 million – ₦2.5 million
Toyota RAV4 2005/ Honda CR-V 2005  ₦800,000 million – ₦2.5 million/ ₦750,000 million – ₦1.7 million  ₦1-7 million – ₦3.5 million / ₦1.6 million – ₦2.5 million
Toyota RAV4 2006/ Honda CR-V 2006   ₦1.5 million – ₦2.5 million/₦1.1 million – ₦1.9 million   ₦1-7 million – ₦3.5 million/₦1.6 million – ₦2.5 million 
Toyota RAV4 2007/ Honda CR-V2007   ₦1.5 million – ₦2.5 million/₦1.1 million – ₦1.9 million    ₦1-7 million – ₦3.5 million/₦2.5 million – ₦4 million
Toyota RAV4 2008/ Honda CR-V 2008   ₦1.5 million – ₦2.5 million/₦1.7 million - ₦2.7 million   ₦3 million – ₦6.5 million/ ₦2.5 million – ₦4 million
 Toyota RAV4 2009/ Honda CR-V 2009   ₦2.8 million – ₦5.5 million/₦1.7 million - ₦2.7 million ₦5.8 million –₦9 million/ ₦3 million – ₦5.5 million
 Toyota RAV4 2010/ Honda CR-V 2010    ₦2.8 million – ₦5.5 million/₦1.5 million - ₦2.7 million   ₦5.8 million –₦9 million/₦3 million – ₦5.5 million
 Toyota RAV4 2009/ Honda CR-V 2011   ₦2.8 million – ₦5.5 million/₦1.5 million - ₦2.8 million   ₦5.8 million –₦9 million/₦3 million – ₦5.5 million
 Toyota RAV4 2012/ Honda CR-V 2012  ₦2.8 million – ₦5.5 million/₦3.3 million - ₦5.5 million  ₦5.8 million –₦9 million/₦6 million - ₦7.5 million
 Toyota RAV4 2013/ Honda CR-V 2013  ₦5 million - ₦7 million/₦3.3 million - ₦5.5 million   ₦10 million – ₦18 million/₦1.5 million - ₦3.5 million
 Toyota RAV4 2014/ Honda CR-V 2014 ₦5 million - ₦7 million/₦4.4 million - ₦8.7 million   ₦10 million – ₦18 million/ ₦2.8 million – ₦5.5 million
 Toyota RAV4 2015/ Honda CR-V 2015  ₦5 million - ₦7 million/₦4.4 million - ₦8.7 million    ₦10 million – ₦18 million/ ₦2.8 million – ₦5.5 million
 Toyota RAV4 2016/ Honda CR-V 2016  ₦5 million - ₦7 million/₦4.4 million - ₦8.7 million   ₦10 million – ₦18 million/ ₦5.5 million – ₦7.5 million
Toyota RAV4 2017/ Honda CR-V 2017 ₦5 million - ₦7 million/₦9 million - ₦13 million   ₦4.5 million – ₦7.2 million/ ₦5.5 million – ₦7.5 million
Toyota RAV4 2018/ Honda CR-V 2018 ₦5 million - ₦7 million/₦9 million - ₦13 million  ₦10 million – ₦18 million/ ₦7 million – ₦14 million
Toyota RAV4 2019/ Honda CR-V 2019 ₦9 million – ₦13 million/₦9 million - ₦14 million  ₦13 million – ₦22 million/ ₦7 million – ₦14 million


You can see from the table of prices that the Toyota Rav4 has a better resale value than the Honda CR-V because of how reliable and durable the RAV4 is. You can buy these two cars brand new from Toyota and Honda dealerships in Nigeria and also from local car dealers.

6. Other Alternatives to both cars

The best alternatives to the RAV4 and CR-V include the Nissan Rogue, Hyundai Kona, Hyundai Creta, Volkswagen Tiguan with the Mazda CX-5 now being the strongest rival to the RAV4 and CR-V.


Some common rivals of the Rav4 and CR-V

7. Summary and Verdict 

This is the end of the RAV4 vs CR-V comparison and I know you want to ask me; Crank, Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V which is better? I must say that over the years, the CR-V has always proven to be a more family-oriented compact SUV because of how the interior space is well crafted for utility paired with a great level of driving performance. The RAV4, on the other hand, is more of an executive compact SUV with great driving dynamics.

At Naijauto.com always have all the answers to your car-related questions and more because we never want you to make a car-related mistake. Check out Toyota RAV4 prices and Honda CR-V prices that suit your budget on our website.

>>> Click here to see all listings for the Toyota Rav4 for sale in Nigeria and Honda CR-V for sale in Nigeria!




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Crank - the head of content for 234DRIVE is a mechanic/car enthusiast/car vlogger that writes and creates relatable motoring experiences. Whenever he lays his hands on any car, he reviews them in depth. He calls himself the 'Educative Car Guy'.

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