Small SUVs big with consumers

Consumer Reports compares Toyota Rav4, Honda CR-V

SAN ANTONIO – When it comes to personal vehicles, small SUV’s are big business. More than three million were sold in North America last year. The original SUVs were based on trucks. Small SUVs are based on car platforms. Car manufacturers took the comfort and handling of a car ride and put them in a bigger package. Now you have a utility vehicle you can take anywhere.

Consumer Reports took a look at the two top-selling models: Toyota’s RAV4 and the Honda CR-V. Both are roomy, comfortable, and versatile vehicles that come from trustworthy brands. But they often appeal to different drivers.

Some people like the RAV4 because of its roomy interior, its strong reliability and its great fuel economy. The RAV4 hybrid got an impressive 31-mpg in Consumer Reports tests.

The CR-V gets 24-mpg, and Consumer Reports says it’s a good match for those who don’t want to sacrifice utility for sportiness. They want something that’s engaging that they can enjoy driving on the weekend, as well as something that’s reliable and fuel-efficient day-to-day.

Both SUVs rate very high for safety, but the RAV4 has a slight edge in available safety equipment.

Toyota offers a lot of active safety features, like automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning. That’s available on all of the line, whereas Honda includes it only with the top two trims.

Consumer Reports rates the Toyota RAV4 slightly above the Honda CR-V, but suggests taking a test-drive to see which works best for you.

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