2008 Toyota RAV4 vs. Its Competition

2008 Toyota RAV4
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

Like all of these compact utility vehicles, the 2008 Toyota RAV4 offers a choice of four-cylinder or V-6 powertrains (except the Honda), with front- or all-wheel drive.

Where they differ is that they each have different ways of prioritizing between carlike on-road handling and off-road ability.

For instance, the Ford Escape is styled like a more traditional SUV, but its carlike underpinnings help it handle and perform quite well, despite its aging design.

The Honda CR-V is an excellent, very space-efficient design with plenty of room for five, though it’s not much fun to drive, nor does it have any significant off-road ability.

The Hyundai Tucson bears an older design that doesn’t perform as well as its most updated peers; it also feels smaller inside.

The new Vue that’s been introduced is much improved, especially inside, with a fresh design.

And the Mitsubishi Outlander, like the RAV4, has a very small third-row seat, for those who want two extra positions for small children on occasion; although it doesn’t match the RAV4’s V-6 engine for power, the Outlander V-6 feels very sporty behind the wheel, with good handling, though its ride is firm and somewhat noisy.

2008 Toyota RAV4 2008 Toyota RAV4
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2009 Ford Escape2009 Ford Escape
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2009 Saturn VUE2009 Saturn VUE
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2008 Honda CR-V 2WD 5dr EX Side Exterior View2008 Honda CR-V
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2008 Hyundai Tucson2008 Hyundai Tucson
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2008 Mitsubishi Outlander ES2008 Mitsubishi Outlander
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Quick Specs
7.6
The 2008 Toyota RAV4 brings a little more space than most compact SUVs without a mid-size price.
7.4
Though it looks decidedly old-school, the Ford Escape is a solid and stylish five-passenger, compact SUV that has been kept up-to-date.
8.0
With its available V-6 engine, the 2009 Saturn Vue is a bit more fun to drive than other compact SUVs; otherwise it’s not a standout.
7.8
The 2008 Honda CR-V doesn't have hip style or performance on tap, but it has the security, utility, and frugality that many sensible moms want.
7.0
The 2008 Hyundai Tucson no longer stands out in its class for performance or safety, but it’s still a great value.
8.2
Though the first-generation Outlander was often overlooked, the updated 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander has emerged as a well-rounded vehicle--and one of the sportiest-driving small crossovers.
MSRP From     
$21,500$20,435$23,280$20,700$17,235$19,990
Gas Mileage     
19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicles2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility2WD Sport Utility2WD Sport Utility
Style Name     
FWD 4-Door 4-cyl 4-Speed AT (GS)FWD 4-Door I4 Manual XLSFWD 4-Door I4 XE2WD 5-Door LXFWD 4-Door I4 Manual GLS *Ltd Avail*2WD 4-Door ES
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
4 Door4 Door4 Door SUV5 Door4 Door Sport Utility4-Door Wagon
Transmission     
Automatic w/ODManual w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomaticManual w/ODNA
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2008 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2009 Ford Escape2008 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2009 Saturn VUE2008 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2008 Honda CR-V2008 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2008 Hyundai Tucson2008 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2008 Mitsubishi Outlander