2010 Toyota RAV4 vs. Its Competition

2010 Toyota RAV4
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

Most of the compact crossover vehicles now offer a choice of four-cylinder or V-6 engines, as well as front- or all-wheel drive.

The Honda and Subaru are the only exceptions.

But take a look at styling and interiors and they differ significantly.

The Ford Escape prioritizes boxy styling and a basic, square interior layout that still shows strengths versus sleeker, more rounded rivals.

It performs well, too.

The Subaru Forester became quite a bit larger with its last redesign; it still emphasizes all-weather handling over third-row utility or overt luxury.

The Honda CR-V is an excellent, very space-efficient design with plenty of room for five, and it's TheCarConnection.com's longtime pick in this class, though it's not much fun to drive, nor does it have any significant off-road ability.

Another model worth considering is the 2010 Kia Sorento—fresh off a complete redesign and to be assembled in Georgia.

The new Sorento measures up closely with the RAV4—between compact and mid-size—and promises especially nice interior appointments and a very generous feature list.

2010 Toyota RAV42010 Toyota RAV4
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2009 Ford Escape Hybrid2009 Ford Escape
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2009 Subaru Forester2009 Subaru Forester
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2008 Honda CR-V 2WD 5dr EX Side Exterior View2008 Honda CR-V
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2008 Kia Sorento LX2008 Kia Sorento
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Quick Specs
Though it might wear a spare tire on its tail like the hard-core SUVs of yore, don't let that throw you off. The 2010 Toyota RAV4 is actually a practical, fuel-efficient choice for frugal families on the go.
The 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid is a viable and sturdy contender in the family crossover arena. Gas mileage is excellent for a compact SUV, and optional mechanical all-wheel drive sets it apart from softer competitors.
It’s significantly improved this year, but the 2009 Subaru Forester remains a unique all-wheel-drive crossover with less power and fewer features, but better carlike handling, than its competition.
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.
The 2008 Kia Sorento has good towing capacity and all-weather handling, but it lacks the features, the performance and the carlike characteristics of more modern SUVs and crossovers.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
19 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 22 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas Flat 4-CylGas I4Gas V6
EPA Class    
2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicles4WD Sport Utility2WD Sport Utility2WD Sport Utility Vehicle
Style Name    
FWD 4-Door 4-cyl 4-Speed AT (GS)FWD 4-Door I4 Manual XLS4-Door Manual X2WD 5-Door LX2WD 4-Door Base
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive2 Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4 Door4 Door4 Door5 Door4 Door
Automatic w/ODManual w/ODManual w/ODAutomaticAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2010 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2009 Ford Escape2010 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2009 Subaru Forester2010 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2008 Honda CR-V2010 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2008 Kia Sorento