2012 Toyota RAV4 vs. Its Competition

2011 Toyota RAV4 FWD 4-door 4-cyl 4-Spd AT (GS) Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The 2012 Toyota RAV4 remains one of the few compact crossovers to offer a third row of seating.

The 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander also offers a third row, but it's also seemingly toylike in size and design.

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

The Honda and Subaru only offer four-cylinder engines.

The Ford Escape is in its last year of a boxy, rather dated design that stands out from the crowd, possibly for the wrong reasons, but is otherwise remarkably up-to-par.

Meanwhile, an all-new 2012 Honda CR-V is expected later in the model year.

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.

2011 Toyota RAV4 FWD 4-door 4-cyl 4-Spd AT (GS) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Toyota RAV4
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2012 Ford Escape 4WD 4-door XLT Side Exterior View2012 Ford Escape
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2012 Honda CR-V2012 Honda CR-V
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2012 Kia Sorento 2WD 4-door V6 EX Angular Front Exterior View2012 Kia Sorento
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2012 Mitsubishi Outlander GT2012 Mitsubishi Outlander
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2012 Subaru Forester2012 Subaru Forester
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Quick Specs
6.8
The 2012 Toyota RAV4 remains a strong, refined choice for families, even though some of its design might be a blast from the past.
7.2
The 2012 Ford Escape still antes up solid crossover bona fides, but its sluggish handling and plasticky interior are ready for retirement
7.8
The 2012 Honda CR-V is a great family vehicle, with a thoughtfully designed and comfortable interior, and improved refinement, but it lacks the confident, sprightly feel present in past CR-Vs.
8.0
With the right size, the right gas-mileage numbers, and the right standard features, the 2012 Kia Sorento is an easy recommendation in the crossover class.
7.4
It's aged less rapidly than other American-made Mitsus, but the 2012 Outlander still is bypassed by other compact crossovers.
7.4
The 2012 Subaru Forester is tough, all-weather-capable, and one of the best-handling compact crossovers--plus, a blast to drive in XT turbo form--but an old-tech automatic transmission and econo-caliber interior remain letdowns.
MSRP From     
$22,650$21,440$22,495$21,250$22,345$20,595
Gas Mileage     
19 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas Flat 4
EPA Class     
Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicles2WD Sport UtilitySport Utility Vehicle - 2WD2WD Sport UtilitySport Utility Vehicle - AWD
Style Name     
FWD 4-Door I4 (GS)FWD 4-Door XLS2WD 5-Door LX2WD 4-Door I4 Base2WD 4-Door ES4-Door Manual 2.5X
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
4 Door4 DoorSport Utility Vehicle4 Door4-Door WagonSport Utility Vehicle
Transmission     
Automatic w/ODManualAutomaticManualContinuously Variable RatioManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2012 Ford Escape2012 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2012 Honda CR-V2012 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2012 Kia Sorento2012 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander2012 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2012 Subaru Forester