2014 Toyota RAV4 vs. Its Competition

2014 Toyota RAV4
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

With its redesign last year, the Toyota RAV4 became better focused against the likes of the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, and Subaru Forester.

By losing the available third-row seat, a V-6 option, and the spare tire hanging off the side-opening hatch, the RAV4 arrived into the mainstream, after years of surprisingly strong sales offering what was essentially a niche layout.

As a four-cylinder five-seater, it's a direct competitor for the likes of the Ford Escape--and it even favors it a little with its athletic stance.

The Escape offers more choice in powertrains, and good EPA-rated fuel economy, and its handling is very sporty, though interior room is on the tight side.

The latest CR-V also pegs the gas-mileage meter and has excellent space and flexibility, with somewhat less engaging styling and civilian handling.

The Subaru Forester was redesigned this past year and has better mileage, a focused XT model with steering-wheel paddle shifters, and a new off-road mode.

There's also a new Hyundai Santa Fe Sport that falls into a slightly larger size class; its turbo four option feels energetic, but drops highway fuel economy into the high 20s.

The Mazda CX-5 is perhaps the pick for those who want more driving enjoyment—and the base version of the Mazda returns up to 35 mpg on the highway.

2014 Toyota RAV42014 Toyota RAV4
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2014 Ford Escape2014 Ford Escape
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2014 Honda CR-V2014 Honda CR-V
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2014 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport2014 Hyundai Santa Fe
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2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5  -  First Drive, February 20132014 Mazda CX-5
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2014 Subaru Forester2014 Subaru Forester
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Quick Specs
The 2014 Toyota RAV4 is sensible and spacious; but if driving fun is a priority, you can do better.
With authentically athletic looks and performance balancing out good passenger space, cargo versatility, and loads of high-tech features, the 2014 Ford Escape is attractive to a wide range of buyers.
The 2014 Honda CR-V isn't exactly sprightly, but it nails efficiency on a few levels and finally brings more features to the family-wagon fight.
The 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe is a little schizophrenic, but we dig both of its personalities. Those with larger families will want to look at the V-6 Santa Fe, while smaller families will enjoy the turbo-powered Santa Fe Sport.
The 2014 Mazda CX-5 is an attractive, well-designed small crossover with great gas mileage, as well as a light, athletic driving experience.
The sharp-looking 2014 Subaru Forester gets a lot more comfortable inside, and offers some useful driving aids and safety electronics.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy24 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy
Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded H-4
EPA Class     
Small SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WDSmall SUV 4WD
Style Name     
FWD 4-Door LE (GS)FWD 4-Door S2WD 5-Door LXFWD 4-Door 2.4FWD 4-Door Manual Sport4-Door Manual 2.5i PZEV
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Sport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport Utility
Automatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODManual w/ODManual w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2014 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2014 Ford Escape2014 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2014 Honda CR-V2014 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe2014 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2014 Mazda CX-52014 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2014 Subaru Forester