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Discussion Starter #1
Rated slightly lower overall compared to the ICE version, but still a recommended buy.
Overall Score = 75
Road Test score = 80.

Key reasons:
Engine noise and their road tests reported out consistently that they felt the acceleration from a stop was sluggish and noisy due to the engine.

The hybrid rides a bit stiffer and does not handle quite as nimbly as the ICE version.

The brakes feel more sensitive... but they did not quantify how... only by comparison subjectively to the ICE version.

And of course they hate the Head Unit.. but this has been true for years with Consumer Reports on Honda CRV head units.

CR actually likes the RAV4 Hybrid just a bit better, though they scored it identical to the hybrid CRV. CR recommends buyers check out the CRV and RAV4 and choose what suits them best.
 

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I think I would agree with that report apart from the acceleration
The brakes are the best of all the hybrids makes I tried
 

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Media has always had a pro-RAV4 bias since Toyota hybridised it before the CR-V.

That aside, the low rent interior of the RAV4 is enough to put me off.

I do agree on the handling - prior to purchasing my 1.5T, I found that the car to be sharper and more confident around corners and inclines. The Hybrid was just a little more hesistant, but still hands down, its spanked the RAV4 into next week, whose handling is simply shockingly poor. Absolutely no feedback about the terrain or road you're on.

CR-V, all day long, in any guise. Toyota are fast emulating the likes of VW, just making any old crap that they hope people will buy.
 

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European will -no doubt- favour the RAV4 for it's towing capacity. 2x Honda's towing capacity. Still, I wouldn't trade my CR-V for the RAV4. Its current styling is not... well... not my taste.
 
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I disagree with the CR brakes comment. Brakes have a natural feel. True that if you floor it from a start, the engine will kick in and roar. However, initial acceleration from a stop is strong. I just read in an auto magazine that Honda has reprogramed the Accord Hybrid for 2021 to make acceleration from a stop more like an ICE and with less roar. Maybe that will be applied to future CR-V Hybrids. Generally, I take CR reviews with a grain of salt - one person (or team)'s opinion. Honda, in the Touring trim provides more content than Toyota in my opinion and preference.
 

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European will -no doubt- favour the RAV4 for it's towing capacity.
...which I find kinda ironic since I can probably count on one hand how many times I have actually seen a RAV4 towing!

However, initial acceleration from a stop is strong. I just read in an auto magazine that Honda has reprogramed the Accord Hybrid for 2021 to make acceleration from a stop more like an ICE and with less roar.
Personally, I like a good loud engine noise, whether from the Hybrid or 1.5T. Both are far superior than what Toyota offers under the hood. And their "Prime" model certainly isnt worth the price premium for the horsepower.

Simple remap solves that issue for a fraction of the price.
 

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We drove a regular and hybrid Rav4 as well as the 2021 Toyota Venza before deciding on the CR-V Hybrid Touring. The brakes feel artificial in the Toyota Hybrids. The headroom in the Honda is much better and the ergonomics are superior. You get real leather in the CR-V. The Rav4 Hybrid has the advantage in gas mileage, but if you match them feature by feature the Rav4 comes out over $2000 more than a comparable CR-V.
 

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We drove a regular and hybrid Rav4 as well as the 2021 Toyota Venza before deciding on the CR-V Hybrid Touring. The brakes feel artificial in the Toyota Hybrids. The headroom in the Honda is much better and the ergonomics are superior. You get real leather in the CR-V. The Rav4 Hybrid has the advantage in gas mileage, but if you match them feature by feature the Rav4 comes out over $2000 more than a comparable CR-V.
I wouldnt be surprised if the RAV4 gets better mileage because of the lighter weight of the crap/recycled quality materials its made out of.

While I havent done a spec-to-spec comparison, in terms of dimensions, the CR-V is bigger. And considering what both are designed for, the CR-V is superior at what it does.
 

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And now the Lexus is getting the same type of drivetrain as the Crv
we all buy cars for different reasons
 

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Rated slightly lower overall compared to the ICE version, but still a recommended buy.
Overall Score = 75
Road Test score = 80.

Key reasons:
Engine noise and their road tests reported out consistently that they felt the acceleration from a stop was sluggish and noisy due to the engine.

The hybrid rides a bit stiffer and does not handle quite as nimbly as the ICE version.

The brakes feel more sensitive... but they did not quantify how... only by comparison subjectively to the ICE version.

And of course they hate the Head Unit.. but this has been true for years with Consumer Reports on Honda CRV head units.

CR actually likes the RAV4 Hybrid just a bit better, though they scored it identical to the hybrid CRV. CR recommends buyers check out the CRV and RAV4 and choose what suits them best.
The key reasons you list are all qualitative. It's always been unclear to me how they mix them with their quantitative results to get those "overall" and "road test" scores. In fact, I think they let their qualitative assessment influence the quantitative in undocumented ways.

Example: The "Transmission" category in the road test. The criteria are claimed to be "Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions." IMO, all Honda iMMD hybrids should be 5-out-of-5 in this category. The only possible lack of smoothness is if some glitch happens when the clutch engages between Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive. I have felt a slight one in my Accord Hybrid, but only when the engine is cold (which shouldn't count). Response can be slow, intentionally, in ECON mode; if that is an issue, use NORMAL or SPORT. And there is no shifter action. So how does the CR-V score only a 3?

Yet the CRV-V hybrid scores 3-out-of-5 in this category. The only explanation that I can think of is their dislike of the uncorrelated engine noise and the push-button shifter. It seems they take off for that in multiple categories.

And for comparison, the Accord and Insight transmissions get 4-out-of-5, and the Clarity gets 5-out-of-5. All with essentially the same "transmission" issues.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
The key reasons you list are all qualitative. It's always been unclear to me how they mix them with their quantitative results to get those "overall" and "road test" scores. In fact, I think they let their qualitative assessment influence the quantitative in undocumented ways.
Well, in fairness.. one of the clear value propositions of Consumer Reports is that they DO in fact spend time on qualitative as well as quantitative testing of vehicles.. and both big things and little things get the full coverage. I guess I don't see the issue with this that you do.

CR members generally really like that fact that CR does both detailed reviews, as well as follow-up long term tests, life cycle tests, AND.. they do this by purchasing a vehicle.. NOT taking a loaner from the manufacturer or a dealer.... so they can remain independent.

Right now.. CR appears to me to be the most independent and objective vehicle review service available right now. But even CR is subject to variances in opinion and observation from their test drivers (who are human and do have preferences). But CR is not perfect either, no vehicle review or test drive service is really... because the large audience of vehicle shoppers is so diverse and at odds with itself.

Their scoring was 2 points lower than the ICE version.. which means to me they are essentially rated the same overall, but CR did their job by clearly noting differences that owners need to be aware of, and what CRs test drive team reported out in their testing results.

And CR DOES nit pick the little things like engine noise, transmission performance, etc. .. because a good number of owners do.

Their comment about the push button shifter is classic CR. They did not criticize it, they simply noted that it was there now in the CRVs, AND.. owners need to become proficient and comfortable with it. They make that same claim on all vehicles with pushbutton shifters right now ... precisely because they need an owner to become proficient with them.

And for comparison, the Accord and Insight transmissions get 4-out-of-5, and the Clarity gets 5-out-of-5. All with essentially the same "transmission" issues.
They are NOT the same. Keep in mind.. most CRV hybrids sold are AWD.... and the Accord and Clarity are not. That does make a difference, though scoring differences are not large here.

As for the noise critique.... CR generally always covers things like under the hood noise because it does matter to a lot of owners.

My 2017 CRV is a great vehicle and I am very happy with it. But it is an SUV/CUV.. not a sedan like the Accord and Clarity. Compared to my 2018 Accord... the CRV is inferior in a number of ways... and these would also couple over to the hybrids in most cases as well.

Note: I have not test driven a hybrid CRV.. but I am tempted to now from the CR report.. to check out that 2.0 engine more closely for noise and responsiveness. I may buy a gen6 in hybrid form when it is available.. but I really want to check out the power train closely as part of my decision process.

The transmission, as we know is not really a transmission in the Honda hybrids. In that regard, I expected better from CR on review of it.. because the score for that aspect of Honda hybrids should be N/A in the scoring table in my view. :)
 

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Key reasons:
Engine noise

Yes, for me it's taken some getting used to when going up long highway grades (in my 2020 Hybrid CR-V) -- the engine sounds like a lowing cow. But 2 things I bear in mind have made it easier for me to relax and enjoy the technology:

1) Think of the 2.0 liter Atkinson as the equivalent of free-standing Honda gas powered generator -- yes, they're fairly noisy when you need lots of electrons.

2) And I bear in mind that that Honda 2.0 Atkinson engine gets high marks because:

- Honda went for naturally aspirated port-injected, which means less carbon buildup over time & lower startup emissions:
Port vs Direct Injection engines

- Honda's 2.0 Atkinson engine made Ward Automotive's "10 best engines" for 2 successive years:
Wards -- 2019
Wards -- 2020
 

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I sometimes wonder whether I’m driving the same car when I read these reports or even some of the posts on this forum.

Acceleration, ride, handling, fuel economy and road noise are far better than I expected so happily these offset the Head Unit which is frankly pants.

Coming from manual gearbox saloons there was an initial learning curve driving a CVT Hybrid SUV which necessitated a change of driving habits. End result is that I will never go back to standard ICE configuration. Hybrid all the way and when the time comes PHEV or EV. The driving experience is just so much more relaxed and enjoyable and I think Honda have got it spot on.
 

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Well, in fairness.. one of the clear value propositions of Consumer Reports is that they DO in fact spend time on qualitative as well as quantitative testing of vehicles.. and both big things and little things get the full coverage. I guess I don't see the issue with this that you do.
I didn't say that using qualitative tests was the issue. I said it wasn't transparent how they are applied to a quantitative "overall score", or in how many different ways the same negative is applied.

CR members generally really like that fact that CR does both detailed reviews, as well as follow-up long term tests, life cycle tests, AND.. they do this by purchasing a vehicle.. NOT taking a loaner from the manufacturer or a dealer.... so they can remain independent.
Yes, as a longtime member I do appreciate that. But a criticism of their methodology, especially is that it is biased toward the tastes of their readers, which are biased toward their ratings.

Their scoring was 2 points lower than the ICE version.. which means to me they are essentially rated the same overall, but CR did their job by clearly noting differences that owners need to be aware of, and what CRs test drive team reported out in their testing results.
This is what bothers me:
  • Road Test: 82/100 gas CR-V, 80/100 hybrid CR-V, 76/100 hybrid RAV4. A leg up for the CR-Vs.
  • Reliability: 3/5 for all. Seems to be a toss-up.
  • Owner Satisfaction: 4/5 for both CR-V's, 3/5 for the hybrid RAV4. Advantage, CR-V
  • All have the equivalent safety features.
  • IIHS crash tests: all "good."
  • NHTSA crash tests: CR-V got 7 5-stars, and 3 4-stars. RAV4 got 6 and 4. Advantage, CR-V
  • Overall scores.
    • Criteria: "Overall score reflects a vehicle's performance in our road tests, predicted reliability and owner satisfaction from our annual auto surveys, the availability of front-crash prevention systems, and crash-test results from IIHS and NHTSA, if tested."
    • The actual scores? 77 for the gas CR-V, 75 for the hybrid CR-V, and 75 for the hybrid RAV4.
  • Changes, road test to overall:
    • Gas CR-V, -5 points.
    • Hybrid CR-V, -5 points.
    • Hybrid RAV4, -1 point.
Where did this 4 point swing come from? By visible evidence, the RAV4 should have a bigger drop from the road-test score.

And CR DOES nit pick the little things like engine noise, transmission performance, etc. .. because a good number of owners do.
I'm not disputing that. I'm wondering where, how many times, they account for it.

They are NOT the same. Keep in mind.. most CRV hybrids sold are AWD.... and the Accord and Clarity are not. That does make a difference, though scoring differences are not large here.
And the AWD is the same as in the gas CR-V, which got 5-out-of-5. And while it is unclear if they tested AWD, I have, and found no issues.

Yes, I realize there are some differences. You don't need to keep pointing it out. The point that I thought I had made, is that the system can not have issues with any of the criteria they claim the assessment is based on. And that is a property of the system, regardless of the platform.

As for the noise critique.... CR generally always covers things like under the hood noise because it does matter to a lot of owners.
And they are correct to include it in their overall score. Once.
 

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JeffJo, could the difference in the ratings be related to the higher miles per gallon of the RAV4? Some testers/magazines place a higher value on this...as well as tenths of a second in 0-60 times...as is ANYONE can tell the difference in 2/10 of a second during regular driving on city streets!...And not everyone will get the same MPG either. Shameful! (but that is a different issue)
 

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JeffJo, could the difference in the ratings be related to the higher miles per gallon of the RAV4?
MPG is included in the road-test score. As is acceleration. Even with both included, the CR-V outscored the RAV4 by 4. It is in the other parts of the overall score, where the CR-V apparently did as well or better in every category, that the RAV4 somehow made up the difference.
143137
 

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Gotcha, Well that was all I had LOL. Sometimes I think CR just has an agenda.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Gotcha, Well that was all I had LOL. Sometimes I think CR just has an agenda.
The only agenda CR has is to provide the most accurate and objective assessments to members of the products they test and evaluate.

Personally, I sometimes feel that CR is too kind to Subaru in their reviews and ratings.. but I don't whine and complain about it.. because I understand that the purpose is to inform owners so they can be alert to features or lack of features or implementation that may be more important to them, than for some other owners. I take it for what it is.. a review of vehicles to help inform possible buyers of issues or advantages in the particular segment of the vehicle market.

The difficulty for CR is... human beings run the tests.. and while subject to the testing and scoring parameters that CR uses to put guard rails on the evaluations... there will be some subjective variations.. because that is how human minds work. Worse... other human beings consume the test results.. and then put their own layer of subjective reasoning over top of it. And sometimes.. it results in forum wars on the internet.. for no other reason than different owners have different preferences and priorities.. not to mention the very human tendency to want to pitch one brand or model as superior to all competitors. :)

JeffJo is critical of the fact that the final scores between hybrid RAV4 and CRV gave a minor nod (emphasis on "minor") to the RAV4. Yet if you actually take time to read the review notes carefully, and if you are long time user of CR reports two things are immediately clear, at least to me in reading the full reviews:

1) the numerical scoring difference is nil.. 2 whole points. BOTH are CR recommended buys.. and score in the positive buying zone in the CR score index. In other words, the differences are in the noise.. and CR confirms this by simply encouraging buyers to test drive and evaluate both before making a decision (something I consider proper ethical practice by a company that endeavors to be unbiased toward brands).

2) JeffJo is correct that CR does not show members the actual scoring by testers... nor should they. What buyers need to know is the composite finding of the tests.... IF... IF you trust CR. Anyone paying CR for access to their testing results by definition trusts CR, even if they disagree with the results. There is certainly enough information presented in most CR rating reviews to make objective use of them when shopping for a vehicle... so I disagree with JeffJo on the merit of this criticism.

I can tell you exactly why the RAV4 outscored the CRV by a small amount in the comparison. ----> little persistent things for the gen5 CRV... like the Head Unit.. which CR hates with a passion for it's poor user friendliness that when coupled with their test results showing the 2.0 engine to be noisier than expected, brakes being more sensitive than in the ICE CRV, and the handling being less nimble on the CRV hybrid vs the ICE version.... I am honestly surprised that the final point scores for hybrid CRV are only two points lower than for the ICE version, regardless of any scoring comparisons to the RAV4.
 
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