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I gave my impressions on the RAV4 forum but I'll post it here in case anyone is interested.

BirchBarlow said:
I have to say, as someone who's been a Toyota guy most of my life, I left highly disappointed. I thought the RAV4 looked pretty good in person, better than in the pictures, and the interior was was about on par with everything else in the class, however the aesthetics are where it ends. Unfortunately I found the driving dynamics to be quite lackluster. The driving experience was completely numb and boring. The 8-speed transmission was horrible. Acceleration was tepid, as the transmission was quite sluggish to rev the engine and always shifted early and abruptly, sapping way too much power from engine. It drove nothing like the RAV4 V6 or the Camry V6 I used to have. The handling was okay, but the car was just so devoid of any kind of road feel both in the steering wheel and in the seat of my pants. The engine was also quite noisy, though I could look past the engine noise if the driving dynamics were better. FWIW I also drove a Highlander which I found equally slow, numb and boring, however it was smoother and quieter, and the seat was much more comfortable. Neither of them are on my list anymore, but if were going for a Toyota, I would choose the Highlander because it is smoother, quieter and more comfortable, and I didn't feel any compromise in driveability going from the RAV4 to the Highlander, despite the Highlander's bigger footprint.

After the two Toyotas, I test drove a competitor which I felt was far superior to the RAV in terms of driving dynamics and luxury. That one is currently at the top of my list.
By the way, the competitor I drove was a CX-5 turbo which I felt was better than the CR-V in terms of engine performance and refinement.
 

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Funny I was in one and enjoyed the ride all together while I was taken for the ride for 30 plus minutes Quite smooth and comfortable.
 

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His report on the RAV4 seems to be the same as many others I have seen. I think the look of it will appeal to some men but I think most women are not going to like the Truck looking front end. Also I have no idea why they added the square wheel arch trim, IMO it just does not look right.

I was really hoping to get a RAV4 in two more years and then reevaluate the Honda's again when the Gen6 comes out but I am not liking the early reports on the RAV so I may sell my CRV at the three year mark and get a Gen5 CRV Hybrid if they are available. I need to move to a Hybrid as my commute is now mostly through the city.

As for Mazda, never again no matter how good it looks or drives.

Rob
 

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I passed on even looking at the Rav 4 during my search. There's just too much plastic for me.

robby, you really should check out the Signature CX-5. I don't know what Mazda you once owned, but this one is nothing like the Mazda of old. Much like the 1.5l CR-V's are nothing like they used to be.
 

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You want refinement go test drive a 2019 Santa Fe. After 2 years of driving a CRV, I got tired of trips to the dealer.
Now drive a better car and with a better no cost warranty and NO PROBLEMS
 

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You want refinement go test drive a 2019 Santa Fe. After 2 years of driving a CRV, I got tired of trips to the dealer.
Now drive a better car and with a better no cost warranty and NO PROBLEMS
That's funny, because I know several people who like to keep their cars long term completely cross off the Santa Fe as it has consistently been rated as unreliable. Even with warranty, often excuses can be found at dealer level. It's fine if plan is to dump when warranty is done, otherwise I'd avoid for sure.
 

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Since 2004 I only owned Hyundai products and none of them required warranty work only standard maintenance. The reason I went with the CRV is it met the features and design I wanted. The 2017 S.F. didn't light my fire :=) I also thought Honda quality would a least meet Hyundai experience
IT DIDN'T. I spent hundreds of miles driving fixing many small and large problems. The 2019 S.F. is far superior to the CRV....faster, quieter, much better sound system,heated steerring wheel, heads up display, ETC. The only thing the CRV does better is MPG.
 

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You want refinement go test drive a 2019 Santa Fe. After 2 years of driving a CRV, I got tired of trips to the dealer.
Now drive a better car and with a better no cost warranty and NO PROBLEMS
Hey, congrats on the new ride! The 2019 Santa Fe Ultimate 2.0 was almost mine. The dealer totally screwed themselves with their archaic practices. At the end of the day I purchased the CX-5 Signature. I really liked the SF, although it was a little bigger than we needed. I'm sure it will treat you well.
 

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Drove the RAV and thought it was pre tty sharp. I drove the limited but preferred the gauges on the lower trim by quite a bit. Couldn’t get over how low the steering wheel sat, not very comfortable. Overall a very nice package that doesn’t really work for me.

Passing on the CRV and likely grabbing a Santa Fe in the next couple of weeks.
 

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From Motor Trend's 2019 RAV4 versus 2018 CR-V comparison.

"To paraphrase the results of last year's Camry vs. Accord comparison, Toyota may have built a vastly better RAV4, but the CR-V is still the better vehicle."

You can see the entire article here: https://www.motortrend.com/cars/honda/cr-v/2018/2019-toyota-rav4-2018-honda-cr-v-comparison-test/
It all depends as there's better now and better later. The 5th Gen CRV has a good initial feel depending on the vehicle you normally drive but down the road there are too many significant issues with the CRV and that's why some owners are wiling to make the jump.
 

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My copy came yesterday and after reading the comparison, I was unimpressed. Pre-production version tested. No mention of any CRV issues that could have been picked up by reading this forum. So today on the way back from town, I stopped by the Toyota dealer who had 2 on the lot. Both low end models. As I'd want a top end model, I didn't do much beyond examine the trunk and sit in the seats. I liked it. I'll come back in 6 months after others have done the testing and see what the collective wisdom is. But I was so unimpressed with Motor Trend's review I wrote what might be my second letter to the editor. I don't accept their probable excuse of "production schedules". Get it right is more important than get it fast. And any review that doesn't do its homework by looking for actual owners experiences is slipshod and not to be trusted.
 

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Wow, this line was surprising to me.

“In fact, there was so much less road noise in the CR-V that I was shocked I hadn't noticed it before. As far as I was concerned, the CR-V was the clear winner.”

Shame on Toyota; I thought they learned their lesson from the 2013-2015 rav4.
 

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Motor Trends article on the RAV4 has been backed up by at least 3 other sources that I have seen.

All the reviewers say the engine is loud and the cabin noise is loud.
All felt that the handling was not as good as the CRV.
The Transmission was also criticized in all the reviews.
All of them liked the look of the RAV4 more than the CRV which is odd to me but I have not seen one in person.
There where mixed opinions on the interior but all agreed that the CRV was more comfortable to sit in and drive.

I am still waiting for some more reviews from sources like Kelly Blue book and Redline.
 

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It's about a half second slower in the quarter than the RAV4, doesn't sound like much, but that's pretty poor for this class.

But this is to be expected without boost and low end torque like the CRV.
 

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we explored the 19 Rav4 AWD Limited in LA auto-show, I am disappointed too, the inside is cramp. I particularly hated the looks. it is so plain and old. It looks like an updated old Tacoma. The inside is so truck like, not refined looking, my wife hated it. Its all clustered and stuffed in that lower portion of the knobs. I see they retained the "shelving" which I like. I hope the AWD system is up to the hype bc as we know, the previous versions (including the Highlander's AWD system) was all hype. And most of all $4,000.00+ more (to match top of the line CRV).
 

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Since 2004 I only owned Hyundai products and none of them required warranty work only standard maintenance. The reason I went with the CRV is it met the features and design I wanted. The 2017 S.F. didn't light my fire :=) I also thought Honda quality would a least meet Hyundai experience
IT DIDN'T. I spent hundreds of miles driving fixing many small and large problems. The 2019 S.F. is far superior to the CRV....faster, quieter, much better sound system,heated steerring wheel, heads up display, ETC. The only thing the CRV does better is MPG.
I can't get over that front though, didn't like that look when Jeep used it before.
 
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