If this were an election campaign, we would cast our vote for the CR-V, which has been redesigned for 2012 and is improved in several ways over the previous generation. The new CR-V has better fuel economy, more passenger and cargo space, folding rear seatbacks that are easier to use, and a new all-wheel-drive system that should provide more traction in slippery conditions. Check out our detailed review of the CR-V for more information.
In contrast, the RAV4 is nearing the end of its lifespan, and its age showed when we conducted our $29,000 SUV Shootout. The RAV4 placed last in the nine-vehicle field and came across as cheaply furnished and behind the times compared with newer crossover SUVs. The old CR-V placed sixth in that comparison test, and the current version is much better.
If you want to expand your shopping list, the top three vehicles in the $29,000 SUV Shootout were the Chevrolet Equinox, Dodge Journey and Kia Sportage.
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