New Honda CR-V & Toyota RAV4 vs Mazda CX-5

With admirable fuel economy and CO2 figures, Toyota’s new hybrid RAV4 promises to be one of the cheapest large SUVs to run. But should you choose it over frugal rivals from Honda and Mazda?...

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What Car? team
17 May 2018

New Honda CR-V & Toyota RAV4 vs Mazda CX-5

Our verdict

Finally: a properly good hybrid SUV that doesn’t cost the earth. The CR-V is a cracking option for those who want something comfy, roomy, safe and well equipped that’s both frugal and, crucially, isn’t powered by diesel. In fact, if the CR-V didn’t have such a poor infotainment system, it would have secured a five-star rating.

But the CX-5 proves that diesel is far from dead. It’s the most economical if you pound up and down motorways regularly, and the fact that you’re only paying for an engine, rather than a battery and electric motor as well, explains why it’s the cheapest option both for cash buyers and anyone taking out PCP finance. 

To drive, the RAV4 is nothing remarkable. It’s also the noisiest and has the worst infotainment system. But factor in its low costs, particularly for company car drivers, plus its impressive kit tally and Toyota’s stellar reliability record and, overall, it isn’t far behind the CX-5.

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1st – Honda CR-V - 4 stars

Honda CR-V rear

For Most comfortable ride; hushed at low speeds; most rear seat space; good visibility; best real-world economy

Against High PCP costs; woeful infotainment system; some confusing controls

Recommended options Metallic paint (£550)

Read our full Honda CR-V review

Find a great Honda CR-V deal


2nd – Mazda CX-5 - 4 stars

Mazda CX-5 driving

For Cheapest PCP payments; smartest interior; best infotainment system; most fun to drive; loads of kit

Against Firm ride; least roomy in the back; heaviest depreciation

Recommended options Metallic paint (£560) 

Read our full Mazda CX-5 review

Find a great Mazda CX-5 deal


3rd – Toyota RAV4 - 4 stars

Toyota RAV4 driving

For Cheapest company car; Toyota’s excellent reliability; plenty of kit; biggest boot

Against Worst infotainment system; poor handling; coarse and noisy petrol engine

Recommended options  Metallic paint (£545) 

Read our full Toyota RAV4 review

Find a great Toyota RAV4 deal


Specifications: Honda CR-V 2.0 i-MMD Hybrid 2WD SR

  • Engine size 4cyl, 1993cc, petrol + electric motor
  • List price £33,445
  • Target Price £32,966
  • Power 143bhp @ 6200rpm (petrol), 181bhp (electric)
  • Torque 129lb ft @ 4000rpm (petrol), 232lb ft (electric) 
  • Gearbox CVT automatic
  • 0-60mph 7.7sec
  • Top speed 112mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 40.9mpg
  • Test MPG 43.3mpg 
  • CO2 emissions 120g/km

Specifications: Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv-D 150 2WD Sport Nav+

  • Engine size 4cyl, 2191cc, diesel
  • List price £29,895
  • Target Price £28,413
  • Power 148bhp @ 45000rpm
  • Torque 280lb ft @ 1800-2600rpm
  • Gearbox 6-spd manual
  • 0-60mph 8.2sec
  • Top speed 127mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 49.6mpg
  • Test MPG 41.2mpg
  • CO2 emissions 128g/km

Specifications: Toyota RAV4 2.5 Hybrid 2WD Excel

  • Engine size 4cyl, 2487cc, petrol + electric motor
  • List price £33,610
  • Target Price £33,610
  • Power 176bhp @ 57000rpm (petrol), 118bhp (electric), 215bhp (combined) 
  • Torque 163lb ft @ 3600-5200rpm (petrol), 149lb ft (electric)
  • Gearbox CVT automatic
  • 0-60mph 8.2sec
  • Top speed 112mph
  • Gov't fuel economy 50.0mpg
  • Test MPG 42.3mph
  • CO2 emissions 105g/km

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