Edmunds editors Mark Takahashi, Josh Sadlier and Will Kaufman do a back-to-back-to-back comparison of the two highest-rated small crossovers: the 2017 Honda CR-V and the 2018 Mazda CX-5. Also added into the mix is the best-selling 2018 Toyota RAV4, which is due to be replaced by an all-new model later this year. We put these versatile vehicles through their paces to see which one might be the best fit for you.

Q: How much do these small crossovers cost?
A: All three have starting prices right at the $25,000 mark. The as-tested prices for this comparison are $34,505 for the 2018 Mazda CX-5, $32,595 for the 2018 Toyota RAV4, and $30,195 for the 2017 Honda CR-V.

Q: Why was the 2018 Toyota RAV4 included?
A: The Toyota RAV4 is at a distinct disadvantage because it's due for a complete redesign, while the Mazda and the Honda have undergone more recent updates. We included the Toyota because it represents the best-selling model in the class, as well as the best-selling non-pickup truck in the U.S.

Q: Which small crossover has the best cargo capacity?
A: In order from largest to smallest: 2017 Honda CR-V, 2018 Toyota RAV4 and 2018 Mazda CX-5.

Q: Is there a clear winner?
A: The 2017 Honda CR-V wins on paper and gets high marks for convenience. The 2018 Mazda CX-5 is our favorite for the way it drives and looks. The 2018 Toyota RAV4 remains a strong choice, too, but we'd suggest waiting for the 2019 model.

Q: Where's Carlos?
A: There is no Carlos, only Zuul.

Read our reviews here:
2018 Honda CR-V: www.edmunds.com/honda/cr-v/2018/
2018 Mazda CX-5: www.edmunds.com/mazda/cx-5/2018/
2018 Toyota RAV4: www.edmunds.com/toyota/rav4/2018/

Edmunds – we help you find your perfect car with unbiased and useful reviews, advice, pricing and tools. Visit us at www.edmunds.com/.

Comments

    • Sukrit Sabhlok
      Sukrit Sabhlok

      What they don't tell you about the crv is the engine is screwed (oil dilution issue)

      about 7 days ago
    • randall bollinger
      randall bollinger

      The crv does have a cvt and it does take some getting used to.... BUT, it is quicker than both of the others in this comparison and gets better mpg. So, the Asian guy saying it leaves you wanting more on highway on ramps is full of shit.

      about 16 days ago
    • CRAZY KITTY CAM
      CRAZY KITTY CAM

      I love the looks of the Mazda I plan on trying to get the stylish Mazda cx 3 or 5 depending on my price range I hope they go electronic before I purchase one
      Don’t like sedans but I like SUV’s and the crossovers are the best choice go Mazda wining the price and the style

      about 1 month ago
    • Danial Kurashi
      Danial Kurashi

      Honda has the best resale value. There is a reason for that. I will prefer honda,

      about 1 month ago
    • Greg Norton
      Greg Norton

      Love my 2016 CX5 GT. Probably getting another one!

      about 1 month ago
    • valentin24
      valentin24

      Honda CRV is a piece of crap. Mare porcarie !!!

      about 1 month ago
    • Gilbert Velazquez
      Gilbert Velazquez

      I want a CRV HYBRID we need one Honda please. Maybe next year

      about 1 month ago
    • Ashley A
      Ashley A

      Honestly CX5

      about 1 month ago
    • Jim Nichols
      Jim Nichols

      Space and acceleration are key for me, CR-V provides that best!

      about 1 month ago
    • mommypounder
      mommypounder

      The RAV4 has a bigger cock, and smashes the colons of the other two.

      about 1 month ago
    • Donald Phillips
      Donald Phillips

      crv yep

      about 1 month ago
    • TouzY 92
      TouzY 92

      If i want a ride that is comfy, fun to drive, AND i want to keep it for more than 10years and hopefully no major problems with that car, any suggestion ? this would be my first brand new car

      about 1 month ago
    • Brandon B
      Brandon B

      Do not get a Turbo.... you will have a lot of engine issues...

      about 1 month ago
    • Thomas Szwaja
      Thomas Szwaja

      Recently bought a CRV. My second choice was the CX5, while the RAV4 was #3, and would have been perfectly acceptable too. The CX5 styling almost sold me. I just wasn’t convinced a Mazda would hold up like the Honda or the Toyota, and I plan on keeping it for years. The reliability and durability meant more to me in the long run, than the styling, although I think the CRV and RAV4 are attractive cars.

      about 1 month ago
    • Michael Thomas
      Michael Thomas In reply to Thomas Szwaja

      mazda beat out toyota and Honda this year in terms of reliability and build quality!!! Mazda is #6 on consumer reports list of most reliable brands for this year. Honda moved down the list to #13 and toyota moved down to #9. apparently Honda has been experiencing issues with their turbo engines.

      about 1 month ago
    • Mike Lyon
      Mike Lyon

      Why no comparison to the Forrester? Maybe toss it in with the 2019 road tests?

      about 1 month ago
    • Flora De Canya
      Flora De Canya

      The Mitsu 2018-9 PHeV is good to have but a tad expensive, eh ? Toyota has good engine designs. Up to 2018, the Rav4 outside was pugly and generic, now it looks tolerable. Like the Sportage which look good till 2010 auto-body designers have no clue what esthetics is all about. Or the CRV till 2006 then they made "changes" and it look, well, not so purty. Now the 2019 RAV3 is expensive for its class when other "ugly" brands are trying to unload their ugly stocks.

      about 1 month ago
    • Pure Life
      Pure Life

      I’ll just take the Honda for reliability and also a descent interior love the look of the seats in the CR-V

      about 1 month ago
    • Pure Life
      Pure Life In reply to Pure Life

      Overthemoon someone like me who appreciate quality and only drives about 10 miles a day.

      about 9 days ago
    • Overthemoon
      Overthemoon In reply to Pure Life

      Pure Life ..who wants just a decent interior...think of the hours days u’ll spend driving that car..
      decent interior=boring

      about 9 days ago
    • Domingos Arrojado
      Domingos Arrojado

      I really enjoyed the presentation from three well versed experts. Unfortunately one not small detail was left out. CRV four doors open 90 degrees. I know. I'm on my second CRV. Rav4 and Mazda CX5 both open the front doors about 70 degrees and the back doors even less. Having 90 degrees is helpful to people with some sort of movement limitations, as well as to load/unload baby strollers.

      about 1 month ago
    • Domingos Arrojado
      Domingos Arrojado

      i drive a CRV SE 2016 CVT after driving another CRV 2004. Not much difference between the two gear boxes. Most of the drivers won't even notice a difference.

      about 1 month ago
    • Waldo Campos
      Waldo Campos

      the white guy with glasses driving is really annoying.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bob Porter
      Bob Porter

      CRV by a mile!

      about 1 month ago
    • george v
      george v

      What are you guys doing in a circuit with SUVs. I mean, sure it is important that you like how the car rides, but knocking on the performance on any of these is not fair. Take an nsx, Supra and rx7 and this review makes sense. But you should have gone to a supermarket with two strollers in the back and over bumps and stuff. In real life I think the Honda offers the most for the tech and price. Also it's super comfy.

      about 2 months ago
    • Ekam and Mannat’s channel Grewal
      Ekam and Mannat’s channel Grewal

      I liked the crv

      about 2 months ago
    • Suzanne Immen
      Suzanne Immen

      The CRV turbo engine seems to have an oil dilution problem.  Any experience with that?

      about 2 months ago
    • xtrmn8r1
      xtrmn8r1

      Turbo and CVT? Sounds troublesome Toyota sounds boring.I'll eat a little bit of resale value and give the Mazda a shot.

      about 2 months ago
    • LTETobago
      LTETobago

      I'm not a Mazda fan, more of a Honda girl but the Rav 4 and CRV looks dated and basic and I don't need that much cargo room.. Anyone have any complaints about the Mazda!?!?!?! Thinking about getting one 😊😊TY

      about 2 months ago
    • Tiff G
      Tiff G

      OMG this was so damn good! Great job! and loved the diversity in representation and personality.

      about 2 months ago
    • bonyerng o-007
      bonyerng o-007

      Why not include Subaru Forester in the comparison ??? Scare ?

      about 2 months ago
    • James Carson Glass
      James Carson Glass In reply to bonyerng o-007

      bonyerng o-007
      Other than the fact that they are ugly?

      about 23 days ago
    • Judy Speedy
      Judy Speedy

      When will there be a Honda CR-V hybrid available in the United States?

      about 2 months ago
    • Richard Shelton
      Richard Shelton

      Very interesting. You all are sure making it hard for me to make a decision!

      about 2 months ago