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Compact SUV with less road noise

I am comparing 2010 Honda CR-V vs Toyota RAV4. I did test drive them but in different roads.

1. Any idea which one has less road noise from inside?

2. RAV4 advertises its AWD as on-demand all wheel drive which kicks in only when needed. EPA mpg estimates are same for both though. Practically does it make a different in terms of mpg by having on-demand AWD?

I know Subaru Outback has better mileage with it's CVT system but I am worried about high maintainance cost for '10 Outback with its battery powered hand brake and standard alloy wheels.


  • edited April 2010
    Of those two, the RAV is the most quite and efficient. No compact SUV is as quite as a quality sedan because of their inherant design parameters for room and wind resistance. The mpg difference of each is minimal. I would not degrade the CRV on road noise alone as it's other creature accommodating features may be worth while. The Subaru Outback, IMO is not to be fear what so ever maintenance wise. It's biggest advantage is it's overall awd performance. Of the three...all are great choices and a personal preference on your part.
  • edited April 2010
    Thanks for reply dagosa.
  • edited April 2010
    If you could swing it, try the Lexus Rav4(RX10 I believe)
  • edited April 2010
    Over recent years, Honda has typically had more road noise than the comparable Toyota. Honda is aimed at a sportier crowd, so they save a little weight by not overdoing the sound insulation.
  • edited April 2010
    ?? I didn't think there was a Lexus version of the Rav4. The RX350 is the Lexus version of the Highlander.
  • edited April 2010
    The RAV4 has automatic AWD in which the vehicle will send power to the front wheels or back wheels on an as needed basis. It will however have a manual override in which the driver can "lock" the car into AWD at low speeds. This is used mainly for getting unstuck. But really the "Cute Utes" are more for keeping you on the road rather than taking you off it.

    I'm not sure how having alloy wheels would increase maintence costs significantly, if at all, nor would I be concerned about a battery powered hand brake. CVT's though are a valid concern IMHO. Many of them are not serviceable and if a problem is encountered, a new unit is installed.
  • edited April 2010
    Tires can be 75% of road noise. Check out and look at reviews and noise ratings. I've found Yokohamas to be very quiet.


  • edited April 2010
    Alloy wheels - Say if I hit a curb, then its much lesser expense to replace regular wheels than alloy wheels. But realized that base model of '10 Outback do come with standard wheels instead of alloy. I am not super concerned about the looks.

  • edited April 2010
    and alloy wheels handle better, are less likely to come out of round, don;t rust, and are less prone to bead seal leaks. I wouldn't pass on them because you might hit a curb. Do you dit a lot of curbs?
  • edited April 2010
    Not all alloys are created equal either. If you have to deal with winter corrosion (yes they do corrode), ding up up steels when your car is covered with road salt and looks like "crap" anyway. Save the alloys for good weather and a clean car. Come trade in, looks are everything and good wheels are a deal maker.
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