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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.

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.

Thanks for reply dagosa.

If you could swing it, try the Lexus Rav4(RX10 I believe)

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.

?? I didn’t think there was a Lexus version of the Rav4. The RX350 is the Lexus version of the Highlander.

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.

Tires can be 75% of road noise. Check out and look at reviews and noise ratings. I’ve found Yokohamas to be very quiet.


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.

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?

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.

Hitting a curb isn’t a maintence issue, it’s a driver skill issue :slight_smile:

Well, it’s the smallest suv Lexus offers, so I figured it was the same as the Rav4. The GX460 seems like the Highlander and the LX570 looks like the Land Cruiser. Though I was just glancing around their website when I made the suggestion, I’m not up to speed on Toyota and their clones

I agree with your comment about Yokohama tires. I have 4 Avid Touring tires on my Buick, and they are great. I plan to put the same tires on my wife’s van soon. But this doesn’t help brad_sk much unless he’s very patient. He’s looking at new cars, and will have to wait for more than 50,000 miles to get new tires. I have almost 70,000 miles on my OEM tires after nearly 5 years. There must be another way to differentiate the two besides tire noise.

Obviously the tires make the difference as well…but have you tried the RAV4 v6 ?
Of the two, this should be the quietest in operation, given quite tires.

I didn’t get my CX-7 until after this post was made, but it’s been really quiet, atleast compared to the Civic I had.

Is that the 4 cylinder turbo? Can you post your personal experience with it? I am in the market for a used midsize SUV and at this point anything is on the list.

Yeah, it’s the GT model. Keep in mind I’m comparing it with an 11 year old Civic, but the difference is night and day.
For a sporty SUV they didn’t skimp on the sound deadening material. Then again, it could be due to the 66 degree sloping windshield and the fact that it weighs 4001 pounds with the AWD system.
The Bose system has been great, it does put out some good sound.
The rear windows actually go all the way down(like the used to 40 years ago).
Keyless entry/start is nice and you get a little plastic piece where the key would normally go instead of a push button like most other cars give you for keyless start.
It looks more expensive than it really is. I paid $34k OTD for mine, and the small Lexus SUV is a good $50k for similar equipment. Most people claim they get theirs mistaken for a Lexus, some have said Ford Edge, and one guy asked me if mine was a Mercedes.
You don’t feel like you’re driving an SUV, even with the 8 inch ground clearance you don’t really get blown around much in wind. But that could also be due to the weight and just overall design of the car. I test drove a Tacoma and felt like I was getting blown all over the road with it in some wind.
More standard features than most other brands
Insurance wasn’t that much more expensive than my Civic, and I kept full coverage on it too. Went up just a little more than $100/6 months, and I’m a 30 y/o male
The handling is really good for an SUV

gas mileage, it’s rated 17/23 with AWD, 18/25 FWD, 20/28 for the 2.5L FWD trim(2010 models only). I’ve been lucky to nab 14 or 15mpg with my driving(short hop driving mostly). Though, to be honest, it almost begs to be driven hard.
That little bit of turbo lag between 1k and 2500 rpms
The nav does kinda suck
The inability to actually change headlight bulbs out fairly easily. I would seriously consider taking mine to the dealership and letting them deal with it. The HIDs will need to go there for replacement

Used, you’d probably want to avoid most 07 models, unless they’ve had their gas cap, turbo seals(or actual turbo, I can’t remember, it leaked or smoked), and AC compressor replaced. since 07 was their first year, it had some teething issues. 08/09 should be a fairly good choice, just make sure the turbo is in good working order, you never know how well it’s been maintained, and that they’ve been using high octane to fuel the car too.

Thanks, that is a good run down of pros and cons. I guess better than most I have seen. I have never had turbo before, so you reiterate my nervousness about them. Good to know about the '07s.

That’s the main reason I went new on mine. This way I know that it’s getting timely oil changes, the proper fuel and such.
The SV and Sport models for 2010 can be had for about $25k, and they don’t have the turbo engines, they have the 2.5L 4cyl out of the Mazda 3 and 6