I have owned a CRV since 2000. I have not driven or ridden
a RAV4, so I cannot really compare the two. However, as far
as CRV's are concerned, my considerations are:
1. Both cars are kind of ugly. If I had the money I'd rather
own a Cadillac Escalade, but the finances are what they are
and so let's get past the look of both RAV4 and CRV. Plus,
I guess it is a personal thing.
2. CRV is reliable. I take good care of it and I get regularly
22-23 miles/gallon during any season and driving all sorts of
roads. If you don't misuse it, you are likely not to have
to spend a lot of money on it to keep it up and running.
Statistically it is very good in that sense.
3. It is true, it could use a few more horsepowers. The newer
version has about 15-20 horsepowers more than the original
version and that could address the need myself and others
4. The fact that it is not really a 4 wheel drive all the
time may actually work to your advantage as in many situations
you do not need that feature and save on fuel.
5. I live in Minnesota where snow, ice and cold are common
during the Winter season and sometimes even late Falls and
early Springs. The car on ice is really amazing and on snow
it proved much better than I would have expected. Get a
good set of tires (Michelin, for example) and you will do
6. It has a lot of room in the back and I can easily fit my
skis (184cm) and all the other equipment.
7. Up to 90 miles/hour the car is very nice to drive, over
90 miles/hour it is definitely less pleasant . You would
not feel that the car is performing bad, but the vibrations
and the noise inside are more than one would like to bear.
However, technically speaking, that's a dangerous speed to
be driving at, if you get pulled over by the police.
8. I often rent SUV's when I travel far away for skiing.
I have driven Ford, Suzuki, Toyota, GMC in the mid-size
and full-size versions. I can honestly say, that I can sense
those cars have more power than the small CRV, but many times
that's about it. A sure waist of horsepowers. And some do not
even really have that much more space (the mid-size not the
full-size ones, of course). But they "drink" a lot of fuel,
oh yes they do...
Hope it helps,