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Two SUVs have consistently topped compact SUV rankings for years: the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are two of the most popular SUVs in America. In 2021 the CR-V and RAV4 have been dethroned. Here are two SUVs that have ascended to greatness in 2021.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 had an amazing year

A black Mazda CX-5/
The Mazda CX-5 is parked outside | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is considered to be the best compact SUV of the year for 2021 by many critics and automotive publications. The CX-5’s main selling point is its refined interior and standard tech. Like other new Mazda models, the CX-5’s cabin resembles the cabin of a luxury vehicle.

The best part about the CX-5 is that the compact SUV doesn’t break the bank despite its amazing features. It starts at $25,370. The compact SUV gets 25 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 187 horsepower.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety top safety pick. It performed well during the organization’s extensive testing. The CX-5 comes standard with a 10.25-inch center display, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. It also includes 12-volt power outlets, a remote keyless entry system, and push-button start.

The CX-5 comes standard with blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go as well.

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan is the best compact SUV option if you need space

A white Volkswagen Tiguan is driving on the road.
The Volkswagen Tiguan is driving on the road | Volkswagen

The 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan starts at $25,245. It achieves 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway. The Tiguan uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to produce 184 horsepower.

Car and Driver gave the 2021 Volkswagen Tiguan a 9.5/10 rating because of its roomy cabin, great ride quality, and optional third row of seats. The Tiguan’s optional third row is crucial since most of its major competitors only are available with two rows of seats. Combine the optional third row with the Tiguan’s amazing handling, and you’ve got a family SUV that’s fun to drive.

The Volkswagen Tiguan comes standard with a 6.5-inch display. It also features Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a rear-view camera. The Tiguan features standard adaptive cruise control as well as blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, and forward-collision warning.

The most popular compact SUVs face serious competition

A black Mazda CX-5 is parked on the road.
A black Mazda CX-5 is parked on the road | Mazda

The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 may currently be more popular than the Mazda CX-5 and Volkswagen Tiguan, but the competition is stiff. The CR-V and RAV4 and dropping in rankings, and they could be outsold thanks to the amazing value that the competition provides.

If you are looking for the best compact SUV on the market, there are more options than the CR-V and RAV4. If you plan on frequently traveling with a large group, the spacious Volkswagen Tiguan may be the best option.


The 2022 Mazda CX-5 Got More Upgrades Than Expected