Trucks & SUVs

2021 GMC Terrain vs. Toyota RAV4: Go With the More Popular Choice

There’s no question. The competition within the compact crossover and SUV space is fierce, with the likes of the Honda CR-V, the Nissan Rogue, the Subaru Forester, and the Jeep Wrangler in the mix. But there are two other popular SUVs in this category that are worthy of an official comparison.

The critics at Kelley Blue Book took a closer look at the 2021 GMC Terrain and the 2021 Toyota RAV4. Based on their findings and consumer popularity, there might be only one choice for your next purchase.

The Kelley Blue Book Comparison of the 2021 GMC Terrain and Toyota RAV4

Both the 2021 GMC Terrain and 2021 Toyota RAV4 have plenty to offer. And Kelley Blue Book broke down each area of consideration for a head-to-head comparison.

The comparison evaluated pricing, performance, fuel economy, and cargo capacity for both. It might be helpful to see what each model does well, and not so well, to help you determine which one to buy for yourself.

What the 2021 GMC Terrain evaluation determined

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The 2021 GMC Terrain offers the super-luxe Denali trim that will be hard to match or find in any other segment contender. There is only one engine, which may be a drawback. But it might be alright for you if powertrain selections aren’t a huge concern.

Having only one engine also means having only one average fuel efficiency rating and one pace for performance. The price tag is affordable at the starting end of $26,195 but will soar much higher if you opt for the Denali trim and luxury extras.

If you need cargo space, the Terrain might disappoint slightly as well. But the Terrain does have one thing going for it. It looks as handsome as it drives.

The Terrain shares the Chevy Equinox’s 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. But the transmission is a more refined nine-speed automatic. It’s an SUV that offers a comfortable ride, and the Denali is significantly quiet. But it’s not entirely impressive with a meager 170 horsepower and marginal EPA rating of 27 mpg combined.

What the 2021 Toyota RAV4 does better

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The 2021 RAV4 has tons to offer in terms of trims, engines, and amenities, making it a popular choice among consumers and critics alike. With a starting MSRP of $27,225, it’s a tad more expensive than the base-level Terrain.

You’ll have to forgo leather interior options but will gain huge with a long list of standard safety equipment. And the hybrid variation of the RAV4 is equally impressive in fuel efficiency.

The hybrid harnesses 219 hp, while the standard 2.5-liter gas-powered four-cylinder engine offers 203 hp. There are front and all-wheel drive options, as well as the adventurous TRD Off-Road model, which offers driving modes and hill-descent controls. EPA-estimated fuel mileage is about 30 mpg for the base model, while the hybrid earns an estimated 40 mpg.

The Toyota RAV4 is the better choice

In this Kelley Blue Book comparison, the critics suggest the 2021 Toyota RAV4 is the better buy. While the GMC Terrain is comfortable and a worthwhile contender, it falls short with an underwhelming powertrain.

The Toyota RAV4 provides several options, allowing consumers to customize their crossover to their specific needs. And it’s that popularity, along with a much longer list of standard features, that pushed the RAV4 over the top in this comparison.

The compact crossover segment is slightly crowded, but both the GMC Terrain and Toyota RAV4 tend to stand out from the pack. The Terrain, especially in its Denali form, is a smooth and comfortable family vehicle.

But the Toyota RAV4 is equally impressive in some areas and tends to offer more selection. It is the most popular choice of SUV for many consumers, and in this head-to-head comparison, it wins over the critics, too.