2021 Honda CR-V vs. 2021 Toyota RAV4: Which Compact SUV Does Consumer Reports Recommend?

The 2021 Honda CR-V and 2021 Toyota RAV4 are among the most popular new compact SUVs. In fact, Honda reportedly sold more than 333,000 CR-Vs, and Toyota sold more than 430,000 RAV4 just last year. Naturally, this might have you asking, which compact SUV makes for the better pick? According to Consumer Reports, the answer is pretty clear.

2021 Honda CR-V vs. 2021 Toyota RAV4: Which compact SUV did better in road tests?

A blue 2021 Honda CR-V Touring driving
2021 Honda CR-V Touring | Honda

While neither compact SUV is as sporty to drive as the Mazda CX-5, Consumer Reports says that both the 2021 Honda CR-V and the 2021 Toyota RAV4 are maneuverable and nimble. It’s the Honda CR-V, however, that’s slightly faster. While the CR-V managed a 0-60 mph sprint in just 8.2 seconds, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 clocked in at 8.3 seconds. 

Overall, though, it’s the 2021 Honda CR-V that did better in Consumer Reports’ road tests. While the Toyota RAV4 earned a 72 overall score in road tests, Consumer Reports gave this year’s new Honda CR-V an 82 overall score. That’s a pretty sizeable difference.

2021 Honda CR-V vs. 2021 Toyota RAV4: Safety features abound

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There’s no getting around it. Both of these compact SUVs come well-stocked with safety features. The 2021 Honda CR-V is standard with Honda Sensing, which includes driver-assist features like a collision mitigation braking system, a road departure mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, and a lane-keeping assist system. 

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 doesn’t make any compromises when it comes to safety features either. In fact, this year’s model is standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. This comprehensive suite of safety features includes driver-assist features like a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alerts with steering assist, lane tracing assist, full-speed range dynamic radar cruise control, and road sign assist.

As for how the NHTSA rated each of these compact SUVs? The NHTSA awarded both models with a five-star overall safety rating. Meanwhile, the IIHS named both a Top Safety Pick for the 2021 model year.

2021 Honda CR-V vs. 2021 Toyota RAV4: The more spacious option is clear

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While performance and safety are certainly important, it’s worth considering what the interiors of these compact SUVs have to offer. According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 offers up plenty of headroom. It’s also easy to see out of the vehicle itself. On the other hand, the Honda CR-V boasts an inviting interior with enough space for five adults to get comfortable.

There are downsides to both interiors, however. Consumer Reports wasn’t exactly impressed by the 2021 Honda CR-V’s infotainment system. While the screen is sizeable enough, it lacks tuning knobs that some might find more useful than a touchscreen. And when it comes to the RAV4? It doesn’t offer nearly as much cargo space as the CR-V does.

Which compact SUV did Consumer Reports pick?

Here’s the thing, Consumer Reports recommends both the 2021 Honda CR-V and the 2021 Toyota RAV4. But when it comes to choosing between the two? Consumer Reports recommends sticking with the CR-V. It earned higher scores in road tests but is well-stocked with safety features and has a more comfortable and spacious interior.