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The Toyota RAV4 is America’s most popular compact SUV. It may be the best-selling SUV, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best. There are plenty of other alternatives that consumers would be better off with.

The Mazda CX-5 is more luxurious than the Toyota RAV4

A gray Mazda CX-5 compact SUV is parked.
A gray Mazda CX-5 compact SUV is parked | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

The Mazda CX-5 is rapidly climbing compact SUV rankings. It’s in the same price range as the RAV4 but offers more premium cabin materials and better tech.

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 starts at $25,900. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 187 horsepower. It gets 24 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway.

Car and Driver gave the 2022 Mazda CX-5 a 10/10 overall rating. The compact SUV is also an Editor’s Choice Award recipient. It’s known for its premium cabin materials and many standard features. The CX-5 also comes with plenty of safety features as well.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson is climbing up compact SUV rankings fast

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson starts at $24,950. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 187 horsepower. The Tucson achieves 26 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Hyundai Tucson is the best new compact SUV, according to U.S. News & World Report. It is known for its smooth ride quality, spacious cabin and cargo area, and plenty of standard features. The compact SUV provides incredible value for its price.

It also comes in several different trim levels and powertrain options. The Tucson’s final trim level, the Limited, starts at just $35K.

The 2022 Honda CR-V is the RAV4’s nemesis

The Honda CR-V | Abdulselam Durdak/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Honda CR-V vs. the Toyota RAV4 is a tale as old as time. The two compact SUV models have been battling each other in rankings for years. The RAV4 has become the better-selling SUV model, but the CR-V still has the reputation of one of the best compact SUVs overall.

The 2022 Honda CR-V starts at $26,400. It uses a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine to make 190 horsepower. The compact SUV gets 28 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway.

The CR-V has great fuel efficiency. It also has great driving dynamics and a peppy powertrain. If any SUV can compete with the RAV4, it’s the CR-V.

Why is the Toyota RAV4 so popular?

Super White 2022 Toyota RAV4 driving on a city street
The 2022 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Why does America love the Toyota RAV4? Is it its price or fuel economy? The truth is, the RAV4 is appealing for several reasons. One of the main reasons that Americans love the RAV4 is that it has proven itself to retain value well over time. RAV4 models can rack up high mileage and still be reliable once they are well-maintained. Americans love a good deal, and it’s tough to compete with the RAV4 when it comes to its cost of ownership and the value it provides over long periods of ownership.


The Mazda CX-5 Packs in Safety Features for Under $30,000