Deciding Between the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and Jeep Cherokee is Tough

Are you team Jeep or Toyota? It can be difficult to pick a side sometimes. Especially when it comes to deciding between the 2021 Jeep Cherokee and the 2021 Toyota RAV4. So, let’s take a side-by-side look at the Jeep Cherokee and Toyota RAV4 to see how they stack up. 

2021 Toyota RAV4 vs. the 2021 Jeep Cherokee 

We will jump right in with pricing. The 2021 Jeep Cherokee begins at about $26,760, and the 2021 Toyota RAV4 has an MSRP of about $26,250. So, these SUVs are pretty evenly matched, but these prices are before dealership fees, and the destination fees have been added. 

The 2021 Jeep Cherokee parked on the street
2021 Jeep Cherokee | Jeep

One complaint about the Jeep Cherokee involves its poor fuel economy. According to The Car Connection, it gets an EPA estimated 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. It also doesn’t have a hybrid option yet. However, the Jeep Cherokee 4xe is coming. 

The Toyota RAV4 gets an EPA estimated 28 mpg in the city and up to 35 mpg on the highway. With the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, you can get up to 41 mpg in the city, and the RAV4 Prime gets about 40 mpg in the city. 

Jeep Cherokee and Toyota RAV4 performance 

The base engine in the 2021 Jeep Cherokee is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder option with 180 hp and 171 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 3.2-liter V6 with 271 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Also, the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine pumps out 270 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. 

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 has a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that provides 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. It can tow up to 3,500 lb when properly equipped. The Jeep Cherokee can tow up to 4,500 lb. 

RELATED: The Jeep Cherokee Leaves The Honda Passport In The Dust

Both of these SUVs have off-roading trims. The Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk comes with 4×4, while the Toyota RAV4 has all-wheel drive. The RAV4 TRD has an 8.6-inch ground clearance, and the Cherokee Trailhawk has an 8.7-inch ground clearance. 

According to Edmunds, the Jeep Cherokee has a sporty performance with direct steering. The braking is responsive and smooth, but shifting gears can feel sluggish. It has a smooth ride over bumps, and wind noise in the cabin is average. It’s noticeable but not distracting. 

Edmunds mentioned that the Toyota RAV4 doesn’t have an impressive ride. It lacks power and is a little slower than the class average. But it does a great job at absorbing bumps and impacts and has a quiet cabin. 

Toyota RAV4 and Jeep Cherokee features 

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 has a spacious interior, but taller drivers may find it difficult to get comfortable in the front seat due to its high position. The base trim is packed with plastics but improves in quality as you move up. 

The 2021 Jeep Cherokee is comfortable and supportive with plenty of space. The quality interior materials provide an upscale feeling, but it has small windows that can make it feel smaller than it is. 

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime parked near a building
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

Behind the rear seats in the Toyota RAV4, there are 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space with up to 69.8 cubic feet total. The Jeep Cherokee has 25.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats with up to 54.7 cubic feet total. 

Both of these SUVs come with a standard 7-inch touchscreen. You can upgrade to an 8-inch screen in the RAV4 and an 8.4-inch screen in the Cherokee. They can both connect to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

Both SUVs are pretty safe too, but the RAV4 is a Top Safety Pick+. Standard safety features for both vehicles include automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, and lane-keeping assistance. The RAV has adaptive cruise control, and the Cherokee includes blind-spot monitoring.