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For 2021, the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, and Kia Telluride have been sweeping the “best of” lists. The Honda beat out the CX-5 but just by a marginal amount. Which is the most reliable SUV for your family under $40,000?

Which is better, the Honda CR-V or the Mazda CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 on the assembly line
The Mazda CX-5 SUV went up against the Honda CR-V in Best SUV lists | Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty Images

U.S. News ranked the best SUVs for under $40,000, and Honda topped the list. In fact, out of 40 SUVs listed, Honda made the list four times. The 2021 Honda CR-V came in first with a score of 8.7 and a price of $25,350.

The Honda CR-V had better fuel economy, and roomy cabin, and a powerful engine to get from point A to point B. It comes in a Hybrid option, too.

The CR-V came first in the compact SUV category, Crossover SUV category, and SUVs with two rows. It won the Best Compact SUV for the Money award and came in as a finalist for Best Compact SUV for Families.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 scored an 8.6, only one-tenth of a point behind the CR-V. With room for five, fuel efficiency, and a fun drive, it makes sense it would come in second.

Priced at $25,370 for the Sport trim, the CX-5 fits into many budgets. It came in number two on the Compact SUV, Crossover SUV, and SUV with two rows. It was also a finalist for Best Compact SUV for the Money and Best Compact SUV for Families.

Is the 2021 Kia Telluride a good car?

The 2021 Kia Sorento actually ranked with an 8.5/10 on the list, which was one-tenth of a point higher than the 2021 Kia Telluride. For whatever reason, buyers seem to really enjoy the Telluride over the Sorento.

The Kia Telluride ranked at number three in Midsize SUVs and won the Best 3-Row SUV for Families, and was a finalist for the Best 3-Row SUV for the Money.

Priced at $31,990, it is a little more expensive than the CX-5 and CR-V, but it has some features that make it worth it. The Telluride has room for seven to eight passengers and gets 291 hp.

The fuel economy came in at 19-20 in the city and 24-26 on the highway, which Kia could improve. It also scored a 9.5/10 in the safety category.

What sets the Honda CR-V apart?

It truly depends on what you will use your SUV for. Some families find it best to be brand loyal and want a Honda over everything else. Some families might need the extra space and spring for the Telluride with the extra row.

The CX-5 is the most affordable option and might not have all of the bells and whistles the other two have, but it is still a great option.

The safety scored given to the CR-V was 9.7/10. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave most of the crash test results a rating of “good,” while the front crash prevention received a “superior.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the overall rating, frontal crash, and side crash five out of five stars. The rollover rating received a four-star result. The Telluride and CX-5 both had good ratings, but the CR-V beat both.


It’s Clear Who Should Buy the 2021 Kia Telluride and Who Should Get the Kia Sorento