Trucks & SUVs

Skip the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and Choose One of These Alternatives Instead

Shopping for a new SUV can make for a pretty daunting task. How do you choose the best model for you? And what if you’re stuck on a vehicle like the 2021 Toyota RAV4 but aren’t totally sure if it’s the right fit for you? After all, it’s well-priced, is known for being a fuel-sipper, and is available with a hybrid engine. But it’s also not the most reliable SUV out there, and it does get some pretty low owner satisfaction ratings from Consumer Reports. So if you’re unsure about this year’s model? We suggest considering one of these alternatives to the 2021 Toyota RAV4 instead.

2021 Toyota RAV4 parked in the wilderness
2021 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Consider the 2021 Honda CR-V as an alternative to the RAV4

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V have been competitors for a long time. According to U.S. News & World Report, the two models typically “run neck-and-neck in terms of sales.” But what is it that makes the Honda CR-V a good alternative to the Toyota RAV4? First off, the 2021 Honda CR-V offers more cargo space. This year’s CR-V also earned higher ratings from Consumer Reports than this year’s RAV4 did. While the RAV4 earned a 69 overall rating, Consumer Reports gave the CR-V an overall rating of 82. The 2021 Honda CR-V also scored better in road tests, according to Consumer Reports’ data.

RELATED: The 2018 Honda CR-V Is a Reliable 3-Year Old SUV

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is a reliable alternative to the 2021 RAV4

As it turns out, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 isn’t all that reliable. In fact, Consumer Reports gave this year’s model a three out of five predicted reliability rating. So if you’re a stickler for reliability, this year’s new RAV4 may not be the best fit for you. For a more reliable alternative to the 2021 Toyota RAV4, consider the 2021 Mazda CX-5. Unlike the Toyota RAV4, the new CX-5 earned a five out of five predicted reliability rating from Consumer Reports. It also did slightly better in road tests and was tapped by the IIHS as a Top Safety Pick+. 

RELATED: The 2021 Mazda CX-5 Is the Smarter Choice Over This Cheaper Japanese Rival

For year-round capabilities, you can’t go wrong with the 2021 Subaru Forester

If you live in an area where it’s snowing more often than not, then you probably want an SUV that comes equipped with all-wheel drive. While the RAV4 does offer all-wheel drive, this year’s model doesn’t come standard with it. Instead, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 is standard with front-wheel drive. For an all-wheel drive alternative to this year’s model, consider the Subaru Forester, which comes standard with it. It also boasts a slightly lower base price than the RAV4. While the RAV4 will cost you a minimum of $26,150, this year’s Forester has a base price of $24,795.

RELATED: The 2021 Subaru Forester Is King of Its Class According to Consumer Reports

This decision is going to take a test drive

There are plenty of alternatives to the 2021 Toyota RAV4. So if these options aren’t quite your style, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Our recommendation? If you’re not sold on the new RAV4 and want to consider your options, head to your local dealership and get behind the wheel for a test drive. After all, that’s the best way to find out if a particular vehicle is a good fit for you.