Trucks & SUVs

The 2021 Honda CR-V Suffers Another Loss to Rivals

The 2021 Honda CR-V can’t catch a break. It was narrowly defeated by rivals such as the 2021 Toyota RAV4 again! Why can’t the Honda CR-V outrank competitors to take home a best SUV victory? 

The 2021 Honda CR-V struggles against the 2021 Toyota RAV4

According to U.S. News, the 2021 Honda CR-V is the runner-up on their list of the best compact SUVs for families. It has earned the silver medal, but not the gold. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 serves as the best compact SUV for families instead. 

A red Honda CR-V sits on display at an event
The Honda CR-V compact crossover SUV on display | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Other victories that the Honda CR-V didn’t claim include the best compact hybrid and best compact SUV to buy. It generally remains in the top three options but never earns the number one spot. 

The Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4 battle continues… 

The Honda CR-V has been battling the Toyota RAV-4 for a while now. But since the RAV4 received a refresh in 2019, it’s been hard to beat. To make matters worse for the Honda CR-V, the Toyota RAV4 is the best-selling compact SUV option. 

It makes us wonder things like, are Honda CR-Vs reliable? What holds it back from being the number one option for families? According to Consumer Reports, the Honda CR-V is very reliable. It has a predicted reliability rating of four out of five, which is above average. 

RELATED: The Honda CR-V is Still Better than the Hyundai Santa Fe

Also, Consumer Reports gave the Toyota RAV4 a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is average. This data is based on issues reported by owners on previous models, and the 2019 and 2020 RAV4 models have more issues reported than the 2019 and 2020 CR-V models. 

But when the CR-V vs. RAV4 battle comes down to family features, the RAV4 is more advanced. While the CR-V and RAV4 were both refreshed for 2019, the Toyota RAV4 got better tech upgrades. 

U.S. News noted that the standard five-inch infotainment center that comes standard in the Honda CR-V is a disappointment. It looks outdated and lacks functionality. They recommend springing for the larger 7.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s offered on high trim levels. 

Meanwhile, the Toyota RAV4 comes with a standard seven-inch touchscreen that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can also upgrade to an eight-inch screen. The system is fast and easy to use. 

What makes the Honda CR-V good for families? 

Aside from lacking tech, the 2021 Honda CR-V has tons of great family-friendly features. For example, it has up to 75.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Its large opening and low liftover height make it easy to load bulky items, and a hands-free power liftgate is available. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 offers up to 68,8 cubic feet of cargo space and has a hands-free liftgate. 

The interior of the Honda CR-V is spacious, with plenty of room for taller passengers and car seats. It’s full of soft-touch surfaces but does include some hard plastics.

The black and woodgrain-trimmed cockpit of a 2021 Honda CR-V Touring compact crossover SUV
2021 Honda CR-V Touring | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

The Toyota RAV4 has a durable interior with quality materials that also include plastics. The seats are supportive, but the rear seat space isn’t as ample. 

Both of these SUVs have a similar fuel economy too. But the Toyota RAV4 offers road sign recognition, and the Honda CR-V does not. If you can get past the slightly outdated tech, you may like the Honda CR-V more.