The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Beats the Ford Bronco Sport in 3 Areas

Ding, ding! We have a battle of SUVs for you today. In one corner the best-selling 2021 Toyota RAV4 will be defending its honor against the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport, which is a new option on the scene. Is the Toyota RAV4 the better option to buy? Maybe, we have three points to consider! 

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 vs. the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport 

Just to quickly introduce both of these models, you can get started in the 2021 Toyota RAV4 for about $26,250. The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport begins at about $26,820. So, they are competitively priced options. These prices are listed before destination fees, and dealership markups have been added. 

A 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road traveling on a dirt pathway
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road in action | Toyota

But SUVs are similar in size and shape. The Ford Bronco Sport is a little boxier and taller than the Toyota RAV4, though. According to The Car Connection, the Bronco Sport is seen as the more rugged option for off-roading, but the RAV4 TRD Off-Roading trim can hold its own. 

1. The Toyota RAV4 has more muscle 

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, it can tow up to 3,500 lb. All-wheel drive is needed to reach its maxim of towing capacity. 

2021 Ford Bronco parked on a grassy hill
The all-new Bronco Sport Badlands series in Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat. | Ford

RELATED: Pass On The Weak Subaru Forester For The RAV4 Instead

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport has a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder base engine that pumps out 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. But it can only tow up to 2,220 lb. Keep this in mind if you’ll be towing trailers. 

To be fair, with the Bronco Sport, you can upgrade to the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine for 250 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. But there isn’t a hybrid option. The RAV4 Hybrid provides 219 hp, and the RAV4 Prime ‘produces 302 hp. 

2. The 2021 RAV4 is a little more practical 

According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 offers more passenger space than the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. The RAV4 has more backseat space for passengers while legroom is tight in the Bronco Sport. However, the taller ceiling can make the Bronco Sport more comfortable for taller drivers. 

The RAV4 provides 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat with up to 69.8 cubic feet total. The Bronco Sport provides up to 32.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats with up to 65.2 cubic feet total. While you can fit more in the RAV4, the ride height makes the Bronco Sport easy to load bikes in. 

While lower-trim models of the Toyota RAV4 may include plastics and cheap interior materials, it has a great layout and style. The Bronco Sport is also filled with hard plastics and thick rubberized materials. 

3. The Toyota RAV4 is reliable 

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 has proven itself as a reliable SUV option. The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is still working on that. According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 RAV4 has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is average. 


Meanwhile, Consumer Reports is still testing the 2021 Ford Bronco Sport. But they did provide a reliability rating of two out of five, which is below average. There isn’t much data to go on yet, but the Bronco Sport has been recalled three times already.