Top 3 New Toyota SUV Models According to Consumer Reports

Toyota SUVs and crossovers are popular cars for families. But which ones are the best? According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Toyota Highlander, 2021 RAV4 Prime, and the 2021 Toyota Venza are the top three new Toyota SUV models. 

A blue 2021 Toyota Highlander driving with mountains in the background.
2021 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

All three of these models are crossover SUVs, meaning they are built on a unibody platform and not a truck frame. The crossover segment has grown tremendously over the last several years. The popularity of these Toyota crossover vehicles only solidifies how appealing this segment is to modern consumers. Let’s take a look at why Consumer Reports thinks these are the best Toyota crossover SUVs you can buy. 

1. The 2021 Toyota Venza is making a stunning comeback as a luxurious hybrid crossover

A white 2021 Toyota Venza driving through a dark city
2021 Toyota Venza | Toyota

New for 2021, the Toyota Venza brings bag an old nameplate with a brand new hybrid crossover. The 2021 Toyota Venza received a road test score of 75/100 from Consumer Reports. It also earned a predicted reliability rating of 4/5 with a matching 4/5 predicted owner satisfaction rating. 

Consumer Reports recommends the all-new Venza and gives it a Green Choice badge. This hybrid slots between the Toyota RAV4 and the three-row Highlander. The 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine and electric drive produce up to 219 hp. Additionally, the 2021 Toyota Venza gets an average of 37 mpg. 

When driving the Toyota Venza, we agree that this hybrid crossover is a “pleasant-enough” vehicle that “rides comfortably and handles soundly.” additionally, the upper trims boast an upscale interior. In fact, it almost parallels Lexus models like the Lexus NX. 

Downsides include some tricky controls and what COnsumer Reports calls “pronounced” tire and engine noise. However, for a starting price of $32,670, the 2021 Toyota Venza comes with all-wheel drive, front crash warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), blind spot warning (BSW), and pedestrian detection as standard equipment.

2. The 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is a plug-in hybrid is the fastest new Toyota on the market

A 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime parked, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is one of the least reliable Toyota models
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

When we tested the RAV4 Prime, the Toyota rep attending the event specifically noted that this is the fastest new Toyota you can buy. A 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine gives the Prime 302 hp in combination with the electric drive. And it does feel quick. 

 “With its electric drive and 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the Prime produces a combined 302-hp, which makes it feel very quick.”

Consumer Reports

Due to the fact that the 2021 RAV4 Prime’s powertrain includes an electric motor, it can go about 40 miles solely on electric power. The battery takes about 5 hours to get a full charge from a 240-volt outlet. It’s a quicker quieter version of the gas-powered RAV4 crossover. 

Not only is it one of the best Toyota crossover SUV models you can buy, but it also qualifies for a $7,500 EV tax break. It’s also standard with all-wheel drive, FCW, pedestrian detection, AEB, and BSW. Plus, the RAV4 includes rear cross warning in the standard equipment package. 

For a starting price of $38,350, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is a hybrid crossover with a Consumer Reports road test score of 85/100. This top toyota SUV model earned a predicted reliability rating of 3/5 and a predicted owner satisfaction score of 4/5.

3. The 2021 Toyota Highlander is the best Toyota SUV according to Consumer Reports

A red 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid driving
2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid | Toyota

The current fourth-generation Highlander is a comfortable and spacious three-row SUV for families that want a solid and versatile vehicle with a quality interior. Consumer Reports says the 2021 Toyota Highlander has a “smooth powertrain” and “handling is sound and secure.” A 295 hp V6 allows this Toyota crossover SUV to get 22 mpg on average. 

While a bit less powerful, the hybrid Toyota Highlander gets an average of 35 mpg. This three-row family crossover SUV can offer seating for seven or eight. However, the third row is very cramped––best for children. It also comes with a healthy list of standard equipment for a starting price of $35,085. 

But all-wheel drive costs an extra $1,600 or $1,950 for upper level trims. Consumer Reports scores the 2021 Toyota Highlander 84 total. An 86/100 road test score, 4/5 predicted reliability score, and predicted owner satisfaction rating of 4/5 combine to make the best Toyota crossover SUV you can buy––according to Consumer Reports. 

Top 3 Toyota SUV models 

a red 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime is one of the best Toyota crossover SUV models shown here in red driving at speed in a tunnel
2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime | Toyota

According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Toyota Venza, 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime, and the 2021 Toyota Highlander are the top 3 Toyota SUV models. In fact, while none of these are perfect, they are near perfect for the right buyers. At the very least, if either of these fit the bill for what you’re shopping for they are worth a test drive.

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