|75.8||Max Cargo Space (cu.ft.)||69.8|
|Yes||Walk Away Auto Lock||No|
SUVs hold a prominent place in the automotive market these days after a surge in popularity in the early millennium. Nowadays, a vast majority of vehicle manufacturers offer at least one SUV lineup with varying levels of success. However, out of every SUV that has been shown for the 2021 model year, there are two that have rightfully gained the attention of many aspiring shoppers. Commonly, two vehicles from competing manufacturers are brought to the limelight for comparison, and sometimes the results can be fascinating. The current battle between the 2021 Honda CR-V vs 2021 Toyota RAV4 is a prime example of this philosophy. These two SUVs have received excellent first-impressions from both fans and critics alike, but some drivers are holding out on purchasing one over the other until they do their research properly.
Both SUVs have similar starting prices, but it's the 2021 Honda CR-V that ultimately has a lower starting MSRP of $25,350.<sup>1</sup> In comparison, with the 2021 Toyota RAV4, which has a starting price of $26,050, drivers will be shelling out extra. Although not too high of a price increase, mutual features across the board may lend the RAV4 a rather unappealing price tag in comparison. The base-level trim for the CR-V is the LX, and it is followed by the EX, EX-L, and Touring. There are six trims for the RAV4, ranging from the base LE to the most expensive TRD Off-Road. Compared to the CR-V, the majority of the features are rather similar, albeit at a generally higher price tag. However, the CR-V clearly takes the lead with more passenger and cargo space.
SUVs are not sports cars, but what they are is a fantastic way to get around town, thanks in part to ample performance and potentially stellar fuel-efficiency. Both the 2021 Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4 offer hybrid variants, in addition to the standard gasoline-powered affair. The standard engine inside of the CR-V is a turbocharged 1.5L 4-cylinder that produces 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. For hybrid models, a 2.0L 4-cylinder is coupled with two electric motors to help it make 212 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. The standard non-turbocharged 2.5L 4-cylinder engine in the RAV4 offers 203 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, making it roughly equivalent to the base CR-V. The hybrid variant of the RAV4 is a similar story with its 219 hp output. While the RAV4 Prime does offer more power, it also carries a hefty starting price tag of nearly $40,000.
Where these engines shine for both vehicles is with fuel-efficiency. Those who opt for the non-hybrid models will be pleased to see their vehicle remain fuel-efficient, with the CR-V receiving an EPA-estimated rating of 30 MPG combined.** In comparison, the RAV4's base engine also receives an EPA-estimated rating of 30 MPG combined. The consensus for the performance comparison between these two vehicles is that they perform similarly in most cases. However, drivers are likely to be drawn to the CR-V for its lower price tag for effectively the same performance.
Both the 2021 Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4 are capable of transporting up to five passengers. However, the CR-V manages to fit everyone within the interior much better and allows for a more spacious experience. This is due to the CR-V offering 40.1-inches of headroom along with 41.3-inches of legroom up in the front, as opposed to the RAV4's 37.1-inches of headroom and 41.0-inches of legroom. Things remain much the same for passengers in the rear row as the CR-V offers them 40.4-inches of legroom instead of the 37.8-inches on the RAV4. Overall, you and your passengers will be more comfortable in the CR-V.
Cargo space is an essential aspect of an SUV's versatility. Much like the aforementioned headroom and legroom measurements, the CR-V manages to offer more available cargo space as well. With SUVs, maximizing cargo space is as simple as folding down the rear row of seats, and with the CR-V, this grants a total of 75.8 cu.ft. of cargo space. For the RAV4, folding down the seats results in only 69.8 cu.ft. in comparison. When all five passengers are onboard, the RAV4 only has 37.6 cu.ft. In contrast, the CR-V has 39.2 cu.ft. of space. Passenger volume is similar, with 105.9 cu.ft. on the CR-V and only 98.9 cu ft. on the RAV4.
A vast majority of connectivity features are present on the CR-V EX trim onwards. This trim equips the CR-V with a 7-inch infotainment center, the same as the equivalent RAV4. Both vehicles also support Bluetooth, allowing drivers to wirelessly sync their smartphones and playback their audio through their vehicle's audio system. The audio system in both vehicles is upgradeable depending on the selected trim, with CR-V Touring featuring a premium audio system consisting of 9-speakers and pushing 330-Watts, for example.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are offered in both infotainment centers, allowing drivers to connect their smartphone directly to the infotainment center for extra functionality. Among the enhancements that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto bring, drivers can use voice commands to send text messages or make phone calls, utilize their phone's map app for turn-by-turn navigation, access music or audiobooks, and much more. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are two of the most highly requested features for shoppers, and both Honda and Toyota have made the right decision by including both.
SUVs are usually praised for their emphasis on safety and general reliability. The 2021 Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are no different as both manufacturers have included a wealth of various safety features, many of which come standard. Both vehicles offer a standard safety feature package in the form of Honda Sensing and Toyota Safety Sense. Each vehicle has a form of stability control and a form of Forward Collision Warning, alerting drivers to potential oncoming impacts. This feature is enhanced further by brake assist, which also comes standard in both vehicles, applying pressure to the brakes to prevent a potential collision.
Lane Departure Warning comes standard on both vehicles, which is a safety feature that alerts the driver if the vehicle detects it has crossed lanes by mistake in efforts to increase awareness. With this feature comes Lane Keep Assist, providing slight steering input to correct the vehicle's alignment within the intended lane. For situations that call for reversing, both vehicles include a rear-view camera that will display on the infotainment center's screen. Auto High-Beam Headlights are also standard on both the CR-V and RAV4. Unlike traditional headlights, these lights will dynamically shift on and off, depending on current road visibility and traffic.
Lastly, Adaptive Cruise Control comes standard on both vehicles, providing consistent speed that will also dynamically adjust up and down depending on the distance between the vehicle and the vehicle in front of them. Compared to some of the competition, both the CR-V and RAV4 include a plentiful amount of safety features that aren't always guaranteed at this price range. Of course, the CR-V provides those same features with a lower cost of entry than the RAV4.