2021 Honda CR-V vs 2021 Toyota RAV4-Prices,Engine,MPG,Interiors and Maintenance Costs Compared

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Aditya Suresh

Automotive Journalist August 01, 2020 at 11:08 AM
Now that the reports of both the 2021 Honda CR-V and the 2021 Toyota RAV4 have been doing the rounds, we take a look at how they stack up against each other. Honda has a tough job at hand, as it faces off with the 2021 RAV4 which sits on the trustworthy Toyota’s Global Architecture Platform. With no major changes to the powertrain front from both these manufacturers for the 2021 model year, and with prices starting from an affordable $24,000 range, we’ll help you reach on a conclusion as to which of the two is a better prospect in the crossover category this time around.

2021 Honda CR-V Highlights:

2021 Toyota RAV4 Highlights:

The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 have been fighting for the ultimate crossover crown for a long time now. With both their rehashed models arriving in 2021, the competition to become the best compact SUV has increased two-fold. With the 1.5L turbocharged unit in the 2021 CR-V and the 2.5L NA unit in the Toyota RAV4, both vehicles have a vestige piece of power-packed engines that deliver excellent performance, which in turn are expected to be priced within the range of $25,000 - $26,000. 

Know more about the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4


2021 Honda CR-V

2021 Toyota RAV4

Changes It’s a vestige piece of kit; the 2021 model gets a rehashed design  RAV4 Prime-a plug-in-hybrid model to grace us in 2021
  Speculated new third-row seating  Fuel efficiency sees an increase
  2.4L NA engine scraped and 1.5L turbocharged unit standard Customization optional features
  Bodywork based on the Honda Civic underpinnings

Increase in driver-assistant features

  AWD standard  

While the 2021 Honda CR-V comes along proudly with its “2019 Best Compact SUV for the money” award honored by trusted automotive critics, the Toyota RAV4 has been revamped from top to bottom in 2020 itself and bundled up with multiple improvements and hi-tech features. How’d they fare against each other is something to look out for! Let’s compare some of their specs and take a look at which car will have the upper hand in this hotly anticipated rivalry of compact crossovers in 2021! 

Without a doubt, the two crossovers are carried over from their 2020 predecessors in terms of their feature-list and engine options. However, Honda CR-V has an advantage over here for it has received a retrograde look, which seems to be working for it for now. What keeps Toyota ahead in the game is its power-packed engine and smashing performance in comparison to the CR-V. The only shortcoming is the mundane driving experience that Toyota offers, something that Honda has duly taken care of. 

2021 Honda CR-V vs 2021 Toyota RAV4: Pricing

When you end up making a decision to buy either of these crossovers, the value for money aspect is largely taken care of. The 2021 Honda CR-V starts from a price of $25,050 for the LX trim and goes all the way up to $34,750 for the top-most Touring trim. As you move up in the trim levels, the car delivers the worth of each and every penny of your fortune spent. Similarly, the 2021 Toyota RAV4, available in over 5 trim levels, is strategically priced within the range of $25,950 - $34,480, and as you move up in the trim levels, the car is offering thunderous performance on the roads and is also good for the surroundings with its excellent fuel economy. 

2020 Honda CR-V

The RAV4 comes standard with a front-wheel-drive setup and also offers an optional all-wheel-drivetrain for an extra $1,400. Honda CR-V, on the other hand, for 2021 is expected to come standard with an AWD setup. Other than that, both the cars are also available in hybrid powertrain systems. What’s best about these Japanese manufacturers is that they pack their SUV crossovers with trendy features and sophisticated tech that are aligned well to their corresponding trim levels. Concluding all, on the basis of prices, the 2021 Honda CR-V is comparatively economical to the 2021 Toyota RAV4. Nevertheless, the Toyota RAV4 offers you a slightly more powerful engine which makes up well for the extra expenditure.

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2021 Honda CR-V vs 2021 Toyota RAV4: How do they fare on the Engine and Performance front?

This is where we put a crown on both these SUV crossovers! Both Honda and Toyota have lived up to the expectations of the car enthusiasts with what’s under their hood. The 2021 Honda CR-V comes equipped with a standard 1.5L turbocharged Inline-4 engine generating a power output of 190 hp and a torque generation of 179 lb-ft mated to a 2-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic transmission unit, which is surprisingly not that loathsome as the other CVTs. The 2020 CR-V offers you the choice of both FWD and AWD drivetrains, but come the year 2021, we expect the AWD setup to come as standard in the CR-V. 

Unfortunately, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 does not offer a turbocharged engine. It’s powered by a 2.5L Naturally Aspirated Inline-4 engine with a power output of 203 hp, and torque output of 184 lb-ft mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The 2021 RAV4 also offers both AWD and FWD to choose from, with the standard option being of FWD.

Keeping both these crossovers on a balancing machine, we can conclude that the Toyota RAV4 comes out as a better investment for revheads. Despite having equipped with a turbocharged engine, the Honda CR-V lacks in terms of its performance, especially when compared to Toyota’s naturally-aspirated engine. Toyota’s 8-speed transmission fuels its engine with optimum power and provides you with a better but loud driving experience. However, if you want a smooth and relaxing driving experience, then move your cart to the Honda CR-V. Its CVT transmission helps you drive the car with ease, be it on the road or the highway. 


2021 Honda CR-V

2021 Toyota RAV4





1.5L Turbocharged Inline-4 engine

2.5L NA Inline Four-Cylinder engine





2-speed CVT

8-speed automatic


190 hp @ 5,600 RPM

203 hp @ 6,600 rpm


179 lb-ft @ 3,900 RPM

184 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm


7.6 secs


Top Speed

127 MPH

130 MPH

The aforementioned figures make it absolutely clear that the 2021 Toyota RAV4 delivers the most robust performance figures as compared to the 2021 Honda CR-V, albeit the acceleration times, which is where the turbocharger kicks in for the CR-V, helping the CR-V sprint from 0-60 MPH in just about 7.6 secs. The RAV4, despite having the maximum torque figures, lags behind the CR-V by just 0.4 secs.

Which among the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4 has a better fuel efficiency?

The fuel efficiency offered by both these SUV crossovers is pretty high. In fact, these are two of the most frugal offerings in the crossover segment. After all, getting an economical ride configuration at such an affordable price isn’t bad. The 2021 Honda CR-V’s frugal engine perfectly balances the turbocharged power and efficiency which helps in delivering an EPA estimated mileage of 27 MPG in the city, 33 MPG on the highway, and 30 MPG as combined. The 2021 CR-V offers a fuel tank capacity of 14 gallons, and moreover with the help of idle-stop and the ECON feature, Honda assures better fuel-efficiency.

2021 Toyota RAV4 is the most fuel-efficient one in comparison to the CR-V

With the help of its torque-vectoring differential, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 generates a superior fuel economy. The 2021 RAV4 offers an EPA estimated mileage of 26 MPG in the city, 35 MPG on the highway, and about 30 MPG as combined. The RAV4 comes equipped with a 14.5 gallons fuel tank capacity and delivers a combined fuel range of 435 miles, which in turn translates for the RAV4 to travel far longer distances than the Honda CR-V.


2021 Honda CR-V

2021 Toyota RAV4

MPG (City)



MPG (Highway)



MPG (Combined)



Fuel Tank Capacity (Gallons)



Range (City/Highway/Combined) (Miles) 



The 2021 Honda CR-V undoubtedly delivers a slightly better fuel economy in the city drive as compared to the 2021 RAV4. Keeping that aside, the 2021 RAV4 is a clear winner when it comes to fuel efficiency on the highway and also as combined. The RAV4 has a higher fuel tank capacity than the CR-V and also delivers a better-combined cruising range. 

2021 Honda CR-V vs 2021 Toyota RAV4: Who fares better on the interior front?

The Honda CR-V will always be the quintessential family crossover. That's the kind of impact it has had all over the world. And this is not only because it houses a potent powertrain, and inspired driving dynamics, the interior packaging is also one of the 2021 CR-V's biggest strengths. Both the Honda CR-V and the Toyota RAV4 feature stylish yet functional cabins. The Honda CR-V has more than enough room to seat in 3 average-sized adults comfortably, without any hindrance. It might very well house the most spacious setting of all.

With soft-touch materials all over the cabin and a number of latest tech amenities to keep you entertained along the way, the 2021 Honda CR-V is a fully-fledged bargain. Back that with a segment-best 39.2 cu.ft of cargo space, and thus you have a car that is most certainly unmatched when it comes to cabin settings. Coming to the 2021 Toyota RAV4, the interior is sumptuous to an extent but there is nothing awe-inspiring about the RAV4's interior as such. To this date, it remains functional, as Toyota fails to bring in major updates on this front for 2021.

The wide variety of optional features are the only saving grace in the RAV4, as it comes with faux-leather upholstery in top-most trims. With an ample amount of cushioning, and legroom and headroom in both the rows, the seating comfort is worthy enough to match up to what the CR-V holds. The 2021 RAV4 also has an option for heated rear seats, something which is missing in the Honda CR-V. Furthermore, with an added rumor of an addition of a 3rd row in the back, the 2021 Honda CR-V quite clearly stands on top in this interior aspect.


2021 Honda CR-V

2021 Toyota RAV4

Seating Capacity 5 5
Front Row(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.) 40.1/57.9/41.3 39.5/57.8/41.0
Rear Row(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in.) 39.2/55.6/40.4 39.5/56.4/37.8
Cargo Capacity (cu.ft) 39.2 37.6

It is quite evident from the above table that the CR-V holds the most amount of outright cabin space, which includes the segment-best cargo capacity. Brushing these numbers aside, in comparison to its other main adversaries, both these cars stand on top of the pile in terms of interiors.

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Honda CR-V vs Toyota RAV4: Prices across different states and Maintenance Costs

Japanese automobile folks manufacture highly reliable and cost-effective cars. Both our competitors, the 2021 Honda CR-V and the 2021 Toyota RAV4, have been placed high on the list of vehicles that demand lower maintenance/ repair costs. Since we don’t have the ownership/ maintenance costs of the 2021 models, we’d be extracting our figures from their 2020 variants. On average, comparing the prices of CR-V in different states, the 2020 Honda CR-V would cost you over $26,202 in most of the cities. People from New Jersey have to pay the highest price of $27,670 for the CR-V, while people from Florida enjoy the lowest costs of the car, which is $24,855.

Coming to Toyota RAV4, the average cost you’ll have to shell out is approximately $28,875. While people from Florida have to pay the most for the car that is $32,279, the people from Washington enjoy the lowest price of $26,516. So as it is evident, owning a Honda CR-V, across major US states is much more affordable than owning a Toyota RAV4.


Honda CR-V

Toyota RAV4










New Jersey






Both the cars are not priced quite high, and yet offer excellent reliability to the users. The IIHS has rated the 2020 model of the Honda CR-V “good” in almost all the safety parameters. IIHS named the 2019 model of the Honda CR-V a “top safety pick”. The NHTSA has rated the 2020 Honda CR-V “5-stars” on its safety crash-test. On the other hand, the IIHS has rated the 2020 model of the Toyota RAV4 “good” in all the parameters. The NHTSA has rated the 2020 Toyota RAV4 “5 stars”, which reestablishes the users’ trust in the car’s safety. The 2020 RAV4 has been named the “top safety pick+” by the IIHS. Therefore, it’s safe to say that both these Japanese brands have delivered the best in terms of safety and reliability. They haven’t left any stones unturned when it comes to keeping their passengers safe. 

Honda CR-V vs Toyota RAV4: Which of the two fares better on the Maintenance front?

Both cars require low-cost maintenance as compared to other SUV crossovers in the market. While Honda CR-V doesn’t offer complimentary scheduled maintenance, Toyota RAV4 provides complimentary scheduled maintenance for two years or 25,000 miles; whichever is earlier. The true ownership cost of the Honda CR-V, as calculated for an average period of five years amounts up to $32,540, which includes the maintenance and repair works needed on average for the SUV. On average, the true ownership cost of the Toyota RAV4 for five years is about $33,971, which is slightly more expensive than the Honda CR-V, as it involves a lot of variables ranging from the frequent service works to that of the tech updates brought in for that model year.

Final Verdict: Which among the two is the best?

The Japanese manufacturers have lived up to their reputation with their 2021 SUV crossovers. Both 2021 Honda CR-V and 2021 Toyota RAV4 have been standing neck-to-neck with each other in the segment. There’s not much of a difference, so to say. Both are reputed; they deliver outstanding performance, spacious interiors, exceptional resale value, extraordinary reliability, and several trim options to choose from. Overall, the 2021 Honda CR-V is a perfect crossover if you want to invest in a city car. It drives smoothly within the city and doesn’t bother you much with the noise.

The vehicle performs excellently on all the parameters. When it comes to the 2021 Toyota RAV4, it delivers slightly better performance than Honda’s CR-V at a somewhat higher cost. Again, Toyota RAV4 is a great option for city driving, but it’s a better option for revheads who like to zoom their way on open-stretched roads. To conclude, we believe the 2021 Honda CR-V to be a slightly better prospect this time around.

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2021 Honda CR-V and 2021 Toyota RAV4 FAQs

Will the Honda CR-V be redesigned in 2021?

No, as the Honda CR-V went through a major revamp for in the year 2020, with a new front bumper, updated grille, revamped headlights and taillights, and updated wheels, we hardly expect to see any major changes to be brought in fr the year 2021.

Has Honda fixed the CR-V engine problem?

The older iterations of the CR-V had a faulty turbocharged engine issue, which would leak gasoline into the oil system. This has caused their cars to stall frequently, which is not a good sign. Honda has, therefore, worked around this problem, and it has been smooth sailing ever since.

What are the major problems faced by the Toyota RAV4?

Toyota RAV4 has had its fair share of problems across the years, ranging from transmission issues, which quite often would slip out of gear without notice. But since then the problem has been rectified.

Have there been any recalls for the Toyota RAV4?

No, Toyota’s reliability is without a doubt better than most of the major automotive industry manufacturers. And for that very reason, there have been only minor complaints and no recalls for the 2020 Toyota RAV4.

Is the Toyota RAV4 good in snow?

The Toyota RAV4 has undeniably the best off-road capabilities among the other crossovers in this segment. Therefore, it is the most suitable option to serve as a vehicle in both sand and snow. 

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