2021 Honda CR-V Vs. Toyota RAV4

2021 Honda CR-V vs. 2021 Toyota RAV4 at Spring Honda in Cranbrook, BC

We’ve outlined the benefits of the 2021 Honda CR-V in this space before, comparing it to the 2021 Kia Sportage, but here we’ll look at one of Honda’s closest competitors in the 2021 Toyota RAV4. Read on to learn how these two compact SUVs from two of the largest vehicle manufacturers in the world stack up against each other, with your source for all things automotive in British Columbia: Cranbrook’s Spring Honda!

Exterior Design & Features

Honda CR-V Design

It bears repeating, there is simply no comparing the intelligent design of the 2021 Honda CR-V. Striking a firm middle ground between athletic style and utility, the 2021 CR-V has—and does—it all. An abundance of passenger and cargo space, along with standard LED lights and the convenience of the hands-free power liftgate make the CR-V an incredibly smart choice—ditto for the standard heated front seats. Available features, like a one-touch power moonroof, heated rear seats, or the available roof rails are just icing on the cake.

Toyota RAV4 Design

The exterior design of the 2021 Toyota RAV4 is certainly bold, if not polarizing. Sharp lines and abrupt angles give the 2021 RAV4 a sort-of love it or hate it look. There isn’t a great deal of difference in the exterior dimensions of the RAV4 compared to the CR-V, though those same abrupt angles can make for a little more difficulty when parking, and the exaggerated rear pillars appear to amplify the RAV4’s blind spots. Another area where the CR-V beats out the RAV4 is cabin noise; while Honda’s compact SUV offers an exceptionally quiet ride the Toyota RAV4 doesn’t filter out the noise as well, making for a less relaxing drive when out on the highway.


These two titans of compact sport utility match up incredibly closely in the performance department, with each offering a slight edge over the other. The 2021 CR-V features a 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine capable of producing 190 horsepower, while the 2021 RAV4 offers a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder producing 203 horses. That’s about a 5% increase in horsepower, but it comes at the expense of having a larger engine (meaning more expensive stops at the gas station). The CR-V comes with Honda’s Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control standard, while the RAV4 is found in both FWD and AWD configurations—the latter obviously adding to the overall price tag. The transmission is probably where these two vehicles differ the most, with the Honda offering a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) and the Toyota matched to a Direct Shift 8-speed automatic. Both of these transmissions have their pros and cons, with the CVT offering a smoother drive, while the Direct Shift-aspect of Toyota’s transmission gives you the option to shift gears yourself—definitely a benefit to those looking for a slightly more engaged driving experience.


Honda CR-V Safety

Once again, Honda’s impressive Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety features makes the 2021 CR-V a smart choice for anyone looking for peace of mind behind the wheel. The RAV4 offers Toyota’s answer to Honda Sensing system, Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0, featuring similar technology like Pre-collision Safety System with Daytime Cyclist Detection, Lane Tracing Assist, and Automatic High Beams. The truth is, both of these vehicles offer exceptional safety features, however you may find yourself becoming overly reliant on the RAV4’s rearview camera system as its blunt lines make navigating it through tight spaces when parking a bit of a challenge.

Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4 Verdict

Comparing the 2021 Honda CR-V to the 2021 Toyota RAV4 makes for a bit of a closer matchup than the Kia Sportage, however we believe the CR-V still comes out on top. From a more universal design (think future resale value) to a slightly smaller engine offering comparable power (think less expensive trips to the gas station), the 2021 CR-V seems to provide a bit more versatility. Add in fewer blindspots and less cabin noise, and the CR-V edges out the RAV4 in this comparison.


Of course, we want you to discover this for yourself, which is why you’re moments away from a test drive by simply filling out the form below. We’ll happily debate the pros and cons of both with you at our Cranbrook, British Columbia dealership, or look at any other options on the market—all so we can find the right vehicle for your needs. Yet another way Spring Honda lives by the Honda motto of Driving Excellence!

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