2021 Honda CR-V vs. Competitors

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More so than any other automotive segment, the crossover class is crowded with options. As these practical yet manageably sized models compete for new-car shoppers’ attention, certain ones rise to the top of the sales tallies year after year. One of these perennial favorites is the Honda CR-V – but it has its qualified competitors, for sure. Among these are the Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, Nissan Rogue, and Mazda CX-5. Let’s compare them in some of the categories that matter most to the crossover-buying demographic.

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Spaciousness and Convenience

It’s the rare crossover shopper who isn’t focused on practicality, you’ll be pleased to know that the ’21 CR-V delivers more passenger volume than the RAV4 (102.9 cubic feet vs. 98.9 cu. ft.) and more cargo volume than the RAV4, Forester, Rogue, and CX-5 (the CR-V’s is 75.8 cu. ft, the Forester’s 74.3 cu. ft., the Rogue’s 74.1 cu. ft., and the CX-5’s 59.6 cu. ft.). Also, while the RAV4, Rogue, Forester, and CX-5 all offer keyless entry, only the C-RV has keyless entry with Walk Away Auto Lock. So, if you forget to lock the doors upon exiting your vehicle, you’ll be all set with this handy feature.

The CR-V Special Edition also includes remote engine start, which allows you to get the cabin to a comfortable temperature before you even get inside. This feature is available for the RAV4 and Rogue, but it’s not standard: you’ll need to pay extra to get it. Heated front seats are standard in the CR-V Special Edition, too, but they’re not in the RAV4 XLE or Rogue SV. The RAV4 XLE, Rogue SV, and CX-5 Touring even lack a standard moonroof; a moonroof is issued in the CR-V EX.

Power and Performance

The ’21 CR-V has a 190 hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine that’s more powerful than the Rogue’s 181 hp four-cylinder, the Forester’s 182 hp four-cylinder, and the CX-5’s 187 hp non-turbo four-cylinder. Mazda does offer a more robust available engine for the CX-5, but at a higher sticker price.

The ’21 CR-V is also a fuel-economy leader, achieving an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive, and 27 city/32 highway with all-wheel drive. The FWD RAV4 gets 27 city/35 highway, and the FWD CX-5 gets 25 city/31 highway; with AWD, that drops to 24 city/30 highway. While the CR-V is already one of the most fuel efficient in the bunch, if you’re looking to maximize fuel economy, there’s also an available hybrid version. It has standard AWD, 212 hp, and achieves 40 mpg city/35 mpg highway. The Rogue, Forester, and CX-5 don’t offer a hybrid powertrain.


Safety and Technology Features

The 2021 CR-V’s Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) system is capable of determining whether you cross over a lane line without signaling and will issue steering assistance in an effort to return you to your lane, or apply the brakes to prevent you from veering off the road altogether. The RAV4 and CX-5 have lane departure alert with steering assist, but they don’t provide braking assist; the Forester only comes with lane departure alert. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is also standard in the CR-V EX as well, but not in the Forester Premium.