2021 Mazda CX-5 vs. 2021 Toyota RAV4: Head to Head

2021 Mazda CX-5 front 3/4 view (top) 2021 Toyota RAV4 (bottom)
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CX-5 vs. RAV4: Which Popular Compact SUV Is Better?

There’s plenty of competition in the compact crossover segment these days, but two of the most popular models include the Mazda CX-5 and the Toyota RAV4. Both options are spacious, comfortable, efficient, safe, and relatively enjoyable to drive. With both compact SUVs performing well in our compact SUV ranking, it makes plenty of sense to cross-shop them if you’re in the market for a new compact SUV.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 sits at No. 2 in our compact SUV ranking. The last time Mazda introduced a fully redesigned version was in 2017. Since then, the automaker has added new features and engines over the years. For 2021, the CX-5 gets a new 10.25-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto as standard features. On the safety front, driver attention monitoring and reverse automatic emergency braking are newly optional.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 lands at No. 7 in our ranking of compact SUVs. Toyota introduced a completely redesigned RAV4 in 2019, and the model last received some major updates in 2020. That year, the RAV4 received a new TRD Off-Road trim, as well as satellite radio, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hot spot as standard features.

To help you make an informed decision on which compact SUV is right for you, we're going to use our reviews and scoring data to compare the vehicles in categories that matter most to shoppers. This article, along with your own needs and budget, will help you determine whether the Mazda CX-5 or the Toyota RAV4 is a better option for you.

U.S. News & World Report is constantly updating scores and rankings based on new information that becomes available. Because of this, the scores in this slideshow may not match the ones found in an individual vehicle’s review.

Without further ado, let’s dive in and see which Japanese compact SUV reigns supreme.

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