Best Small SUV Comparison 2021: CR-V vs. RAV4 vs. CX-5 vs. Rogue vs. Tucson

Small SUVs are the go-to for just about every shopper, and it’s easy to see why. They seamlessly blend comfort, cargo space, technology and fuel economy into one compact SUV package. In this video, Alistair Weaver and Carlos Lago compare the best and most popular small SUVs in America to find out which is the best SUV for sale in 2021. The small SUV entrants are the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5, Nissan Rogue and Toyota RAV4. In this ultimate SUV comparison, we give you all the information you need, including the details on mpg, cargo space, interior and tech features, to help you decide which compact SUVs is the right fit for you and your family.

The 2021 Honda CR-V is everything a small SUV should be and just happens to be top-ranked small SUV at Edmunds. Known for a roomy interior with lots of storage space, the CR-V is a great pick for families. Its large door openings offer plenty of room to load up the kids — or more furry members of the family. While the acceleration on the Honda CR-V is just OK, it handles beautifully. With a combined mpg rating of 29 to 30, the 2021 CR-V makes for a great commuter SUV.

The Mazda CX-5 is our favorite to drive out of this group of small SUVs. The 2021 CX-5’s handling is sharp and communicative, and it offers a vastly superior driving experience to any other vehicle in the segment. The CX-5’s high-quality interior is spacious up front, and all the driver aids and controls are easily reachable. The CX-5 does come up a tad short in cargo space and mpg, but its exceptional handling and driving experience elevate it to one of the best small SUVs around.

Redesigned for 2021, the Nissan Rogue has a more distinctive style than in years past, highlighted by a squared-off front end. But where the Rogue really shines is the interior. An airy cabin makes the 2021 Rogue feel bigger than it is, and we could sit in the soft, comfy seats all day. On the tech side, the Rogue offers a robust set of features. All but the base trim have four USB ports for keeping devices charged. Nissan’s touchscreen interface is bright, attractive and fairly easy to use. And with an above-average 30 mpg combined rating, the Nissan Rogue has improved dramatically and is now one of our top-rated small SUVs.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson is the latest competitor to join the small SUV ranks. The 2022 Tucson’s handsome design helps it stand out from the others on this list, which hasn’t always been the case for a Hyundai SUV. The Tucson’s interior is a little longer and wider than the cabins of most other small SUVs, and it’s also very tech-heavy. The Tucson comes standard with several advanced driving aids, including lane keeping assist, lane centering assist, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. Fuel economy and acceleration are not quite up to par, but the Hyundai Tucson is an impressive small SUV with a comfortable ride and helpful technology features.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 is not fancy. The 2021 RAV4 is a great option for families looking for a nice interior, a smooth ride and tons of utility. The RAV4 interior is intuitive and offers an abundance of nooks and crannies. Cargo space is also a plus, as the Toyota has one of the largest trunk areas in the segment. The RAV4 drives smoothly and the engine does enough to get you around town, but the lack of power is apparent when you step on the accelerator. The Toyota SUV does have a 30 mpg combined rating, which is above average for its class, while the RAV4 Hybrid gets a best-in-class 40 mpg.

Read the full comparison
2021 Honda CR-V review:
2021 Nissan Rogue review:
2022 Hyundai Tucson review:
2021 Mazda CX-5 review:
2021 Toyota RAV4 review:
Top-ranked SUVs for 2021 & 2022:
Best Small SUVs:

Intro 00:00
Toyota RAV4 01:13
Hyundai Tucson 03:57
Nissan Rogue 06:32
Mazda CX-5 08:50
Honda CR-V 11:13
Conclusion 13:36

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