Consumer Reports Best Compact SUV for 2021 Still Can't Dethrone the Toyota RAV4

Lisa Steuer McArdle
· 3 min read
RAV4 is currently the best-selling compact SUV of 2021, but it’s Consumer Reports rating tells a different story.
Consumer Reports has ranked the 2021 Subaru Forester the highest out of any compact
it tested, with an overall score of 89 out of 100. The Toyota RAV4 only received a 69 overall score.
What’s popular with the critics isn’t always what’s most popular with consumers. Let’s take a closer look at the reviews and sales data of the two vehicles.
Toyota has had no trouble selling RAV4s | Twenty20

The 2021 Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4

Consumer Reports
gives the 2021 Subaru Forester a 90 out of 100 on its road test, with predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction both scoring 4 out of 5.
Consumer Reports notes that Subaru has made improvements to the 2021 version, especially in ride and handling. In terms of performance, the vehicle received 3 out of 5 for acceleration, 4 out of 5 for transmission, 5 out of 5 for braking, and 3 out of 5 for emergency handling.
In comparison, the Toyota RAV4 scores 72 out of 100 on its road test, and 3 out of 5 for both predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction.
Interestingly, the Toyota RAV4’s performance ratings are similar and sometimes even higher than those of the Subaru Forester, with the Toyota RAV4 receiving 4 out of 5 for acceleration, transmission, braking and emergency handling.
But according to Consumer Reports’ review, the Toyota RAV4 is no longer among the "best in class" in its road tests. It notes that the automatic transmission is "responsive" but some drivers found the shifts to be more noticeable than they would prefer.
Consumer Reports did note that the Toyota RAV4 handles well with responsive steering and a retrained body, which is an improvement over the previous version of the vehicle. It was also shown to be a capable and secure SUV in Consumer Reports’ accident avoidance maneuver.
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Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester sales in 2021

2021 sales of small SUVs see the Toyota RAV4 at the top, with 155,150 vehicles sold, according to
. In comparison, the Subaru Forester ranks third, with only 67,146 being sold so far this year.
The data also reveals that the Toyota RAV4’s popularity appears to be growing. From January through March of 2021, the Toyota RAV4 sold more vehicles than the previous this month, with only a slight dip from March to April:
  • January: 31,364
  • February: 35,813
  • March: 47,078
  • April: 40,895
At the same time, the Subaru Forester’s sales data is:
  • January: 13,207
  • February: 13,482
  • March: 21,005
  • April: 19,452
Despite getting a lower score from Consumer Reports, the Toyota RAV4 is clearly much more popular with drivers.

Find the cheapest insurance for the RAV4 or Subaru Forester

If you are considering purchasing either the Toyota RAV4 or the Subaru Forester, the best way to decide is to test drive each one! Ultimately, the best choice comes down to personal preference and which features are important to you.
Once you have made your decision, compare car insurance quotes with
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