Automotive review sites frequently have conflicting opinions about makes and models. Whether it’s Toyota versus Honda or Ford versus Chevy, everyone has a favorite. A recent example is Good Housekeeping’s “The Best New Family Cars of 2021.” Despite numerous other vehicle reviews touting the Camry as the best midsize sedan for nearly a decade and a half, GH snubbed it and every other Toyota model except one. What gives?
Only one Toyota model made Good Housekeeping’s list: the Avalon
Good Housekeeping‘s “The Best New Family Cars of 2021” lists 24 models. It also includes everything from compact sedans to pickup trucks. Several makes made GH’s list, but a few others didn’t. Of all the ones that didn’t, it’s surprising that only a single Toyota model appears on the list: the Avalon.
“For the sixth straight year, experts in the Good Housekeeping Institute joined forces with Car and Driver to honor the best vehicle options for every type of family — all tested by our engineering and parenting pros,” the review begins. The thing is, Car and Driver published a review giving the 2021 Toyota Camry an overall score of 8.5/10. In all fairness, the review site gave the 2021 Avalon an overall score of 8.5 as well.
In addition to GH awarded the 2021 Toyota Avalon, it also lists the 2021 Hyundai Sonata and 2021 Honda Accord. But unlike the Avalon, the Sonata earned an overall score of 9/10, and the Accord received 10/10 — making those choices pretty reasonable.
The Honda CR-V won for the best compact SUV over the hugely popular Toyota RAV4
GH said this about the 2021 Honda CR-V: “Safety and the CR-V go hand in hand. It features notable collision-prevention tech, scoring a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, among other honors. The pleasant ride and the composed driving feel are hard to beat.”
GH is also impressed with the CR-V’s fuel efficiency despite its power and strong acceleration. However, upgrading to a higher trim for an infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration doesn’t seem like a plus to us. This is because the 2021 Toyota RAV4 offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM, and Amazon Alexa compatibility standard for a starting MSRP of $26,250, Toyota shows.
Plus, the Toyota RAV4 crushed the Honda CR-V in sales. “Despite the similarities between the two vehicles, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 sold significantly better than the 2020 CR-V, Good Car Bad Car reports. Last year, Toyota sold 430,387 RAV4 units, while Honda sold 323,502 CR-V units, Good Car Bad Car shows,” we wrote in a previous article.
“According to Car and Driver, the total number of Toyota RAV4s that consumers purchased throughout the year decreased by 2 percent, while Honda CR-V sales dropped 13 percent.”
Why GH picked the Avalon as the best full-size sedan
As for why GH loves the 2021 Toyota Avalon, the author writes, “As more families opt for the practicality of SUVs, the Avalon offers the alternative of a larger sedan. Efficient and enjoyable, it strikes a nice balance between value and quality, with smooth and nimble handling.”
They go on to explain that the Avalon boasts plenty of standard comfort features and driver assists, which the RAV4 also offers (go figure). “It’s one of the few vehicles whose base models have enough to satisfy the majority of drivers,” the author continued. Of course, this is exactly why the Camry and RAV4 are top sellers.
When shopping for a new vehicle, many consumers perform a Google search to see what reviewers are saying. We advise our readers to do their best to find reviews that reveal more stats and figures than opinions and preferences. This holds especially true with car reliability reports.