Crossovers accept replaced sedans at the top of America’s sales chart, and the Toyota RAV4 is the segment’s leader. It was the fourth-best-selling car in the U.S. in 2019, abaft perennially accepted pickups fabricated by Ford, Ram, and Chevrolet, respectively. The abstruse to its success is a ample interior, able powertrains, added a continued account of accessible abundance and assurance appearance in a wallet-friendly package. Its acceptance hasn’t gone unnoticed.
One of its capital rivals is the Subaru Forester, which has gradually acquired from a wagon to a crossover. Both are able options if you’re attractive for a circadian driver. Here’s how they compare, and how they’re different.
LE denotes the abject RAV4, but it still comes accepted with a nice account of tech appearance including a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a USB port, SiriusXM accessory radio, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Four added USB ports are accepted on all added trims. On college trims, the RAV4 offers an 8-inch touchscreen and an alternative array that includes an 11-speaker JBL audio system. The top infotainment arrangement appearance the 8-inch touchscreen and the JBL system, and it adds navigation. The accepted agenda awning in the apparatus array is a 4.2-inch unit, but upmarket models accept one that stretches 7 inches. Added accurate tech appearance accommodate a agenda rearview mirror and wireless smartphone charging; neither is accessible on the Forester.
The Forester’s account of accepted tech appearance includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, Bluetooth connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM accessory radio, and two USB ports (two added ports are optional). Like in the RAV4, the added big-ticket infotainment arrangement is displayed on an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and aeronautics is begin on the aerial echelons of the trim hierarchy. An upgraded Rockford Fosgate audio arrangement and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio arrangement are available, too. Also, like the RAV4, the Forester comes with a 4.2-inch awning in the apparatus cluster, but the advancement assemblage is abate at 6.3 inches.
The non-hybrid RAV4 has one agent choice, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder backed by an eight-speed automated transmission. The agent produces 203 application and 184 pound-feet of torque. With front-wheel drive (FWD), the RAV4’s EPA-rated ammunition abridgement is 30 mpg accumulated while the all-wheel drive (AWD) adaptation is rated amid 27 and 30 mpg accumulated depending on the trim akin (the abject LE trim is the best able and the TRD Off-Road trim the least). The RAV4 Hybrid’s powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, and a continuously capricious manual (CVT). The absolute arrangement achievement is 219 hp, and the AWD-only amalgam is rated at an absorbing 40 mpg combined. The RAV4 Prime constituent amalgam is appointed to access for the 2021 archetypal year.
If you accept article to tow, accumulate in apperception the Adventure and TRD variants of the RAV4 can tow up to 3,500 pounds. Added trims are rated at 1,500 pounds, while the Hybrid’s towing accommodation checks in at 1,750 pounds.
Without a amalgam (yet) or front-wheel drive, things are simpler with the Forester. Its 2.5-liter four-cylinder boxer agent develops 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque and sends it to the four auto via a CVT. Ammunition abridgement is alleged at 29 mpg combined, and its towing accommodation checks in at 1,500 pounds, which is beneath than the RAV4’s.
Exterior and autogenous administration are actual subjective. Like abounding bunched SUVs, neither one is abundant to attending at, but one can altercate the RAV4 isn’t as blandly styled as the Forester. Also, the RAV’s Adventure and TRD trims attending added asperous than any Forester, article assertive buyers are attractive for. Inside, the RAV4 offers a sportier attending while the Forester provides a added exceptional one. Fit and finish, actual quality, and awning sizes are similar.
When it comes to exoteric dimensions, both SUVs are about identical. Length, width, height, and wheelbase are all aural two inches of anniversary other. If you’re because off-roading, arena approval is additionally similar, but the Forester aloof edges out the RAV4. The two basal RAV4 trims (LE and XLE) accept 8.4 inches of arena clearance, and all added trims (including Adventure and TRD) accept 8.6 inches. All Forester trims accept 8.7 inches of arena clearance.
It’s a agnate case inside. Autogenous ambit are about the same, but the Forester has an inch or two added headroom, legroom, and accept allowance (front and rear seats). The alone barring is rear-seat headroom; the RAV4 has more. Moving on to breadth cartage don’t sit: The burden area. The RAV4 wins with the rear seats up, alms up to 37.5 cubic anxiety of space, which is added than the Forester’s 35.7. However, if you bend the seats down, the RAV4 offers 69.8 cubic anxiety of burden amplitude against 73.1 cubes in the Forester.
Every RAV4 archetypal comes with a apartment of driver-assistance appearance alleged Toyota Assurance Sense 2.0. It includes emergency automated advanced braking with banal detection, lane abandonment alert, lane-keeping assist, lane centering, adaptive cruise control, automated aerial beams, and alley assurance assist. That’s added accepted appearance than the Forester. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear automated braking are optional. In agreement of blast safety, the IIHS gave the RAV4 its 2020 Top Assurance Pick accolade and the NHTSA issued its accomplished best all-embracing appraisement for the Toyota.
Every Forester behindhand of trim akin comes with a apartment of accepted driver-assistance appearance Subaru calls EyeSight. The amalgamation includes emergency automated advanced braking with banal detection, lane abandonment alert, lane abandonment prevention, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control. Subaru added LED council acknowledging headlights and high-beam abetment for 2021. Alternative driver-assistance appearance accommodate disciplinarian absorption warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear automated braking. On the blast assurance front, the Forester accustomed the IIHS top award, 2020 Top Assurance Pick , and the accomplished appraisement of bristles stars from the NHTSA.
The 2020 RAV4 is accessible in six trims (LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, TRD Off-Road, and Limited) and the RAV4 Amalgam in four (LE, XLE, XSE, and Limited). In its abject LE trim, the RAV4 starts at $26,050 with front-wheel drive, the mid-level XLE Exceptional starts at $30,050, and the top Limited archetypal starts at $34,580. The all-wheel drive Adventure starts at $33,155 while the off-road-ready TRD trim will set you aback at atomic $35,780. Like best hybrids, the abject RAV4 Amalgam starts higher, at $28,500, and the XLE trim at $29,795. The top Amalgam Limited trim is currently the best big-ticket RAV model, starting at $37,030.
Keep in apperception you’ll allegation to add a binding $1,120 destination allegation to these figures.
The Forester’s calendar is abundant simpler due to the abridgement of a amalgam powertrain and an off-road-oriented model. The bristles trims are alleged base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring, respectively. Its $24,795 starting amount makes it added affordable than the RAV4, abnormally because it comes accepted with all-wheel drive (the RAV4 LE with all-wheel drive starts at $27,350). Moving up to the Exceptional trim takes the amount to $27,795, and the Sport trim starts at $29,395. Subaru priced the Limited and Touring models at $31,395 and $34,895, respectively.
Note the above prices don’t accommodate a binding $1,050 destination charge.
The Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester accord in the actual aggressive and arranged bunched SUV category. Added bunched SUVs accommodate the Honda CR-V, the Ford Escape, the Mazda CX-5, the Chevrolet Equinox, the Hyundai Tucson, the Kia Sportage, the Nissan Rogue, and the Jeep Cherokee (among others).