Compare Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester

May 4th, 2018 by

If you’re shopping for an All-Wheel Drive mid-size SUV, the RAV4 and the Subaru Forester may be on your list of potentials. Both Toyota and Subaru are known for being extremely reliable, long-lasting vehicles, but which is the better investment? We’ve done a head-to-head comparison of the Toyota RAV4 and the Subaru Forester – check out a few of the advantages of the RAV4 XLE in comparison to the Subaru Forester Premium.

Safety

Safety is the most important thing when you’re on the road. RAV4 XLE provides many safety features to keep you and your family safe, thanks to the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) that comes standard on every new RAV4. TSS-P includes Pre-Collision System1 with Pedestrian Detection2 (PCS w/PD), Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)3, Automatic High Beams (AHB)4 and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)5. While Forester offers some similar features in a safety package, the package comes at an additional cost of $1,695 and does not include an automatic high beam feature.

Price

While the RAV4 XLE AWD and Forester Premium both have price points near $27,000 (RAV4 XLE starting MSRP: $26,900 vs. Forester Premium’s starting MSRP: $27,110), the RAV4 comes with a complimentary 2-year/25,000 mile6 no-cost maintenance plan, saving you money on routine maintenance for the first two years of ownership. Additionally, according to Edmunds, the true cost to own the RAV4 XLE is over $1,200 less than the true cost to own the Forester Premium.

Power

If you’re looking for a little extra horsepower, the RAV4 XLE delivers. RAV4 XLE nudges the competition into second place, with its 176 horsepower compared to the 170 horsepower of the Forester.

No-Cost Maintenance

Keeping up on routine maintenance can be a daunting task, but luckily it doesn’t have to be. Each new RAV4 model comes standard with ToyotaCare’s no-cost maintenance plan. This plan covers your regularly scheduled maintenance (including oil changes, tire rotation, multi-point inspection, etc.) for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. This no-cost plan helps you save money on maintenance and stay on track to keep your RAV4 on the road for the long-haul. Subaru, on the other hand, does not offer a no-cost maintenance plan.

Cargo Space

Making sure your entire Costco haul, hiking gear or little league essentials fit in your mid-sized SUV is important. RAV4’s impressive 38.4 cubic feet of cargo space (73.4 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down) provide you with plenty of room for cargo. Forester’s cargo space is limited to 68.5 cubic feet behind the front seats and 31.5 cubic feet with the rear seats in place.



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1. The TSS Pre-Collision System is designed to help avoid collisions or reduce the crash speed and damage in certain frontal collisions only. It is not a substitute for safe and attentive driving. System effectiveness is dependent on road, weather and vehicle conditions. See Owner’s Manual for additional limitations and details.
2. The Pedestrian Detection System is designed to detect a pedestrian ahead of the vehicle, determine if impact is imminent and help reduce impact speed. It is not a substitute for safe and attentive driving. System effectiveness depends on many factors, such as speed, size and position of pedestrians and weather, light and road conditions. See Owner’s Manual for additional limitations and details.
3. Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist is designed to read lane markers under certain conditions. It provides a visual and audible alert and slight steering force when lane departure is detected. It is not a collision-avoidance system or a substitute for safe and attentive driving. Effectiveness is dependent on road, weather and vehicle conditions. See Owner’s Manual for additional limitations and details.
4. Automatic high beams operate at speeds above 25 mph. Factors such as a dirty windshield, weather, lighting and terrain limit effectiveness requiring driver to manually operate the high beams. See Owner’s Manual for additional limitations and details.
5. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is designed to assist the driver and is not a substitute for safe and attentive driving practices. System effectiveness is dependent on road, weather and traffic conditions. See Owner’s Manual for additional limitations and details.
6. Covers normal factory scheduled service for 2 years or 25K miles, whichever comes first. See Toyota dealer for details and exclusions. Valid only in the continental U.S. and Alaska.

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