Forester vs. RAV4

Forester vs. RAV4

Bob Moore Subaru – Forester vs. RAV4

The compact crossover SUV commands a large percentage of the market these days thanks to its perfect blend of versatility and fuel efficiency. And with a taller ride height, drivers appreciate the clear view of the road and added feeling of safety. Then throw in the ability to have all-wheel or four-wheel drive, and these are an ideal option for added security in wet or snowy conditions. And with so many options out there, we are helping buyers narrow their choices with a comparison of the Subaru Forester and the Toyota RAV4.


The Forester pricing starts at $24,495 for a base model. And when you are all in on the top-end Touring model, the cost will be $34,895. In comparison, the RAV4 base model comes in higher at $26,050, and the same top-of-the-line Limited model reaches $35,980, including all-wheel drive. Even with the Forester base model being about $1,250 less than the RAV4, Subaru includes all-wheel-drive as a standard feature. The most affordable RAV4 with all-wheel-drive is the hybrid at a base cost of $28,650. That makes the base model Forester an even better deal for entry-level compact crossover SUV buyers.

On the Inside

The Subaru Forester offers a best-in-class maximum passenger capacity of 111.9 cubic feet. The RAV4 comes in pretty far down the list at only 98.9 cubic feet of passenger space. The Forester also has larger doors to make it easier to get into and out of this spacious SUV. While the seat trims and functions are somewhat similar, the Forester offers an 8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, which is not available on the RAV4. Other Subaru seat upgrades include heated front and rear seats and reclining rear seats. And when considering the ride quality, the Forester sets the bar thanks to the standard all-wheel-drive for sharper handling and better grip.

Cargo Space

The Forester gives owners a cargo capacity of 31.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, while the RAV4 offers 37.6. However, when you fold the rear seats for maximum cargo capacity, the Forester comes out on top with over 76 cubic feet to just under 70 cubic feet in the Toyota. Both SUVs offer a power liftgate for easy access, but only the Subaru Forester offers one-touch folding rear seats.

Power and Economy

Fuel economy is a critical feature in this class. And the Forester offers a very respectable 33 mpg on the highway and 26 in the city with its all-wheel-drive setup. The base model RAV4 offers 35 mpg on the highway and 26 in the city, which appears to be very close until you realize that the RAV4 is a front-wheel drive. The only all-wheel-drive from Toyota is the hybrid rather than a comparable gas engine. The 2.5L Boxer four-cylinder in the Forester provides 182hp, while the RAV4 gets 176hp from a 2.5L four-cylinder.

For the overall best compact crossover SUV, visit Bob Moore Subaru to test drive the new Subaru Forester.