2018 Subaru Forester vs. 2018 Toyota RAV4 Comparison
2018 Subaru Forester
Starting Price: $23,710 | Price Yours
Above Average: Standard AWD, 8.7-inch ground clearance, torquey engines
Below Average: Underpowered, raspy-sounding engine
Consensus: Tough, solid work ethic, lots of personality
2018 Toyota RAV4
Starting Price: $25,455 | Price Yours
Above Average: Available hybrid, Toyota reliability and quality, comfortable seats, practical packaging
Below Average: No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, expensive
Consensus: The RAV4 lacks dynamic flash, and its hybrid variant is pricey, but it continues to be a solid Toyota staple
Introduced at the 1995 Tokyo Motor show as the Streega concept, the Forester went into production in 1997 based on the compact Impreza sedan platform. It has since acquired near-cult status in some circles. Over the years its durability and all-around usefulness have made it one of Subaru’s perennial bestsellers. It’s one of the few vehicles in its class to offer a manual transmission, but only with the base engine, and ordering the manual gearbox eliminates the option of Subaru’s excellent EyeSight safety system, as well as a blind spot monitor. Performance is brisk with the optional 250-hp turbocharged flat four, which is mated with a CVT transmission. And lofty ground clearance comes in handy in lumpy unpaved areas. No compact crossover SUV has more history than the RAV4, which rolled onto the scene for the 1994 model year and became the progenitor of the species, as well as a perennial bestseller. That record includes 2017, when the RAV4 outsold every vehicle in America except for full-size pickups. The RAV4’s long suits are typical Toyota -- trouble-free operation, decent cargo capacity, and the option of Toyota’s solidly established hybrid system (MSRP for the basic hybrid LE: $28,180).
Subaru Forester Advantages
Peppy 2.0-liter turbo option, solid durability/reliability record, standard all-wheel drive on all trim levels.
Toyota RAV4 Advantages
Quiet and comfortable at all speeds, quality fit and finish, extensive list of standard driver-assist safety features, available hybrid model.
Foundation of both vehicles dates to front-drive passenger car architecture, both offer all-wheel drive (standard with Forester), both have a solid list of passive safety features.
The Forester is tough, versatile, comfortable, more useful than most of its competitors when the pavement ends, and has a certain slightly offbeat cache. Under continuous development for almost a quarter-century, the RAV4’s strong suit is Toyota’s record for quality and reliability. Pertinent footnote: Toyota plans a major RAV4 makeover for model year 2019. The redesigned model is due to go on sale this fall.
|2018 Subaru Forester||2018 Toyota RAV4|
|Engine||2.5-liter I4||2.5-liter I4|
|Horsepower||170 hp @ 5,800 rpm||175 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque||174 lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm||172 lb-ft@ 4,200 rpm|
|Transmission||Manual 6-spd||Automatic 6-spd|
|Fuel Economy||24 mpg (22 city/28 hwy)||26 mpg (23 city/30 hwy)|
|Also Available||250-hp 2.0-liter turbo I4; CVT||194-hp gasoline-electric hybrid system|
|Warranty||3 years or 36,000 miles||3 years or 36,000 miles|
|NHTSA Overall Safety Rating||5 Stars||5 Stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||5|
|Wheelbase||103.9 inches||104.7 inches|
|Overall Length||181.5 inches||185.5 inches|
|Width||70.7 inches||72.6 inches|
|Height||66.4 inches||65.9 inches|
|Turning Diameter||34.8 feet||34.8 feet|
|Headroom, Front||41.4 inches||39.8 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||39.8 inches||38.9 inches|
|Legroom, Front||43.0 inches||42.6 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||38.0 inches||37.2 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||57.0 inches||57.3 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||56.5 inches||55.4 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||108.3 cu. ft.||100.7 cu. ft.|
|EPA Cargo Volume||34.4 cu. ft.||38.4 cu. ft.|