Toyota RAV4 XLE AWD vs Subaru Forester Premium


Planet's Executive Summary
Comparably equipped, each retails for about $29,000, which buys you a safe, stylish, and practical vehicle with a great reputation for quality. 
RAV4 styling takes a significant departure from the angular Toyota styling of yore; the new look is "chunky" like a Tacoma. Even as almost everything on the car has been replaced, the new Subaru styling is evolutionary rather revolutionary. It's understated maintains the generous glazing that makes for excellent outside visibility. 

What do they have in common?

Standard Features
  • Bluetooth phone connectivity
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • Power windows, locks, mirrors
  • 3 year, 36,000 mile comprehensive warranty; 5/60 powertrain
  • 1,500 pound towing capacity

Optional Features

  • Heated seats, heated mirrors
  • Power rear gate with memory height (Watch Forester operation)
  • Navigation
  • Dual zone climate control

Standard Safety:

  • Vehicle stability control to avoid skids; 
  • Brake override system;
  • Anti-lock brakes with brake assist; 
  • Learn all about how these safety features work. 
Similar Dimensions:
  • RAV4 is two inches wider.
  • Forester is one inch longer.
  • Forester is one inch taller.


All Wheel Drive System

Forester was built from the ground up with all wheel drive; Toyota started with a front driver and bolted some extra hardware later. 


All wheel drive optional. 

Ground clearance

Subaru engineers keep mass low for good handling, but clearance high for better performance in the snow and off road. 

6.3 inches

8.7 inches

Cargo Space

RAV4 has slightly more volume; Forester is about an inch taller so it's better for big pets.  Dog costs extraMeet Blue, our Greeter.


73 cubic feet (seats down)
38 cubic feet (seats up)


71 cubic feet (seats down)
35 cubic feet (seats up)

Passenger Volume

Forester is a smidgen roomier inside for people.

101 Cubic Feet


108 cubic feet

Standard Engine

2.5 liter in-line
four cylinder

203 horsepower

2.5 liter Boxer
four cylinder

182 horsepower

Fuel Economy
Forester gets better mileage around town when comparing apples to apples. You can squeeze a few more miles per gallon out of the RAV4 if you give up all wheel drive.

Six speed automatic

AWD: 25 city, 33 hwy
FWD:  26 city, 35 hwy

Continuously variable
auto transmission

AWD: 26 city, 33 hwy

Outward Visibility

Notice how narrow the rear windows are in the rear of the RAV4?  In the Forester, you see areas that are blind spots in the RAV4.



Both cars have:
  • Two front airbags that deploy from the steering wheel or dash;
  • Two torso airbags that deploy from the edge of the front seats;
  • Two curtain airbags that deploy from the roof
  • Driver knee airbag

RAV4 has one more
airbag...a knee airbag
for front passenger.


Optional Power

Forester has panoramic moonroof almost twice as big as RAV4

Regular Size

Super Size

Purchase and Ownership Experience

You can buy a Subaru at Planet, but not a Toyota.

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Toyota covers oil
changes for two
years or 25,000

Not available

Small Overlap Crash Tests by Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Click on the links for test results.

RAV4 test results

 Forester test results

Search our huge inventory for your Forester:


...Or look at our nice Toyota trades...

Subaru Forester Resource Links



Planet offers informative content for Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 buyers in Brockton, Boston, Plymouth, Dorchester, and Braintree.