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Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4

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Comments

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Chris - see my response in the other thread.

    I have a Subaru Gold, nice thing about it is you get free roadside assistance during the duration. The warranty give you OE replacement parts, and on top of all that you could sell the vehicle with a few miles left on the warranty and give the buyer peice of mind, potentially increasing your resale value.

    Any how, note that Subaru give you 3/36 worth of free roadside assistance, while Toyota offers none. The bumper to bumper warranty and powertrain warranty are the same for both, 3/36 and 5/60, respectively.

    -juice
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    After debating for a year we bought the base 2006 RAV over the 2006 Forester X. In 3rd was the CRV (in my wife's book anyway---its her new car!) The Forester X with the $2K rebate was tough to turn down. It is of course reliable, safe and functional. However it suffers a few minor flaws that no doubt cost Subaru thousands of sales a year. Keep in mind I do like the Subaru but quite simply the car is just a bit too small for many families of 4. It also has that boxy wagony look about it that while functional does not get points on the 'cool' factor. I thought it was just perception but we road an F just after the new RAV it it was claustrophic compared to the RAV. If only Subaru would widen it a bit or at the very least lengthen it. Raise it 2 inches and tint the window and maybe they'd have a fighting chance. I mean, I actually felt frustrated because I know its a good car. I know the B9 is out there but thats 30K. Our base RAV was 23.5K out the door (4cyl/AWD/curtain airbags). The FX would have been 20.5K with the rebate. Both are equipped much the same. The RAV has the airbags so if you deduct their cost it could be as little as 22.9K out the door. I think that will make it tougher for Subaru when the $2K rebate goes away. I mean you are then talking about a very small price difference. By the way, if anyone is looking for a Subaru in eastern Penn, try Becker. They were great to deal with even though we did not opt for their car. Maybe when a truly redesigned Forester comes along they will get my business. Still, I have no doubt both are very good vehicles. Thanks to the folks in this forum who helped us out in our decision making process over the last few months.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Tell her congrats, Andre, I'm sure she'll enjoy her new RAV.

    Took you a while, eh? You're like me, you spend years shopping for the next new car. ;)

    -juice
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    My wife is making the same decision between the same set of vehicles (RAV4/CRV/Forester) and came to the same conclusion. We're probably going to buy a RAV4 when I next visit my family members in the Northeast -- dealing with a Gulf States Toyota dealer on a hot vehicle is more annoying than I care to deal with. (When the *distributor* is slapping "lusterizing paint sealant" on at the port you know you're going to have problems...)

    I wish the Fitzmall/Carmax business model weren't so narrowly available in this country...
  • chrisl22chrisl22 Posts: 24
    And on the other hand, I just bought an outback, which for me was something like a split-the-difference between a Forester and Rav4. I have a two-mile dirt road so Subaru's AWD felt essential for me. I liked the Outback's suspension more than the Forester's, and even though the backseat in an Outback is still cramped, it's enough bigger than a Forester. I got the car essentially for myself -- and for the occasional roadtrip for my wife. Our last child is finishing her junior year in high school, so our kids are almost all out of the house. Next time maybe my wife would get a Rav, or a Highlander, for the rarer family vacations. But for me, size-wise, the Outback was the right fit. Since most of the time I'll be driving it by myself, the new Rav would've actually been too big for my tastes now.
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    She drove an Outback too, and thought it was kinda "floaty" and not nearly as nice a ride as the Forester. /shrug My sister owns a Legacy GT but we are trying to stay away from lower fuel efficiency vehicles this time -- so we didn't drive the turbo'ed variants...

    She wants an elevated drive position, and the new RAV-4 is pretty impressive. Its the only vehicle we've tried in that size range that feels peppy with an I4 as an engine. My only real complaint is that the lack of a 5 speed AT is probably going to compromise highway mileage, but of course its impossible to know that from the EPA estimates...
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    We looked at a Base OB too! It was much 'classier' than the Forester but for the extra $2200 or so it really did not offer much more except heated seats and alloys, maybe side airbags too. Overall the size was about the same as the Forester though. In fact the boxy shape of the Forester likely would lend itself (at times) to hauling more cargo. The OB was priced the same as the RAV and my wife wanted an SUV. My thought was that at least the OB was not pretending to be anything other than a wagon where as the Forester was a wagon trying hard to be an SUV. All 3 (Rav incl) are fine choices.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Forester has side airbags for the front passengers, they even extend to protect the head. IIHS have them a Good score and NHTSA 5/5 stars.

    Legacy/Outback has side curtains, though. Ironically the 2005 model did not do as well. They tweaked the 2006s and now they're an IIHS Gold award winner, basically top 10 safest cars they've tested.

    OB has heated seats as standard, pretty cool. Heated mirrors, too. Even wiper de-icers.

    Basically Subaru tends to offer comprehensive packages, while Toyots is more a-la-carte with their options.

    -juice
  • monobomonobo Posts: 10
    Ok first of all I know the forester is a damn good car. I wouldn't have looked at it if I didn't think so. I was so close to buying the forseter over the RAV4. I just needed something to push me one way or another. Both cars have thier strong points and weak points. The RAV4 has more room, better gas mileage, more options for less money. The Forester has better handling, a powerful base engine, one of the best safety cages around. I was going toward the Forester but really wanted the options available with the RAV4. I did not put the post out there for to bash gay or lesbians. I just put it out there for information. I like that for $160.00 dollars I get a tow prep package with transmission cooling fan coupling, bigger radiator, bigger alternator, wiring prep. Those would all be things that I would have to do later to the forester. The car is for my wife and we have a kid on the way. We have a dog and we go camping and rock climbing. I fit the stereo type for a forester except for I do not dress with much style. If I offended anyone I did not mean to. I lived in hawaii for three years and was friends with gay and lesbians, even went dancing with them some times. When it all comes down to it choose the best car for you. My wife liked both cars and she knew I would make the final decision. The toyota shop is closer to our house to. I am not apologizing for anything I said just want to clear up things.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "The RAV4 has more room, better gas mileage, more options for less money."

    The only thing I would add is after looking at the RAV4 I concluded it had more options for *more* money,for the options I wanted. The base 4 will get better mileage than the turbo, but in the real world the non-turbo is about the same as the RAV4.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    "The base 4 will get better mileage than the turbo, but in the real world the non-turbo is about the same as the RAV4."

    Right. Comparing 4-cylinders, the Forester is rated 1 MPG higher than the RAV4 in the city, equal MPG on the highway. Plus, the Forester produces more horsepower and torque in a lighter vehicle, which should give it the performance edge.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    RAV4 has more room, better gas mileage, more options for less money

    More room yes, definitely.

    Better gas mileage, not really, that's only because the RAV4 comes in FWD. The AWD automatic models, the best sellers, have an identical 23/28 EPA mpg.

    When you consider that the Forester's 4 cylinder has both more power and torque, it's unfair to call it less efficient, in fact I'd argue the opposite.

    More options, yes, things like stability control and a 3rd row, plus a DVD player.

    Less money, no, folks have been cross shopping and find prices a couple of grand higher for the RAV4. In the threads here on Edmunds you typically see RAV4 prices from $22-28k, while Forester prices are closer to $19-25k.

    -juice
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    Just bought a base RAV 4X4 4cylinder. Very comparable to Forester X. RAV had optional side airbags...I do not recall if the Forester has them as standard or if that was the Outback. Anyway, the RAV was 23.5K out the door. The Forester (with 2K rebate) would have been 20.5K out the door. My wife opted the RAV which I must admit certainly feels far less claustrophobic; especially with kids. Styling was another sales point in her book. Now, personally for 3K less the Forester could be a better deal...to me anyway. Still to her it was worth the $3K for a car she will keefor 5 years or more. So, if Subaru raises the car 2 inches, makes it 2 inches wider and maybe a few inches longer...well, she might opt for one next time...think they can get those chages in by 2010!

    Personally, if the 2K rebate on the Forester goes away then I feel the RAV has is beat all around.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The RAV4 doesn't handle as well as the Forester and while I think the RAV4 is slightly better looking than the Forester I have to drive the car, not admire the styling. The Forester has a deeper hatch, while the RAV4 has a higher hatch.
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    The Forester rides more car like, no doubt. My wife paid more for the style...it mattered to her...and I bet for a lot of other folks. As far as the hatch being bigger I would not be so sure. We have the rear seats in the RAV back all the way and it still appears wider, taller and as deep as the Forester, plus it has two smaller compartments beneath the floor. If I slid the rear seats forward providing the amount of leg room the Forester offers, I would say it is then bigger for sure. If hatch space is an issue I'd reccommend potential buyers take a look at both.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The latest RAV4 grew a lot, I'd say it's bigger in both cargo and passenger space.

    Forester does have a wide, deep cargo floor, and a nice square shape so you can cram in a pretty big box. Consumer Reports has a biggest box test and the volume they crammed in to the Forester beat the old Pathfinder and the current Grand Cherokee.

    So cargo space is very usable. Passenger space is a bit tight, RAV4 kills the Subaru there.

    -juice
  • thecatthecat Posts: 528
    Having owned both, I don't think the new RAV compares well against the Forester in "fun to drive" catagory. That's not to say I don't enjoy driving the RAV but the Forester was very nimble ... you could toss it into curves. I don't get the feeling that the RAV would respond well to that type of driving, it just feels too big for agressive driving.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "...don't get the feeling that the RAV would respond well to that type of driving, it just feels too big for agressive driving."

    I agree, but that is one of the trade-offs between the vehicles.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Fair trade off for the extra space, IMO.

    -juice
  • monobomonobo Posts: 10
    For the options I wanted I had to get a limited and that goes for about 28,000. The RAV4 can be built up from the base model and so more options for less money. I am buying the V-6 engine and it beats the Forester in horse power with a good price. Performance wise the Forester has the RAv4 beat hands down.
  • thecatthecat Posts: 528
    Fair trade off for the extra space, IMO.

    No argument here. I clearly understood the pros and cons when I made my choice. I wasn't complaining just making an observation. The other side of that coin is that the V6 is quite peppy.

    I don't think there is a car made that can do it all. One of my customers took me for a ride in his new Lamborgini (sp ?). That was the most uncomfortable thing I've ever been in. Cool .. but uncomfortable. Plus I don't think there is room enough in it to carry a loaf of bread.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think he was hungry for food; I think he was hungry for attention. ;)

    -juice
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,663
    Hey Steve, what kind of gas mileage are you getting? It runs on regular, right?

    Any positive surprises, now that you've had it for a while? Any regrets?

    Bob
  • thecatthecat Posts: 528
    Hi Bob - after 6 tanks I'm averaging 24.9 mpg on regular fuel. I did a lot of research prior to the purchase including 4 test drives .. so there really weren't any surprises. I like the high seating position and the commanding view. It's a very comfortable and quiet vehicle. The only complaint I have is that the cup holders are poorly designed but I've found that a "huggie" insulator fits quite well and has corrected the problem of drinks flopping around. That's nit picking though.

    As for regrets, I would have to say no. It suits my needs/wants quite nicely.

    - hutch
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,663
    Thanks Steve—and good luck with it. Keep us posted too...

    Bob
  • apawarapawar Posts: 14
    "I like that for $160.00 dollars I get a tow prep package with transmission cooling fan coupling, bigger radiator, bigger alternator, wiring prep."

    Any ideas what this would cost on a Forestor including the tow hitch. Also the people who own either - Can you comment on the towing capacity (engine specific would be appreciated)

    Well I got my answers for the 2006 FORESTER 2.5 X

    Trailer Hitch - $230

    Heavy-duty-rated at 200 lbs. tongue weight, 2,000 lbs. towing capacity for A/T, and 2,400 lbs. for M/T (ball not included: trailer brakes may be needed) - what the hell does this mean - I have to go really slow down hill if I have heavy loads &/or no trailer brakes? AND is the ball something you just buy and hook it up to the hitch;

    the hitch would cover the wiring for the trailer as well right?

    sorry about so many q's
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,663
    Subaru, like most vehicle makers, require trailer brakes if your trailer is over 1000 pounds. Check your owner's manual under towing. It's mentioned in there.

    I recently had a Class II hitch (3500 max load) installed by Jiffy Hitch for a just over $300.00 on my Forester. That included everything: frame mounted hitch, wiring, hitch ball, and labor.

    Here's the deal: Your Forester can "pull" a 2400 pound trailer. It just can't "stop" a 2400 pound trailer safely without the aid of trailer brakes. Having said that, I've had well over the limit (2 yards of shredded hardwood mulch) on my trailer (load and trailer ~ 2500 pounds), and I don't have trailer brakes. I also only had about 3.5 miles to drive on a rural 2-lane country road with little traffic. Yes, the brakes were taxed beyond their limit, but I drove very slowly and used lower gears when going down a long 1/2 mile hill. If I had to drive on a major road with heavy traffic for a long distance, would I have done that with that load? No.

    Today I carted off an old refrigerator to the county landfill. Max load ~ 1200 pounds. Again, maybe a 4 mile trip. The brakes seem okay, but I drove slowly and didn't do any hard braking.

    Bob
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I agree with Bob but I'll add my 2 cents.

    The automatic Foresters already include an oil cooler as standard, that's why it's not listed in the upgrades when you get the tow package.

    The manual tranny models do not have that, but that's what I have and I've towed plenty, and never had a problem. Plus, back then mine was rated for 2000 lbs, so it's been upgraded since.

    -juice
  • apawarapawar Posts: 14
    sorry about my lack of knowledge but do trailers usually have brakes and does this class II hitch you talk about rsholland have the necessary wiring to activate the trailer brakes when we hit the car brakes?

    getting close to makin a decision so getting more anxious
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,663
    It depends on which state you live in. In CA all trailers rated 1500 and over must by law have trailer brakes. I live in MD, and here any trailer rated 3000 and over must by law have trailer brakes. 3000 is by far the most common state regulation—but you need to check with your state laws on this.

    By and large, you won't find trailer brakes on any trailer under whatever the state requires. You will also notice that there is often a gap between what the state requires and what the vehicle manufacturer requires. Case in point MD: As I mentioned the state requires 3000, and Subaru requires 1000. Therefore there is a 2000 pound gap here. You will find this to be the case in virtually every state.

    The reason you won't likely find trailers rated under the state requirement with trailer brakes is most likely due to costs. You can upgrade a non-braked trailer by adding brakes, but it's probably better and maybe (?) cheaper just to buy a larger trailer that already comes equipped with brakes.

    As to your question about wiring for trailer brakes: No. Trailer brake wiring require a separate 6- or 7-pin plug, whereas trailers without trailer brakes come with a 4-pin plug. My Class II hitch came with 4-pin wiring because I don't have brakes on my 2990-rated (official rating of my trailer is just under the 3K limit) trailer.

    Bob
This discussion has been closed.