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Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4



  • chrisl22chrisl22 Posts: 24
    I just bought a new outback and am considering getting a "protection package" for the paint and interior (carpet and leather fabric) since I'm in the mountains alot with dust and tree sap, etc. I got a price of $495 for all interior and paint from a local autodealer: 7 year warranty with a product called Perma Plate. This is two years longer and $100 cheaper than what my local Subaru dealers are offering.

    Does anybody have any experience with this product and would you recommend it or not?


  • tazerelitazereli Posts: 241
    get your self a can of scotchguard and leather protectant and follow the instructions on the container. Those mop and glo packages are pretty much pure profit for the dealer or whoever is selling it. Save the money and go for a long weekend somewhere.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Same is true for the paint... all they're going to do is put on a coat of wax (if you're lucky)!

  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    Gov. test show they are close except for front passenger for RAV4 scores 4 stars and Forester scores 5.

    IIHS scores Forester a GOOD rating all around and the 2006 RAV4 only was tested for Frontal test which scores a GOOD rating. 2005 model scored GOOD for side impact and MARGINAL for rear impact.

    One thing I don't understand is why the Forester doesn't have the side curtain airbags? I noticed there is a couple Subaru models that don't have. The Legacy sedan has them. Why wouldn't they put them on all models? If there were no airbag between your head and the car door wouldn't your head hit the car maybe? :(
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The side air bag that comes standard in the Forester is shaped to protect the torso and the head. So the front driver and passenger have full protection. The excellent results in the test reflect that.

    The rear passengers have no side air bag protection, but the B-pillar in the Forester is so thick that Firemen complained they could not cut through them with their "jaws of life" tools. They found Subaru uses exotic Boron steels and a reinforcement bar as thick as ree-bar in the pillar. They brought a wrecked Forester back to the shop and had to use special cutting tools to get through the massive structure.

    This safety cage is how they were able to get a Good score even without rear/side air bags.

    Here's a pic, the pillar is more sturdy than anything from Volvo, BMW, Mercedes, you name it. See it and believe.

  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    Thanks! Great info but what would keep rear passengers head from hitting the side door?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Certain sized passengers will. I think IIHS tests with a fairly tall dummy:


    I don't believe these curtain air bags are meant to protect children, for the most part they're not tall enough that they'd even come in contact with them. They'd probably hit the door panels.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    These are pretty high up, and would not protect kids:


  • luvmbootyluvmbooty Posts: 271
    Thank again, juice! You are the man! :shades:
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Oh don't tell him that, his head is big enough already :P

  • ktyronektyrone Posts: 5
    i have read a lot of the posts. should i assume that it is just a matter of preference, and that one is not better than the other??? i keep vehicles a long time, thus i am in sticker shock and want to make the right decision.
    this will be my vehicle. no young children. i do a lot of highway driving while visiting around the country.
    please advise. thanks
  • thecatthecat Posts: 528
    The choice here is very subjective. I've owned both vehicles and they each have their merit. The 2 points on the Subies side are full time all wheel drive and nimble handling. IMHO the Rav wins in any other comparison.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    Also, you can get a manual tranny with the Forester XT (turbo), whereas the RAV4 V6 only comes with an automatic.

  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    I'll take the improved gas milage and PT AWD that RAV offers thank you. How often do you really need FT AWD unless you live in a very specific area. I drove both and really wanted to take advantage of the Forester 2K rebate. But...Its just a too small for the 4 of us; it feels claustrophobic compared to the RAv and CRV. Personally I think they should just drop the rebate and lower the MSRP by $2K---I think the rebate cheapens a quality branded car; one that is simply overpriced based in the latest competition line-up(IMO). Without the $2k rebate I do not see Subaru selling any Foresters over Ravs, CRVs or anything else....UNLESS their are more folks out there who want tiny SUVs than I am aware of. In that case Subaru will have the market cornered! Personally I am willing to bet they start to overhaul their vehicles for the 1st time in many many years. I do not mean new noses and tails but more width and leg room. I'd love to see a Legacy the size of my Camry in the next few years. I do like the AWD (PT or FT) but Subarus cars are a bit too small. Lets hope if they do it they do not try to sell the base sucker for $28K or something. That B9 thing they have, allbeit larger is way overpriced!

    Still, if its just yourself no one questions that it is a quality, safe car.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    Other Subie advantages include a top-hinged rear hatch (rather than side-hinged), better performance when comparing base engine models, better visibility, the best safety ratings in its class, lower insurance rates, more ground clearance, more standard features on base models, and higher towing capacity on base models.

    If you're comparing against a 4-cyl RAV, I think the Toyota's only real advantage is interior space.

    Gas mileage is equal between both 4-cyl models.
  • ktyronektyrone Posts: 5
    Thanks to all who responded. I guess it will boil down to whether to take advantage of the Subaru financing or not. I, too, did not like the side hinged rear hatch on the Rav4, but I did the think the seats were a lot more comfortable. THIS is why I go so long between cars. What I really want is a Toyota made Outback! :)
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I agree somewhat. The RAV4 is porkier but with the base 4 the gas mileage is equal to the turbo, but not the non-turbo. The XT will still out accelerate and out handle the 6 cylinder model. And it's just as reliable if not more. The Forester has one of the highest reliability rating for a given model and I'm more comfortable in the Forester than in the RAV4.

    I personally don't care how I arrive at the bottom line, I just want to know what the bottom line is.

    I think it's great that the Subaru is smaller than the RAV4. For years I've had gargantuan vehicles, so getting into a Forester, which is an IIHS safety best pick, and has just enough room for my needs, is great. It's a quick nimble vehicle. I do wish some additional amenities were offered, but hey, my FXT Premium with almost every option except the turbo gauge came in at about $25.5. What can you get in a RAV4 for $25.5?
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    FYI, I got in my Base 4 cylinder Rav for 21.9K plus tax and tags. That included a roof rack, cargo cover, pole system, side bags, mats and a few other things. I do not believe there is anything in the base F that I do not have in my base RAV at this price. The F would have been 19K + tax and tags. Again, the space issue is the difference. Also, my insurance was no more or less for either vehicle.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    If towing means anything, the 4-cylinder RAV4 is rated at 1,500 pounds, whereas all Foresters are rated at 2,400 pounds. Now that may not mean anything to you, but it does to me.

    Granted you could just get the V6 Rav4 which is rated at 3,500, but if you didn't want the V6 and reasonable towing, the Forester has the edge.

  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,007
    What I really want is a Toyota made Outback!

    You never know ... one of these days you may get your wish.

    Subaru's Indiana Plant Will Build Toyotas (Inside Line)

    Steve, Host

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