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Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That was a bad word to me, I didn't want Subaru to go in that direction. Thankfully they're coming out with more basic models with a little less equipment and lower prices. They were beginning to forget who their long-time customers were.

    Even for VW, it hasn't been a clear-cut success. The VW Rabbit starts at just $15k now, probably being sold at a loss. And VW is working to find a way to make the next generation even cheaper to produce.

    andre: no offense taken, but I know how you feel, I got the same response in the RAV4 thread when I said the rear gate opens the wrong way. :sick:

  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    just did not want to offend...I actually got a wealth of info from these forums and they do help a great deal in a myriad of ways....what are these new Subs coming out...I mean 20.5K out the door for a Forester X is pretty cheap already...though it includes a generous rebate.

    I wish the Legacy would get a bit longer....wider...I really want AWD but would prefer a car over a SUV....the Camry stinks in the snow and rain....
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    Rumor has the next Legacy getting a little bigger, and the next Impreza being built off the current Legacy platform. There's occassional talk of the need for a flagship sedan based off of the B9 Tribeca's platform... maybe that's what Legacy will become. Nothing substantial, but just lots of talk so far.

    As far as cheaper Subarus, they're coming out right now! Nearly every '07 Legacy and Outback has a substantially lower invoice than '06. There's even a new Outback Basic which is about $2500 less than last year's cheapest Outback - that's quite a price difference, and should allow a few more folks to get in to the brand who otherwise wouldn't. It'll also be good for folks who use their Outbacks in rough conditions and don't want to beat up a more expensive car.
  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    I predicted dropping prices. Now hopefully they can eliminate the rebates. Lets just hope the new Legacy is not priced like the B9!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    the Camry stinks in the snow and rain

    My sister was choosing between a Forester and a Camry, and on the day she test drove them it was raining.

    I don't have to tell you which one she bought. She thought the Camry just felt loose, less in control.

  • andrelaplumeandrelaplume Posts: 934
    Yes. Prior to the Camry I had smaller FWD cars. I never had any real trouble or felt unsafe with them. The Camry spins its tires when it first rains and is bad in the snow. I have been told larger cars (Accords, Taurus etc) fair worse in the snow due to there size....not sure if its true or not as I have never driven anything this bif before. The Legacy would be an ideal car for me next time....if gets a little bigger..but not fancier and costlier.
  • ktyronektyrone Posts: 5
    I just wanted y'all to know that I purchased a 2006 Subaru Outback Si today. When I was on the forum, it was between a Forester and a Rav 4. After test driving the Forester a couple of more times, I decided that I really felt more comfortable in the Outback. If the truth be known, if Toyota had had a station wagon, I probably would have purchased it. I had to drive my new car an hour and a half home today and was very pleased with it. I now feel like it's going to take me a month to read the book about all of it's 'stuff'. But I will. The Outback was an itch I had to scratch....we'll see if I am still scratching a few years down the road. Thanks again to y'all for all of your help. I still love Toyotas.
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    >>I mean 20.5K out the door for a Forester X is pretty cheap already...though it includes a generous rebate.<<

    Try 19K for 06's.
  • thecatthecat Posts: 528
    FYI .. Toyota does have a wagon .. the Matrix.

    Good luck with your Outback. I'm sure you will enjoy it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's really more of a 5 door hatchback.

    Funny thing is Toyota does sell a Corolla wagon - it's called the Corolla Fielder in Brazil. The D-pillar is way farther back than in the Matrix, and there is a lot more cargo room, nearly double.

    Found a pic:


    Toyota can make more money selling SUVs, that's the real reason!

  • slipjigslipjig Posts: 4
    I just spent about 6 months looking for a small SUV. I can only afford to own one vehicle, so it has to do everything - get me to work (short distance), take me on long trips comfortably, get me down old logging roads for car camping, and be able to handle the occasional 3 inches of slushy snow on hills that we get during our Northwest winters. Oh - and haul lumber from Home Depot, dogs to the park, and co-workers to lunch.

    Since I wanted reliable, I limited myself to Japanese vehicles. I ruled out the Hondas quickly - the Element was too truck like for long distance comfort. The Honda CRV's back seats fold forward in such a way that they block loading from the side doors into the back bed. (I keep the back seats folded down most of the time, making my car a two seater with a long wagon bed.)

    That left the Rav 4 and the Subaru Forester. I drove both. The reviews almost all gave the edge to the Rav 4. It was bigger and had VERY comfortable back seats. But I wanted a sunroof and heated seats (my idea of luxury), and to get that the Rav 4 started to get pricy. ALso, we felt that the Rav 4 cylander engine was a little weak on the hills we have around here. I shudder to think how much that engine would whine hauling 4 people up Mt Ranier. The 6 cylander started to get pricey as well. Everyway I looked at it, the Rav 4 kept coming to an MSRP of 25K +, 28K+ if I got everything I wanted on it. My budget was 23K. And the local Toyota dealers were not intersted in dealing - they can't keep Rav 4's on their lots.

    Enter the Forester XS. It was smaller inside, but was very sporty and agile - and it's little 4 cyl engine seemed very powerful. The Forester blew away the steep hill that the Rav 4 had labored to climb. It had a great huge sunroof, heated seats (for my arthiric lower back), and visibility out the back that won't quit. (The Rav 4 had a lot of low blind spots - I hated to think about parallel parking it on crowded city streets.)

    The Subaru Forester XS cost 23.5K (invoice price minus $1K rebate). It fit my budget! Besides, I know 5 friends and coworkes who own them, and not ONE person I know is unhappy with their Forester.

    I pick my new Forester up on Tuesday! :shades:

    If I had to haul kids around the burbs, I would have gotten the Rav 4. But hauling people into the mountains or into the narrow streets of Seattle - the Forester won out.

    I found these forums very handy in my data gathering - thanks all!

    - Slipjig
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "If I had to haul kids around the burbs"

    People do haul kids around the burbs in them. The selling point of the Foresters is the safety, reliability and agility. With the RAV4 some space is traded off for some agility.
  • thecatthecat Posts: 528
    Both excellent vehicles. It's a matter of finding the one that "floats your boat". I've owned both and they each have their strong and weak points. You'll be quite happy, I'm sure.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587

    You're actually talking about an X Premium model, though, right? XS was from MY03-05.

    I love the equipment level on those, you get all the goodies (heated seats, huge moonroof) but it's still cloth, rather than slippery leather. I have leather in my Miata, and don't particularly like it. It's hot in summer, cold in winter, and slippery all the time.

  • Hi All,
    I am new to the forum, but got lots of good info reading all your posts. I have a question that I did not see addressed yet:
    I do a fair bit of towing and my current car (Saab 9-5, 4cyl turbo, 185hp) is a) too low to the ground, b) sluggish in the hills (only when towing), c) front wheel drive only, d) terrible quality xicons/emotorcons/emo_lemon.gif
    lemon. Now I am looking for a new car that can do it all. I like the Forester in terms of safety and price, but I looked at the numbers for the Forester and they seem to be very similar to my Saab. Does anyone have experience towing (tent trailer)with either the Forester or the Rav4?
    Thanks for the feedback
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    I have towed about the same size/weight as a larger tent trailer, several times with my Forester. No turbo.

    I think in the size/class of automobile as they are, you might be expecting too much. They will be sluggish uphill and passing, with two+ adults, their gear and the trailer.

    Perhaps you need to think about a larger V-6 or V-8 to remedy your problem....
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    Subarus are rated much higher for towing in other markets than they are here, not sure why...

    I've towed with our Forester. One load was two yards of shredded mulch, and that weighed a lot. The car handled it okay, but I only drove about 4 miles.

    If I were you, and towing was the main issue, I'd opt for the V6 (not 4-cylinder) RAV4, as it's rated to tow 3500 with trailer brakes. The Forester is rated for 2400, and the RAV 4-cylinder (and CRV) is rated for 1500 pounds.

    All these vehicles are rated only for 1000 if you don't have trailer brakes.

  • prosaprosa Posts: 280
    Subarus are rated much higher for towing in other markets than they are here, not sure why...

    Liability concerns? In other countries, if someone tries to tow an excessive amount and gets into a crash he'll blame himself. In America, he'll sue Subaru. Therefore, Subaru deliberately understates towing capacities.
  • kavoomkavoom Posts: 181
    I have pulled an 1800 to 1900 lb pop up camper for 10,000 of my 40,000 miles in a manual X Forester. Remember that 2400 lb tow capacity is pure and you do NOT have to subtract what is in the Forester from your total like most American vehicles. I have air conditioning, fridge, heated beds, stove... What else do you need. I beg to differ on its abilities.

    As someone noted, Foresters are rated much higher in other countries e.g. Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand where in each country over the last three or four years they have been rated as best tow vehicles.

    In the U.S., Subaru minimizes the towing ability. Some think it is because we are litigous in nature... NO!, Not Americans!!! In other countries, they tout it and include things like low range manual transmissions (Australia) and anti-sway hitches. The U.S. LL Bean has load leveling struts which are standard on some foreign ones and you can retrofit on any US Forester.

    Anyway, Subaru even has a tow harness and four pin connector hidden in them. You don't do that unless you intended for it to tow something somewhere. My hitch installer was surprised when he installed and said it was a piece of cake and asked me to let him know how it does... I have. They are impressed.

    I have towed everywhere with my manual and a 110 lb girlfriend and 65 lb dog and stuff inside. The gearing on them is great and if you aren't afraid to use those gears and look at 4K+ (best torque range) as your upper end and about 2k on your lower, you can really go, including passing much bigger rigs. And I didn't even have to drop into second coming from the west to the Eisenhower tunnel on I70 in Colorado. Third will keep you going at 45 to 50 all day long up 5% grades. Fifth has taken me across the Dakotas at 75 with no problem on many occasions. How fast do you really want to go up and down those mountains???

    You do need to change transmission fluids regularly with high quality mixes, and have electric brakes, but the Subaru Forester just goes and goes. It is a little tow beast. And I mean it is amazing. And you can get one for about 19K. Nothing else will touch it for price and capability.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    Yeah, I pretty much agree with what you've stated.

    FWIW, I've recently been in touch with someone who test Subie prototypes, and who has had extensive time towing with Subies. He too thinks they're great tow vehicles, as the chassis is very strong and quite capable. I asked him why Subies are rated so much lower here than elsewhere for towing, and the only thing he could come up with is that it may have something to do with engine and tranny cooling. He said they could put larger radiators in them, but that may (?) impact on crash safety, in terms of crumple zones. The domino thing, if you know what I mean... He did say that SOA is very conservative when it comes to anything safety related.

    I had mentioned the liability issue, and he said that too could be a possibility, but couldn't confirm that aspect.

This discussion has been closed.