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Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4



  • "we took a RAV4 to and from a remote parking lot to pick up that car."
    How far did you drive? Was it from a cold start? Did you factor in that pedal-feel is different among many vehicles?

    At 45,000 miles, my '01 RAV is not buzzy or tippy (very secure on the road), has adequate power for this non-leadfoot driver (2.0L with auto trans), gives good mileage (24.8 overall in a state that requires MTBE / winter gas), and has given me no problems. I think it is possible to get another 10+ enjoyable, trouble-free years out of it. That's the plan, anyway.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I didn't measure, but I'll guesstimate it was about 3 miles each way. I guess they use it as a shuttle to that lot, because it was already warm.

    Perhaps the engine had a loose heat shield on the exhaust? That's kind of what it sounded like at high revs.

    The tippy comment again surely was exacerbated by the fact that I drove a Miata to the dealer, then the RAV4, then the MR2 Spyder, then the RAV4 again, and finally, my Miata. I guess any SUV would feel that way.

    But still, my Forester leans less, for sure.

    What did you mean by pedal feel? For the most part, the controls were light and easy to operate, nothing to complain about there.

  • the other evening i went to the grocery store, parked & their were no cars around me. when i came out - there were 3 rav 4's to the left of my forester & 1 more on the right. it was really cool to see i had the one 'unique' small suv/wagon thingy and as i was putting the goods in the gate - one of the rav4 owners came out and while putting his stuff away - was eyeballing the heck outta my forester. that was fun....
  • dstew1dstew1 Posts: 275
    The availability of the SWB RAV4 V6 in the US might make me consider cheating on my FXT. ;)
  • yogi29035yogi29035 Posts: 16
    I visited a school recently for work and in the back row of the parking lot were 4 (!)Foresters all parked next to each other, so I slotted my Impreza in next to 'em and we made a little Subie Section.

    Whenever I see another Impreza in a lot, I always park next to it if I can cuz I always think its funny.... but I don't know why....
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Birds of a feather...

  • estocoffeeestocoffee Posts: 1
    Yeah and when I phoned Toyota Canada they said it was because of their cusotmer surveys (they never asked me - a 14 year Tercel owner ). I suspect however that Toyota fears litigation in the states more so than north of the 49th. Many safety features that are being offered to Americans in 04 were not planned for Canada in 05.
        So I became a proud forester owner.
  • Looked at both and it was a no brainer. After doing research on both vehicles, the RAV 4 was the hands down choice. J D Powers isn't kind to Subaru.
  • mnfmnf Posts: 404
    Both are great choices but going by JD power ?? Remember back in 1999 they gave the DAEWOO a very high rating i believe #2 so ratings sometimes are not all what they seem to be.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,958
    Looks like it was #4 and based on a sample of first year owners (since it launched in '99). Bet they won't do that again :-)


    Steve, Host
  • mikenkmikenk Posts: 281
    I think JD Powers is incredibly overhyped based on the information it really provides. Initial owners survey say nothing about long term reliability of a car; the 3 year survey would seem to be more useful except that most cars todays are reliable through the third year making that marker questionable for predicting the future reliability. I also question the statistical validity of their survey. But the press loves the JDPowers reports.

    The only useful tool I have seen to measure the real reliability is the CU ongoing surveys that show the trends as cars age. The Toyota brand is clearly has the best reliability for long term ownership. Subaru has very good ranking in these studies.

    Personally, I would not think reliability would be an issue in deciding between these two cars, but if that is the top of you list, you can't go wrong with Toyota.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Daewoo rocks, they'll never go bankrupt...wait a sec! ;-)

    RAV4 and Forester have actually tied for 2nd place in the past in the IQ study, and they usually make the top 3.

    Keep in mind the Forester is the highest scoring Subaru, so if you're talking about scores for all Subarus, you're watering down the data a bit. The Baja scores poorly, but that doesn't mean the Forester does.

    Subaru beat Toyota in the JDP Dealer Satisfaction study that just came out.

    So what?

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    Yeah, not too high on my list.

    Toyota beat all other brands in the latest JDP 3-year customer survey.

    What most surprised me was that GM was in the top 5 (along with Toyota, Honda, BMW, Porsche), and only the top 5 were rated above average.

    And Land Rover was the absolute bottom finisher. Well, maybe that's why their vehicles are so cheap to buy...
  • i was surprised that GM was in top 5 too , why did the cutomers select them ? the rebates ? LOL
  • egretegret Posts: 10
    Test-drove a 2005 Forester, automatic transission, not turbo, and a 2004, front-wheel drive, automatic transmission RAV-4 yesterday in 103-degree southern Arizona weather, and perceived that they both took about the same time to cool but that the RAV-4 ended up somewhat cooler in the back seat. Anybody else have experiences with how well the AC works for either vehicle in very hot weather, especially in the back seat (want to keep it cool for infant in carseat)?
  • Has anyone in an '04 RAV4 tried to merge with big trucks going 80mph or better on Arizona freeways, or, for that matter, driven through the Salt River Canyon? My '04 Subaru Forester XT does well under these conditions, but I'm wondering if the RAV4 has enough performance capability to make the grade.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Because of the Forester's greenhouse-like interior, it especially benefits from having tinted windows. Unfortunately because Subaru chose to classify it as a passenger car, factory tint isn't an option. However, there are a number of high-quality after-market tint films and a Forester with tinted windows can easily handle 100 degree heat. 35% tint in the front and 20% rear will provide a cool interior (including the backseat) but still leave you with excellent visibility.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    I don't think it's fair to compare the Forester XT to the RAV4. The X and XS models are direct competitors but when it comes to acceleration, the XT is in a whole different league.

  • If you are currently driving an XT, a rav4 is going to feel woefully inadequate. X or XS is a much closer comparison. If you currently have an XT why even consider a Rav4? To me thats like saying do I want the filet or the ground chuck?

  • My lease on the XT will be up in less than a year and I do like the looks of the RAV4. Also I'd just like to make a change for the fun of it. But from what guys have said, I get the strong impression that the RAV4 might not be a good choice--for taking longer trips anyway. I drove a Chevy Tracker before the Subaru. Talk about underpowered and dangerous (especially from the crash test standpoint)! I used it only for short local trips around home. My thank to both of you for the advice.
This discussion has been closed.