Subaru Forester VS Toyota RAV4

luv2golfluv2golf Member Posts: 2
edited June 2014 in Subaru

I have owned Honda Accords since 1985 and I'm looking into buying a SUV.

I have narrowed my search to these 2 SUV's. The next step for me is to do a test drive. I was just curious as to any thoughts regarding these two SUV's.

We don't have any kids, mostly city driving, no towing, drive about 10,000 miles a year or less, and we would have seats down quite a bit for delivery purposes.

Which is best bang for the buck in your opinion?
Better gas mileage? Better warranty? Less maintenance issues? More upscale? More fit for a "yuppie", etc???? Do most people lease or buy these days?

Thank you so much!!!!


  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Each has its pros and cons.

    For reference, we own a 2009 Forester 2.5X Limited with the PZEV 175hp engine, and also a 2007 Sienna with the 2GR-FE V6 engine that goes in the RAV4.

    Are you shopping the base engines, or V6 vs. turbo?

    The Forester is efficient and very easy to drive. Considering it's shorter than a Chevy Cobalt coupe, you get tons of room. The seat backs fold flat, vs. the tumble-forward seats in the RAV. If you can drive stick, CR got 25mpg, best in any non-hybrid small SUV. Our is auto and we usually see 24-30mpg or so.

    I ruled out the RAV4 because the rear gate needs lots of room and swings open JDM style, i.e. the wrong way. It blocks the curb, so you would have to walk around it if you ever do curbside loading (e.g. Costco).

    However, the 2GR is so wonderful, I kept looking, and ended up with a Sienna. That engine is a gem, both fast and efficient. Toyota geared it nice and tall, so on the highway you get great mileage. In the city it's not as good, though, and you said you would do city driving.

    For city driving, both the V6 and the Forester are probably overkill, especially if fuel efficiency is a priority.

    So sample the base 4 bangers, see what you think.

    Warranty is the same for both. 3/36 B2B and 5/60 powertrain.

    Maintenance is also roughly the same.

    Neither is upscale, IMHO you have to step up to a Venza or Outback if you want that. To be fair, they are par for this price class.

    I prefer to buy, but if you do lease, Forester has slightly better 5 star residuals, 4 stars for the RAV:

    Good luck shopping and let us know if you have any follow-up questions.
  • alamocityalamocity Member Posts: 680
    If I'm not mistaken it's the CRV that has the tumble forward seats, the RAV4 seats fold flat.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    If so I stand corrected, sorry about that.

    I guess my friend's RAV4 is an older generation. Sorry, didn't mean to mislead you.

    The RAV4 should have a bigger cargo area, but it's longer and the blind spots might make it harder to parallel park in the city, if you do that often.

    What cargo do you tend to carry? I think the RAV is taller inside, also.

    The Forester's cargo area is nice and boxy, though. They re-did the suspension so it really doesn't intrude much. 42.2" between the wheel wells inside.

    This site will tell you everything you need to know about the Forester's dimensions:
  • luv2golfluv2golf Member Posts: 2
    Excellent advice thus far. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my post.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    You're welcome, have fun car shopping.
  • boulevardbobboulevardbob Member Posts: 1
    Hi, Wish I had read this sooner. I have been looking for SUV, tested Forrester and RAV4. Forrester road and handled well. I am over 6 ft tall and like leg room. Forrester was ok. Predicted mileage, Consumers Rept., is well below RAV4. Important if this is on priority list. The RAV has about 34c/ft of space in rear, much more than the others, this is important to me. For me, the big issue is noise, Forrester was LOUD when driver called for power. Reminded me of the VW of years ago, like marbles in the crankcase. I will make a decision later, let you guys know. Bob.....
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