Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4



  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Kudos to Toyota for their excellent showing. However, with Buicks winning a couple of categories, in my mind, it throws suspicion on all the results. I know the validity of the J D Power Surveys (as well as CR's and others) have been discussed in other forums so I won't go there here.

    -Frank P.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's cool, note the Forester is also in the top 3, just below.

    CR had Forester slightly ahead of the RAV4 in reliability, but that was the 2002 model. 2003s should be good because they have the new wheel bearing design, and that was probably the most common complaint on the old Forester.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I thought that vehicles like RAV and Forester were called mini-utes, and that vehicles that clearly crossed wagons or hatchbacks with the ride height of SUVs were called crossovers?

    I am getting lost in all the naming games!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I plan to buy a small SUV next year (most likely in about 6 months), and am considering both the 2.5 XS Forester and RAV4 L (I would also consider the CRV if it wasn't for the truly hideous interior). However, I was curious as to whether anyone knows if there will be updates to the 2004 editions of these two vehicles? I read somewhere that Subaru might be putting the turbo 227-HP WRX engine in the Forester for 2004, but I'm afraid to get my hopes up about it...
  • As far as I am aware of, there are no major revisions for the '04 model year for the RAV4.
  • bkaiser1bkaiser1 Posts: 464
    it's true!

    the 04 forester will be getting a turbo motor, but the rumors are flying as to which engine exactly we'll be seeing...most reports I've read point to a 2.0l WRX motor making perhaps a bit less HP and a bit more torque down low, but nothing's official. Others seem to "know" that it's a 2.5l turbo coming...either way, it should be quite a ride. Early price estimates are around $26K. We'll know by June 03 when they should start hitting the showrooms.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I doubt they will revise RAV again before the next generation comes out, which is going to be '05 or '06 model year, IIRC. It just had its mid-model revision, with the addition of the chrome roof rails and the sport version with the hood scoop.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Rumors are running rampant, but I think the Forester will get a 2.5l turbo, light-pressure, VW and Volvo style, with a little over 200hp.

    Why? Well, we got a hold of an internal memo from the SIA plant, and they specify a 2.5l turbo engine will go in the Baja soon, so it'll already certified for use in the US.

    They notify the employees at the plant because they'll be building the Bajas.

    Forester still could get the JDM 217hp 2.0l turbo, but I doubt they'd go through the cost of certifying a 4th turbo engine (WRX, STi, Baja, and now Forester).

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    the SIA newsletter said Baja turbo, but nothing about the displacement.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sorry, I'm mixing rumors. My dealer said 2.5l turbo, actually several have. They might be spreading false rumors, though, in order to surprise people later.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    it's hard to keep track of them all.


    If the STi does not have the "rumored" 2.5, neither will the Baja or Forester.

    If, however, the STi gets the 2.5, I say there's there's a 60/40 change in favor of both the Baja and Forester getting a de-tuned version of the 2.5 too.

    We should start a countdown to the Detroit show. It starts in about 3 weeks or so.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, and I'll be in Brazil for two of those weeks. Not a bad place to be while you're waiting!

  • Folks,

    Couple quick questions.

    Are all the '04 Foresters coming with a Turbo? or just some?

    Are we sure about the June 03 launch date for them?

    Because, honestly, if the 04 Foresters are coming out in June, I'll wait till then to get one. I figure if they have a color I like better I get it, and if they don't, I get a left-over 03 at a nice discount. :)

    *HINT* Of the colors available now, make the freakin Cayenne Red available in the XS trim!

    - Lou
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    I'm sure the turbo will be only on the top trim level. That's the way Subaru offers the turbo in other markets. I see no reason for them to change that policy.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    But you can get a 5 speed Premium for just a tad over $22 grand street price right now, so a turbo probably won't cost more than $24 grand or so, at least I'm hoping.

    A leather auto premium is about $24 grand currently, so with those it might cost $25-26k or so.

  • 2003 Forester XS w/ Premium Package for $22,495!


    2003 Subaru Forester XS Premium

    1.9% Financing Available on This Car*

    Stk # SU30042 5 Door, Auto, Climate Control, Power Windows/Locks/Mirrors, ABS, AM/FM/6-CD Changer, Tilt, Cruise, Front/Side Airbags, Alloy Wheels, plus:

    Windshield Wiper De-Icers

    Heated Mirrors

    Heated Front Seats

    Armrest Extension


  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's a great price for an automatic. I've seen 5 speed for just over $22 grand.

    When you consider all the features you get, it's a deal.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    of Subie's wonderful new upcoming powertrains, I wonder if Toyota will ever add any power to the RAV, which quite frankly could use a little?

    It seems to me that size-wise these two are each other's only direct competition, and Forester never feels like it is straining on the highway the way RAV occasionally does.

    If they could even just shove the Camry's current 4-cyl in the RAV, that would give it another 10 hp and 20 lb-ft.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    I think Toyota might bore/stroke the 2.0 a little for the next incarnation. Plus whatever tech advances in the next year or so could be added in.

    But I think the Camry's 4 is too big, and would upset the balance of the RAV.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, gotta keep it light. Maybe they could do some VVTi magic.

    Subaru has VVT in the JDM models, they call it AVCS. We're still waiting for it to arrive on US models.

  • ak4net2ak4net2 Posts: 4
    Slightly off the topic but this seemed like the best place:

    I am looking to buy a new RAV4 (2003) or a Subaru Impreza 2.5T (2004) within 1 week.

    Please advise. My criteria are: should have good pick-up/ power, good internal comfort, has to be automatic, OK-looks, milage and safety. Both I and my wife need to drive. Need not go off-road and rare snow here in Richmond. Therefore I am wondering if I really need AWD for FWD is OK. I may also indulge in a sun-roof but may need a aftermarket one for Subaru.
    I have got quotes of ~21000 for RAV4 and ~20000 for Subaru.

    Please do advise. Thanks
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    The Impreza should be quicker (bigger engine with more HP & torque), and will certainly handle better than the Rav4. It will also pull better when fully loaded (again, more torque). Also, the Impreza, being a car, is subject to more stringent crash standards than the Rav4.

    The Rav4 will certainly accomodate more stuff inside.

    As to the AWD, you will find it also much better on rain-slick roads too. Don't just think of it as a snow benefit. AWD (TS or Rav4) works for you year-round.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm surprised you're not comparing the RAV4 to a Forester, but I digress...

    With automatic, no replacement for displacment, the 2.5l will have an edge over the 2.0l carrying a boxier shape. The trade-off is less room inside, mostly height (for headroom and tall cargo).

    With AWD, the TS should be more fuel efficient. You can get a FWD RAV4, that would be close.

    FWIW, you can do a LOT better than $20k for a TS. Drive 2 hours north to, they have TS wagons for $16,341. That $5 grand will pay for gas for a decade.

    Better yet, get the better equipped Outback Sport, those are $17,170 at the same dealer. You get 16" alloys and a bunch more features, it's a bargain. That still saves you $4 grand.

    BTW, those prices include freight. Our family has purchased 4 Subarus from that dealer, so I can tell you those prices are legit.

  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,788
    Drive north to White Flint, MD; a suburb of DC, to FitzMall to check prices. Their White Flint store sells Subarus. If you drive another 20 minutes more up I-270, to their Gathersburg store, they sell both Subarus and Toyotas. Here's the link:

  • ak4net2ak4net2 Posts: 4
    Thanks Bob and Juice..

    Actually I was adding the S/Roof, a cassette+CD deck instead of just CD and all tags, titles, taxes to the $20K , but the link you have given still works out at around $1K less

    Thanks a lot..I have queried Fitz and will simultaneously push my local dealer..

    The reason I am not looking at Forester is b'coz I want to stay within $20-21K.
    Your point abt. O/B sport is great...but I was not able to justify to myself why to pay $1K more (only diff seems to be harder suspension and fog lights. I did not really need the harder suspension) and kinda liked the body colored bumbers in the TS..

    Anything I am missing between the TS and O/B?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Let's see, I have a 2002 buyer's guide, per them it says: cruise, outside temp gauge, floor mats, cargo tray, fogs, spoiler, roof rack, and the suspensions and 16" alloys. Seems like a bargain for a grand, IMO.

    Here are some more tips - remember you can buy the moonroof seperately. In fact, we have Adler & Mandell install a powered one for us, in our Legacy. It's an ASC 750 and is pretty big, 17"x30". One touch open/close, even programmable to close when you remove the key. We love it. It was $900.

    Finally, for the radio, consider E-Baying a WRX take-off 6CD changer + Cassette. They go for about $150 nowadays, that's cheap. It's very easy to install, in fact I've done TWO of them myself, one in our Forester and another in our Legacy. I can do it in under one hour, and the harness plugs right in. Our Subaru Crew will help you with install tips, it's cake.

    You can also find some in the NASIOC classifieds. They are plentiful, seriously.

    So, for $1050 plus that Outback Sport, you're golden. You will really enjoy the Subaru community, FWIW, I really do. We have a weekly chat, the only one on Edmunds, SoA presence here too.

  • dcm61dcm61 Posts: 1,553
    Never mind (as Emily Littella (sp?) of SNL fame).

  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Some weeks it works. Honest.

    Steve, Host
  • My local dealer is not moving. I will probably drive down to Fitz this Saturday and buy as per your suggestion. Could you please tell me more details on:

    1. Is the internet delivered price on Fitzautomall the final price or is ther more room? 'coz the site gives a price of 17298 for Impreza 2.5TS auto and 18340 for OB Sports Auto.
    Is the difference with what you mentioned due to 2004 vs. 2003?
    2. Sun roof. Where can I get it installed and how?
    3. I hope there is no issue in getting my services and warranty at any of the local dealers in Richmond if I buy from Fitz.

    Thanks once again. BTW when is the next Subaru discussion?

  • lark6lark6 Posts: 2,565
    Bob, you and juice are more experienced with Fitzmall pricing schemes, so riddle me this:

    Fitz shows "Delivered Internet Price", "Delivered Value Price", invoice and MSRP for all the cars in stock. Looking specifically at their Forester inventory, I see that the "Delivered Internet Price" and "Delivered Value Price" is below invoice for all models except the XT. For XTs their "Delivered Internet Price" is below invoice but their "Delivered Value Price" is above invoice. Any ideas as to why the discrepancy?

This discussion has been closed.