Outback vs RAV4 vs Element

tanager2tanager2 Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Honda
I am shopping for new vehicle - probably want it all - good mpg, ability to haul stuff, and ability to get off road in mud, snow, maybe sand. Have test driven several other makes and narrowed to these three. Like some of the features of Element but wish it had better mpg. Any advice between these 3 vehicles in 08 models? Also need to haul a canoe and kayak on top.


  • dulesdules Member Posts: 37
    Might want to consider Forester too - more of a suv-parallel to the other two body types.

    We have an 03 forester and are soon to add an 08 outback, been so happy with the forester. It's great on snow, gravel, dirt roads, etc.

    Before we bought I watched a rear bash test comparing it to the CRV and RAV - the RAV's entire rear window was taken out by an average hit to the spare mounted on the back and that sealed it for me - Subaru damage was much less costly as the window was not impacted. The video might still be floating around on the web. Just my $.02, for what it's worth!

    Good luck!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    To be fair, that was the previous generation RAV4. See photo below.

    The new one no longer has the rear mounted spare, so I'm not sure if it would have the same result or not. I do still have concerns about the rear bumper because IMO it does not stick out far enough from the body of the vehicle.

    The OB would have an easy-to-load roof rack, simply because you won't have to lift your canoe or kayak as high. You sacrifice a bit because the long bumper hurt the angles of approach and departure, even though ground clearance may be the best of the three at 8" plus.

    Element can probably best handle a wetsuit, given the plastic cargo area. OB has a liner, at least. I'm sure you could get one for the RAV4 as well.
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