Toyota RAV4 Vs. Subaru Forester: Specs, Space & Capabilities

Toyota RAV4 Vs. Subaru Forester

If you’re comparing the Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester, you’re probably looking for a versatile SUV that combines excellent agility with comfortable spaciousness, rises to all kinds of challenges, and offers safety and fuel savings through every moment of the drive. When it comes to what matters, the 2024 Subaru Forester can satisfy you with ease.

See how by reading our Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester comparison and by visiting Quantrell Subaru for a test drive.

2024 Subaru Forester Premium


2024 Subaru Forester

Engine: 2.5L SUBARU BOXER 4-Cylinder
Horsepower: 182
Torque: 176 lb-ft
Car and Driver Tested 0-60 MPH Time: 8.0 seconds1
EPA-Estimated MPG (Combined): 293
Towing Capacity: 1,500 lbs5
Exterior Length: 182.7 in
Exterior Width: 71.5 in
Exterior Ground Clearance: 8.7 in
Maximum Interior Cargo Capacity: 74.2 cu ft
Interior Passenger Capacity: 5
Interior Passenger Volume: 111.6 cu ft
Legroom (Front/Rear Seats): 43.3/39.4 in
Starting Price MSRP Relative to Competitor: More Affordable
Panoramic Power Moonroof: Standard
Heated Front Seats: Standard
Front Seat Adjustability: 10-Way Power Driver’s/4-Way Manual Front Passenger’s
Engine Immobilizer: Standard
Reclining Rear Seatbacks: Standard
Sound System: 6 Speakers
Adaptive Cruise Control: Standard w/Lane Centering
Lane Departure Warning: Standard
Automatic High Beam Assist: Standard
2024 Toyota RAV4 XLE AWD


2023 Toyota RAV4

Engine: 2.5L Dynamic Force 4-Cylinder
Horsepower: 203
Torque: 184 lb-ft
Car and Driver Tested 0-60 MPH Time: 8.4 seconds2
EPA-Estimated MPG (Combined): 294
Towing Capacity: 1,500 lbs6
Exterior Length: 180.9 in
Exterior Width: 73.0 in
Exterior Ground Clearance: 8.4 in
Maximum Interior Cargo Capacity: 69.8 cu ft
Interior Passenger Capacity: 5
Interior Passenger Volume: 98.9 cu ft
Legroom (Front/Rear Seats): 41.0/37.8 in
Starting Price MSRP Relative to Competitor: More Expensive
Panoramic Power Moonroof: Optional
Heated Front Seats: Optional
Front Seat Adjustability: 8-Way Power Driver’s/4-Way Manual Front Passenger’s
Engine Immobilizer: Standard
Reclining Rear Seatbacks: Standard
Sound System: 6 Speakers
Adaptive Cruise Control: Standard
Lane Departure Warning: Standard
Automatic High Beam Assist: Standard

Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester Specs: Performance & Off-Road Capabilities

When comparing the specs of the 2024 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2024 Subaru Forester, the differences may not be immediately apparent. When comparing the performance specs, the Toyota RAV4 contains more power than the Subaru Forester. However, that only tells part of the story. Despite having 21 less horsepower, the Forester beats the RAV4 in acceleration during Car and Driver tests.1, 2

AWD Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester configurations can also deliver similar fuel economy. A Subaru Forester AWD makes an EPA-estimated 29 MPG (Combined),3 as does a Toyota RAV4 XLE AWD.4

Most Forester and RAV4 trims can tow 1,500 pounds,5, 6 but the Subaru Forester off-road capabilities dominate the Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester comparison. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road is the most capable all-terrain trim, but it has 8.6 inches of ground clearance; the Forester Wilderness Edition has 9.2 inches of ground clearance.

The Forester Wilderness also boasts a front skid plate, Yokohama Geolandar all-terrain tires, a full-size spare tire, Enhanced Dual-Function X-MODE, and more. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road has a front skid plate and all-terrain tires but lacks a full-size spare tire to keep trail explorations going.

Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester Dimensions: Exterior Agility & Interior Room

A new Subaru Forester for sale is remarkable for how it gets you the best of both worlds. Its agile exterior lets you handle the city like a pro, while its cabin space is more in line with larger SUVs. The Toyota RAV4 tries for a similar spirit but falls short in several ways.

Firstly, Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester exterior dimensions involve the RAV4 measuring 1.5 inches wider than the Forester in most trims. This can make parking more difficult. For those who want to be able to stretch out in their cabin, they will appreciate that the Subaru Forester is 1.8 inches longer than the RAV4. However, its legroom advantages far exceed 1.8 inches of extra room. Specifically, the Forester has 2.3 inches more front legroom and 1.6 inches more rear legroom than the RAV4 in most trims.

Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester cargo and passenger room is the same story. The Subaru Forester has 12.7 cubic feet of extra passenger volume over the Toyota RAV4 and continues this spacious advantage with an extra 4.4 cubic feet of cargo room that you can use.

2024 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2024 Subaru Forester Trim Options

The 2024 Subaru Forester arrives with six distinct trim options:

  • Subaru Forester Base
  • Subaru Forester Premium
  • Subaru Forester Sport
  • Subaru Forester Wilderness
  • Subaru Forester Limited
  • Subaru Forester Touring

The 2024 Toyota RAV4 also arrives with six non-hybrid trim models, including the LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, TRD Off-Road, and Limited models.

Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester Configurations: Price & Standard Features

Our Subaru Forester lease deals and Forester SUVs for sale have a lower starting price than the Toyota RAV4 and include standard AWD; the RAV4 has AWD as an option.

Equivalent models like the Forester Premium and RAV4 XLE AWD see the Forester yet again have a lower starting price and also feature-based advantages like a standard 10-way power driver’s seat and Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering (the RAV4 XLE AWD has an eight-way power driver’s seat and Adaptive Cruise Control as standard).

The Subaru Forester trim levels contain many more features to explore, including water-repelling StarTex upholstery and a Harman Kardon® premium audio system. Neither can be found in the RAV4.

Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester colors are a more even area, as both models offer exclusive options, including Geyser Blue and Autumn Green Metallic on the Forester and Blueprint and Ice Cap on the RAV4.

Discover the New Subaru Forester at Quantrell Subaru

Whether you’re looking for a retrospective on the 2023 Subaru Forester redesign or other ways that the Forester has an edge over the RAV4, our Subaru dealership is here to help. Contact our team for more information, and visit us to test drive the model.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which SUV is better for off-road adventures: the Toyota RAV4 or the Subaru Forester?

The Subaru Forester is the clear choice for off-road adventures. Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester off-road specs see the Forester offer much more ground clearance, better off-road features like a full-size spare tire, and the well-known capabilities of Enhanced Dual-Function X-MODE. The Forester Wilderness rises above its competition when the going gets tough.

Which SUV is more fuel-efficient: the Toyota RAV4 or the Subaru Forester?

Both the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 can deliver an EPA-estimated 29 MPG (Combined)3, 4 when equipped with AWD on certain models. However, it must be noted that an advantage of the Forester is that you get standard AWD, which is an option with an added cost on the RAV4. To ask about the fuel economy of a specific trim, reach out to our team at Quantrell Subaru.

How do the Toyota RAV4 and the Subaru Forester compare in terms of safety features?

Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester safety is very similar, but the Forester does have extras like Lane Centering for its standard Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control feature. These models both have a lane-departure warning and automatic high beams as standard, but only the Subaru Forester offers an available DriverFocus Distraction Mitigation System and blind-spot monitoring with a lane-change assist.


1This information is not verified by the official manufacturer and shall serve solely as unofficial general information. For details, visit: https://www.caranddriver.com/subaru/forester

2This information is not verified by the official manufacturer and shall serve solely as unofficial general information. For details, visit: https://www.caranddriver.com/toyota/rav4

3EPA fuel economy estimates. Actual mileage will vary with driving conditions and your vehicle’s condition.

4Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary for many reasons, including your vehicle’s condition and how/where you drive. See fueleconomy.gov.

5Maximum towing capacity varies by trim level. Trailer brakes may be needed. See your retailer for details.

6Before towing, confirm your vehicle and trailer are compatible, hooked up and loaded properly and that you have any necessary additional equipment. Do not exceed any Weight Ratings and follow all instructions in your Owner’s Manual. The maximum you can tow depends on base curb weight plus the total weight of any cargo, occupants, and added vehicle equipment. “Added vehicle equipment” includes additional standard/optional equipment and accessories added by the manufacturer, dealers, and/or vehicle owners. The only way to be certain of your vehicle’s exact curb weight is to weigh your vehicle without passengers or cargo. [Calculated with the new SAE J2807 method.] Installation of a tow hitch receiver or other accessories located near the rear bumper or side-door kick sensors may require disabling or removing the kick sensor, and the sensor operation setting in your vehicle should be turned off. See Owner’s Manual for limitations.

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