A dependable SUV like the Toyota RAV4 or Subaru Forester should be able to get you safely around town, deliver impressive gas mileage, and look great doing it. So, which one is right for you?

To help drivers and families near Ithaca, Elmira, and Binghamton decide, Maguire Toyota put together this Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester comparison.

Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester Specs

The Toyota RAV4 delivers a capable and efficient drive with a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that gets up to 203 horsepower and 219 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain features Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and works with an 8-speed Electronically Controlled Automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i).

These two units work together to help the Toyota RAV4 get up to an EPA-estimated 26 MPG city and 35 MPG highway.1 They also give you the ability to bring some extra cargo along for the ride with a 3,500-pound towing capacity.

The Subaru Forester also has one standard engine, but it isn't as powerful, capable, or efficient on long drives. It runs on a 2.5L 4-cylinder SUBARU BOXER® engine gets up to just 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. With that kind of output, you won't be able to tow more than 1,500 pounds.

While the Forester works with a Lineartronic® Continually Variable Transmission (CVT), it's not quite as efficient and can only get up to an EPA-estimated 26 MPG city and 33 MPG highway.

Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester Safety


The Toyota RAV4 offers you peace of mind with eight airbags, including front and rear side curtain airbags. For extra stability inside, there are front seatbelts pretensioners and Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH).

While the Subaru Forester also features LATCH, pretensioners, and side curtain airbags, it leaves part of the interior unprotected with only seven airbags.

To give you more awareness during your drive, there are lots of safety features. For example, there's a standard integrated backup camera with projected path, as well as an available Bird's Eye View Camera that gives you an overhead view of your SUV.

The Toyota RAV4 also comes with Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0. This standard system of driver assistance features can help prevent accidents with technology like:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • Automatic High Beams
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Road Sign Assist

The Subaru Forester also has a standard system of driver assistance features, but it doesn't offer anything that lets you check every angle of your vehicle like the Bird's Eye View Camera.

Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester Design

The Toyota RAV4 offers a few different looks. It gives you a choice between a sporty black or sleek chrome grille. With both options, the streamlined hood, streaking headlights, and bold air intakes build on this and help created an aerodynamic design. Overall, it's a great looking SUV that feels right at home both running errands around town and driving on trails or through the snow.

On the other hand, the Subaru Forester is an awkward looking SUV. From its bug-eyed front to its square back, it has a bulky look with disproportion design choices.

Test Drive A Dependable SUV

Visit Maguire Toyota to test drive the versatile Toyota RAV4. It offers more power, safety features, and a stylish design to drivers and families near Ithaca, Elmira, and Binghamton. To learn more about this Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester comparison, contact us or visit our dealership.

1 2019 EPA-estimated 26 city/35 hwy/30 combined mpg for RAV4 LE FWD, XLE FWD, XLE Premium FWD and Limited FWD; 27 city/34 hwy/30 combined mpg for LE AWD; 25 city/33 hwy/28 combined mpg for XLE AWD, XLE Premium AWD, Adventure and Limited AWD, Adventure and Limited AWD; and 41 city/38 hwy/40 combined mpg for RAV4 LE Hybrid, XLE Hybrid, XSE Hybrid and Limited Hybrid. Actual mileage will vary.

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Maguire Toyota of Ithaca

370 Elmira Road
Directions Ithaca, NY 14850

  • Sales: 607-257-1515
  • Service: 607-257-1515
  • Parts: 607-257-1515


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  • Sunday Closed