Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester

It’s time to hit the road for your next group getaway. Will you be driving the 2021 Toyota RAV4 or the 2021 Subaru Forester? Both SUVs are built for adventure, so you can count on them to have what it takes to overcome any challenge you may face on your way to your vacation destination. However, you can only pick one.

We here at Faulkner Toyota Harrisburg strive to make sure our neighbors in Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Carlisle, PA, get all the information they need when deciding which vehicle will best fit their needs.

That’s why we’ve created this Toyota RAV4 vs. Subaru Forester comparison. We’ve placed these SUVs side by side to make it easier for you to determine the one that’s the better choice for you. Read on to find out for yourself. Then, contact us to schedule your test drive!

2021 Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester: Performance

If you’re looking for an SUV with an enviable performance, then you’d be happy driving either the 2021 RAV4 or the Forester. Both come standard with a 2.5L I-4 engine that produces plenty of power. You can see how their engine specs compare in the table below:

  2021 Toyota RAV4 2021 Subaru Forester
Engine 2.5L I-4 2.5L I-4
Horsepower 203 horsepower 182 horsepower
Torque 184 lb-ft of torque 176 lb-ft of torque

While both models are capable of impressive performance, it’s the Toyota RAV4 that boasts a robust output up to 203 horsepower along with 184 lb-ft of torque. The engine that propels the Forester falls a bit short, only offering 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque.

The RAV4 also gives you three different modes to pick from to further customize your drive. Choose among SPORT for a more responsive drive, ECO for improved fuel efficiency, and NORMAL for everyday driving.

Despite the differences in their engine output, you’ll get plenty of capability whether you choose to drive the Toyota or the Subaru because both have a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 pounds.

Safety and Driver-Assistive Features

Whether you’re behind the wheel of the Toyota RAV4 or the Subaru Forester, you can rest assured that safety comes first. Both vehicles have made sure of it by coming standard with a suite of smart safety and driver-assistive technologies. With both models, you’ll get standard features like:

  • Pre-collision warning systems with automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning systems
  • Smart cruise control

The Toyota RAV4 also comes standard with a useful feature called Road Sign Assist. Road Sign Assist displays upcoming road signs on your dashboard so you’ll remain aware of the rules of the road. The Subaru Forester does not have this type of feature available, so drivers may be less aware of traffic laws, like speed limits.

Otherwise, both the RAV4 and the Forester have an available blind spot monitoring system that can help you merge or change lanes more safely. These systems provide a visual alert when another vehicle enters your side blind spot so you’ll know when the coast isn’t clear.

Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester Dimensions

As crossovers, both the Toyota RAV4 and the Subaru Forester offer the maneuverability and agility of compact vehicles while also offering plenty of space on the inside. This is a tough line to walk, but both the Toyota and the Subaru do so easily. You can see that in their dimensions, included in the table below:

    Toyota RAV4 Subaru Forester
Wheelbase   105.9 inches 105.1 inches
Length   180.9 inches 182.1 inches
Seating capacity   5 passengers 5 passengers
Cargo volume

behind 2nd row

  37.6 cubic feet 31.1 cubic feet

With a wheelbase of around 105 inches, both SUVs sit on a similar base, so you can expect them both to be easy to maneuver around city traffic or off-road obstacles. However, when it’s time to park your vehicle, you may find it easier to do in the RAV4.

Overall, the Toyota RAV4 may be easier to parallel park on a busy side street because it’s 1.2 inches shorter in length than the Subaru Forester. With the extra length, the Forester may be more difficult to squeeze into that tight space.

However, on the inside, you’ve got plenty of room. Both SUVs can accommodate five passengers in total, so you’ve got enough space for the whole family. With all seats filled, you’ll be able to pack a bit heavier in the RAV4 since it has an extra 6.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row compared to the Forester.

Technology and Infotainment: RAV4 vs Forester

Something we love about the Toyota RAV4 and the Subaru Forester is that they both come packed full of technology. For example, they both have infotainment systems with available features like:

  • 8-inch touchscreen display
  • Apple CarPlay®
  • Android Auto™
  • Bluetooth® wireless connectivity

Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ are especially useful features for anyone who wants to stay connected while they cruise. These systems essentially integrate your smartphone with your vehicle so you can safely access certain smartphone apps through your SUV’s touchscreen display as you drive.

Both vehicles also come standard with cameras to assist you while backing in or out of a parking spot or driveway. These cameras display a live video feed of the area directly behind your vehicle on your available 8-inch infotainment touchscreen display.

Only the RAV4, however, has the Bird’s Eye View Camera. This available feature provides such useful tools as the Perimeter Scan, curb view, and overhead 360-degree view in low-speed drive and reverse. Without similar features, drivers in the Forester may be less aware of hazards behind and around their vehicle.

Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester: Which Will You Drive?

Now that you’ve seen how the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and the Subaru Forester compare, which one will you drive around Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, or Carlisle, PA? If you like the high-tech features and robust engine power of the RAV4, the team at Faulkner Toyota Harrisburg can put you behind the wheel.

Contact us to schedule your test drive of the Toyota RAV4 today!