2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Vs. 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

Off-roading is extremely popular in the United States. As a result of the pastime’s growing popularity, several automakers are offering off-road trim options to satisfy the needs of consumers looking for adventure. Toyota and Subaru have both produced off-roading trims for some of their most popular SUV models. Which is the better off-roading SUV, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road, or the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness?

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road takes the RAV4 off the beaten path

A white Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road SUV is parked in a mountainous region. One bike is loaded atop the SUV. Another bike is in the background.
The Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road | Toyota

Toyota’s RAV4 TRD Off-Road trim starts at $36,080. It comes standard with front and rear stabilizer bars. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road comes with an eight-speed transmission and Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-wheel drive.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road trim gets 25 miles per gallon in the city and 32 miles per gallon on the highway, making a combined total of 28 miles per gallon. It uses a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 203 horsepower.

RELATED: Is the 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road Worth Buying?

The Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road trim includes a MacPherson strut front suspension as well as a multi-link rear suspension. It has a total ground clearance of 8.6 inches. Luckily it comes with skid plates. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road includes many great features. Despite the SUV’s many features, some consumers feel that the trim actually isn’t worth the price.

The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is trail-ready

A blue Subaru Outback Wilderness is off-roading in the mud surrounded by trees with green leaves.
The Subaru Outback Wilderness | Subaru

The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness starts at $36,995. It gets 22 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway, making for a combined 24 miles per gallon. The Subaru Outback Wilderness uses a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes a whopping 260 horsepower.

RELATED: The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Challenges Rivals

The Subaru Outback Wilderness uses a four-wheel independent raised suspension. It has a Traction Control System as well as Hil Descent Control. The Outback Wilderness comes with plenty of safety features including its Tire Pressure Monitoring System and whiplash-reducing front seats.

The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness gets an 0.8-inch lift, bringing its total ground clearance to 9.5 inches. It uses a new front and rear bumper, grille, and LED fog lamps. This thing’s even got some waterproof components in the interior for extreme off-roading.

The 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness is the better off-roading SUV

2020 Subaru Outback XT vehicles are on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois on February 6, 2020.
Subaru Outback vehicles are on display at the 112th Annual Chicago Auto Show. | Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

According to MotorTrend, the 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road’s lack of power is one of the main reasons that the Subaru Outback Wilderness is the better off-roading SUV. The Outback Wilderness makes 57 more horses and the difference in power is clear when driving both vehicles. The lack of power is just one of the many problems with the Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road.

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road’s ride is far from smooth. Like its cousin the Tacoma, it provides a less than comfortable driving experience despite being a trim designed to handle the challenges that off-roading presents. The Subaru Outback Wilderness provides a much smoother ride in comparison.

The similar price between the two crossovers is the nail in the coffin for the Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road. Despite being just slightly more expensive, the 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness provides much more value across the board. It is the more powerful option. The Subaru Outback Wilderness has more ground clearance. It provides a better driving experience both on and off of trails. Neither SUV was designed to battle with treacherous terrain or climb rocks, but as far as trails go, the Subaru Outback Wilderness is the better off-roading SUV.

RELATED: The 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road Isn’t as Rugged as You Think