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The Subaru Forester and the Toyota RAV4 are two of the top choices for the competitive compact crossover SUV segment. While there’s much to like about the RAV4, there’s an important factor in Forester’s favor. The 2023 Subaru Forester has one giant advantage over the 2023 Toyota RAV4: a roomier cabin. 

2023 Subaru Forester has a roomier cabin than the 2023 Toyota RAV4 — with more passenger space

Front angle view of green 2023 Subaru Forester crossover SUV
2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru

By nature, vehicles in the compact crossover segment are smaller than traditional SUVs. As a result, many of these models have cramped interiors. However, the 2023 Subaru Forester is a notable exception. It has a surprisingly spacious cabin. And it’s much roomier than the cabin in the 2023 Toyota RAV4. 

A benefit of the roomier cabin is more passenger space. And with more passenger space in the cabin of the Forester, it results in a more comfortable ride, especially for taller and larger occupants. Both crossover SUVs can seat up to five people. However, the Forester has a total passenger volume of 111.6 cu-ft, compared to 98.9 cu-ft for the RAV4. 

Front seats and dashboard in 2023 Subaru Forester crossover SUV
2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru

Also, the Forester provides more legroom, with 43.3 inches for the front seats and 39.4 inches for the rear. In comparison, the RAV4 only has 41.0/37.8 inches of front/rear legroom. If you or any of your passengers are taller than average, then the Forester is the way to go.

Also, it’s rare to find a compact crossover SUV with such a spacious rear seat area. I’ve ridden in the back of a Forester before, and I can attest that it’s even more comfortable than some larger SUVs.

2023 Forester also provides more cargo space than the 2023 RAV4

Side view of black 2023 Toyota RAV4 crossover SUV
2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Another benefit of the roomier cabin of the 2023 Subaru Forester is more cargo space than the 2023 Toyota RAV4. Whether hauling groceries back home or going on a long road trip, you can store more items in the Forester. It has a maximum cargo capacity of 74.2 cu-ft, compared to 69.8 cu-ft for the RAV4. 

Also, the Forester offers many useful storage compartments, as well as spots to place your cups or mugs. One of the features that I liked during my ride in the Forester was the armrest that folds down in the rear seat section. The armrest has two convenient cupholders. 

Other advantages of the Subaru Forester over the Toyota RAV4

In addition to its more spacious cabin, the 2023 Forester crossover SUV has some other advantages over the 2023 RAV4. This includes superior off-road capabilities and greater effectiveness for driving in adverse weather conditions, such as snowy and icy roads. This is due to its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, which is more advanced than the AWD system offered for the RAV4. 

Also, while all-wheel drive is standard for all Forester models, it’s optional for the RAV4 — and costs extra. Also, for greater effectiveness in driving over rough terrain and deep snow, the Forester has higher ground clearance than the RAV4 (up to 9.2 vs. 8.6 inches).

Another advantage of the Forester is better outward visibility. With its narrow roof pillars and large windshield and side glass, it’s easier for drivers to see other cars and pedestrians. Furthermore, the Forester is more affordable, with a starting price of $26,395 MSRP, compared to $27,975 MSRP for the RAV4. 

With its roomier cabin, the 2023 Subaru Forester has one giant advantage over the 2023 Toyota RAV4. This is an important element to keep in mind for crossover SUV shoppers.


2023 Subaru Forester: Price, Specs, & Overview — Popular Crossover SUV!