2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Subaru Forester: Crossover SUV Showdown!

Are you thinking about getting either the Toyota RAV4 or the Subaru Forester? Find out the differences between these popular compact crossover SUVs in this 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Subaru Forester comparison.

2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Subaru Forester: What are the differences?

Front angle view of Midnight Black Metallic 2023 Toyota RAV4 crossover SUV
Midnight Black Metallic 2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

In this 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Subaru Forester crossover SUV comparison, we evaluated several areas. This includes performance, gas mileage, towing, off-road capabilities, safety, passenger and cargo space, warranty coverage, and price.

RAV4 vs. Forester: Performance

Front angle view of Cascade Green Silica 2023 Subaru Forester crossover SUV
Cascade Green Silica 2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru

On the performance front, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 outmuscles the 2023 Subaru Forester with its more powerful engine options. Engines offered for the RAV4 include a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (203 horsepower), a hybrid (219 horsepower), and a plug-in hybrid with the RAV4 Prime (308 horsepower). In comparison, all Forester models have a 2.5-liter flat-four engine, which generates 182 horsepower.

RAV4 vs. Forester: Gas mileage

For efficiency, the fully gas-powered RAV4 has an estimated fuel economy of up to 30 combined mpg, while the RAV4 Hybrid has a gas mileage of up to 40 combined mpg. Also, the RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid has a fuel efficiency of 94 MPGe when in electric-only mode and 38 combined mpg in hybrid mode. In comparison, the Forester has an estimated fuel economy of up to 33 combined mpg.

RAV4 vs. Forester: Towing

The 2023 RAV4 can tow more than the 2023 Forester. It has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, compared to 3,000 pounds for the Forester.

RAV4 vs. Forester: Off-road capabilities

If you’re aiming for off-road adventures, then the Forester is the better crossover SUV for you. For one, all Forester models come equipped with a traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system, but it’s an optional feature for the RAV4. Also, the Forester has higher ground clearance than the RAV4 (up to 9.2 vs. 8.6 inches) for driving over rough terrain.

RAV4 vs. Forester: Safety

On the safety front, the Forester has a slight advantage. For the previous model year, the Forester earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which is the highest possible IIHS rating. In comparison, the RAV4 earned the second-tier IIHS Top Safety Pick award.

RAV4 vs. Forester: Passenger and cargo space

The 2023 Forester is bigger than the 2023 RAV4, resulting in more interior space. It has a total passenger volume of 111.6 cu-ft and a maximum cargo capacity of 74.2 cu-ft. In comparison, the RAV4 has a total passenger volume of 98.9 cu-ft and a maximum cargo capacity of 69.8 cu-ft.

RAV4 vs. Forester: Warranty coverage

For warranty coverage, both the RAV4 and Forester are backed by a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. However, unlike the Forester, the RAV4 has a free maintenance plan, with two years or 25,000 miles of coverage.

RAV4 vs. Forester: Price

Which crossover SUV costs more: the 2023 RAV4 or the 2023 Forester? The starting price of the 2023 Forester ranges from $26,395 MSRP for the Base trim up to $36,495 MSRP for the Touring trim.

For the 2023 RAV4, the official price information is not yet available. However, the 2023 RAV4 will probably cost slightly more than the 2022 version. The starting price of the 2022 RAV4 ranges from $26,975 MSRP for the LE trim up to $43,625 MSRP for the RAV4 Prime XSE trim.

2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Subaru Forester: Which crossover SUV is better?

In this 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Subaru Forester comparison, each crossover SUV has various advantages. For the 2023 RAV4, advantages include performance, efficient hybrid models, towing, and a free maintenance plan. Conversely, advantages for the 2023 Forester include gas-engine fuel economy, off-road capabilities, safety, and passenger and cargo space. 

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