2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Subaru Outback: Crossover SUV Competition!

The Toyota RAV4 is not only the best-selling crossover SUV, but it’s also the best-selling car in the world. See how it stacks up against one of its compact crossover SUV competitors in this 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Subaru Outback comparison.

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

Front angle view of the popular 2022 Toyota RAV4 SUV, which is the best selling car in the world
Cavalry Blue 2022 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

In this 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Subaru Outback 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. Outback: Performance

Geyser Blue 2023 Subaru Outback crossover SUV driving down a hill
Geyser Blue 2023 Subaru Outback | Subaru

With its more powerful engine options, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 has the advantage for performance. It offers a choice of three engines: 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, the 2023 Subaru Outback offers two engine options: a 2.5-liter flat-four-cylinder engine (182 horsepower) and a turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four-cylinder engine (260 horsepower).

RAV4 vs. Outback: Gas mileage

The RAV4 is also a more efficient vehicle than the Outback. 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 Outback has an estimated gas mileage of up to 29 combined mpg.

RAV4 vs. Outback: Towing

The 2023 RAV4 and 2023 Outback are evenly matched for towing. Both crossover SUVs have a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.

RAV4 vs. Outback: Off-road capabilities 

The RAV4 and Outback are also evenly matched for off-road capabilities. Both SUVs offer a traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system, as well as off-road-focused models. For the RAV4, this includes the TRD Off-Road, Woodland Edition, and Adventure trims, while the Outback offers the Wilderness trim.

RAV4 vs. Outback: Safety

For safety, the Outback has the edge. For the previous model year, the Outback 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. Outback: Passenger and cargo space

The Outback is slightly bigger than the RAV4, which results in more interior space. It has a total passenger volume of 109 cu-ft and a maximum cargo capacity of 75.7 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. Outback: Warranty coverage

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

RAV4 vs. Outback: Price

Which crossover SUV costs more: the 2023 RAV4 or the 2023 Outback? The starting price of the 2023 Outback ranges from $28,395 MSRP for the Base trim up to $42,295 MSRP for the Touring XT 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 RAV4. 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 Outback: Which crossover SUV is better?

In this 2023 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2023 Subaru Outback crossover SUV comparison, each crossover SUV has various advantages. For the 2023 RAV4, advantages include performance, gas mileage, and a free maintenance plan. Conversely, advantages for the 2023 Outback include safety and passenger and cargo space.

RELATED: 2023 Subaru Outback: Design Refresh, Specs, Upgrades, Pricing