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The Toyota RAV4 is the most popular SUV in the world. The RAV4 is an international success because it’s so well-rounded. The small SUV is affordable, practical, and it comes in enough configurations to suit different types of owners. Toyota’s small SUV may be the best-selling model, but another model isn’t too far behind in its class. A less popular Japanese model is another one of the best options for the money. Some of its most significant advantages include the 2023 Subaru Forester’s price and long-term reliability.

The 2023 Subaru Forester price starts lower than the RAV4

The Subaru Forester is one of the most affordable small SUVs. Its price starts at $26,395 with the Base configuration. The RAV4 starts at $28,275 with the LE trim. That’s a price difference of $1,880. While $1,880 may not be a huge difference, it’s enough to make some consumers consider the Forester over the RAV4.

Toyota’s small SUV is praised for its affordability, so the Forester’s lower price is worth mentioning. The Subaru small SUV’s affordability is just one of its many appealing traits.

A Subaru Forester lasts longer than a RAV4

A silver 2023 Subaru Forester small SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru

Toyota’s brand has become synonymous with longevity and reliability thanks to nameplates like the Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota Highlander. The Japanese brand is well-known for producing SUVs that can stand the test of time. Subaru’s small SUV can outlast the Toyota RAV4, which is huge news for consumers that are considering both models.

The Subaru Forester is more likely to last for 200,000 miles and beyond than the RAV4. While Toyota’s small SUV is dependable, the Forester is notably long-lasting compared to many of its rivals. Between its superior affordability and longevity, it’s the better small SUV for the money in the eyes of some consumers. A well-maintained Subaru Forester can last for over 14 years of ownership. The average new vehicle ownership period is only 8.4 years.

As new vehicle prices increase, longevity is arguably more important than ever before. Consumers want to get the most out of their money. Vehicles with low costs of ownership and high predicted reliability can often save drivers thousands of dollars on repairs in the long run. The Forester, like many off-road-centric vehicles, is built to last (at least for longer than many competitors).

The Subaru Forester offers surprising off-road capabilities

A blue 2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness is parked off-road, one of the ways it beats the Toyota RAV4.
The 2023 Subaru Forester Wilderness | Subaru

The most obvious difference between the 2023 Subaru Forester and the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is that the aptly-named Forester is a niche SUV. Sure, it works as a daily driver, but folks with a taste for adventure and the great outdoors best enjoy it.

Subaru offers Forester configurations that are better equipped for off-roading than the base model. The 2023 Forester Wilderness has 9.2 inches of ground clearance, all-wheel drive, and Yokohama GEOLANDAR all-terrain tires. It also features Subaru X-Mode for traction control on tricky terrain.

Toyota also offers an off-road configuration, but it pales in comparison to the Forester Wilderness. Subaru’s most capable Forester trim starts at just $34,320, making it affordable enough for most drivers. As one of the best small SUVs money can buy, is the Subaru Forester still underrated?


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