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Everyone knows that the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is one of the most popular SUVs of any class. However, there is a decently strong sentiment that the RAV4 is a bit on the dull side and needs an update. Sure, it’s trendy, but the compact Toyota SUV is much more tame than many of its biggest rivals. Here’s how it stacks up to two of those. 

2023 Mazda CX-5 is a solid rival to the 2023 Toyota RAV4

2023 Mazda Cx-5
2023 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

The 2023 Mazda CX-5 is one of the biggest rivals to the 2023 RAV4. This compact Mazda SUV has a standard 2.5-liter inline-four with a maximum output of 187 horsepower. However, the higher trims are turbocharged and produce a maximum output of 227 horsepower each. It takes the Mazda CX-5 6.6 to 7.9 seconds to get from 0 to 60 miles per hour. 

The base model of the 2023 RAV4 is a tad bit more powerful than the latest model Mazda CX-5. It has a maximum output of 203 hp. However, none of the trims get any more potent than that. This is one of the areas where the RAV4 trails behind its rivals. Regarding acceleration, it takes the 2023 Toyota RAV4 about 8.3 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour. 

Performance isn’t the only area where the CX-5 comes out on top of the super trendy Toyota RAV4. The Mazda SUV also has a much better interior. Unlike the Toyota, it has character and doesn’t simply look like every other SUV interior. Perhaps the highlight is the interior technology, with the Mazda SUV’s standard 10.3- inch display. The RAV4 has a standard 8.0-inch display with a 10.5-inch unit on the top trim. 

2023 Subaru Forester is also a rival

2023 Subaru Forester in snow
2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru

The 2023 Subaru Forester is another of the Toyota RAV4’s biggest rivals. According to Edmunds, the 2023 Forester has a standard 2.5-liter flat-four engine that produces a max horsepower of 182 hp. The vehicle is all-wheel drive and uses a continuously variable transmission. It’s a little slower than the 2023 RAV4 and the CX-5, taking 8.5 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph. 

The 2023 Subaru Forester also rivals and beats the RAV4 regarding safety. Not only is the 2023 Forester a top safety plus pick from the NHTSA, but the vehicle has held the distinction for nine model years now. Additionally, the latest Subaru Forester is pretty fuel efficient. It gets an average of 26 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway, which is less than the RAV4 but only slightly. The RAV4 also beats the CX-5 in terms of fuel economy. 

All three are great compact SUVs

2023 Toyota RAV4 is one of the best compact SUVs
2023 Toyota RAV4 | Toyota

Overall, the RAV4 is a solid compact SUV. It’s fun to drive, has a decent look, and is relatively safe. However, many find it less inspired than the Mazda CX-5 and the 2023 Forester. Neither of these SUVs has the same popularity, but they each bring something significant to the table. The RAV4 starts at $28,275, the Forester costs $26,395, and the MX-5 is $26,700.

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