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The 2023 Toyota RAV4 is one of the most popular compact SUVs on the market. However, the new Subaru Forester is an equally great pick for people looking for a brand-new SUV. In fact, some critics even say that the 2023 Forester edges out the Toyota RAV4 in more ways than one. Here’s why the 2023 Forester is a solid alternative to the 2023 Toyota RAV4. 

A red 2023 Toyota RAV4
2023 Toyota RAV4 | Didier Messens/Getty Images

The 2023 Forester delivers similar performance to the new RAV4

According to Car and Driver, the Subaru Forester 2023 uses a 2.5-liter flat-four engine for all its trims. This 2023 Subaru SUV has a maximum output of 182 horsepower. Though less powerful, the new Subaru Forester performs pretty similarly to the 2023 RAV4. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 has the same engine capacity but more power. 

In comparison to the Subaru Forester 2023’s 182 hp, the 2023 Toyota RAV4 has a maximum output of 203 horsepower. In addition, the new RAV4 also has a little better fuel economy. The Forester gets 26 miles to the gallon in the city and 33 on the highway. The RAV4 gets 27 miles in the city on a gallon of fuel and 35 on the highway, which is almost a negligible difference. 

The Subaru Forester 2023 has higher safety ratings 

2023 Subaru Forester on the road
2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru

The Subaru Forester 2023 is a solid alternative to the 2023 Toyota RAV4 because it’s safer. While both vehicles have a 5 out of 5 rating from the NHTSA, the Forester has higher overall marks. This is mainly true regarding frontal crash situations. The Forester scored a perfect five out of five, whereas the RAV4 is one star behind in the category.  

The Subaru Forester also wins this category because of its safety features. Both vehicles have the basics. However, the Forester takes safety up a notch and has its EyeSight Safety Technology. This next-generation system is standard on the Forester despite certain features being limited to upper trims. 

The new Subaru Forester interior has more space than the RAV4

2023 Subaru Forester in snow
2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru
Related 3 Best Used Subaru Forester Model Years Under $15,000 in 2023

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The Subaru Forester is more spacious than the 2023 Toyota RAV4. It may not be much, but more is always better regarding a vehicle’s interior space and storage. According to some tests, the Forester fits 11 suitcases behind the rear seats, but 23 with them folded down. For the new RAV4, each situation could fit one less suitcase.  

The downside to the Forester’s interior compared to that of the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is the infotainment screen size. The Subaru Forester 2023 comes standard with a 6.4-inch screen with the option to make it an 8-inch. The new RAV4 comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen; the TRD Pro trim has a 10.5-inch screen. 

Both the new Forester and the 2023 Toyota RAV4 are great vehicles. But not only is the new Forester a solid alternative, but it’s also a better SUV in some ways. Sure, the RAV4 is iconic, but the Forester has most of the same features and costs a little less. Neither would be a wrong choice, but the Subaru Forester 2023 deserves a second look from compact SUV buyers.