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Subaru Forester Limited Vs Rav4 Limited (Comparing 2 Great Options)

Hey there, fellow car enthusiast! Having trouble deciding between the Subaru Forester Limited and the Toyota RAV4 Limited? You’re not alone.

These two vehicles are often pitted against each other in the battle for compact SUV supremacy. But fear not, we’ve got you covered. In this extensive, in-depth comparison, we’ll be diving headfirst into everything you need to know about these two great options.

So, buckle up and get ready for the ride!

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with all the information you need to make a confident and informed decision. From exterior design and features to safety ratings and off-road capabilities, we’ll leave no stone unturned.

So, without further ado, let’s jump in and explore these two automotive titans!

Subaru Forester Limited Vs Toyota Rav4 Limited Exterior Design and Features

Overall Exterior Design

When it comes to the exterior design of these vehicles, it’s truly a matter of personal preference. The Subaru Forester Limited sports a rugged, yet refined appearance with its signature hexagonal grille and hawk-eye headlights.

On the other hand, the Toyota RAV4 Limited opts for a more aggressive, angular design that exudes a sporty vibe.

  1. Headlights, Taillights, and Fog LightsBoth vehicles come equipped with LED headlights and taillights for maximum visibility. However, the Subaru Forester Limited offers steering responsive headlights, which turn with the vehicle for better illumination around curves. Fog lights are also standard on both models, helping to improve visibility in low light and adverse weather conditions.
  2. Wheel Size and DesignRolling in style, the Forester Limited and RAV4 Limited both come with attractive alloy wheels. The Subaru sports 18-inch wheels, while the Toyota opts for slightly larger 19-inch wheels. This difference in size can affect ride comfort, with larger wheels often providing a firmer ride.
  3. Roof Rails and CrossbarsRoof rails are standard on both vehicles, but the Forester Limited has an edge with its available integrated crossbars that fold out when needed. The RAV4 Limited requires the purchase of separate crossbars, which can be an added expense.
  4. Body Colors and Paint QualityBoth vehicles offer a variety of body color options to suit your personal taste. However, the Forester Limited boasts a slightly more extensive palette, with nine color options compared to the RAV4 Limited’s eight. Paint quality is similar between the two, with both brands known for their long-lasting and durable finishes.

Interior Comfort and Design

  1. Seating Capacity and Upholstery Options Both the Forester Limited and RAV4 Limited offer comfortable seating for up to five passengers. Leather upholstery is standard in both models, with the Forester Limited featuring perforated leather-trimmed seats and the RAV4 Limited sporting SofTex-trimmed seats.
  2. Front and Rear Legroom and Headroom When it comes to interior space, the Forester Limited takes the cake, providing more front and rear legroom and headroom than the RAV4 Limited. This can make a significant difference on long drives or when accommodating taller passengers.
  3. Climate Control Systems Dual-zone automatic climate control is standard on both models, ensuring you and your passengers stay comfortable regardless of the weather outside. Rear seat vents are also available on both vehicles, further enhancing passenger comfort.
  4. Infotainment Systems and Connectivity Both vehicles feature robust infotainment systems with 8-inch touchscreens, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity. The Forester Limited edges out the RAV4 Limited with its standard Wi-Fi hotspot and available Harman Kardon premium audio system, while the RAV4 Limited offers an available JBL premium audio system.
  1. Storage and Cargo Capacity In terms of cargo capacity, the Forester Limited offers a generous 28.9 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, expanding to 70.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. The RAV4 Limited, on the other hand, provides a slightly smaller 27.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 69.8 cubic feet with the seats folded. Both vehicles offer a variety of in-cabin storage options, such as:
    • Cupholders and bottle holders
    • Center console storage compartments
    • Glove compartments
    • Door pockets
    • Rear seat pockets

Subaru Forester Limited Vs Toyota Rav4 Limited Engine Performance and Fuel Efficiency

Car Engine Specifications

The Subaru Forester Limited and Toyota RAV4 Limited both come with potent engines under their hoods:

ModelEngine TypeDisplacementHorsepowerTorque
Subaru Forester Ltd.2.5L Boxer 4-Cyl.2.5L182 hp176 lb-ft
Toyota RAV4 Ltd.2.5L Inline 4-Cyl.2.5L203 hp184 lb-ft

While the RAV4 Limited has a slight edge in horsepower and torque, the Forester Limited’s unique Boxer engine provides a lower center of gravity, improving handling and stability.

Car Horsepower and Torque Comparison

As mentioned above, the Toyota RAV4 Limited’s engine boasts a higher horsepower (203 hp) and torque (184 lb-ft) compared to the Subaru Forester Limited’s 182 hp and 176 lb-ft.

This difference can be felt during acceleration and overtaking maneuvers, with the RAV4 Limited feeling slightly more responsive.

Transmission Types and Performance

Both vehicles come with automatic transmissions: the Forester Limited features a Lineartronic CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), while the RAV4 Limited is equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The CVT in the Forester Limited offers smooth and efficient power delivery, while the RAV4 Limited’s 8-speed provides a more traditional driving experience with distinct gear shifts.

Fuel Economy Ratings

When it comes to fuel efficiency, both vehicles are quite competitive:

ModelCity MPGHighway MPGCombined MPG
Subaru Forester Ltd.263329
Toyota RAV4 Ltd.273430

The RAV4 Limited has a slight advantage with one extra mile per gallon in both city and highway driving, which can translate to minor savings at the pump over time.

Emissions and Environmental Impact

Both Subaru and Toyota are committed to reducing their vehicles’ environmental impact. Both the Forester Limited and RAV4 Limited meet stringent emissions standards and are classified as Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV).

Furthermore, Toyota offers a hybrid version of the RAV4, which boasts even better fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.

Safety Features and Ratings

Overview of Forester Limited & Rav4 Limited Safety Features

Both the Subaru Forester Limited and Toyota RAV4 Limited are packed with safety features designed to protect you and your passengers. Some of these features include:

  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Electronic stability control (ESC)
  • Traction control system (TCS)
  • Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS)
  • Rearview camera

Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS)

Both vehicles also come equipped with a suite of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) to make driving safer and more enjoyable. The Subaru Forester Limited features Subaru’s EyeSight system, which includes:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Pre-Collision Braking
  • Lane Departure and Sway Warning
  • Lane Keep Assist

On the other hand, the Toyota RAV4 Limited comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, offering:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
  • Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • Lane Tracing Assist
  • Automatic High Beams
  • Road Sign Assist

While both systems provide comprehensive safety features, the RAV4 Limited’s Road Sign Assist and Automatic High Beams give it a slight edge over the Forester Limited.

Passive Safety Features

In addition to active safety systems, both vehicles offer a range of passive safety features designed to protect occupants in the event of an accident. These include:

  • Advanced airbag systems
  • Side-impact door beams
  • Energy-absorbing crumple zones
  • Whiplash-reducing front head restraints

Crash Test Ratings from IIHS and NHTSA

Both the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 have earned impressive safety ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The Forester received the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, while the RAV4 earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick designation. Furthermore, both vehicles scored a 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA.

Available Safety Packages and Options

Both vehicles offer additional safety features that can be added as optional extras or are included in higher trim levels. For instance, the Subaru Forester Limited can be equipped with Reverse Automatic Braking and Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

The Toyota RAV4 Limited offers options like Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Front and Rear Parking Assist, and an available 360-degree Bird’s Eye View Camera.

Off-Road Capability and Towing Capacity

Forester Limited & Rav4 Limited All-Wheel Drive Systems and Performance

The Subaru Forester Limited comes standard with Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system, which is designed to provide optimal traction and balance in various driving conditions.

The Toyota RAV4 Limited, on the other hand, offers an optional Dynamic Torque Vectoring all-wheel drive system with Rear Driveline Disconnect, which can enhance handling and efficiency by distributing torque to individual wheels based on driving conditions.

Ground Clearance and Approach/Departure Angles

Ground clearance is an essential factor when considering off-road capabilities. The Subaru Forester Limited boasts an impressive 8.7 inches of ground clearance, while the Toyota RAV4 Limited offers a slightly lower 8.4 inches.

The Forester Limited’s superior ground clearance, combined with its favorable approach and departure angles, gives it an edge when venturing off the beaten path.

Off-Road Driving Aids and Features

Both vehicles offer off-road driving aids to help tackle various terrains. The Forester Limited features Subaru’s X-MODE system, which adjusts engine output, transmission, and other vehicle dynamics to optimize performance on slippery surfaces and steep inclines.

The RAV4 Limited comes with Toyota’s Multi-terrain Select system, offering various modes such as Mud & Sand, Rock & Dirt, and Snow to adapt to changing conditions.

Towing Capacity and Trailer Hitch Options

When it comes to towing capacity, the RAV4 Limited takes the lead with a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, compared to the Forester Limited’s 1,500-pound capacity. This difference can be significant if you plan on towing trailers or carrying heavy loads on a regular basis.

Both vehicles offer optional trailer hitch packages, with the Forester Limited featuring a standard hitch receiver and the RAV4 Limited offering an available tow hitch receiver with a wiring harness.

Warranty and Reliability

Forester Limited & Rav4 Limited Basic Warranty Coverage

Both Subaru and Toyota stand behind their vehicles with comprehensive warranty coverage. The Subaru Forester Limited and Toyota RAV4 Limited come with the following basic warranties:

Coverage TypeSubaru Forester Ltd.Toyota RAV4 Ltd.
Basic Warranty3 years/36,000 miles3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty5 years/60,000 miles5 years/60,000 miles
Rust Perforation5 years/unlimited miles5 years/unlimited miles

As you can see, both vehicles offer similar warranty coverage, providing peace of mind for new car buyers.

Extended Warranty Options

Subaru and Toyota both offer extended warranty options for those looking for additional coverage. The Subaru Added Security plan is available in various term lengths and covers over 1,000 parts.

The Toyota Extra Care program also comes in multiple term options and covers a wide range of components.

Reliability Ratings and Maintenance Costs

Subaru and Toyota are both known for their vehicles’ reliability and long-lasting performance. The Forester and RAV4 have consistently received high reliability ratings from sources such as J.D. Power and Consumer Reports.

When it comes to maintenance costs, both vehicles are relatively inexpensive to maintain, with the Forester Limited having a slight edge due to its lower-cost parts and labor.

Pricing and Trim Levels

Base MSRP and Trim Level Options

The Subaru Forester Limited and Toyota RAV4 Limited are positioned within similar price ranges, with the base Forester Limited carrying an MSRP of $33,375 and the RAV4 Limited starting at $36,280

Both vehicles offer various trim levels, providing potential buyers with options to suit their needs and budgets. Plus you can often find a specific model or trim on sale at many dealerships so that can make a specific trim level or series of vehicles that would have been out of your price range now an option.

For the Forester, available trim levels include:

  • Base
  • Premium
  • Sport
  • Limited (featured in this comparison)
  • Touring

For the RAV4, available trim levels include:

  • LE
  • XLE
  • XLE Premium
  • Adventure
  • TRD Off-Road
  • Limited (featured in this comparison)
  • XSE Hybrid
  • Limited Hybrid

As you can see, the RAV4 offers more trim level options, including hybrid variants for those seeking greater fuel efficiency.

Financing and Lease Offers

Both Subaru and Toyota frequently offer financing and lease deals on their vehicles, providing potential buyers with opportunities to secure lower interest rates or monthly payments. It’s essential to research current offers and incentives when shopping for a new vehicle, as these can vary depending on the region and time of year.

Subaru Forester Limited Vs. RAV4 Limited (Comparing 2 Great Options)

In conclusion, both the Subaru Forester Limited and Toyota RAV4 Limited are excellent choices in the competitive compact SUV segment. Each vehicle offers a unique set of features, performance capabilities, and styling cues that appeal to different buyers.

Ultimately, the choice between these two great options will come down to personal preference and individual needs. If you prioritize off-road capabilities, interior space, and a lower starting price, the Subaru Forester Limited may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more powerful engine, greater towing capacity

, and additional safety features, the Toyota RAV4 Limited could be the ideal option.

Before making your decision, consider the following key differences between the two vehicles:

  • Interior Space: The Forester Limited offers slightly more passenger and cargo space than the RAV4 Limited.
  • Engine Performance: The RAV4 Limited’s engine provides more horsepower and torque than the Forester Limited.
  • Fuel Efficiency: The RAV4 Limited has a minor advantage in fuel economy, with 1 extra mile per gallon in both city and highway driving.
  • Off-Road Capability: The Forester Limited has a higher ground clearance and comes standard with Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel drive system, making it more suitable for off-road adventures.
  • Towing Capacity: The RAV4 Limited has a significantly higher towing capacity (3,500 pounds) compared to the Forester Limited (1,500 pounds).
  • Safety Features: Both vehicles offer extensive safety features, but the RAV4 Limited has a slight edge with its Road Sign Assist and Automatic High Beams.

Ultimately, the best way to determine which vehicle is right for you is to test drive both models and evaluate how they align with your specific needs, preferences, and budget rather than just relying on car ratings for deciding which car to take home.

By carefully considering the advice in this article about the features, performance, and overall value of the Subaru Forester Limited and Toyota RAV4 Limited, you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect compact SUV for your lifestyle.

Happy shopping!