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Subaru Forester vs Rav4 Maintenance Cost (Full Comparison)

Today, we’re going to dive headfirst into learning about the maintenance costs of a compact SUV and more specifically the Forester and the Toyota RAV4. You might be wondering why we’d be so excited to talk about maintenance costs, but here’s the thing: understanding these car repair costs can save you a pretty penny down the road (pun intended).

We will give information, reviews, and advice so you can decide between these two models so you can decide which one is the winner.

So buckle up, as we compare the Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4’s maintenance costs!

Maintenance Cost Overview: Subaru Forester

Let’s compare the maintenance costs by looking at those of the Forester, shall we? This adventurous SUV boasts a 10-year maintenance and repair cost of around $7,931, which is a cool $1,202 lower than the industry average for popular SUV models.

Not too shabby, right? However, there’s a bit of a catch: the Forester has a 23.97% chance of needing a major repair during its first decade of service, which is 2.47% worse than its competitors in the same segment.


Maintenance Cost Breakdown: Subaru Forester

Now, let’s take a closer look at the costs associated with maintaining a Forester over 100,000 miles. The estimated cost comes in at $4,972, which includes:

  • Mechanical maintenance (oil changes, filters, etc.)
  • One brake replacement

However, this estimate does not include repairs, so keep that in mind as we continue our comparison.

Reliability Ratings: Subaru Forester

When it comes to reliability ratings, the Forester earns a respectable 4.0 out of 5.0. This puts it in 3rd place out of 26 compact SUVs—a position any car would be proud of!

But remember, there’s more to this story than just the numbers.

Maintenance Cost Overview: Toyota RAV4

Alright, let’s switch gears (get it?) and talk about the Toyota RAV4. Over its first 10 years of service, this crowd-pleaser has an estimated standard maintenance and repair cost of just $5,531.

That’s a whopping $3,602 lower than the industry average for popular SUV models! Plus, the RAV4 has a lower likelihood of requiring a major repair at 16.08%, which is 5.42% better than its rivals in the same segment.

Impressive, to say the least!

Maintenance Cost Breakdown: Toyota RAV4

The 2023 Toyota RAV4 has an estimated annual repair cost of $429, which speaks volumes about its excellent ownership costs. In fact, the severity and frequency of repairs for the RAV4 are both much lower than other vehicles, making it one of the more reliable vehicles on the road.

Talk about a breath of fresh air!

Reliability Ratings: Toyota RAV4

As for reliability ratings, the RAV4 scores a solid 4.0 out of 5.0, placing it 3rd out of 26 compact SUVs. This is a testament to Toyota’s commitment to quality and dependability, which is something that definitely piques our interest.

Head-to-Head Comparison: Maintenance Costs

Now that we’ve got a good grasp on the maintenance costs of both the Forester and Toyota RAV4, let’s compare them side by side and see how they stack up:

AspectSubaru ForesterToyota RAV4
10-Year Cost$7,931$5,531
Major Repair Likelihood23.97%16.08%
100,000-Mile Cost$4,972N/A
Annual Repair CostN/A$429
Reliability Rating4.0/5.04.0/5.0

It’s crystal clear that the Toyota RAV4 has a significant edge when it comes to long-term ownership costs. Not only is its 10-year cost lower, but it also boasts a smaller chance of requiring a major repair. That’s music to our ears!

Factors Affecting Maintenance Costs

Of course, it’s important to remember that there are a multitude of factors that can influence maintenance costs, such as:

  • Manufacturer warranty length and coverage
  • Regional differences in repair costs
  • DIY maintenance and repair options

Taking these factors into account can help you make a more informed decision when choosing between the Forester and Toyota RAV4.

Tips for Reducing Maintenance Costs

Now, before we wrap up, let’s go over some tips for keeping car maintenance costs at bay, no matter which vehicle you choose:

  1. Regular preventative maintenance: Keeping up with oil changes, tire rotations, and other routine services can help prevent more costly repairs down the line.
  2. Find a trustworthy mechanic: A good mechanic won’t just fix your car—they’ll also help you avoid unnecessary expenses.
  3. Take advantage of service specials and promotions: Keep an eye out for deals on maintenance and repairs from your dealership or local repair shops.

Subaru Forester vs RAV4 Maintenance Cost

In summary, the standard Toyota RAV4 offers a more appealing car maintenance cost profile compared to the Forester. However, it’s important to consider individual needs and preferences when choosing between these two vehicles.

As always, we recommend doing further research and taking both cars for a test drive before making a final decision.

Subaru vs Toyota Maintenance Costs

Before we dive deep into the specifics of these compact SUVs, let’s first take a step back and look at the bigger picture beyond car buying. On average, Subaru vehicles across all models have an estimated annual car maintenance and repair cost of $617, which is a smidgen lower than the industry average of $652 per year. Not too shabby, right?

On the other hand, Toyota vehicles have an average annual car maintenance cost of $441. But wait, there’s more! New Toyota vehicles come with free ToyotaCare maintenance for the first 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. Talk about a cherry on top!

Breaking Down the Costs

Now that we’ve got a general idea of the car maintenance costs for both Subaru and Toyota, let’s break things down a bit further:

Subaru Maintenance Costs

  • Oil changes: Subaru vehicles, on average, require oil changes every 6,000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. This frequency might vary depending on the model and driving conditions.
  • Tire rotations: Subaru recommends rotating your tires every 6,000 miles to ensure even wear and prolong their lifespan.
  • Brake service: Brake pads on Subaru vehicles typically last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles, depending on driving habits and conditions.

Toyota Maintenance Costs

  • Oil changes: Most Toyota models require oil changes every 5,000 miles or 6 months, depending on the model and driving conditions.
  • Tire rotations: Similar to Subaru, Toyota recommends rotating your tires every 5,000 miles to ensure even wear and extend tire life.
  • Brake service: Brake pads on Toyota vehicles generally last between 30,000 and 60,000 miles, again depending on driving habits and conditions.

The Value of Free Maintenance: ToyotaCare

One significant advantage that Toyota has over Subaru is the inclusion of ToyotaCare for new vehicles. This program covers:

  • Routine maintenance: ToyotaCare covers oil changes, tire rotations, and multi-point inspections for the first 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first.
  • Roadside assistance: In case of emergencies, ToyotaCare offers 24/7 roadside assistance for the first 2 years of ownership, regardless of mileage.

This program adds an extra layer of peace of mind for Toyota owners and helps reduce car maintenance costs during the initial years of ownership. It’s like having your cake and eating it too!

The Verdict: Subaru vs Toyota Maintenance Costs

When comparing car maintenance costs between Subaru and Toyota, it’s clear that Toyota takes the cake (and we’re not just saying that because we’re hungry for dessert!). With a lower average annual car maintenance cost and the bonus of the ToyotaCare program, Toyota offers a more budget-friendly ownership experience.

However, Subaru vehicles still boast a respectable car maintenance cost that’s slightly lower than the industry average, making them a worthy contender in their own right.

Ultimately, it’s essential to consider your individual needs, preferences, and budget when choosing between Subaru and Toyota vehicles. While car maintenance costs are an important factor, it’s just one piece of the puzzle.

So, don’t be afraid to do your homework, take a few test drives, and trust your gut when making your final decision!

Is Toyota RAV4 Expensive To Maintain?

Alright, fellow car enthusiasts, buckle up because we’re about to embark on yet another wild ride, this time delving into the nitty-gritty of the Toyota RAV4’s maintenance costs. If you thought we were done comparing Subaru and Toyota, well, think again!

We’re about to explore the costs of specific maintenance jobs for the RAV4, so hold onto your hats, and let’s get this show on the road!

RAV4 Yearly Maintenance Costs

Just to refresh your memory, the Toyota RAV4 has yearly car maintenance costs that total approximately $429, making it a lean, mean, cost-saving machine compared to the average vehicle, which has annual car maintenance costs of $651. Quite the steal, if you ask me!

RAV4 Specific Maintenance Jobs and Costs

Now, let’s roll up our sleeves and dive into a bulleted list of specific maintenance jobs and their costs for the Toyota RAV4. Keep in mind that these are approximate values, and actual costs may vary depending on factors such as location and individual mechanics.

  • Spark Plug Replacement: $119 – $154
  • Windshield Washer Pump Replacement: $156 – $212
  • Air Conditioning Refrigerant Recover: $35 – $44
  • Door Lock Actuator Replacement: $416 – $542
  • Active Suspension System Diagnosis & Testing: $44 – $56
  • Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) Diagnosis: $81 – $102
  • Wheel Replacement: $704 – $716
  • Cabin Air Filter Replacement: $63 – $90
  • Brake Power Booster Unit Check Valve Replacement: $103 – $117
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System Relearn: $35 – $44

Are Subaru Foresters Expensive To Repair?

Before we delve into the specifics, let’s take a step back and examine the overall landscape of Forester repair costs. It’s important to remember that repair costs can vary greatly depending on factors like the model year, location, and individual repair shops.

That being said, we have a few examples of repair costs for the Forester that will give you a taste of what to expect.

Specific Repair Costs for a Subaru Forester

Here’s a table giving a few approximate repair costs for a Forester, which will help give you a better idea of the expenses you might face when owning this vehicle:

Repair JobEstimateShop/Dealer Price
Differential / Gear Oil – Front Replacement$188.87$217.34 – $280.25
Ball Joint Front – Upper Right Replacement$215.69$255.88 – $353.92
Valve Cover Gasket Replacement$697.87$825.65 – $1132.37
Manifold Absolute Pressure Sensor Replacement$999.95$1236.19 – $1922.40
Exterior Door Handle – Passenger Side Rear$340.45$411.85 – $603.47
Ball Joint Front – Upper Left Replacement$215.69$255.88 – $353.92
Window Motor / Regulator Assembly Replacement$753.94$918.24 – $1375.57
Fuel Pump Replacement$1317.00$1616.03 – $2465.81

Subaru Foresters: A Pricey Proposition or a Wallet-Friendly Ride?

So, are Subaru Foresters expensive to repair? Well, the answer is not quite cut and dry. As you can see from the examples above, some repairs can set you back a pretty penny, while others are more in line with what you’d expect for a vehicle of its class.

When comparing the repair costs for Subaru Foresters to other vehicles, it’s essential to consider the whole picture.

Factors such as the car’s reliability, frequency of repairs, and overall cost of ownership should be taken into account when determining if a Forester is the right fit for your budget and lifestyle.


And there you have it, folks! We’ve looked at the Forester pricing for maintenance and repairs as well as the ins and outs of the Toyota RAV4’s maintenance costs in painstaking detail. While the RAV4 comes out on top in terms of charges and cost-effectiveness, it’s essential to weigh all factors and choose the right vehicle for your specific needs, not just the pricing.

So, get out there, hit the pavement, check out the car rankings for both of these amazing models.