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Used Subaru Forester Vs Toyota Rav4 (Which Used Model Is Best?)

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Are you having trouble deciding between a used Subaru Forester and a Toyota RAV4? If you’re on the hunt for a reliable and versatile used SUV, you’re probably feeling a tad overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices or car rankings.

Fear not, intrepid car shopper! This article is tailor-made for you.

We’ll dive deep into the nitty-gritty of car buying with these two popular models, comparing them head-to-head in a no-holds-barred showdown. You’ll be an expert in no time, and you’ll feel confident making the best choice for your needs.

So buckle up and enjoy the ride as we explore these automotive marvels in detail.

Brand Reliability and Reputation

When it comes to brand reliability, both Subaru and Toyota have a lot to offer. However, there are some key differences worth considering. Let’s break it down and see how they stack up.

Subaru’s history and reputation for reliability

Subaru has a long-standing reputation for building rugged, reliable vehicles that can take on just about anything Mother Nature throws their way. Known for their Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and robust engines, Subarus have become synonymous with adventure and off-road capability.

Some key points that make Subaru shine include:

  • Renowned for their all-weather and off-road prowess
  • Consistently high marks in safety and crash test ratings
  • A loyal and passionate community of owners

Toyota’s long-standing track record for dependability

Toyota, on the other hand, has built its reputation on producing vehicles that are not only fuel-efficient but also incredibly dependable. With a focus on quality, durability, and reliability, Toyota has earned a loyal following of satisfied customers.

Highlights of Toyota’s track record include:

  • A longstanding reputation for building low-maintenance, long-lasting vehicles
  • Consistently high resale values and customer satisfaction ratings
  • A wide range of models to suit various needs and preferences

Comparison of J.D. Power and Consumer Reports reliability ratings

When it comes to reliability ratings, both brands have their fair share of accolades. Here’s how they compare according to J.D. Power and Consumer Reports:

BrandJ.D. Power Reliability RatingConsumer Reports Reliability Score
Subaru3.5 out of 569
Toyota4 out of 580

As we can see, Toyota has a slight edge in overall reliability, but Subaru is not far behind. Both brands offer a strong foundation for a dependable used vehicle.

Safety Features

Safety is paramount when considering a used vehicle. Both Subaru and Toyota have put a significant emphasis on keeping their passengers safe, offering advanced safety features in their respective models.

Let’s take a closer look at what each brand brings to the table.

Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology

Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is a suite of advanced safety features that work together to help prevent accidents. Some of the key components of EyeSight include:

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

These features work together to keep you and your passengers safe on the road, no matter what challenges you may face.

Toyota’s Safety Sense suite

Toyota’s Safety Sense suite is a comprehensive package of active safety features designed to keep you safe on the road. Some standout features of Toyota Safety Sense include:

  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
  • Lane Departure
  • Alert with Steering Assist
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Automatic High Beams

With these cutting-edge safety features, Toyota ensures that you’re well-protected in your trusty RAV4.

Comparison of crash test ratings from IIHS and NHTSA

When it comes to crash test ratings, both the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 have a lot to brag about. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have given these vehicles top marks for safety.

Feast your eyes on this safety showdown:

ModelIIHS Top Safety PickNHTSA Overall Rating
Subaru ForesterYes5 Stars
Toyota RAV4Yes5 Stars

As you can see, both models are neck and neck in the safety department, making it tough to declare a clear winner. Rest assured, whichever you choose, you’ll be riding in a veritable fortress on wheels!

Performance and Handling

Now, let’s talk about the fun stuff – performance and handling! Both the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 offer exciting driving experiences, but there are some differences that might tip the scales in favor of one over the other.

Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system

The Subaru Forester comes standard with the brand’s legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, which provides exceptional traction and stability in all sorts of conditions. This is a significant advantage if you plan on venturing off the beaten path or live in an area with challenging weather.

Key benefits of Subaru’s AWD system include:

  • Improved traction in slippery conditions
  • Enhanced stability and control
  • Better handling overall

Toyota’s available all-wheel drive options

While the Toyota RAV4 offers all-wheel drive as an option, it’s not standard on all models. That being said, the available AWD systems in the RAV4 are nothing to scoff at. Toyota offers two different AWD systems:

  • Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel Drive (TV-AWD)
  • Electronic On-Demand All-Wheel Drive

Both systems provide increased traction and control, but they may not be as well-rounded as Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD.

Comparison of engine specifications and horsepower

When it comes to raw power, the Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4 are pretty evenly matched. Here’s a quick breakdown of their engine specs:

Subaru Forester2.5L 4-cylinder182 hp176 lb-ft
Toyota RAV42.5L 4-cylinder203 hp184 lb-ft

As you can see, the RAV4 has a slight edge in horsepower, but the Forester isn’t far behind. At the end of the day, both vehicles offer spirited performance that’ll put a smile on your face.

Fuel Economy and Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is a significant factor for many car buyers, and both the Forester and RAV4 offer competitive fuel economy numbers. But let’s take a closer look and see how they stack up.

Forester’s fuel efficiency ratings

The Forester offers solid fuel economy for an all-wheel-drive SUV. According to the EPA, the Forester’s fuel efficiency numbers are as follows:

  • 26 MPG city
  • 33 MPG highway
  • 29 MPG combined

Below is the MPG for the Subaru Forester for every use Forester model year.

Subaru ForesterAverage MPG

Not too shabby for an SUV that can tackle the great outdoors with ease!

RAV4’s fuel economy performance

The Toyota RAV4, on the other hand, offers slightly better fuel economy numbers for its front-wheel-drive models, while the all-wheel-drive versions are more on par with the Forester.

Here’s what the EPA says about the RAV4’s fuel efficiency:

  • FWD: 28 MPG city, 35 MPG highway, 30 MPG combined
  • AWD: 25 MPG city, 33 MPG highway, 28 MPG combined

Below is a table of the average fuel economy of all used Rav4 models.

Toyota RAV4Average MPG

As you can see, the RAV4’s fuel economy is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a gas-sipping marvel that’ll save you some serious dough at the pump.

Impact of hybrid models on fuel efficiency

If you’re really looking to maximize your fuel efficiency, both the Subaru Forester and RAV4 have hybrid options that boast even more impressive numbers. Check this out:

ModelFuel Economy CityFuel Economy HighwayFuel Economy Combined
Subaru Forester Hybrid35 MPG34 MPG35 MPG
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid41 MPG38 MPG40 MPG

Both hybrid models offer a significant boost in fuel efficiency, with the RAV4 Hybrid taking the cake in this eco-friendly face-off. If you’re all about saving the planet (and some cash), the hybrid options are definitely worth considering.

Interior Space and Comfort

Now that we’ve covered performance, safety, and fuel efficiency, let’s shift gears and talk about the creature comforts. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time inside your vehicle, so it’s essential that it feels like a cozy home away from home.

Forester’s cargo space and seating capacity

The Subaru Forester offers a spacious and comfortable interior that’s perfect for families or anyone with an active lifestyle. With ample headroom, legroom, and cargo space, you’ll never feel cramped inside this versatile SUV.

Here’s a breakdown of the Forester’s interior dimensions:

  • Seating for 5 passengers
  • 111.9 cubic feet of passenger volume
  • 31.1 cubic feet of cargo space (74.3 cubic feet with rear seats folded)

So, whether you’re carpooling with coworkers or packing up for a weekend camping trip, the Forester has you covered.

RAV4’s interior dimensions and versatility

The RAV4 also boasts a roomy and comfortable interior that can accommodate the needs of most drivers. With a slightly more aggressive design, the RAV4’s cabin is both stylish and functional. Here are the key measurements for the RAV4’s interior:

  • Seating for 5 passengers
  • 98.9 cubic feet of passenger volume
  • 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space (69.8 cubic feet with rear seats folded)

While the RAV4 has a slight edge in cargo space, it offers a bit less passenger volume than the Forester. Ultimately, the decision will come down to your personal preference and priorities.

Comparison of standard and available features

When it comes to standard and available features, both the Subaru Forester and RAV4 have a lot to offer. Some of the standout features you’ll find in these vehicles include:

  • Subaru Forester:
    • Standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology
    • Available heated front and rear seats
    • Optional panoramic moonroof
  • Toyota RAV4:
    • Standard Toyota Safety Sense suite
    • Available heated and ventilated front seats
    • Optional wireless smartphone charging

As you can see, both models offer a bevy of features that cater to a wide range of tastes and preferences. However, when considering used models, it’s important to keep in mind that not all features may be available or standard, depending on the model year and trim level.

Make sure to double-check the specs of the used Forester or RAV4 you’re eyeing to ensure it has everything you need.

Price Comparison and Resale Value

Now, let’s get down to brass tacks: the price. When comparing used Subaru Foresters and Toyota RAV4s, it’s crucial to consider not only the initial cost but also the resale value and long-term ownership costs.

Used Forester price range and factors affecting value

The price of a used Subaru Forester can vary significantly depending on factors such as age, mileage, condition, and trim level. Generally speaking, you can expect to find used Foresters in the following price ranges:

  • 3-5 years old: $15,000 – $25,000
  • 5-7 years old: $10,000 – $18,000

Subaru vehicles are known for their durability and longevity, which contributes to their strong resale value. When shopping for a used Forester, be sure to consider factors such as maintenance history and any potential repairs that may be needed down the road.

Used RAV4 pricing and what impacts resale value

Much like the Forester, the price of a used Toyota RAV4 can vary greatly based on a variety of factors. Here’s a rough estimate of what you can expect to pay for a used RAV4:

  • 3-5 years old: $17,000 – $27,000
  • 5-7 years old: $12,000 – $20,000

Toyota’s reputation for reliability and low ownership costs helps to maintain the RAV4’s strong resale value. As with any used vehicle, make sure to do your homework and consider factors like maintenance history, potential repairs, and overall condition before making a decision.

Comparison of long-term car ownership costs

When comparing used Subaru Foresters and Toyota RAV4s, it’s essential to take long-term ownership costs into account. This includes factors such as insurance, fuel, maintenance, and repairs. Both brands have a reputation for low ownership costs, but there may be some differences depending on the specific model and year you choose.

It’s always a good idea to research the average costs for each vehicle to make an informed decision that best fits your budget.

Test Drive Experiences and Impressions

Of course, no car-buying journey is complete without taking each contender for a spin. Test drives are a crucial part of the process, as they allow you to experience firsthand how each vehicle feels on the road.

Driving the used Subaru Forester

Hopping into a used Forester, you’ll likely notice the comfortable seating position and excellent visibility thanks to its large windows. As you hit the road, you’ll feel the confidence that comes with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which makes tackling twisty roads or slippery conditions a breeze.

The Forester’s handling is nimble and responsive, leaving you excited to tackle whatever adventure comes your way.

Behind the wheel of a used Toyota RAV4

Sliding into the driver’s seat of a used Toyota RAV4, you’ll be greeted by a stylish, well-appointed cabin that feels both modern and inviting. On the road, the RAV4’s slightly higher horsepower gives it a bit of pep, and its handling is agile and responsive.

If you opt for a model with all-wheel drive, you’ll enjoy the added traction and control, making it a joy to drive in various conditions.

Maintenance Costs and Resale Value

When it comes to choosing between a used Forester and a used Toyota RAV4, it’s important to consider not just the initial purchase price but also the long-term costs associated with owning each vehicle.

Let’s take a closer look at maintenance costs and resale value to help you make a well-informed decision.

Maintenance costs for used Subaru Foresters

A used Subaru Forester will cost about $7,931 for maintenance and repairs during its first 10 years of service. While this beats the industry average for popular SUV models by $1,202, it’s essential to factor in these maintenance costs when buying a used Forester.

Additionally, there is a 23.97% chance that a Forester will require a major repair during that time, which is 2.47% worse than similar vehicles in its class.

Despite these costs, Subaru vehicles are known for their durability and long-lasting performance. By keeping up with routine maintenance, a used Subaru Forester should continue to serve you well for many years to come.

Maintenance costs for used Toyota RAV4s

When it comes to maintenance costs, Toyota has a solid reputation for reliability and low-cost ownership. A used RAV4 will cost about $5,531 for maintenance and repairs during its first 10 years of service, beating the industry average for popular SUV models by $3,602.

Additionally, there is a 16.08% chance that a RAV4 will require a major repair during that time, which is 5.42% better than similar vehicles in this segment.

By staying on top of routine maintenance, you can keep your used RAV4 running smoothly and minimize the likelihood of unexpected repair bills down the road.

Resale value comparison

One of the key factors to consider when purchasing a used vehicle is its resale value. Both the Subaru Forester and the Toyota RAV4 have strong resale values, but it’s important to weigh the maintenance costs and repair probabilities for each model to make an informed decision.

In summary, while the used Subaru Forester has slightly higher maintenance costs and repair probabilities compared to the Toyota RAV4, both vehicles offer solid resale value and overall reliability. Your decision will ultimately depend on your personal preferences and priorities, taking into account factors like performance, safety, fuel efficiency, and available features.

Final Verdict: Which Used SUV is Right for You?

At the end of the day, both the used Forester and Toyota RAV4 have a lot going for them, making it a tight race that’s harder to call than a coin toss.

To help you make up your mind, let’s recap some of the key factors you’ll want to consider:

Used Subaru Forester: The Off-Road Adventurer

If your heart skips a beat at the thought of exploring the great outdoors or tackling snowy mountain roads, a used Forester might just be your perfect match.

With its standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, roomy interior, and solid safety ratings, the Forester is well-equipped to handle whatever Mother Nature throws your way. Plus, its strong resale value and reputation for durability make it a sensible choice for the long haul.

Used Toyota RAV4: The Stylish and Efficient Urban Cruiser

On the other hand, if you’re drawn to a sleek, modern design and value fuel efficiency, a used Toyota RAV4 could be the ideal pick. With its competitive fuel economy numbers, slightly more cargo space, and wealth of available features, the RAV4 is a versatile and stylish option for city dwellers and road trip enthusiasts alike.

And, like the Forester, the RAV4’s strong resale value and reputation for reliability make it a smart choice for the budget-conscious buyer.

The Importance of Personal Preference

Ultimately, choosing between a used Forester and a used Toyota RAV4 will come down to your personal preferences, needs, and priorities.

Make sure to weigh the pros and cons of each vehicle, taking into account factors like performance, safety, fuel efficiency, interior space, and available features. Most importantly, take each contender for a test drive to get a feel for which one truly sparks joy behind the wheel.

Whichever used SUV you choose, rest assured that both the Forester and Toyota RAV4 have a lot to offer, and you’ll be driving off into the sunset with a smile on your face.

I hope that the advice and reviews in this article have helped you feel a little more security in your choice of car (or cars).

Happy car hunting!