2020 Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4 Comparison Information in Shingle Springs, CA

The Toyota RAV4 may be the best selling small SUV, but it's no match for the Subaru Forester. When you compare these two SUVs side by side, it's clear that the Subaru Forester offers you so much more, from greater space to more versatile performance. On this page, we'll take a look at just how these two SUVs compare. Once you've seen the specs, we invite you to experience the 2020 Subaru Forester yourself with a test drive at Shingle Springs Subaru.

Subaru Forester interior with rear seats folded down

Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: Space & Comfort

These may both technically be small SUVs, but the Subaru Forester stretches the definition of "small." Step inside and you'll find 111.9 cubic feet of passenger volume! By comparison, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 has 98.9 cubic feet. It's fair to call that interior small. Though the Toyota RAV4 does have more cargo space behind the rear seats, the Subaru Forester has greater maximum cargo capacity. But space is only a part of comfort, and Subaru recognizes this. That's why the 2020 Subaru Forester comes with features like carpeted floor mats and automatic climate control. You can find these features in some Toyota RAV4 models, but they're not standard features.


Subaru Forester driving

Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: Engine

When you first compare these engines, you might notice that the Toyota RAV4 has more horsepower and the Subaru Forester has more torque. But that's just the beginning of what sets these engines apart. Inside the Toyota RAV4 is a standard inline four-cylinder engine with a vertical design. Subaru does things differently. The SUBARU BOXER® engine inside the 2020 Forester is horizontally opposed, giving it a flat and symmetrical design. This means that it can be placed lower in the engine compartment. As a result, the 2020 Subaru Forester has a lower center of gravity and better balance. In addition, the design of the BOXER® engine reduces noise, vibration, and harshness, making for a smooth ride.

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Subaru Forester driving on an off-road trail

Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: Drivetrain

The Subaru Forester is just as comfortable on bumpy dirt roads and off-road trails as it is on paved streets. This is largely due to the standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which uses the symmetrical design of the engine to create a full-time AWD system that's famously capable. The Toyota RAV4, on the other hand, is a front-wheel drive vehicle. All-wheel drive is available, but it will cost more. The Subaru Forester has higher ground clearance than the Toyota RAV4, as well as Hill Descent Control on most trim levels. This feature can be found only on certain high-level RAV4 models.


Close-up of Subaru Forester headlights

Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: Safety Ratings & Awards

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) are two of the most respected voices when it comes to automotive safety. In its safety testing, the NHTSA gave the 2020 Subaru Forester a perfect five-star rating in Frontal Crash, Side Crash, and Overall Rating categories. The 2020 Toyota RAV4 also earned five stars in two of these categories, but only got four stars for Frontal Crash. This is similar to what you'll see when you look at the IIHS awards. The 2020 Toyota RAV4 did earn the prestigious 2020 Top Safety Pick award, but the 2020 Subaru Forester did even better, receiving the 2020 Top Safety Pick+ award!

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Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: Value

Choose the Subaru Forester and you'll get much more for less! The 2020 Toyota RAV4 has a starting MSRP that's nearly $1,500 higher than that of the Subaru Forester, and that's for the stripped-down entry-level RAV4. Adding things like all-wheel drive--or even floor mats!--will make that price gap become even larger. We invite you to come experience the 2020 Subaru Forester for yourself at Shingle Springs Subaru.

2020 Subaru Forester2020 Toyota RAV4
$24,495Starting MSRP*$25,950
33 Highway MPG / 26 City MPGFuel Economy (AWD)34 Highway MPG / 27 City MPG
182Horsepower203
176 lb-ftTorque184 lb-ft
StandardAll-Wheel DriveAvailable Upgrade
8.7"Ground Clearance8.4"
111.9 cu ftPassenger Volume98.9 cu ft
76.1 cu ftMaximum Cargo Space69.8 cu ft
StandardAutomatic Climate ControlAvailable
Standard FeatureCarpet Floor MatsAvailable Upgrade

*Manufacturer's suggested retail price does not include destination and delivery charges, tax, title and registration fees. Destination and delivery includes handling and inland freight fees and may vary in some states. Prices, specifications, options, features and models subject to change without notice.