Compare 2019 Toyota RAV4 vs. Forester
2019 Toyota RAV4 vs. Forester Head to Head ComparisonPerformance
2019 Toyota RAV4 vs. Forester Head to Head Comparison
Both the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester debuted in North America in the 1990s. They've since grown in size and offerings for increased space, utility, and driver comfort. RAV4 has grown to include a surplus of standard safety features, whereas Forester has kept all-wheel drive standard on every trim level. In this head to head comparison, we will take a detailed look at the key differences between the RAV4 vs. Forester, including a detailed analysis of each contender’s performance, interior, and safety features.
When it comes to safety features, the Toyota RAV4 comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense® 2.0 (TSS 2.0)24. Subaru offers a similar safety package for the Forester with EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology. However, Forester and Forester Premium trims do not include an automatic high beam feature when compared to RAV4’s standard Toyota Safety Sense® 2.0.
For added peace of mind, every lease or purchase of a new Toyota vehicle comes with ToyotaCare. This includes complimentary 24-hour Roadside Assistance for two years/unlimited miles38. Also included is no-cost scheduled maintenance for 2 years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first 11. In comparison, the Subaru Forester comes with 3 years or 36,000 miles of Subaru Roadside Assistance. However, a maintenance plan costs extra and varies by dealer.
In this head to head, we will take a deeper look at the performance, interior, and safety features of the RAV4 vs. Forester. These carefully researched details are here for you to explore.
2019 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2019 Subaru Forester: PerformanceIntroductionSafety
2019 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2019 Subaru Forester: Performance
In terms of performance, both the 2019 Toyota RAV4 and the 2019 Subaru Forester are similar; however, the RAV4 rises above the competition. The 2019 RAV4 surpasses the Forester in horsepower with 203 hp (or 219 net combined horsepower for RAV4 Hybrid) vs. Forester’s 182 hp.
When it comes to fuel economy, the 2019 Subaru Forester edges slightly ahead, but not by much. The Forester has an EPA-estimated 26/33/29 MPG (city/hwy/comb) compared with RAV4 XLE AWD's EPA-estimated 25/33/28 MPG48. However, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 XLE FWD has better EPA-estimated 26/35/30 MPG than the 2019 Subaru Forester if all-wheel drive is not needed. Depending on the type of driving, the Forester’s all-wheel drive difference is especially minimal when you consider the RAV4 XLE FWD’s EPA-estimated highway and combined MPG advantages.
The RAV4 offers all-wheel drive on select models only, whereas the Forester has standard all-wheel drive on all trims. RAV4 front-wheel drive trims offer greater flexibility for drivers who do not need the add-on of all-wheel drive capability.
Looking for a hybrid option? You won’t find it with the 2019 Subaru Forester. Only the Toyota RAV4 offers hybrid variants. 2019 RAV4 Hybrid EPA-estimated MPG numbers are 41/38/40 (city/hwy/comb)48 -- which is better than any 2019 Forester.
2019 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2019 Subaru Forester: SafetyPerformanceInterior
2019 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2019 Subaru Forester: Safety
Both the 2019 Toyota RAV4 and the 2019 Subaru Forester come standard across all models with a suite of safety technology. For 2019, Subaru made the EyeSight® technology – a package similar to Toyota Safety Sense® – standard across all Forester models. Toyota Safety Sense® 2.0 (TSS 2.0)24 comes standard on all RAV4 models. It features Automatic High Beams, which helps nighttime driving by toggling between high and low beams18. Subaru has headlight features that are similar to Toyota's Automatic High Beams, but they aren’t included in the EyeSight® technology package.
Subaru’s LED Steering Responsive Headlights are standard on their Limited and Touring grades and High Beam Assist is standard on their Sport, Limited, and Touring grades.
For more advanced safety features, the RAV4 XLE comes standard with Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (BSM w/RCTA)3334. Subaru's comparable Blind-Spot Detection/Rear Cross-Traffic Alert is available as an extra-cost option on Forester Premium (All-Weather Package, MSRP $1,295). For even more safety, integrated fog lights are also standard on RAV4 XLE and up. Fog lights are not available on Forester Premium. Subaru offers DriverFocus™ Distraction Mitigation System, a safety feature that recalls driver preferences like outside mirror position. This feature comes standard on the Touring trim. Toyota does not offer this feature for the 2019 RAV4.
All leases and purchases of new Toyota vehicles receive free 24-hour Roadside Assistance38 for two years/unlimited miles. Plus, factory scheduled maintenance is complimentary for 2 years or 25,000-miles, whichever comes first11. Subaru Forester comes with 3 years/36,000 miles of Subaru Roadside Assistance, but a maintenance plan costs extra and the cost varies by dealer.
2019 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2019 Subaru Forester: InteriorSafetyConclusion
2019 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2019 Subaru Forester: Interior
The 2019 Toyota RAV4 and the 2019 Subaru Forester both come with valuable entertainment options. But, of course, there are a few key advantages for the 2019 RAV4 vs. Forester. Every 2019 Toyota RAV4 and the 2019 Subaru Forester Premium both feature interactive Apple CarPlay®51.
However, the Toyota RAV4 has the advantage when it comes to speaker options. The base-grade 2019 Toyota RAV4 LE has 6 speakers for excellent entertainment and the base-grade Subaru Forester only comes with 4 standard speakers. For its part, Subaru comes standard with Android Auto and an in-dash CD player while the RAV4 does not offer these features.
What’s more, you can see all of your entertainment options better with the Toyota RAV4. The 2019 RAV4 XLE has a larger touch-screen display at 7 inches vs. 2019 Forester Premium’s 6.5-inch touch-screen.
RAV4 also comes with some extra comfort and convenience features that benefit both the driver and all passengers. RAV4 XLE has standard dual-zone automatic climate control, whereas Forester Premium has only single-zone automatic climate control available.
2019 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2019 Subaru Forester Head to Head: ConclusionInterior
2019 Toyota RAV4 vs. 2019 Subaru Forester Head to Head: Conclusion
Both the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester have been favorites on the road since the 1990s and both have advanced well along the way. RAV4 offers greater engine power while still offering a similar fuel economy. Forester comes with standard all-wheel drive, while RAV4 has an all-wheel drive option. Of course, only the 2019 RAV4 has a hybrid option when comparing these two vehicles.
The RAV4 has a clear advantage when it comes to driving entertainment. The base-grade 2019 RAV4 LE boasts standard 6 speakers throughout the vehicle while the base-grade 2019 Forester only comes with 4 speakers. Both vehicles come with Apple CarPlay®51. Subaru also comes standard with Android Auto. Between comparable mid-grades, the RAV4 XLE has standard dual-zone automatic climate control for optimal comfort while the Forester Premium only offers single-zone climate control.
Forester has a strong line-up of safety features. However, it is once again outdone by Toyota Safety Sense® 2.0 (TSS 2.0)24 which comes with Automatic High Beams18. This feature is not available on the 2019 Subaru Forester or 2019 Subaru Forester Premium. Meanwhile, the full Toyota Safety Sense® 2.0 (TSS 2.0)24 advanced active safety suite is standard on every 2019 RAV4 — no matter the grade.
With more performance options, better standard interior features, and a more comprehensive safety suite across all grades, it is clear why the 2019 RAV4 is our winner.