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2015 Forester2.5i Premium CVT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Face-Off: Subaru Forester vs. Toyota RAV4
https://www.consumerreports.org/suvs/subaru-forester-vs-toyota-rav4-compact-suv-review/

It should surprise no one that they prefer the Forester. After a lengthy comparison, they conclude:

"Bottom line: The Forester is the easy choice between these two compact SUVs. It’s more refined and roomier, has better visibility, and even gets 1 mpg more than the RAV4. Neither SUV has an advantage over the other in reliability and safety: Both have above-average reliability, and most advanced safety systems are standard in both."

This article is not behind the paywall, but the detailed reviews with numbers are.
 

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2003 Forester X manual
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subscriber of CR. All I ever read about the Forester, is good. Always tops in its class, has very good reliability, esp. the newer ones, and the people love them. Not much else to say!
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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CR says: "The Toyota’s higher ground clearance and lower roofline also make it less convenient to get into and out of the front and rear seats."

They got that one wrong. Forester 8.7", RAV4 8.6".
 

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2020 Forester 2.5 Touring CVT
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186 Posts
CR says: "The Toyota’s higher ground clearance and lower roofline also make it less convenient to get into and out of the front and rear seats."

They got that one wrong. Forester 8.7", RAV4 8.6".
I think they meant the RAV4 ground clearance is higher than it used to be. . .
 

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2018 Forester XT Touring HT-CVT
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The Toyota does have a few nifty tech features that I hope will make it into a future version of the Forester (360 camera, ventilated seats). Other than that, the only leg up the Rav4 has is the hybrid for those who are watching their fuel economy or mainly stay in the city.
 

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2017 Forester 2.5i CVT
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600 Posts
Paywall... but when I google I see they’ve hit 40mpg... RAV4 Hybrid is pretty drool worthy and good for environment. As are those deep bulstered supportive bucket seats.

Those two alone... I would be strongly cross-shopping.

Holy balls 3500lb tow rating!?

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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2015 Forester CVT
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121 Posts
CR says: "The Toyota’s higher ground clearance and lower roofline also make it less convenient to get into and out of the front and rear seats."

They got that one wrong. Forester 8.7", RAV4 8.6".

I have both (Forester and RAV4 Hyrbid) and prefer the RAV4 Hybrid because it's a hybrid and thus a much more powerful and quieter SUV. :) BTW, bummed they did not compare the RAV4 Hybrid... Subaru needs to get serious about having a hybrid/plug-in Forester... Auto Start/Stop does not count...

Re: CR report... I agree, the Forster has higher ground clearance... maybe they meant the seats ride higher on the RAV4 compared to the Forester...
 

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2015 XT Premium CVT
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I notice that CR has not done a review of the Hybrid RAV4 they usually jump on the hybrids. The Hybrid should be rating a lot higher than the gas version with 219hp and 39mpg and only a $800 price over the gas version. It is kind of like they are stalling.

The other issue I have is they say the Forester is above average reliability but do not recommend it under used vehicles not sure what is up with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I notice that CR has not done a review of the Hybrid RAV4 they usually jump on the hybrids. The Hybrid should be rating a lot higher than the gas version with 219hp and 39mpg and only a $800 price over the gas version. It is kind of like they are stalling.

The other issue I have is they say the Forester is above average reliability but do not recommend it under used vehicles not sure what is up with that.
It's strange because in their full review of the 2019 they repeatedly mention the hybrid and subjective differences between it and the ICE version, but there are no references to performance measurements, as if they rode around in a hybrid but only track-tested the gas burner. Yet some of those differences directly affect the factors over which they downgraded the RAV4 vs the Foz. I could find no indication anywhere that they plan to test a hybrid.
 

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It's strange because in their full review of the 2019 they repeatedly mention the hybrid and subjective differences between it and the ICE version, but there are no references to performance measurements, as if they rode around in a hybrid but only track-tested the gas burner. Yet some of those differences directly affect the factors over which they downgraded the RAV4 vs the Foz. I could find no indication anywhere that they plan to test a hybrid.
It is strange because in the last generation they rated the hybrid separate from the gas version. They did the same with the Forester XT lumped it in with the NA version. It would of been nice to see how the XT would of done and its own separate reliability rating. It might of actually help the XT sales.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It is strange because in the last generation they rated the hybrid separate from the gas version. They did the same with the Forester XT lumped it in with the NA version. It would of been nice to see how the XT would of done and its own separate reliability rating. It might of actually help the XT sales.
Keep in mind that to test one they have to actually buy one, and they simply may not have the budget this year to buy two RAV4’s. They might buy one to test next year. Budget issues may explain why they didn’t buy any XT’s, which most Forester buyers didn’t either. They also tend not to buy and re-test vehicles that haven’t substantially changed; I think their rating of the SJ Forester for all five years may have been based on the one 2014 they bought.
 

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I have both (Forester and RAV4 Hyrbid) and prefer the RAV4 Hybrid because it's a hybrid and thus a much more powerful and quieter SUV. :) BTW, bummed they did not compare the RAV4 Hybrid... Subaru needs to get serious about having a hybrid/plug-in Forester... Auto Start/Stop does not count...

Re: CR report... I agree, the Forster has higher ground clearance... maybe they meant the seats ride higher on the RAV4 compared to the Forester...
This is an old thread but maybe you'll see it. Would you feel equally comfortable on a dirt road (nothing extreme, but maybe a little muddy or on some big hills) in your Rav4 Hybrid as you do in the Forester?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
CR has now tested the 2019 RAV4 Hybrid, and while it improved on the ICE version, it still fell short of the 2019 Foz by a small margin. It is well-regarded, of course, and recommended, but only its acceleration and fuel economy outclassed the Subaru. In most other areas the cars scored comparably or the Subaru came out ahead. In the end, on CR's scale, the overall scores were 77 (RAV4 ICE), 80 (RAV4 H), and 89 (Foz).

The RAV4 Hybrid ranks third in CR's ratings of non-luxury compact SUVs, behind the Forester and the Mazda CX5 (82).
 

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I test drove a 19 RAV-4 before buying a 19 Forester Premium. I did not not like the RAV-4 at all. I'm 5'10" and I hit my head getting in the RAV-4. If I was tall, I would have likely been decapitated. While I really liked the exterior styling of the RAV-4, there were some interior design choices that really bugged me. Having to remove the sub woofer to change a flat tire just seems weird. It made me wonder what other quirky design choices are there that I won't see on a test drive. I also don't like the info-tainment screen integration. It looks like someone jammed an iPad into the dash. It looked like an afterthought rather than integration. The RAV-4 drove nice. No issues with powertrain on the test drive. Since I planned to drive it for 10 years, these issues were deal breakers. I had no such issues with the Forester.
 

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I drive a 2019 Rav4 hybrid AWD for work and own a 2013 outback. The Rav is a really nice and powerful and has great fuel economy. It really falls short in the AWD department. On snowy ice roads the AWD is extremely unbalanced. The rear drive doesn't engage or work until the front has almost pulled you off the road!!
 

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The upcoming rav4 prime looks interesting. It’s like the new forester xt.
For my needs, a hybrid makes a lot more sense.
"The vehicle’s electric battery will provide an estimated 39 miles of range before kicking back to the gas-powered engine."
 
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