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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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453 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just put about 175 miles on a brand new (~4,200 miles) AWD Toyota RAV4. It was a rental. Not sure if it was a 2019 or 2020, but it was certainly very new. It was pretty loaded with features, so I think I can give it pretty good comparison to my wife's 2019 Forester Limited.

Driving was mostly busy interstate with some in-town driving in perfectly dry weather. So I'll make no attempt to guess what AWD performance would be. The route was Denver to Colorado Springs and back, so altitude was roughly between 5,000 and 6,000 feet. The RAV4 was normally aspirated, but I don't know exactly what engine was in it. A 4-cylinder mill, no doubt.

Here is what I liked:
1. Ride comfort was good.
2. Road and wind noise was reasonable.
3. Handling on smooth and rough dry pavement was good.
4. Driver ergonomics was good. Comfortable seat, easy to reach controls, steering wheel adjustment, etc. It was hot and A/C worked fine.
5. Gas mileage was excellent. About 32 mpg and I drove like a maniac whenever possible in "sport" mode. Speeds up to 80 mph.
6. Backup camera worked well.

Here is what I didn't like:
1. Very anemic acceleration compared with the Forester. Altitude could be a factor, however. Acceleration dangerously slow in "eco" mode.
2. Jerky transmission shifts. Between my 2014 Forester CVT and my wife's 2019 CVT with mild fake shift points, I think I've just gotten used to super smooth transmissions. The RAV4 transmission reminded me of the awful 4EAT Subaru used to put in its vehicles. In town, I tried out the RAV4 "normal" and "eco" modes. Transmission was even jerkier. Big fail for me. I don't think anything was wrong with the transmission. It's just not what I like.
3. Lane departure "assist" was too aggressive. I had to turn it off.
4. Adaptive cruise control was too sluggish. I drove most miles in high-speed, high-traffic interstate conditions and it just didn't respond quickly enough to keep from annoying me and other drivers. Much inferior to Subaru's ACC.
5. I didn't notice if this one had blind spot detection. I'm thinking not, or I'd have noticed it. But it needs it. Visibility is poor. Really poor.
6. I mentioned that the backup camera worked well, and it's a good thing - Rear visibility is also poor.

I've owned a couple of Toyotas in the past and I just couldn't ask for better reliability than I got from them. But I'll take the 2014 or 2019 Forester over the new RAV4 in a heartbeat.
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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2,906 Posts
I don't think the 2020's have hit the dealers yet so you were probably driving a 2019.

The RAV4's "Direct Shift" 8-speed automatic transmission has been a major source of complaints. Seems like dual-clutch transmissions are problematic in general. I'll take Subaru's CVT over anybody's DCT.

How was the engine noise inside the cabin? That's also been a complaint with the new RAV4.
 

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2018 Forester 2.5i CVT
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74 Posts
Toyota's "direct shift" transmission option seems similar to VW's and Porsche's DSG (direct shift gearbox) which is basically an automatic shifting manual transmission.
I had one on my 2007 VW GTI. At that time I excluded many competitors because of this option.
If Subaru would offer one on a 2020 Forester I'd sell my 2018
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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963 Posts
If Subaru would offer one on a 2020 Forester I'd sell my 2018
And everyone that buys Foresters for their off-road capability wouldn't. DSGs may be okay on-road, but they're hopeless for crawling (or towing).
 
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