The Subaru Forester -vs- the Toyota RAV4: Battle of the Best in North Charleston

Say you're looking for the perfect capable midsize crossover in North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Hanahan, Summerville, or West Ashley SC. You know you need something spacious, solid, safe, fun, pleasant to look at, and trustworthy even on less-than-perfect roads.

Test Drive a Forester Today

Chances are, you've already considered the Subaru Forester, and possibly a competitor like the Toyota RAV-4. But which small sport utility vehicle will really be the best fit for you? Like with all purchases, there are a lot of factors to look at. But we're going to help you out.

We've compiled a short list of some of the main specs that factor into the final decision in a car purchase; things like fuel economy, cargo room, standard and available features, off-road capability, and general pricing information. For fairness, we're looking at the Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium and the Toyota RAV4 XLE, two comparable trim levels and two of the most popular options for South Carolina drivers. Take a look at this midsize crossover comparison.

Capability and Practicality

  • The Subaru Forester comes standard with AWD, while the RAV4 only offers it as an add-on (and an expensive one at that--it'll cost you around $1,400 to upgrade). Subaru believes safety shouldn't be an accessory
  • Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive system was designed from the ground up to be all-wheel, all the time. Toyota's AWD is tinkered from their FWD system
  • The Subaru Forester is a more economical option, boasting a lower starting price than the RAV4 on every trim level. If you're on a budget, the Forester offers more for less
  • Though fuel economy estimates are neck-and-neck in these two SUVs, superior torque in the Subaru Forester gives you a smoother, more powerful ride past the gas pumps

Design and Style

  • Though both models say they're built for adventure, the Subaru Forester offers a more nature-friendly design, with far better ground clearance to safely maneuver terrain (8.9 inches on the Forester to 6.3 inches on the RAV4)
  • The Forester's practical, capable structure is iconic of the Subaru brand, and offers an all-road friendly style that appeals to everyone. The RAV4 has recently undergone some stylistic changes, but it's still playing catch-up
  • With 108.3 cubic feet of passenger volume to the RAV4's 100.7, the Forester offers a more comfortable environment for your whole crew

Power and Performance

  • Though the Toyota RAV4's base 2.5L engine offers 176 horsepower, a mere 6HP more than the Forester, the Subaru's available BOXER turbocharged engine blows it out of the water with 250 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque
  • The Forester offers both a CVT with tow/haul/snow mode, and a 6-speed manual for Subaru driving purists; the Toyota RAV4 has abandoned the sporty experience of manual

The true test of Forester capability, though, doesn't come in words, specs, or numbers. It comes about behind the wheel. Come to Crews Subaru of Charleston today to explore the new Subaru Forester SUV, take a test drive, and learn about our diverse options for a Subaru lease or loan in the North Charleston area!