2021 Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4 Models Comparison in Salem, OR

The small SUV has become one of the most popular upgrades for families and individuals alike. They're great for the daily commute and weekend adventures whether you're going camping or to the hardware store. Since the small SUV segment is so popular, you'll find many good choices on the market today, and we can think of no other brands with better reputations than Subaru and Toyota. So, what are some differences between the new 2021 Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4? We take a close look at both models in the comparison below. Once you have an idea of how an all-wheel drive SUV from Subaru provides more for your money, come experience the whole lineup Your Way on the Parkway at Capitol Subaru. It's easy to schedule a test drive online.

Rear cargo area of Subaru Forester with rear seats folded down

2021 Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: Interior Comfort & Convenience

From providing young siblings with their own space to helping a friend move, the extra space afforded by a new small SUV is one of the top reasons why our customers upgrade to this segment. Take the new 2021 Subaru Forester, for example. Inside, passengers will find up to 111.9 cubic feet of space in which to enjoy the ride. The new Toyota RAV4 is also a small SUV, but you'll only get 98.9 cubic feet for passengers, and that's more comparable to many small cars. Of course, improved cargo room is another reason people choose a small SUV. Behind the rear seat, the new Subaru Forester offers 31.1 cubic feet or fold the rear seats flat to reveal up to 76.1 cubic feet of max cargo room. That's compared to the Toyota RAV4 with a max cargo capacity of 69.78.


Closeup of Subaru Forester headlights

2021 Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: Features & Value

You may have noticed that the smaller 2021 Toyota RAV4 has a starting MSRP that's almost a couple thousand dollars more expensive than the starting MSRP of the new Subaru Forester. Clearly, that higher price tag doesn't mean more space, but what about features? On the outside, every new Subaru Forester comes standard with LED Steering Responsive Headlights. You'll have to spend big on the top-of-the-line Toyota RAV4 for such headlights. Step inside, and there are even more advantages you will find in a new Subaru Forester.

The new Forester comes standard with dual front USB ports, and rear USB ports are available on all but the entry-level model. The Toyota RAV4 starts out with one USB port up front unless you shell out the extra money for a model near the top of the lineup. Similarly, you'll find a host of little advantages inside a new Subaru Foerster that all add up to a big value.

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2021 Subaru Forester Sport model zipping down the road

2021 Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: Performance

This may be where you find the biggest difference between these two models. While the new Toyota RAV4 is equipped with a traditional inline engine that sends power to the front wheels, every Subaru Forester is equipped with a flat BOXER® engine and Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. It adds up to a performance advantage that the Toyota RAV4 simply can't compete with. So, what does this mean where the numbers are concerned?

Both models are rated to tow up to 1,500 pounds, and both SUVs weigh roughly the same. The new Toyota RAV4 is showing 208 horsepower on paper, which is a handful more than the 182 horsepower from the Subaru Forester. When it comes to fuel economy, the Toyota RAV4 is estimated to get up to 35 MPG on the highway and up to 27 in the city, but that's with front-wheel drive. If you spend more to upgrade this Toyota SUV with all-wheel drive, you'll find it's much more comparable to the Subaru Forester with 33 MPG on the highway and 26 MPG in the city.


Mother and children loading flowers in back of a Subaru Forester

2021 Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: Safety

We're pleased to find that these small SUVs have been proven safe by independent crash tests, however, there are a few distinctions to be aware of. To begin with, the new 2021 Subaru Forester earned the highest-possible 2020 Top Safety Pick + award from the IIHS. It's an award that the new Toyota RAV4 came short of. A similar gap was found in safety testing by the NHTSA which awarded the new Subaru Forester with the highest five-star safety rating for frontal crash safety compared to the four-star rating given to the new Toyota RAV4. When it comes to the safety of you and your loved ones, only the best will do, and that's what you'll find behind the wheel of a new Subaru SUV.

View our new 2021 Subaru Forester inventory in Salem, OR
Browse our new Subaru specials available in Salem, OR

2021 Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: Summary

For the crowded small SUV segment, the new 2021 Subaru Forester with standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive is an astonishing deal at a starting MSRP of just $24,795. Meanwhile, the front-wheel drive 2021 Toyota RAV4 starts out with a $26,050 MSRP and less room for passengers and cargo. Come experience the latest Subaru Forester, and we think you'll agree that it's a much better investment for your money.

2021 Subaru Forester2021 Toyota RAV4
$24,795Starting MSRP*$26,050
111.9 Cubic FeetStandard Passenger Volume98.9 Cubic Feet
31.1 Cubic FeetCargo Volume (Behind Rear Seat)37.6 Cubic Feet
76.1 Cubic FeetMax Cargo Volume69.8 Cubic Feet
Symmetrical All-Wheel DriveStandard Drive ConfigurationFront-Wheel Drive (AWD Available)
26 City - 33 HighwayFuel Economy (MPG with AWD)27 City - 34 Highway
5 StarsNHTSA Frontal Crash Rating (Out of 5 Stars)4 Stars
LED Steering ResponsiveStandard HeadlightsLED
StandardActive Torque VectoringAvailable Upgrade
1,500 PoundsTowing Capacity1,500 Pounds

*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.