2020 RAV4 vs 2020 Subaru Forester

2020 Toyota RAV4 vs 2020 Subaru Forester

Chances are you know someone who drives an SUV. Well, most likely several someones. The body style is incredibly popular thanks to its high riding position, utility, efficiency, and safety. For customers looking into getting a new SUV or crossover SUV, they won’t find themselves bereft of choices. Every automaker has at least one SUV in their lineup, usually two, sometimes three or more. Trying to find the vehicles that matches your lifestyle and needs can be an overlong affair due to the sheer amount of choice.

In order to help, we’ve compared two of the most popular crossover SUVs on the market today: the 2020 Toyota RAV4 XLE and the 2020 Subaru Forester Premium. Here’s what we learned.

2020 Toyota RAV4 XLE


2020 Subaru Forester Premium




2.5L-inline 4-cyl


2.4L-inline 4-cyl

203 hp / 184 ft-lbs

Horsepower / Torque

182 hp / 176 ft-lbs




8-speed shiftable automatic



28 / 35 / 30 mpg

Fuel Economy

26 / 33 / 29 mpg


New Crossover SUV in Palatine, IL

Superior Real-World Fuel Economy

On paper, the Forester and RAV4 have similar fuel economy. However, to get good EPA estimates, models are often driven as close to perfect as possible, which doesn’t reflect actual driving. The RAV4 stuck to its numbers, even surpassing them at points. Unfortunately, due in large part to its blasé engine, we found that the Forester mpg suffered consistently in real world situations, as the engine’s general unwillingness required a heavy foot for throttle control.

2020 RAV4 models at a campsite
2020 RAV4 cargo area showcase

Better Performance

The RAV4 engine is modest, but capable. While you most certainly won't be winning any races in it, the RAV4 will get you where you need to go efficiently, and the drive will be engaging. We can’t say the same for the Forester, however. The engine is gutless, with little response or feedback during acceleration. When paired with the sluggish CVT transmission, the Forester is a chore to drive most of the time.

fitness enthusiast walking toward a 2020 RAV4

Come experience the RAV4 for yourself.

Interested in a test drive?