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2024 Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester: Which is Right For You?

2024 Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester: Which is Right For You?

Two compact SUVs are in the ring, battling it out… so who will win in the fight of Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester?


Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are a popular option for Edmonton families, and for good reason. Strong performance, great storage, and smooth driving make them a natural choice! But which SUV is right for you? In this blog, we’ll be comparing two popular compact SUV models. Keep scrolling to meet the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester!


A graphic with a Toyota RAV4 SUV in blue on the left and a Subaru Forester SUV in black on the right.


Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester

The RAV4 is one of the best-selling SUVs on the market today. Let’s learn more about this popular vehicle and compare it to a market competitor, the Subaru Forester.


2024 Toyota RAV4

The 2024 Toyota RAV4 has 9 models in a wide colour range, including Hybrid models. Additionally, features that set the RAV4 apart include All Wheel Drive, wireless connectivity, available two-tone exteriors, and Toyota Safety SenseTM 2.5. Explore both cities and trails with this compact SUV!


A red 2024 Toyota RAV4 drives down a sunny highway.

2024 Toyota RAV4 Prime XSE AWD shown in Supersonic Red with a Black Roof


Compare the RAV4 to other SUV competitors: Toyota RAV4 vs Honda CR-V: Which is Right For You? 


2024 Subaru Forester

Let’s meet the 2024 Subaru Forester! This popular compact crossover is known for its versatility and agility. This fifth-generation Forester has improved features from past generations, with its BOXER engine and Lineartronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). There are currently no hybrid models available for this line-up, however.


A green Subaru Forester SUV is parked on a trail in a mountain valley.

2024 Subaru Forester in Cascade Green Silica


Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester: Price Value

The starting prices for each vehicle are as follows:

  • 2024 Toyota RAV4: starts at $36,784.94 MRSP*
  • 2024 Subaru Forester: starts at $34,815 - $45,415 MRSP*

*MRSP - Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price


Therefore, the PRICE VALUE WINNER is: The Subaru Forester



Just how many RAV4 options are there? The current line-up of the Toyota RAV4 family includes gas, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid models. Compared to the number of model options for the Subaru Forester, Toyota has more options for you to choose from. (Not to mention the lack of hybrid options from Subaru!)

2024 RAV4 Gas Models:

  • LE AWD
  • Trail AWD
  • Limited AWD

2024 RAV4 Hybrid Models:

  • LE AWD Hybrid
  • XLE AWD Hybrid
  • SE AWD Hybrid
  • XSE AWD Hybrid
  • Limited AWD Hybrid

2024 RAV4 Prime (Plug-in Hybrid) Models:

  • SE AWD


Three RAV4 sports utility vehicles in red, white and grey are parked on a sunny beach lookout.


2024 Forester Gas Models:

  • Forester
  • Touring
  • Sport
  • Wilderness
  • Limited
  • Premier


Therefore, the MODEL WINNER is: The Toyota RAV4

If you’re looking for a hybrid Forester model, you’re out of luck. Subaru announced a 2025 Forester Hybrid for the U.S. market, but Canadians will have to wait and see.


Hybrid Models

So, why would you want a hybrid SUV compared to a gas model? And what benefits are included?


Financial Incentives

The federal government runs an electric vehicle (EV) incentive program called iZEV, Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles. This Canada-wide program offers incentives to individuals wanting to purchase new eligible electric or low-emission vehicles.

The iZEV program can offer up to a maximum of $5,000 per qualifying vehicle, which includes the 2024 RAV4 Prime. 


Learn more about rebates for electric vehicles in Alberta here.


Fuel Efficiency

Hybrid models have better fuel economy than conventional gas models! Let’s compare the gas 2024 RAV4 LE AWD and the plug-in hybrid 2024 RAV4 Prime SE AWD.


2024 RAV4 LE AWD: 8.7/6.9 est. L/100 km, city/highway

2024 RAV4 Prime SE AWD: 5.7/6.4 est. L/100 km, city/highway


There is a clear difference in fuel consumption between the two models! The gas model already has low fuel consumption to other compact SUV competitors, and even then, the plug-in hybrid Prime blows it away.


A Caucasian man plugs an electric charger into a hybrid RAV4 vehicle charging port.

2024 RAV4 Prime charging plug


Therefore, the HYBRID MODEL WINNER is: The Toyota RAV4

If you’re looking for a hybrid compact SUV, then the RAV4 is your pick! Unfortunately, the Subaru Forester line-up doesn’t have hybrid options for Canadians.



Firstly, let’s compare the power and performance of these two SUVs! We’ll examine the basic trim of both vehicles to ensure fair competition.


2024 Toyota RAV4 LE

Engine: 2.5L four-cylinder engine

Power: 203 hp, 184 lb-ft torque

Towing capacity: 1,499 lbs

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Fuel efficiency: 8.7/6.9 est. L/100km, city/highway

Fuel tank: 57L


A green RAV4 sports utility vehicle carries a camper and drives down a dusty forest road.

2024 Toyota RAV4 shown in Army Green


2024 Subaru Forester

Engine:  2.5L four-cylinder boxer engine

Power: 182hp (@5800 RPM), 176 ft-lb torque

Towing capacity:  1,499 lbs

Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

Fuel efficiency: 9/7.2 est. L/100km, city/highway

Fuel tank:  63L


A blue Subaru SUV pulls a see-doo water vehicle along a road next to a lake.


In short, what are the differences between these models?


Engine power: Although both SUVs have 2.5L engines, there is a clear difference in output. The Forester falls short with 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft torque, compared to the RAV4 base model with 203hp and 184 lb-ft torque.

Fuel usage: Subaru’s Forester has a larger fuel tank at 63L, but worse fuel efficiency. The RAV4 wins for efficiency with 8.7/6.9 est. L/100KM (city/highway) while the Forester falls behind with 9/7.2 est. L/100KM (city/highway).

Towing capacity: These two models are equal regarding towing capacity!


Therefore, the PERFORMANCE WINNER is: The Toyota RAV4


Exterior and Interior

Individual style affects all areas of life, from interior design to fashion sense. Likewise, your vehicle is no different! Let’s look at the specifications and personalization options of these vehicles.


2024 Toyota RAV4 LE

Seating: 5

Cargo: 1,977 L

Length: 4596mm

Width: 1854mm

Height: 1702mm

Weight: 4,610 lbs

Exterior colours: 15

Interior colours: 8


An interior view of the 2024 Toyota RAV4 cockpit, showcasing the drivers seat and steering wheel.


2024 Subaru Forester

Seating:  5

Cargo: 2,101 L

Length: 4640mm

Width:  1815mm (body); 2052mm (body with mirrors extended)

Height: 1730mm

Weight: 4,900.87 lbs

Exterior colours:  9

Interior colours: 6


The view from a drivers door-side of the Subaru Forester SUV. Interior of the car showing the steering wheel and front seats.


To sum up, let's see how these vehicles compare.


Cargo space: Regarding cargo space, the base model Forester has more cargo capacity with 2,101L. However, all Forester upgrades (Touring, Sport, Wilderness, Limited, and Premier) have only 1,957L. The base model RAV4 beats these upgrades with 1,977L!

Dimensions: The Forester is taller, wider, and heavier than the RAV4. There’s a significant 300lb weight difference between the two! So if you’re looking for a more compact SUV, the RAV4 is your winner.

Colour options: The RAV4 wins for choice here, with 15 exterior colours and 8 interior colour options, compared to only 9 exterior colours and 6 interior options on the Forester.


Therefore, the EXTERIOR/INTERIOR WINNER is: The Toyota RAV4



Convenience is the name of the game! Our intelligent technologies are here to make your life (and your drive) easier. 


2024 Toyota RAV4 LE

  • Keyless entry available on the RAV4 LE
  • Smart key system and push-button start on the XLE AWD, Trail AWD, and Limited AWD 
  • Android Auto™ compatibility
  • Apple CarPlay® integration
  • 8" Toyota Multimedia w/ Service/Safety Connect and SiriusXM® with 3-month All-Access trial
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel 
  • Safety system: Toyota Safety Sense 2.5


A digital display rearview mirror in a Toyota vehicle, showing a vehicle driving behind them on a mountain road.

Toyota Digital Display Rearview Mirror


2024 Subaru Forester

  • Keyless entry system with panic alarm
  • Android Auto™ compatibility
  • Apple CarPlay® integration
  • 6.5-inch touch-screen infotainment system w/ SiriusXM® satellite radio (free 3-month trial subscription included)
  • Heated front seats
  • EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology & DriverFocus® Distraction Mitigation System


So, when it comes to technology and comfort, how do these two SUVs compare?


Technology: The RAV4's multimedia screen is 8 inches larger than the Forester’s 6-inch screen. Moreover, there are also more connectivity services and subscriptions available!

Convenience: Toyota’s RAV4 includes additional features like heated steering wheels on the base models.

Safety: Both the 2024 RAV4 and the Subaru Forester received a Top Safety Pick Award from The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). These two vehicles have great safety features!


Therefore, the TECHNOLOGY WINNER is: The Toyota RAV4


2024 Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester: Which is Right For You?

Which compact SUV gets our vote for Edmonton families? While both have some incredible features, the Toyota RAV4 is the clear winner.


Although the Forester has lower starting prices, there is a clear difference in engine performance, hybrid options, and bang for your buck! Overall, the 2024 Toyota RAV4  has better horsepower, more colour options, greater fuel efficiency, and additional features for your comfort and convenience!


Get your 2024 Toyota RAV4 Today

If you’re looking for a reliable compact SUV that goes the distance, look no further than the Toyota RAV4. There is an SUV for every lifestyle with gas and hybrid models available. 


You can browse our vehicles in our virtual showroom here, or visit us at West Edmonton Mall Toyota (Entrance 24).


Stay up to date with West Edmonton Mall Toyota on Instagram and Facebook.

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