Among your family and friends, you probably know people who drive either the 2022 Subaru Forester or the Toyota Highlander. You know the owners of each vehicle in Wakefield, Reading, and Danvers, Massachusetts, feel satisfied about their choices. But will you? That's why the team at Ira Subaru has designed this comparison to help you decide which one is right for you.

Forester vs Highlander Dimensions

When looking for enough space in an SUV, you'll need to know the dimensions inside. You know how much room you and your passengers need to feel comfortable.


2022 Subaru Forester

2022 Toyota Highlander

Front Headroom with sunroof

40.2 inches

39.6 inches

Front Legroom

43.3 inches

42 inches

Cargo Volume

Behind Rear Row

28.9 cubic feet

16 cubic feet

Both the Subaru Forester and the Toyota Highlander give you 41.2 inches of front headroom. The difference comes when you add a sunroof. You'll get nearly one inch more in the Forester at 40.2 inches, while the Toyota spans 39.6 inches with a moonroof.

For taking long drives, stretch out your legs during the trip with 43.3 inches in the Subaru. With the Toyota, your legs will have 42 inches at its maximum measurement in the front row.

If you use your vehicle for storage without removing any seats or folding them down, your Forester fits up to 28.9 cubic feet of cargo volume. In the Highlander, you'll only get 16 cubic feet of cargo volume with all the seats intact and upright.

Situated in Comfort

During frigid New England winters, you'll want to warm up in your car, won't you? Well, you can by sitting in the heated front seats that come standard in four of the five trims of the Subaru. The Toyota offers the same standard feature in only two trims. Bonus: The heat soothes a sore back.

What's more, the Forester grants you a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat as an option in one trim and standard for the rest. In the Highlander, only two trims offer a standard 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat.

An Interior That Fits Your Needs

SUVs are vehicles for drivers who heed the call of adventure, even when adventures get a bit messy. Both the Forester and the Highlander come with stain-repellent upholstery, so you can enjoy nature without worrying about taking the outdoors back in with you. The Subaru Forester offers StarTex® water-repellent upholstery, and in the Toyota, you can find SofTex®-trimmed seats.

However, if you need a place to stow your muddy hiking boots out of view, the Forester is better equipped. It comes standard with cargo-area underfloor storage. Whether you want dirty sports equipment out of the way or you're looking to keep your valuables out of sight, the Subaru has you covered.

Learn more about the 2022 Subaru Forester in our review!

Performance and Efficiency

Drivers who like to put the Sport in Sport Utility Vehicle appreciate that the Forester comes standard with intelligent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive on all trims. The Highlander only makes it optional.

However, not only does the Subaru offer a stronger on-road performance, but it also provides a better fuel economy, too. If you want incredible gas mileage, count on the Subaru. You can achieve an EPA-estimated 26 city/33 highway MPG, so your ride won't stop before its time.* The Toyota provides an EPA-estimated 20 city/27 highway MPG in the all-wheel drive trims.

On top of that, with the Forester's curb weight of 3,454 pounds, your SUV benefits from the lower weight and feels lighter on the road while you drive. You may feel a bit more drag since the Highlander's curb weight charts 4,330 pounds.

You may even be able to make tighter turns in your Subaru, too, with a turning circle of 35.4 feet. In the Toyota, the turning circle measures 37.4 feet. Plus, the undercarriage of your Forester will stay safe when tackling rocky terrain with a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, while the Highlander's measures only eight inches.

Infotainment Tech

Staying connected on the go is more important than ever. Both SUVs have advanced technology to keep you in the loop, even when you're way off the beaten path.

Connect to the infotainment system in either car with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ connectivity. They sync your smartphone to the infotainment system, so you can access your contacts, podcasts, playlists, and more.

Making your vehicle a special Wi-Fi command center comes easy. Both the Forester and the Highlander offer optional comparable devices: 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot in the Subaru and Wi-Fi Connect in the Toyota. Here's the main difference: You can hook up eight devices in your Subaru and only five in the Toyota.

Safety Features

When you and your family are on the go, keeping your most precious cargo safe is one of the most important things. Luckily, both the Forester and the Highlander come well-equipped with driver-assist safety features.

Get from Point A to Point B with more confidence thanks to features like:

  • Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Lane Departure and Sway Warning
  • Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering

However, many drivers appreciate having Subaru's available DriverFocus® Distraction Mitigation System on hand while they're behind the wheel. This feature, which isn't found in the Toyota, is a state-of-the-art system that monitors your regular driving habits and can alert you if your driving patterns suggest distracted or drowsy driving.

This feature can be programmed to recognize five different drivers. This safety system makes the Forester a great fit for families with teen drivers, as it helps them learn how to stay safer on the road.

Decide Between the 2022 Subaru Forester and Toyota Highlander

You know car owners all over Wakefield, Reading, and Danvers, MA, who debate the finer points of both the 2022 Subaru Forester and the Toyota Highlander. So, what's your decision after reading this Ira Subaru team comparison?

If you need more information, schedule a test drive or contact our team today!

* EPA fuel economy estimates. Actual mileage will vary with driving conditions and your vehicle's condition.

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