Drivers with active lifestyles taking them from one adventure to the next need a vehicle that's as adaptable and ready to go as they are. If you're looking for your next compact SUV, you may have come across two big names in the game: the 2022 Subaru Forester and the 2022 Toyota RAV4.

The question is: Which one is better suited to your drives around Wakefield, Reading, or Danvers, MA?

At Ira Subaru, our goal is to help you find the vehicle that's perfect for your lifestyle, which is why we've put together this vehicle comparison of the Subaru Forester vs. Toyota RAV4. Here, you'll get the details about both vehicles so you can decide which one is the better pick for your needs out on the road.

Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: Cabin Space

The Subaru Forester and the Toyota RAV4 offer comfortable seating for five, although rear-seat passengers may be slightly more comfortable in the Forester. The Subaru Forester provides 39.4 inches of rear legroom, while the RAV4 follows behind with 37.8 inches of rear legroom.

In the front row of the Forester, you'll have plenty of room as well, including:

  • 41.2 inches of headroom
  • 43.3 inches of legroom
  • 58.1 inches of shoulder room

When it comes to cargo space, the Forester takes the lead here as well. Thanks to 74.2 cubic feet of total cargo space, you'll have more packing room for moving your eldest to college or for stowing luggage for a group getaway.

The RAV4 offers a total of 69.8 cubic feet of space when the back seat is folded down, so you may have to leave a suitcase or two behind. When you absolutely need everything to come along, the roomier cabin of the Forester will help you do what you need.

Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: Infotainment Technology

An adventurous vehicle like the Subaru Forester or the Toyota RAV4 is going to need to provide some entertainment for longer rides, and in this category, you be pleased with either pick. Both SUVs come standard with Bluetooth® connectivity.

This allows you to wirelessly link your smartphone with your car, and stream audio or make 

If you want to fully integrate your smartphone with your infotainment system, the Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ systems, standard with the Subaru Forester, will allow you to use your favorite apps through the touchscreen display. Capabilities when using Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ are:hands-free phone calls while on the go. They also both have available full-color touchscreen displays on which you can view audio and incoming call information.

  • Phone calls
  • Text messages
  • Navigation

You'll also find that Wi-Fi hotspot capability is offered with both SUVs, allowing you to stream navigation features and your favorite songs while on the go. No matter which SUV you choose, you'll be able to enjoy these exciting and entertaining features.

Forester vs RAV4: Safety Features

When your family sets out on your next vacation, you'll want to make sure everyone reaches the destination safely. That's why we love that the Subaru Forester and the Toyota RAV4 offer plenty of standard safety technologies that help provide an extra sense of security while on the road.

Some of these features include brand-specific versions of:

  • A rearview camera
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keeping systems
  • Forward collision mitigation

The Subaru Forester also has a neat tool called the DriverFocus™ Distraction Mitigation System. This available system monitors your driving habits. If it detects patterns that imply distracted or drowsy driving, it'll issue an alert that you may want to take a break from behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, the RAV4 doesn't offer a comparable feature. Long and exhausting drives will lack this potentially game-changing system, while the Forester works to let you know when you need a break.

2022 Forester vs RAV4: Performance and Engineering

If you want to head off the road and see what there is to explore in nature, you'll need your SUV to have tough engineering and capability. Driving off the beaten path is fun on its own, and if you find your next campsite or hiking trail along the way-even better.

One piece of engineering that sets the Forester and all Subaru vehicles apart is the Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system. This feature lets the Forester detect the conditions on the road and deliver power when and where you need it. On flat surfaces, you'll accelerate smoothly and soar down the road.

When you're on dirt or in slippery conditions, the Forester will provide more power to get extra traction and conquer the terrain.

The available X-MODE® enhances the Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive even further. If you find yourself on terrain with little traction, this will optimize power delivery to the wheels and let you take on more of what the path ahead has in store.

This technology is exclusive to Subaru vehicles, including the Forester. The Toyota RAV4 misses out on this revolutionary off-road tech.

Forester vs RAV4: Transmission

Having a strong engine is important, and a dynamic transmission system helps use that energy properly. It's also good to have options to suit your tastes. Available transmission systems make the Forester stand out, especially when compared to the one standard transmission of the Toyota RAV4.

Subaru Forester

Toyota RAV4

Lineartonic® CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with Adaptive Control

8-speed Electronically Controlled automatic Transmission with intelligence (ECT-i) and sequential shift mode

Lineartronic® CVT w/ Adaptive Control and

7-speed (or 8-speed) manual mode


The dynamic adjustments made by the Lineartronic® CVT system ensure that you'll experience smooth acceleration every time. If you like being able to control your car yourself, the available addition of a 7-speed (or 8-speed) manual option lets you feel the shift into high gear. This makes the Forester a fun drive every time.

Subaru Forester vs Toyota RAV4: The Results

Although we've found both the Subaru Forester and the Toyota RAV4 to be great choices for your next SUV, we especially like what the Forester offers drivers in the Reading, Wakefield, and Danvers, Massachusetts, area.

Want to learn more about our top pick? Contact us or come to Ira Subaru and take it for a test drive.

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