We drove a $39,000 Toyota RAV4 and a $32,000 Subaru Forester to see which one is the better compact SUV. Here's the verdict.

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2019 Subaru Forester Sport

  • The Toyota RAV4 and the Subaru Forester are two of the most popular compact SUVs in the US.
  • Both compete against rivals like the Honda CR-V, the Nissan Rogue, the Chevrolet Equinox, the Ford Escape, and the Mazda CX-5.
  • The RAV4 and the Forester are both brand new for the 2019 model year.
  • The base 2019 Toyota RAV4 LE with front-wheel drive starts at $25,500, while the top-spec Limited trim starts at $33,500. With options and fees, our 2019 Toyota RAV4 Limited carried an as-tested price of $38,565.
  • The base Forester starts at $24,295, while the top-of-the-line Touring starts at $34,295. Our mid-grade Sport trim test car starts at $28,795. With options and fees, our Forester came to an as-tested price of $31,815.
  • The Forester’s solid infotainment system, standard all-wheel-drive, and an impressive suite of safety tech tipped the comparison in its favor. 

Compact crossover SUVs now account for roughly one out of every five vehicles sold in the US. In 2018, that translates to roughly 3.2 million vehicles sold.

Demand for modern compact SUVs may be booming now, but such vehicles have been on the market for more than two decades.

The Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester are two of the earliest entrants into the market. The original Toyota RAV4 launched in 1994 but didn’t arrive in the US until 1996. The first generation Subaru Forester entered the market in 1998.

Read more: We drove a $39,000 Toyota RAV4 to see if the best-selling SUV in America is worth the money. Here’s the verdict.

In 2018, the RAV4 led the segment with 427,000 vehicles. In fact, the Toyota SUV was the fourth-best-selling vehicle in the US behind only the Ford F-Series, the Chevrolet Silverado, and the RAM 1500 pickup trucks. The Forester didn’t sell quite as well as the RAV4, but with 172,000 units sold, it’s still one of the most popular crossovers on the market.

Read more: We drove an all-new $32,000 Subaru Forester SUV to see if it could compete with Honda, Toyota, and Nissan. Here’s the verdict.

Toyota and Subaru have both introduced new generation variants of the RAV4 and Forester for the 2019 model year. Recently, we had the chance to check out a 2019 Subaru Foresters in mid-grade Sport-trim and a 2019 Toyota RAV4 in top-spec Limited trim.

Here’s a closer look at how the 2019 Toyota RAV4 and the 2019 Subaru Forester stack up against one another. 

SEE ALSO: We drove a $49,000 Toyota Highlander and a $49,000 Honda Pilot to see which is the better family SUV — here’s the verdict

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First up is the Subaru Forester.

The 2019 Subaru Forester comes in five trim levels: base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring.

The base Forester starts at $24,295 while the top-of-the-line Touring starts at $34,295. Our mid-grade Sport trim test car starts at $28,795. With options and fees, our Forester came to an as-tested price of $31,815.

The new fifth generation Forester debuted for the 2019 model. It’s all-new and built on the Subaru Global Platform that also underpins the Crosstrek and the Impreza.

Aesthetically though, you’d be hard-pressed to spot the difference between the new model and its outgoing predecessor. In other words, it’s undeniably a Subaru. Overall, the styling is restrained and handsome.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider



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