2019 Toyota Rav4 vs. 2019 Subaru Impreza

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Rav4 Adventure/Limited AWD’s standard Downhill Assist Control allows you to creep down safely. The Impreza doesn’t offer Downhill Assist Control.

The Rav4 Limited offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Impreza only offers a rear monitor.

Both the Rav4 and the Impreza have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Rav4 for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Impreza.

There are almost 2 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Rav4’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Subaru is ranked fourth.

Engine

The Rav4’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 51 more horsepower (203 vs. 152) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (184 vs. 145) than the Impreza’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Rav4 is faster than the Subaru Impreza (automatics tested):

 

Rav4

Impreza

Zero to 60 MPH

8.2 sec

9.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

17.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87 MPH

83 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Rav4 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Impreza (14.5 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The Toyota Rav4 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Impreza.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Rav4’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Impreza:

 

Rav4

Impreza

Impreza Sport

Front Rotors

12 inches

10.9 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.8 inches

10.8 inches

The Rav4 stops shorter than the Impreza:

 

Rav4

Impreza

 

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Rav4 has larger standard tires than the Impreza (225/65R17 vs. 205/55R16). The Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Impreza (235/55R19 vs. 225/40R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Rav4 LE/XLE has standard 17-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the Impreza. The Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Impreza Sport.

Suspension and Handling

The Rav4 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Rav4 flat and controlled during cornering. The Impreza base model’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Rav4 is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Impreza.

The Rav4 Adventure handles at .81 G’s, while the Impreza 2.0i Limited 5-door pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Rav4 Adventure executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Impreza 2.0i Limited 5-door (27.5 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 27.9 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Rav4 LE/XLE has a 3.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Impreza (8.4 vs. 5.1 inches), allowing the Rav4 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s minimum ground clearance is 3.5 inches higher than on the Impreza (8.6 vs. 5.1 inches).

Passenger Space

The Rav4 has 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Impreza.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Rav4’s rear seats recline. The Impreza’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Rav4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Impreza 5-door with its rear seat up (37.6 vs. 20.8 cubic feet). The Rav4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Impreza 5-door with its rear seat folded (69.8 vs. 55.3 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Rav4 Limited’s available cargo door can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Impreza doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

The Rav4 has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The Impreza has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

When different drivers share the Rav4 (except LE/XLE/Adventure), the optional memory seats make it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Impreza doesn’t offer memory seats.

The Rav4’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Impreza’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Rav4 XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Impreza’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Both the Rav4 and the Impreza offer available heated front seats. The Rav4 Limited also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Impreza.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Rav4 Adventure/Limited keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Impreza doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the Rav4 XLE AWD/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Impreza doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Rav4 XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Impreza doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Rav4 and the Impreza offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Rav4 XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Impreza doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Rav4 Adventure has a 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Impreza doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Rav4 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Impreza doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Recommendations

The Toyota Rav4 outsold the Subaru Impreza by almost six to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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