2020 Toyota Rav4 vs. 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Rav4 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Rav4 Limited/TRD Off-Road offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Crosstrek Hybrid only offers a rear monitor.

Both the Rav4 and the Crosstrek Hybrid 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Rav4 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 168 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Crosstrek Hybrid has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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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 Crosstrek Hybrid.

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

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

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 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Subaru is ranked 7th.

Engine

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The Rav4’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 55 more horsepower (203 vs. 148) than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota Rav4 is faster than the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid:

Rav4

Crosstrek

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

3.4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.5 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88 MPH

83 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

Rav4

Crosstrek

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Crosstrek Hybrid (235/55R19 vs. 225/55R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited has standard 19-inch wheels. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Rav4 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Crosstrek Hybrid, it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Rav4 is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Crosstrek Hybrid.

Chassis

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The Toyota Rav4 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 350 pounds less than the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.

Passenger Space

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The Rav4 has 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Crosstrek Hybrid.

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

Cargo Capacity

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The Rav4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Crosstrek Hybrid with its rear seat up (37.6 vs. 15.9 cubic feet). The Rav4 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Crosstrek Hybrid with its rear seat folded (69.8 vs. 43.1 cubic feet).

The Rav4’s cargo area is larger than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s in almost every dimension:

Rav4

Crosstrek Hybrid

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

40”

28.9”/63.1”

Max Width

59”

53”

Min Width

39.4”

43”

Height

36.6”

30”

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Rav4 (except LE) offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or, optionally on the Rav4 Limited, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The Rav4’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s (1500 vs. 1000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid is only 1000 pounds. The Rav4 4WD offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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

The Rav4’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Crosstrek Hybrid has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the Rav4 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Crosstrek Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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

Consumer Reports rated the Rav4’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s headlights, which were rated “Poor.”

Both the Rav4 and the Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Crosstrek Hybrid.

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

The Rav4 XLE/XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited/TRD Off-Road’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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited/TRD Off-Road offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Rav4 Adventure/TRD Off-Road 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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/09

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

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/09

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Toyota Rav4 and the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Toyota Rav4 outsold the Subaru Crosstrek by over three to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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