2020 Toyota Rav4 vs. 2020 Subaru Crosstrek

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 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 only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the Rav4 and the Crosstrek 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

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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.

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

As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota Rav4 is faster than the Subaru Crosstrek (automatics tested):

Rav4

Crosstrek

Zero to 30 MPH

3.1 sec

4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

10.2 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

4.5 sec

6.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

17.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88 MPH

82 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Rav4 LE 4WD gets better fuel mileage than the Crosstrek CVT (27 city/34 hwy vs. 27 city/33 hwy).

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

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

Rav4

Crosstrek

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.8 inches

The Rav4 stops shorter than the Crosstrek:

Rav4

Crosstrek

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

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 (235/55R19 vs. 225/60R17).

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

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.

The Rav4 Adventure handles at .81 G’s, while the Crosstrek Premium pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Rav4 Adventure executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Crosstrek Limited (27.5 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Rav4 Adventure/Limited/TRD Off-Road uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Rav4 has 1.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear legroom and .8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Crosstrek.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Rav4’s rear seats recline. The Crosstrek’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 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 Crosstrek with its rear seat folded (69.8 vs. 55.3 cubic feet).

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

Rav4

Crosstrek

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

40”

32.3”/64.2”

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 doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Crosstrek is limited to 1500 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 doesn’t offer memory seats.

The Rav4’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Crosstrek 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’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. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Crosstrek 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’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Both the Rav4 and the Crosstrek 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.

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 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

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

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 doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Rav4 and the Crosstrek 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.

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 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 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Rav4 is less expensive to operate than the Crosstrek because it costs $45 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Rav4 than the Crosstrek, including $49 less for a water pump, $99 less for a muffler, $31 less for a starter and $248 less for front struts.

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 2020/08/12

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

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

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

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