2021 Toyota Rav4 Prime vs. 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Rav4 Prime have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Rav4 Prime 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 Prime XSE 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 Prime and the Crosstrek Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras and rear cross-path warning.

The Toyota Rav4 Prime weighs 518 to 583 pounds more than the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Rav4 Prime 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 Prime’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2020 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 19th in initial quality. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 27th.

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 Prime’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 154 more horsepower (302 vs. 148) than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Rav4 Prime running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Crosstrek Hybrid running on electricity (105 city/84 hwy vs. 99 city/80 hwy MPGe).

On the EPA test cycle the Rav4 Prime running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Crosstrek Hybrid running its gasoline engine (40 city/36 hwy vs. 36 city/35 hwy).

The Rav4 Prime’s maximum driving range in pure electric mode is 42 miles, almost two and a half times as far as the Crosstrek Hybrid’s 17-mile range.

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

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Toyota Rav4 Prime higher (7 out of 10) than the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid (6 to 7). This means the Rav4 Prime produces up to 1.1 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Crosstrek Hybrid every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Rav4

Crosstrek

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Rav4 Prime XSE’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 Prime XSE has standard 19-inch wheels. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Rav4 Prime 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 track (width between the wheels) on the Rav4 Prime is 2 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Crosstrek Hybrid.

Passenger Space

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The Rav4 Prime 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 Prime’s rear seats recline. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Rav4 Prime has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Crosstrek Hybrid with its rear seat up (33.5 vs. 15.9 cubic feet). The Rav4 Prime 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 Prime’s cargo area is larger than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s in almost every dimension:

Rav4

Crosstrek

Length to 2nd seat row

39.2”

28.9”

Max Width

59”

53”

Min Width

39.4”

43”

Height

33.2”

30”

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Rav4 Prime has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or, optionally on the Rav4 Prime XSE, 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 Prime’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s (2500 vs. 1000 pounds).

Ergonomics

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The engine computer on the Rav4 Prime automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

When two different drivers share the Rav4 Prime XSE, 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 Prime offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Rav4 Prime’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 Prime’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 Prime 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 Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Rav4 Prime’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.

Both the Rav4 Prime and the Crosstrek Hybrid have standard heated front seats. The Rav4 Prime 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 Prime XSE 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 Prime’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 Prime and the Crosstrek Hybrid offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Rav4 Prime 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 Prime XSE/Limited offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Rav4 Prime XSE offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, 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.

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