RAV4 or Subaru Crosstrek: Ultimate Comparison

For drivers who need a vehicle that can handle both city and country driving, SUVs are a versatile and practical option. In this article, we’ll be comparing two of the most popular models on the market, the Toyota RAV4 and the Subaru Crosstrek.

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Toyota RAV4 Vs Subaru Crosstrek Specs Comparison

Here’s a brief overview of everything before we start.

Crosstrek 2023
RAV4 2023
More compact
Cargo Space
20.8 cubic feet
37.6 cubic feet
Engine Power
152 hp
203 hp
Gas Mileage
25 mpg combined (Non-hybrid model)
30 mpg combined 
Nimble and responsive handling
Higher stability with better performance.
Premium interior.
Spacious interior, not as premium.
More high-end. 
Towing Capacity
Up to 1,500 pounds
Up to 3,500 pounds

RAV4 Vs Crosstrek 2023

RAV4 or Subaru Crosstrek: Ultimate Comparison

Now, here are the details.

Size: Is Crosstrek Bigger Than RAV4?

Winner: Tie. Depends on preferences.

No, it’s not. The RAV4 is larger than the Crosstrek. It’s longer and taller offering more headroom and legroom for passengers. On the other hand, the Crosstrek is more compact and easier to park and maneuver in tight spaces.

Cargo Space

Winner: RAV4

The RAV4 has more cargo space than the Crosstrek, making it a better option for those who need to haul large items or carry a lot of passengers. With all seats in place, the RAV4 has 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space, compared to the Crosstrek’s 20.8 cubic feet. 

Engine Power & Performance

Winner: RAV4

The RAV4 is more powerful than the Crosstrek, thanks to its larger 2.5L engine. With 203 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, the RAV4 is faster and more responsive than the Crosstrek, which has 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque.

Gas Mileage

Winner: RAV4

The base RAV4 is more fuel-efficient than the Crosstrek, with an EPA-estimated combined 30 mpg compared to the Crosstrek’s 25 mpg. Even the RAV4 Hybrid consumes less fuel than its Subaru counterpart.

Driving, Off-Roading & Handling

Winner: Tie

The Crosstrek has a slightly higher advantage for Off-Roading with its higher ground clearance of 8.7 (compared to the max 8.6 of RAV4) and nimble handling.

As for general driving and handling, the Crosstrek delivers a sporty and agile ride that’s perfect for winding roads, while the RAV4 excels with a stable and powerful performance, albeit with a bit more challenging maneuverability on narrow roads.

Comfort and Reliability

Winner: Crosstrek

The Crosstrek and RAV4 both offer comfortable, spacious interiors. The Crosstrek has premium interior features and leather seats. The RAV4 isn’t as premium, it only uses faux leather on higher-end trims. 

As for reliability, the Crosstrek has a slightly higher reliability rating from J.D. Power, the RAV4 is predicted to be more reliable according to Consumer Reports.

Infotainment & Tech

Winner: RAV4

The RAV4 offers more advanced infotainment and technology features compared to the Crosstrek. With a larger 10.5-inch touchscreen display, the RAV4 provides an enhanced multimedia experience, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and a premium JBL audio system. 

The Crosstrek comes with a standard audio system and a smaller 6.5-in touchscreen display, making it less advanced in terms of infotainment and tech features.

Safety Features

Winner: Tie

Both the Crosstrek and RAV4 have advanced safety features like airbags and post-collision safety systems to protect passengers in the event of a crash. The RAV4 additionally offers lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and a pre-collision safety system to prevent accidents. The Crosstrek has a rearview camera to aid in parking and reversing.


Winner: RAV4

The RAV4 can pull up to 3,500 pounds, making it suitable for hauling larger outdoor equipment like a mid-sized camper or a couple of jet skis. Meanwhile, the Crosstrek can only tow up to 1,500 pounds, which is perfect for lighter cargo like a small boat or a couple of dirt bikes. So, if you’re looking to take on bigger adventures that require more towing capacity, the RAV4 might be the way to go.

2023 Crosstrek Hybrid Vs RAV4 Hybrid

Winner: RAV4

Both the Crosstrek and RAV4 hybrids feature plug-in technology, but the RAV4 Hybrid has a higher horsepower rating (219 hp) and better fuel economy (41 mpg in city driving) compared to the Crosstrek Hybrid’s combined horsepower rating of 148 hp and average of 35 mpg in the city. Both vehicles offer eco-friendly electric and gas power for optimal performance.

Price & Trim Levels

Winner: Crosstrek

The Crosstrek starts at a slightly lower price point than the RAV4, with a base MSRP of around $24,800 compared to the RAV4’s starting price of around $27,000. 

Both models offer multiple trim levels, with the Crosstrek topping out at around $38,000 with its Hybrid trim and the RAV4 reaching up to around $38,900 for its TRD Off-Road trim. The Crosstrek is more affordable overall.

Why Get Toyota RAV4 Instead of Subaru Crosstrek?

If you’re looking for a spacious, powerful and feature-packed SUV, the Toyota RAV4 is a great option. With its larger size, more cargo space, and higher towing capacity, the RAV4 is the better choice for those who need to haul large items or take on bigger adventures.

Why Get Subaru Crosstrek Instead Of Toyota RAV4?

Meanwhile, the Subaru Crosstrek is a fantastic choice for outdoor enthusiasts and off-road adventurers. With higher ground clearance, nimble handling, and standard all-wheel drive, it excels in navigating rough terrain.


RAV4 vs Crosstrek in snow: Which one performs better?

The Crosstrek has a clear advantage with its higher ground clearance and all-wheel drive system.

Crosstrek or RAV4: Which one costs more to insure?

It depends on the specific model and individual insurance quotes, but generally the RAV4 may cost slightly more to insure due to its higher value.

Crosstrek Vs RAV4: Which one holds its Value better?

The RAV4 generally holds its value better over time due to its popularity and strong reputation for reliability.

Is a Subaru Crosstrek or Toyota RAV4 expensive to maintain?

Both vehicles have similar maintenance costs, but the Crosstrek may have slightly higher repair costs due to its more complex all-wheel drive system.

Do 2023 Subaru Crosstreks last longer than 2023 RAV4?

It’s impossible to say for sure as both are reliable vehicles, but both have a good reputation for longevity and can last for many years with proper maintenance.

Final Thoughts

So, what should you get? Both vehicles are excellent in their own ways. 

The Crosstrek is a great option to get if you want a truly compact SUV that still offers great luxury. On the other hand, the RAV4 might be a better fit if you want a more high-tech and performance-focused vehicle.

Subaru and Toyota are both reliable brands, so you won’t regret going for either option as long as you weigh your needs.

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Psst: Do You Know The RAV4 Hidden Menu?