2022 Subaru Crosstrek vs Toyota RAV4
Many people looking for new vehicles are interested in finding ones that have roomy, comfortable interiors and capable engines. For some customers, it's always nice to have the option of getting all-wheel drive, and of course, having high-tech equipment is a plus. The Subaru Crosstrek and Toyota RAV4 do well in many areas, and they should be able to attract some attention from prospective buyers because of their ideal combination of features along with their relatively affordable cost.
Collectively, the Crosstrek and RAV4 offer several choices for what's under the hood. There are two traditional engines available with the Crosstrek as well as one hybrid system. With the RAV4, customers can choose from either a non-hybrid or a hybrid version.
There are five Crosstrek trims, and the first two use 2.0-liter engines. One of these engines can put out 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. To be honest, this isn't terribly impressive, but it should be perfectly adequate for the average driver. The next two trims use 2.5-liter engines. This larger engine can generate a more substantial 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque.
Interestingly, the standard configuration is to have the 2.0-liter engine paired with a manual transmission. This isn't something that is seen too often in mainstream vehicles, so it might be intriguing for some buyers. There's no reason to be concerned if a customer doesn't want to have a stick shift, since a Lineatronic continuously variable transmission is available. That Lineaertronic transmission is what's found on all of the other Crosstrek trims. The ones with the 2.5-liter engine get to have an eight-speed manual mode with paddle shifters.
The last option is to get a plug-in hybrid version of the Crosstrek. It uses a 2.0-liter engine along with an electric motor, and the result is a net horsepower of 148. 17 miles is the estimated range when the Crosstrek Hybrid runs in all-electric mode. It's estimated to have a fuel economy of 90 MPGe/35 MPG (electric/combined), so this is obviously it's main selling point.
Fuel economy in't too bad with the other Crosstreks. With a 2.0-liter engine and a continuously variable transmission, the vehicle can earn up to 28/33 (city/highway) miles per gallon. If a Crosstrek with this engine has a manual transmission, then its fuel efficiency drops slightly to 22/29 miles per gallon. Models with the 2.5-liter engine can earn up to 27/34 miles per gallon.
If necessary, this Subaru can be used to tow items, but it can't be loaded down with too much weight. The plug-in hybrid can tow up to 1,000 pounds, and the others can tow up to 1,500 pounds.
Towing capacity is also 1,500 pounds with the traditional RAV4. The hybrid version of the RAV4 has a towing capacity of 1,750 pounds.
This Toyota SUV can have a 2.5-liter engine that makes 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Alternatively, it can use a 2.5-liter engine as part of a hybrid powertrain that yields a total horsepower of 219. The non-hybrid engine is matched with an eight-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission, and the hybrid system works together with an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission.
A hybrid RAV4 does great with fuel efficiency. It's capable of earning up to 41/38 miles per gallon. The regular RAV4s are in the same general range as the regular Crosstreks. A RAV4 with front-wheel drive can achieve 27/35 miles per gallon. That drops slightly to 27/34 miles per gallon if the Toyota is set up with all-wheel drive.
Something that helps the Crosstrek stand out is the fact that it comes standard with symmetrical all-wheel drive. It's so nice that people don't have to pay extra for this feature. Having all-wheel drive can make a big difference when dealing with slippery terrain. Higher trims have X-MODE so that they can better handle really tough conditions, and they also have Hill Descent Control. All trims do have active torque vectoring and traction control.
With the RAV4, all-wheel drive is optional on most non-hybrid trims. The exceptions are the Adventure and TRD Off-Road, which have dynamic torque vectoring all-wheel drive. This type of system does an excellent job at distributing power and making precise adjustments at the right time. The TRD Off-Road is enhanced even further with a TRD-tuned suspension and all-terrain tires. In addition, the hybrid versions of the RAV4 all come standard with electronic on-demand all-wheel drive, with the Hybrid SE and Hybrid XSE having sport-tuned suspension.
The last thing to discuss in this area has to do with drive modes. A standard RAV4 has Sport, Eco, and Normal modes, and if it has all-wheel drive, it has a Multi-Terrain Select dial. Users can choose from Mud and Sand, Rock and Dirt, or Snow modes. Some of the more rugged trims have Downhill Assist Control as part of this program. Selecting this can limit speed when traveling down steep grades. Hybrid RAV4s have different drive modes, too, and they are Sport, Eco, Normal, EV, and Trail.
Like the Crosstrek, the RAV4 has mechanisms in place to improve performance. Every Toyota trim has Active Cornering Assist (ACA). ACA can apply extra pressure to the inside brakes in order to enhance cornering abilities.
The RAV4 is definitely the more responsive and athletic model out of these two. Some people who like to push their vehicles to their limits might be disappointed with the base engine on the Crosstrek, but the reality is that it has enough power to please most people in most situations.
It's pretty apparent that the Subaru Crosstrek is the smaller of the two vehicles. In fact, it could be considered more of a crossover than an SUV. It's actually only a little shorter than the RAV4 is. The Crosstrek is 176.5 inches long, with a width of 71 inches. In comparison, the RAV4 is 180.9 inches long and 73 inches wide. The bigger distinction is evident when comparing the height of these vehicles. The Crosstrek has a height of 63.6 inches, and the RAV4 has a height of 67 inches.
Interestingly, the Crosstrek has a higher ground clearance than the RAV4 does. Like most other SUVS in Subaru's lineup, the Crosstrek sits 8.7 inches off the ground. The non-hybrid RAV4 sits 8.4 inches off the ground, and the hybrids have a ground clearance of 8.1 inches.
Going along with this, the RAV4 feels like like the much bigger vehicle in regards to passenger space. It offers 41 inches of first-row leg room and 37.8 inches of rear-seat leg room, and the area behind the seats has a volume of 37.6 cubic feet. By lowering the rear seatback, cargo capacity can expand to nearly 70 cubic feet.
Maximum cargo capacity is much less in the Crosstrek, at only around 55 cubic feet. The cargo hold in the back of the cabin has a volume of a little more than 20 cubic feet. First-row leg room is fine, measuring 43.1 inches, but the 36.5 inches of second-row leg room may leave some taller passengers looking for a place to stretch out.
Note that the plug-in hybrid version of the Crosstrek has to accommodate the hybrid components somewhere. As a result, it has less cargo volume than its non-hybrid counterparts. It only has a maximum cargo capacity of 43.1 cubic feet.
Many modern consumers are focused on technology when they look for new vehicles. The good news is that these SUVs do have attractive tech packages. On the RAV4, there could either be a seven-inch or nine-inch touchscreen. Either way, the infotainment system would have Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM, and Bluetooth. Like most other Toyotas, the RAV4 has Amazon Alexa, a program that makes it convenient to communicate with other Alexa-compatible devices, set reminders, look up information, and more. On the higher end of the spectrum, there could be 11 JBL speakers as well as dynamic navigation.
The components found in the Crosstrek is fairly comparable, though there's not as many as what the RAV4 has. The first several trims have 6.5-inch touchscreens with smartphone compatibility. The base trim does not have SiriusXM, but all the others do. The top two trims have eight-inch touchscreens with the option to upgrade to systems with integrated navigation. An eight-speaker Harman Kardon sound system is also available on those top two trims; otherwise, there would be six speakers.
All Toyota RAV4 have Wi-Fi Connect, which allows them to act as hotspots. The same is almost true for the Crosstrek, with the base trim being the only one to not have this function.
On the other hand, all Crosstreks have automatic climate control. This makes it easier to make the cabin a comfortable temperature. The first trim of the RAV4 is limited to having a manually adjustable climate control, whereas all the others have dual-zone automatic climate control.
Having access to USB ports is important these days. The base trim of the Crosstrek has one front USB port. The other trims have a pair of USB ports in the front, and they could also have a pair of rear USB ports. The RAV4 has a minimum of three USB ports and can have up to five USB ports and wireless charging.
Subaru is known for making safe and dependable vehicles. The Crosstrek fits this description, but unfortunately, it doesn't come standard with some of the advanced safety mechanisms that are available in many other modern vehicles. Its higher trims have EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which consists of features like adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, and lane departure warning. This package is optional on the first two trims and would require an additional cost.
Higher trims of the Crosstrek have automatic high beams to help illuminate dark roads better. Plus, they have blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and they have reverse automatic braking. Automatic high beams and reverse automatic braking are not available on the first three trims. Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert are not available on the first trim, but they are optional on the next two.
In contrast, every trim of the RAV4 has driver-assist technologies. The SUV comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, a package that includes steering assist, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking. Further, it includes road sign assist, a program that can remind drivers of important road signs that they may have missed.
On lower trims of the RAV4, a blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert are optional. These components are included with mid-level and higher trims. Higher trims can be enhanced even more with a parking assist program and a 360-degree camera.
Which Has the Best Value?
Overall, these vehicles feel more practical than upscale. That being said, leather upholstery is included with the higher trims of the Crosstrek, and a heated steering wheel is optional on the plug-in hybrid. Most trims, though, have cloth or StarTex upholstery and manually adjustable front seats.
With the RAV4, the only upholstery choices are cloth and SofTex, a synthetic leather. The front seats can be heated and ventilated, whereas in the Crosstrek, heated front seats are available but ventilation is not offered. The top trim of the RAV4 can be upgraded with heated rear outboard seating and a heated steering wheel, too. Like the Crosstreks, most RAV4s don't necessarily have all of these extra frills found elsewhere in the market.
Since the RAV4 has the better technology and safety offerings, it makes sense that it's the more expensive model. It starts out with a cost of about $27,000, and the Hybrid Limited sits at the top of the lineup with a cost of approximately $38,000. Along the way, there are modest price increases when moving up through the 12 available trims. Half of the trims are hybrids; some trims are exclusively available as hybrids, while others provide customers with the option of either type of powertrain. For reference, a hybrid typically costs a few extra thousand dollars than its non-hybrid counterpart.
The Crosstrek has a competitive starting price of $23,145. The Premium trim is second in the lineup, and it manages to have a cost that's under $25,000. The Sport and Limited, with their more powerful engines, are priced around $27,500 and $29,000, respectively. The Hybrid is quite expensive compared to the others, with a cost of more than $36,000. However, it's still cheaper than the most expensive RAV4.
Which is Better?
Though there are some similarities, the RAV4 and Crosstrek are actually pretty different in some key ways. The RAV4 is more expensive, and it has the more powerful engine and more interior space. On top of this, it has the more advanced infotainment system and comes standard with driver-assist technologies. If people can afford it and prefer to have something relatively bigger and stronger, then the RAV4 would be the right pick.
That being said, there is certainly a market for the Crosstrek. Some buyers want to find more budget-friendly vehicles and don't necessarily need models that are that large, so in this case, the Subaru Crosstrek may make more sense.