The 2018 New York Auto Show is in full swing and there’s a clear body style that’s shining through – SUVs – and both Toyota and Subaru had something brand new to bring to the market.
To an enthusiast, the previous generation of the RAV4 was one of the most mundane vehicles you could buy. But to regular consumers, the car did everything well and ticked all of the right boxes. That’s probably one of the reasons why the automaker shifted more than 400,000 units last year, making the RAV4 one of the most popular machines in 2017.
Toyota toughed-up its new generation RAV4
The 2019 RAV4 that was just unveiled promises to bring some pizzazz and enjoyment to the crossover. The RAV4 now features a rugged look that it borrows from some other masculine stalemates – mainly the 4Runner and Tacoma. There’s also a lot of FT-AC Concept, which we saw at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, in the design too.
That’s not a bad thing, either, as the RAV4 has a much more aggressive design than the fourth-gen model. It’s not the best-looking SUV, but it’s definitely rugged. Toyota’s traded everything that was soft and vague for chunkier components. The massive hexagonal grille is chunky, the headlights are chunky, the front fascia is chunky, heck, the entire SUV is chunky.
Subaru chose an evolutionary approach for its redesigned Forester
The new 2019 Subaru Forester, on the other hand, is a classier, more conservative SUV. Its exterior design won’t offend anyone and the few rough touches that the crossover does have, like the black trim piece that runs from the front fascia all the way to the back, will delight some consumers.
Unlike the RAV4, Subaru didn’t completely revolutionize the Forester’s design for the new year. Only minor changes have been made to the SUV, like the rounder feature of the front grille, the minimally larger headlights, and larger fog lights. The rear end features lobster-styled taillights and some silver cladding on the rear bumper.
Both get 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engines
Toyota hasn’t announced performance specs yet, but but both the RAV4 and Forester will be powered by 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engines. It would be kind of pointless, though, to compare them at this point. What we can do, is provide you with a visual comparison between the two machines and see which one you like the best.
Here they are side-by-side
At the front, the vehicles are drastically different. Toyota’s design is more in line with an angry ferocious animal, while the Forester looks softer with rounder lines.
Around the side, both the Forester and RAV4 share similar designs. They’re both SUVs, so that’s not surprising. To our eyes, the RAV4’s sculpted D-pillar makes it the more aggressive offering.
It’s the same story at the back. The Forester has the classic, upright rear end, while the RAV4’s behind has a more angular design.
Their interiors follow a similar layout and theme with accents except for one major difference – the Forester’s touchscreen is integrated into the center console, while the RAV4’s looks like it’s been tacked onto the top. And the Subaru, oddly enough, is the vehicle with the more daring blueprint.
Time to tell us what you think
So, which one would you spend your hard earned money on? Would you go for the brawny RAV4 – we still can’t believe Toyota has made a muscular SUV – or does the classically-styled Forester fit the bill better? Cast your vote below.