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2024 Subaru Outback vs. 2024 Toyota RAV4 Comparison

The 2024 Subaru Outback and 2024 Toyota RAV4 are great choices for shoppers who want a safe and comfortable vehicle, along with a wide range of trim levels.

Neither the Outback nor the RAV4 have any major updates for 2024. The Outback is still fresh from a midcycle redesign in 2023 that brought along an updated exterior and reshuffled features. The 2023 Outback Wilderness variant was the last holdout with the previous design, though it now has been brought in line with the rest of the lineup for 2024.

As for the Toyota RAV4, this generation dates back to the 2019 model year. Since then, Toyota has kept this hugely popular SUV up to date with added safety features and updated tech, including larger infotainment touchscreens and wireless smartphone connectivity. The RAV4 is one of the best-selling vehicles sold today, and, as we’ll soon discover, there are multiple reasons for that. 

How does the Subaru Outback compare against the Toyota RAV4?

Let’s find out.

2024 Subaru Outback

The 2024 Subaru Outback is available in no fewer than nine trims: Base, Premium, Limited, Onyx Edition, Onyx Edition XT, Wilderness, Limited, Limited XT, and Touring. Prices range from $28,895 for the entry-level model to $42,795 for a fully-loaded Touring.

A 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine sends 182 horsepower to all four wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Optional is a turbocharged 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that delivers a stout 260 horsepower. This is the engine found in the Wilderness and the XT-labeled trims of the Onyx Edition, Touring, and Limited.

Subaru Outback Highlights

Turbocharged engine: The workhorse 182-horsepower 4-cylinder is fine, especially if you’re looking to keep the price of the Outback low. Yet the added power provided by the 260-horsepower turbo 4-cylinder gives this Subaru far better acceleration and passing power. It does come with a substantial price premium, however.

All-terrain Wilderness trim: Unlike many SUVs that struggle to traverse anything more demanding than a grassy parking lot at a local pumpkin patch, the Outback isn’t afraid to venture onto unpaved surfaces. This is especially true with the Wilderness trim. It has extra ground clearance, all-terrain tires, and additional driver-selectable drive modes for mud and snow.

Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive: Thanks to having standard AWD, the 2024 Subaru Outback is a smart choice for folks who routinely must deal with slick roads. Subaru knows how to engineer effective AWD systems, which find their way into almost every model the brand makes, and it shows in the reassuring feel of the Outback when you’re behind the wheel.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the Outback models for sale near you.

2024 Toyota RAV4

2024 Toyota RAV4 in white.

The Toyota RAV4 also comes with a wide range of trims. For the 2024 model year, there are six in total: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, Limited, and TRD Off-Road. Pricing begins at $28,475 and extends to $38,095. A 203-horsepower 4-cylinder coupled to an 8-speed automatic is standard across the range. Front- or all-wheel drive is available, but the Adventure and TRD Off-Road models get AWD standard.

Toyota RAV4 Highlights

Many safety features: The RAV4 has a long roster of driver aids. Every model comes with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and automatic high-beam headlights. Moving up to the XLE trim adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Cargo volume: Behind its 60/40-split folding rear seat, the RAV4 delivers 37.6 cubic feet of cargo volume. This is a huge amount of space for a compact SUV, and it’s even more than you’ll find in the back of the spacious Outback.

Good fuel economy: The RAV4 is not only affordable, its 4-cylinder engine returns solid fuel economy, too. It’s rated by the EPA at 30 mpg combined, which ticks down only slightly (to 29 or 28 mpg, depending on trim) when AWD is added.

Check this week’s Fair Purchase Price or see the RAV4 models for sale near you.

Similarities

The Subaru Outback and Toyota RAV4 deliver a commanding view of the road, seating for five, ample cargo areas, and a healthy lineup of standard and available active driver aids. What’s more, they are similarly fuel-efficient, have identical warranties, and both have earned 5-Star overall safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Conclusion

The Outback and RAV4 deserve to be on the shopping list of anyone considering a value-conscious, 5-seat compact SUV. In multiple ways, even in resale, little separates these two.

The Outback’s standard AWD and more wagonlike shape make it something of a contrarian’s choice, at least compared to more conventional SUVs like the RAV4. On the other hand, the Toyota’s not the most stylish vehicle out there, even though its upright shape pays off big in passenger space and cargo volume.

While you won’t go wrong with either of these SUVs, it’s worth noting that the RAV4 also is available as a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid.

  2024 Subaru Outback  2024 Toyota RAV4
Starting Price $28,895  $28,475
Popular Powertrains  
Engine 2.5-liter 4-cylinder 2.5-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower 182 hp @ 5,800 rpm 203 hp @ 6,600 rpm
Torque 176 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm 184 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
Transmission CVT 8-speed automatic
Fuel economy 26 mpg city/32 mpg highway/28 mpg combined 27 mpg city/35 mpg highway/30 mpg combined
Also Available Turbo 2.4-liter 4-cyl. AWD
Specs     
Basic Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles  3 years/36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles  5 years/60,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety 5 star  5 star
Max Seating Capacity 5  5
Wheelbase 108.1 inches  105.9 inches
Overall Length 191.1 inches  180.9 inches
Width 74.2 inches  73.0 inches
Height 66.4 inches  67.0 inches
Turning Diameter 36.1 feet  36.1 feet
Headroom, Front 40.1 inches  39.5 inches
Headroom, 2nd Row 39.1 inches  39.5 inches
Legroom, Front 42.8 inches  41.0 inches
Legroom, 2nd Row 39.5 inches  37.8 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 58.1 inches  57.8 inches
Shoulder Room, 2nd Row 57.4 inches  56.4 inches
Cargo Volume 32.6 cubic feet   37.6 cubic feet

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