Edmunds compares Toyota 4Runner and Subaru Forester


Cars are not limited to daily trips. Many Americans rely on their vehicles for outdoor activities, which partly explains why SUVs and crossovers have become so popular. But there are critical differences between their handling, transportation and off-road handling capabilities.

To help you choose the mobile adventure that's right for you, we've selected two representative models and versions. For SUVs, it's the 2019 Toyota 4Runner. Our crossover candidate is the 2019 Subaru Forester.


The Subaru Forester, standard on all-wheel drive, starts at around $ 25,000. But for this comparison, we use the high-end Touring trim, which is around $ 35,000.

The Toyota 4Runner SR5 trim level decals base at around $ 38,000, with optional all-wheel drive added. The trim we use for this comparison, the Toyota 4Runner TRD Off-Road, brings this price to around $ 39,000.


OK, the 4Runner is more expensive. But this is partly justified by what you get: it is bigger and more powerful and it has a little more ground clearance. Its V6 engine produces 270 horsepower and can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

The Forester's four-cylinder engine produces only 182 horsepower, but is able to push it to the next level. It can tow only 1,500 pounds, but it is quiet and smooth.

You will notice a big difference at the pump. The difference in fuel consumption of the EPA between the two is staggering: 29 mpg combined for the Forester versus 18 mpg combined for the 4Runner.

The 4Runner and Forester both have excellent cargo space. Avoid the optional third-row seat of the 4Runner and you get up to 47.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second-row seats, versus 33 cubic feet in the Subaru.


Here's where the SUV versus the crossover really comes into play. The 4Runner chassis body construction is based on the old school truck design. By separating the frame from the body, the loads involved in towing, off-road work and heavy work remain in contact with the frame. But the disadvantages are that the 4Runner is heavier, less bulky, and does not roll and does not drive as well as a single-body construction vehicle. That's what the forester has.

The Forester is a little smaller on the inside, but much smaller on the outside: about 10 inches shorter and 3 inches lower. This means that the Forester is easier to park and maneuver. It also rests lower on the floor, facilitating entry and exit. But Subaru still leaves you plenty of ground clearance: 8.7 inches versus the 9.6 of the 4Runner.

L & # 39; INSIDE

At our price range, the interior of the 4Runner is dark and dull. He suffers from big buttons and big buttons. Most of the controls are easy to use, but Toyota's infotainment system only has one USB connection – only for streaming music. To unlock all its features, you must download a separate application on your smartphone. Finally, the 4Runner only has a 12-volt power outlet.

The Forester, on the other hand, is full of modern conveniences. It features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and although it also has its own proprietary application, you can use many features of the infotainment system without it. This version of the Forester also has four USB ports for loading and data.

Unlike the 4Runner, the Forester offers seat heating and ventilation in this price range. Rear passengers also benefit from greater legroom as well as heated seats and power outlets to keep their appliances charged.

The Subaru, with its EyeSight camera system, provides adaptive cruise control, active lane guidance, blind spot detection, and collision mitigation forwards. The 4Runner has none of it.

When things get tough

Optional with its four-wheel drive system, the 4Runner is the off-road winner. Its traction management system maximizes traction on all four wheels to allow you to conquer rocky climbs. The standard low-end transfer case gives you a boost for steep climbs and the ability to crawl. The TRD Off-Road version is also supplied with Multi-Terrain Select, which turns the SUV into an almost unstoppable climbing machine. This vehicle is for those who want to get dirty.

The Forester's standard all-wheel drive is also capable even when the road gets rough. His software commands do an admirable job to keep moving forward. it can limit the spinning of individual wheels and prevent you from getting stuck because of slippery or loose surfaces.

However, the Forester does not have the same degree of suspension articulation and front-to-rear overhang as the 4Runner. It just can not stand the big drops and the big rocks that the Toyota can engulf.

EDMUNDS SAYS: The Forester and 4Runner are both great lifestyle vehicles. The 4Runner is ideal if you are towing or requiring the best off-road capability. But for most people, the price, fuel economy, superior handling and better cabin experience of the Forester will win.


This story was provided to the Associated Press by the Edmunds Automotive website. Calvin Kim is a vehicle testing engineer at Edmunds. Instagram: @ dck47.

Related links:

– Edmunds Review: Subaru Forester 2019 https://edmu.in/2SliqPV

– Edmunds Review: Toyota 4Runner 2019 https://edmu.in/2I0bDq4

– Video Edmunds: Forester vs. 4Runner https://bit.ly/2E0wh5l


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