2017 Subaru Outback vs 2017 Toyota RAV4
2017 Subaru Outback 2017 Toyota RAV4
  18.5 gal. 15.9 gal.
  25/32 23/30
  55.0 in. 48.9 in.

2017 Subaru Outback vs 2017 Toyota RAV4

Serving Harrisonburg, Dayton, and Mansanetta Springs, VA

SUVs have remained popular for some time now thanks to such qualities as generous space for both people and merchandise that’s customizable and excellent road-handling ability. Both Subaru and Toyota have entries in this arena that are worth noting. Among the favorites are the 2017 Subaru Outback and the Toyota RAV4. There are plenty of good things to say about each, but only one can come out on top. Consider the following features to decide which deserves the leading position.


Both vehicles supply engine options, but only the Outback provides a choice between real fuel savings and heavy-duty power. The RAV4 starts with a modest 2.5 liter 4-cylinder powerplant that would normally serve as the lightweight outing and moves towards tighter fuel savings with a hybrid that only modestly increases strength from 176 horsepower to 194 horses while boosting urban gas economy from 23 mpg to 34 mpg. On the other hand, the 2017 Outback starts with a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder boxer engine delivering 175 horses for drivers who aren’t planning to use their SUV to its fullest. For those needing more power, Subaru includes a 3.6 liter boxer 6-cylinder producing 256 horsepower. With a continuously variable transmission paired to both engines, expect an impressive 25 mpg city and 32 mpg highway from the 2.5 liter while the 3.6 liter achieves 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. This compares nicely to the 30 mpg highway managed by the RAV4 hybrid.

Fuel Economy

Any enjoyable ride starts with copious clearance. The 2017 Subaru Outback wins this contest by giving front occupants 40.8 inches of headroom and 42.9 inches of legroom. The RAV4 comes up a bit short with just 39.8 inches of front headroom and 42.6 inches of legroom. This continues with second tier seating where there’s a tie for headroom at 38.9 inches while the Outback takes the lead in legroom with 38.1 inches. The RAV4 is held to 37.2 inches. The Outback takes seating pleasure further by equipping most of its models with a 10-way adjustable power seat for the driver while the front passenger luxuriates with a 4-way adjustable power seat. The RAV4 only provides an 8-way power adjustable seat for the driver in its highest-priced SE model. None of its models includes a power seat for the front passenger.


Both SUVs supply a safe ride but the Outback this a bit better by reaching the top 5-star rank for the frontal collision test from the NHTSA while the RAV4 only earned a 4-star score. Otherwise, both vehicles received 5 stars overall from NHTSA and overall scores of Good from the IIHS. Antilock brakes, traction and stability control, airbags, and a rearview camera are standard on both SUVs. Advanced features like forward collision warnings and lane holding are available on either vehicle. The 2017 Outback alone, though, includes blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts as standard on most models while the RAV4 offer them only as options.

The 2017 Outback and RAV4 appear pretty close on a lot of metrics but this quick assessment reveals more than a couple of advantages for the Outback that are particularly important for SUV buyers. If you need more than written descriptions to convince you, try a test drive at our dealership today.

* EPA-estimated fuel economy. Actual mileage may vary.