2016 Subaru Forester vs. Its Competition

2016 Subaru Forester

Small SUVs are now the hottest segment of a surging new-car market, and the Subaru Forester is selling well.

But there's tough competition out there too, starting with the Big Three: the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, and Toyota RAV4.

The Escape puts priority on design and sporty driving, but the real-world fuel economy of its turbocharged "EcoBoost" 4-cylinder engines has been questioned.

The CR-V was redesigned recently, and it wins on interior space and family-friendly versatility, even if it's not that much fun behind the wheel.

And the RAV4 is a longtime segment leader, but its safety ratings lag those of the Forester and other contenders.

The Hyundai Tucson (along with its sibling under the skin, the Kia Sportage) are a bit smaller, and offer neither the off-road capability nor the handling of the Forester.

In fact, it's the Jeep Cherokee that may be the closest match to the Forester's rugged but practical personality.

It can be outfitted for serious off-roading, or ordered with a more powerful engine, but its less efficient interior and polarizing design rate it lower among our editors than the award-winning Forester.

2016 Subaru Forester2016 Subaru Forester
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2016 Ford Escape2016 Ford Escape
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2016 Hyundai Tucson2016 Hyundai Tucson
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2016 Jeep Cherokee2016 Jeep Cherokee
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2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid2016 Toyota RAV4
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2015 Honda CR-V2015 Honda CR-V
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Quick Specs
The 2016 Subaru Forester continues to be a good value and one of the best small SUVs you can buy, with superb all-weather capability, safety ratings, and versatility.
The 2016 Ford Escape gives up a little comfort and utility in its quest to be the most exciting crossover SUV to drive.
The 2016 Hyundai Tucson caters to drivers that put styling and features at the top of their crossover-SUV wish list.
The 2016 Jeep Cherokee offers everything that the brand and nameplate promise—although there are some disconnects in the styling and packaging.
The 2016 Toyota RAV4 is a competent crossover utility with a new Hybrid model this year, updated safety systems, and lots of interior space.
The 2015 Honda CR-V is neither sporty nor particularly quick, but fuel efficiency is excellent and it prioritizes interior space, earnest practicality, and cleverly chosen features in a way that buyers appear to crave.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
22 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy26 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy
Regular Unleaded H-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Small SUV 4WDSmall SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WDSmall Sport Utility Vehicles 2WDSmall SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WD
Style Name     
4-Door Manual 2.5i PZEVFWD 4-Door SFWD 4-Door SEFWD 4-Door SportFWD 4-Door LE (SE)2WD 5-Door LX
All Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Sport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport Utility
Manual w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODCVT w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2016 Subaru Forester vs. 2016 Ford Escape2016 Subaru Forester vs. 2016 Hyundai Tucson2016 Subaru Forester vs. 2016 Jeep Cherokee2016 Subaru Forester vs. 2016 Toyota RAV42016 Subaru Forester vs. 2015 Honda CR-V