2014 Forester v. 2013 CRV v. 2013 Rav4

Hi there,

I’m looking at the Forester, CRV, and Rav4 and annoyingly the 2014 models haven’t come out for the latter two. Are the differences between the '14 and '13 models available somewhere? I can’t find them. Even if the details on the other two aren’t available yet, is it at least possible to know if the coming year models will be a small or huge leap? It seems the Forester was altered a great deal between '13 and '14 and while I need a car now, it would be unfortunate if I miss a radically improved CRV/Rav4 coming out in two weeks or eight weeks.



The 2013 Rav that is currently in showrooms is a new design, so no radical changes should take place anytime soon. The current CR-V design is only about 2 years old, so–again–only minor changes should take place w/in the next few years. These products tend to be on a redesign cycle of more than 5 years.

+1 Buy the one you like most. All if them will be dependable for many years.

Subaru and most of the rest of the car companies skip ahead in model years to make their new or redesigned product stand out, the new Mazda 6 was at dealers in December but because it was a 2014 model they could not sell any until Jan1 according to the law. Many automakers have done this over the last decade or more

It’s only June. The next year’s models typically come out around September, unless, like the Forester, they are introducing a redesign. The Rav4 was just redesigned for this year and the CR-V about a year before that, so neither one is due for significant changes. The Japanese companies usually do a trivial midlife redesign after about three years, but that’s just bumpers, grilles, and taillights. Maybe some new colors. The new Forester looks quite appealing and Consumer Reports liked it a lot. Other good ones are the Ford Escape and the Mazda CX5, especially now that the larger 2.5 liter engine is available. The original engine, still in some trim levels, is supposed to be a bit weak. Though that’s only by modern standards. It’s not that slow.

Any changes for the CRV or the RAV4 would come out in September-October or maybe a little later. Other than adding a power rear hatch for the CRV (available on european CRV’s) and changing colors/wheel design. All three are great choices

I just bought a Rav and it looks the same as the CRV. The CRV has the shifter on the dashboard and I know it looks strange.There are armrests built onto the seats which could be the greatest thing ever. Check them out. The storage compartments and cup holders on the Rav are lousy.

The pull handle on the Rav is too high on the hatch, making it useless for people with a weak grip but probably OK for normal people. When you drive in the rain you can hear the water splashing on the wheel wells. My doors sometimes relock before I get there and it’s a real nuisance for my weak fingers.

The Toyota six speed auto trans is OK but there are too many gears for the nudge to shift option. You can probably live with the CRV shifter if you don’t have to downshift for downhill driving at low speed. So if you live on level ground it’s OK.

The hood on the Toyota weighs a ton.

@pleasedodgevan2; I had a 2011 CRV, the previous model. The shifter location was not my favorite but was able to live with it. The armrest was another story. I am a bit taller and had to recline the seat, the arm rest starts aiming to the roof when you tilt the back. Also too close to be able to put my arm on it. I had to use the passenger arm rest when driving, made for great road trips with my wife:) I am not sure if the newer model is any better, I believe different trims vary.
The Honda is generally noisier than the Toyota.

I agree, few if any changes for those two. Have you checked out the 2.5l CX-5? It would be on my list, with those 3.

My dad has an 07 Crv and loves it, he took one test drive and was hooked. has no complaints with the shifter location. If Toyota had switched the RAV to an conventional tailgate back then he would have given it more thought Six years plus and he has only had to replace normal wear items such as the battery and tires. The Mazda CX5 is another great choice if it fits your needs

I am disappointed that the rav went to a conventional lift gate.

They are more prone to rust later in life, you now can’t get a conventional spare because of it, the loading height is higher, you can no longer get to the roof rack with the dorr open or closed, it’s harder to open the lift gate far with an overhanging load on top, being taller, I hit my head on it more often…and my shorter wife would have more problems with it. …all the reasons I like the door gate in the real old RAV we have!

The access is so much easier then the lift gate on our 4 Runner, we actually us it more often for loads.

Also, our next RAV was going to be the v6 model. This is one of the best all round motors that anyone offers and is no longer available in the RaV but it’s standard in the bigger Hylander. Now, it’s just a CRV clone because it dares not to be different…sad !

Everything is a compromise but this I will miss…enough to now at least consider a CRV which it will not have those advantages over. The locking differential of the RAV is a huge advantage if you need it often, which we do for rougher going. So, consider that !

Also, if you tow much, I feel the Toyota transmissions are usually better suited then the cvt in the Forrester and with their greater experience in trucks, their drive trains IMHO tend to be better suited for heavier loads in most of their other cars then Subarus and Hondas. Their underpinnings tend to be better protected for that reason as well. Just my observations .

Transmissions on the dash board are great - even manual transmissions.