Toyota Harrier vs Subaru Forester: SUV Comparison (2024 Update)

People looking for a budget-friendly SUV car in the earlier years might have come across two models – Toyota Harrier and Subaru Forester. The manufacturers upgraded both models from 2010. This Toyota Harrier vs Subaru Forester comparison will help you get an idea of the things these cars have in mutual and differ from each other.

(*Prices are reflective of average BE FORWARD pricings as of March 2021.) 

Toyota HarrierSubaru Forester
Capacity/Doors5 seater/4 doors5 seater/4 doors
Torque193 Nm @ 3800 rpm236 Nm @ 4100 rpm
Top Speed180km/h180km/h
0-100 km/h8.6 sec – 10.5 sec7.5 sec – 10.6 sec
Max Power151 Hp @ 6100 rpm170 PS (168 bhp ) (125 kW) at 5800 rpm
Engine2.0L – 2.5L2.0L
Fuel Tank Capacity60 Litres60.2 Litres
Key FeaturesFrequency Adaptive Damping, Lane Departure

Alert, Pre-Crash Safety System, Steering

assisted Vehicle Stability Control
ABS, Curtain Airbags, Electronic Stability Control,

Pre-Crash Safety System, Radar Cruise Control,

SRS Airbags, Subaru EyeSight, VDC
GearboxCVTLineartronic CVT
Fuel Consumption16.0km/L – 21.8km/L13.2km/L – 15.2km/L
Length x Width x Height4.74×1.85×1.66 m4.56×1.78×1.67 m
BE FORWARD PRICEUSD 1,960 – 51,000USD 1,190 – 26,330

The Harrier is a high-end SUV, a car suitable for the corporate working class between the ages of 40 and 55, with ladies particularly looking well accommodated and comfortable behind the steering wheel mainly due to its sleek styling and comfortable interior.
The Forester is the car of choice for people from all walks of life, mostly in their late twenties to mid-thirties, adventurous, outdoorsy, motorsports enthusiasts, off-roaders, and cruising due to its tried and tested off roading capabilities.

In Africa, paved roads are limited to urban centers hence cars with good ground clearance are advantageous, something both cars have, and if 4WD/AWD is available, that’s icing on the cake, and that’s where the Forester takes the edge. Unlike the Harrier, the Forester is a better car off the beaten path.

Interior and Exterior Comparison

Toyota Harrier

Toyota Harrier Black Frontside
Toyota Harrier Black Backside

Comfortable and spacious cabin
Stylish and premium looks

Limited off roading capabilities
High-priced compared to its competitors.

In 2013 Toyota introduced the third generation of Toyota Harrier, it was separated from the Lexus RX, and they are now separate entities. The Harrier has undergone broad changes and distinguished having a futuristic frontal design. The driving refinements have also changed significantly with the introduction of a 2.0 Liter power plant.

It was almost the same as the Lexus RX with minor differences. Nevertheless, from the third generation, the Harrier is a separate brand with no relationship with the Lexus RX. It competes with the Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Murano, BMW X5, and VW Touareg.


2014US$ 8940 – US$ 28,800
2016US$ 10,200 – US$ 22,990
2020US$ 14,760 – US$ 33,180
2023US$ 21,200 – US$ 71,420


Toyota Harrier Black Interior drivingsheet

The interior sizes have not changed much, and the Harrier holds the same seating arrangement. The dashboard holds the same layout, but the instrument cluster has been modernized with a touchscreen entertainment console and LCD displays. The space on both rows is good and tall people will find it comfortable.

(a) Cabin Storage

Toyota Harrier Black Interior dashbord
Toyota Harrier Black Interior backsheet

There are numerous storage sections in the cabin that are useful for storing items such as beverages, smartphones, goggles, handbags, etc. In the first row, you will see a door panel storage, 4 cup-holders, a glovebox, and the center box. In the second row, there are front seat jacket pockets and 4 cupholders.

(b) Cargo Space

Toyota Harrier Black Interior trunk

The Toyota Harrier has a sizable boot that is enough for a family of five. The back seats can fold to create extra space when needed.

Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester has gradually changed into the genuine SUV it is today. It outperforms most of its competitors such as the Honda CRV, Nissan X-Trail, Toyota Rav-4, and Mitsubishi Outlander. What sets it apart is the clever regular All-Wheel-Drive system and the choice of engines that include the turbocharged DTI engine that propels the Forester from 0 to 100 km/hour in 7.5 seconds.

Subaru Forester White frontside

Great off roading capabilities
Standard AWD
Poor fuel efficiency
Below par power

The Subaru Forester is a compact 5-seater SUV that has been in production for 5 generations starting from 1997 to the present. It’s constructed on the same platform as the Subaru Impreza with which it shares many other components. The first generation known as the SF was in production from 1997 – 2002, the second generation is known as SG from 2002 – 2009, the third generation is known as SH from 2009 – 2012, the fourth generation known as SJ from 2012 – 2018, and the fifth generation known as the SK from 2018 to present.


2023US$ 4620 – US$ 26,150
2022US$ 17,120 – US$ 26,550
2015US$ 4360 – US$ 15,350
2010US$ 1510 – US$ 7960
Subaru Forester White backside

(a) Cabin Storage

Subaru Forester White Interior drivingsheet

The 4th generation of Subaru Forester is longer and larger than its forerunners and this allows more interior space. In the first row, the space is excellent, and the seats can adjust to fit any desired seating position.

Subaru Forester White Interior backsheet

At the second row, the space is likewise impressive, and passengers are afforded sufficient space. The cabin equipment and design were borrowed from the XV and Impreza which we love for being functional and modern.

Subaru Forester White Interior dashbord

There are numerous storage compartments in the cabin that are useful for storing items such as smartphones, goggles, handbags, beverages, etc. In the first row, there is a door panel storage, 4 cup-holders, a glovebox, and the center-box. For the second row, there are front seat jacket pockets, 4 cupholders, and door pockets.

(b) Cargo Space

Subaru Forester White Interior trunk

The cargo space is big enough to carry luggage for a family of five. When extra space is needed, the second-row seats can be folded in a divided configuration to free up a sizable amount of space.

Engine, Performance & Fuel Consumption

Toyota Harrier

(a) Engine & Performance

Toyota Harrier black engine

The Harrier is powered by 2 engine options: a 2.0-Liter 3ZR-FAE petrol engine and a 2.5-Liter 2AR-FXE petrol Hybrid engine. They are mated to a 7-Speed Super CVT-I transmission and obtainable in both 2WD and 4WD. The Hybrid version is accessible only in 4WD.

(b) Fuel Consumption

Toyota Harrier’s fuel consumption is around 16.0 km/L for the Toyota Harrier mated by 2.0L engine while the Harrier with 2.5L Hybrid is around 21.8km/L.

Subaru Forester

(a) Engine & Performance

Subaru Forester white engine

The Subaru Forester comes with 2 engine choices which are all petrol; these are FB20 2.0L naturally aspirated engine and the FA20 DIT 2.0 Liter turbocharged engine, which are mated to either a Lineartronic CVT transmission or a 6-speed Manual Transmission and available in full-time 4WD.

(b) Fuel Consumption

Subaru Forester’s fuel consumption is around 15.2 km/L for the Subaru Forester equipped with a 2.0L engine while the Forester with 2.0L Turbo is around 13.2km/L.

Final Verdict

It’s without a doubt that each of these two cars is a perfect car in its own right, but with significant differences. If your pockets are deep and reside in urban areas with paved roads with no plans of going off road, the Harrier is a very good choice as a daily driver, but if you will be frequently going off road and want a budget SUV capable of taking you places then the Forester is the car for you. From the discussion about Toyota Harrier vs Subaru Forester, it is strongly proven that both models have almost alike specs and features. However, the Subaru Forester will stay ahead because of its speed, lower starting price, and more stylish exterior. On the other side, the Subaru Forester is a nice-looking car suitable for sporty and city cruising that comes at a reasonable price thanks to its appreciated temperament. Need to purchase a high-quality Toyota Harrier or Subaru Forester from Japan? The choice is yours based on trim level, engine capacity, color, and price. You can purchase one of them through our store BE FORWARD.



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Written by: Josephat Lukaza

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