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What If New Subaru Forester Sport Gets Toyota TRD Off-Road Trim Package?

What difference would it make if new Subaru Forester Sport came with Toyota TRD trim?


The turbocharged 2.0XT Subaru Forester is gone forever and it’s been replaced by the 2019 Forester Sport trim. The 2019 Forester Sport gets “specially enhanced” standard equipment, but what if it came with Toyota TRD trim like the new RAV4 Off-Road model?

Forester Sport ($29,770) comes with Dual-function X-MODE with Hill Descent Control, SI-DRIVE with Sport Sharp mode, and of course, Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Outside appearance upgrades include 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with black finish, roof rails with integrated tie-downs, front, rear and side under guards with orange accents, and gloss black and orange exterior accents.

You can read our full review of the 2019 Subaru Forester Sport here.

RAV4 TRD Off-Road

Toyota offers the RAV4 TRD Off-Road ($33,995) model. Here’s a quick rundown of the TRD goodies on the RAV4. It comes with 8.6-inch ground clearance (Forester has 8.7-inches) and the TRD Off-Road suspension. It features a Multi-Terrain Select with Mud & Sand mode for beach driving, or Rock & Dirt mode for trails, and Snow mode for wintery conditions.


RAV4 TRD Off-Road is powered by a 2.5-liter, 203-horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque four-cylinder engine, paired with an 8-speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission. Outside it gets 18x7-inch matte black TRD alloy wheels with Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires. The RAV4 TRD Off-Road is rated to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

Forester Boxer

The new 2019 Subaru Forester Sport is powered by the standard 2.5-liter naturally aspirated Boxer engine. The new power plant comes with direct injection, higher compression, along with active valve control system (AVCS) on the exhaust side. The new engine produces 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque, versus 170 hp and 174 lb-ft in the previous-generation Forester.

The 2.5-liter boxer comes mated to a Lineartronic CVT featuring a seven-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle-shift shifters. The Forester Sport trim comes with a version of the Subaru WRX STI Intelligent Drive (SI-DRIVE) with Intelligent and Sport Sharp modes as upgrades. The Forester Sport will tow up to 1,500 lbs.

What’s the difference?

The Falken Wildpeak A/T Trail all-terrain tires could easily be added to the Forester Sport. The big difference the TRD Off-Road package makes is Forester can only tow up to 1,500 lbs., where the RAV4 Off-Road trim comes with up to 3,500 lbs. of towing capability. For those wanting to tow a larger camper, boat, or trailer, the RAV4 is the better vehicle. It also has more horsepower than Forester and an 8-speed automatic gearbox but so does the standard RAV4. Forester’s CVT automatic is the SUV's weak point in the drivetrain.

The difference in price between the Forester Sport and the RAV4 Off-Road trim is $4,225. Towing capacity is the big factor with the TRD package, and the standard RAV4’s horsepower and transmission are significant differences over Forester. Which model would you choose to take off-road?

You May Also Like: Chuck the New Subaru Sport, Fans Want a Performance Forester STI

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Kelly King (not verified)    May 10, 2019 - 9:36PM

Make it like the Jeep Compass Trailhawk or Grand Cherokee Trailhawk would be better

Eric jensen (not verified)    May 11, 2019 - 9:29AM

Skid plates. Nowhere does it mention skid plates now does Toyota really describe what TRD Pro means... Other than sticking a decal on it for the mall. Yes. I will use skid plates....or hope not to "use" them but ya know.

Digitaldoc (not verified)    May 11, 2019 - 11:40AM

What If New Subaru Forester Sport Gets Toyota TRD Off-Road Trim Package?

It would still need a more powerful engine, and to lose those ridiculous "Hot Wheels" racing stripes along the bottom.

Brad (not verified)    May 11, 2019 - 1:03PM

As long as it has a stronger engine, either turbo or NA, I'm all for a STI or TRD variant. Sticking with my 15' XT until the new Forester gets more power.

Aaron McEwen (not verified)    May 11, 2019 - 3:22PM

The CVT in the Subaru is garbage off the pavement. You tube is full of reviews that prove this. Because of that, I would pick the Toyota.

Ren (not verified)    May 11, 2019 - 5:05PM

There aint nothing sport or ofroad w the subaru if it has the na 2.5. that thing is a dog. The xt was the engine to get. Wondering what if it got the trd package is useless. There is NO fun in driving the na version, offroad or onroad. No more forester for mr until they bring the turbo back. Im sure they will, the outback got it. My 2018xt will last me a while.

Steve Ballenger (not verified)    May 11, 2019 - 9:54PM

Waiting for Subaru to add the 2.4L turbo to the Forester like they have in the Ascent and Outback. As it stands now, you're really limited to what you can tow. Wished they had kept the new Forester closer to the concept version, it was very sharp looking. Oh well, still watching and waiting. Are you listening, Subaru?

digitaldoc (not verified)    May 12, 2019 - 10:13PM

In reply to by Steve Ballenger (not verified)

I really think they are not listening to their customers, and potential customers. Corporate probably sees the sales of their Ascents, and laughs that they gave no real option for a better engine among the Crosstrek and the Forester, and traded those folks up. They are not counting the sales that they are losing as not everyone has room, the money, or wants a larger vehicle.