July 26, 2017
Economic experts were far too hasty when they called for the death of the SUV during the peak of the great recession. The SUV has regained its popularity and continues to evolve with the finest models ever seen in the marketplace.
Let’s examine two of those models – the Honda CRV versus the Subaru Forester. Both models are incredible popular, but which one has the edge? Though it’s a close race we prefer the CR-V for its superior fuel economy, consistently better reliability score, and noticeably more comfortable interior.
The base CR-V model simply offers more get-up-and-go from its engine than the base Forester model. The CR-V packs more horsepower into its engine and its noticeably less sluggish than the Forester in controlled acceleration tests. While neither vehicle is ideally suited for lead-footed driver, we did feel noticeably more punch from the CR-V.
The CR-V decisively wins this category with effortlessly looks and feels high end. With ruggedly attractive trim, state of the art technology, and impressive cargo accommodations, the CR-V sets the standard for the style, comfort, and functionality.
It is challenging to argue with any vehicle that is considered “iconic” of its brand, and that is what the Forester has become for Subaru. It is an instantly recognizable vehicle on the roadway, and therefore the Forester has carved out a place of familiarity in the minds of drivers everywhere. It may not be beautiful, but the Forester’s body style has defined this niche for years while the CR-V is merely another face in the crowd.
Both models score highly for safety and both come fully loaded with the standard slew of safety technology. However, we give the slight edge to the HR-V which receives a 5-star score for its frontal crash test rating versus only 4 stars for the Forester, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. All other categories are nearly equal, so this the defining point that tilts the scale in favor of the CR-V.
Typical of all Subaru vehicles, the all-wheel drive feature comes standard with the Forester. While this certainly benefits drivers in many situations, it does hamper its fuel economy compared to the base CR-V model. The base CR-V delivers 26/32 miles per gallon city/highway versus only 22/28 for the base Forester. Those numbers clearly point the CR-V being the winner in this match-up.
The Forester is undoubtedly as solid vehicle and will easily satisfy its loyal fans. However, the CR-V has consistently separated itself as the leader in this class. Until a competitor definitively dethrones the champion, we continue to give the edge to the CR-V in all head to head match-ups.
*Any MPG listed is based on model year EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery pack age/condition (hybrid only) and other factors. For additional information about EPA ratings, visit https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/label/learn-more-PHEV-label.shtml.
** Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) New Car Assessment Program. Model tested with standard side airbags (SABs). For additional information on the 5-Star Safety Ratings program, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.