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People are buying crossover SUVs in droves these days — and two highly successful models are the Honda CR-V and the Subaru Outback. While the Outback has some positive attributes, the 2023 Honda CR-V has one huge advantage over the 2023 Subaru Outback: a major redesign.

Unlike the 2023 Subaru Outback, the 2023 Honda CR-V has a major redesign

Front angle view of white 2023 Honda CR-V crossover SUV
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

While the sales of the Honda CR-V have remained strong over the past several years, the crossover SUV was starting to show its age. And it was getting overshadowed by other models in the segment. However, the 2023 Honda CR-V made a significant leap forward with its thorough redesign. It has many improvements for the new model year.

Conversely, the 2023 Subaru Outback doesn’t have as many changes. While the Outback has some subtle styling enhancements, it hasn’t had a major overhaul in three years. For those that desire the newest look for a crossover SUV, the CR-V is the way to go.

The most dramatic change for the redesigned CR-V is the exterior. It’s a pleasing fusion of sophistication and ruggedness. This is highlighted by the large upright grille, a long hood, and a sleek roofline. The crossover SUV also has a stylish horizontal beltline along the side of the vehicle, as well as eye-catching vertical LED taillights.

The attractive design continues into the cabin of the CR-V. It’s more upscale than the interior of the Outback — especially for the higher trims. The CR-V’s cabin has a premium look and feel — and offers a range of premium features. It also provides greater comfort, especially with the new body-stabilizing seats, which the Outback doesn’t offer. 

With the new hybrid powertrain, the 2023 CR-V has much higher gas mileage than the 2023 Outback

Front angle view of blue 2023 Subaru Outback crossover SUV
2023 Subaru Outback | Subaru

Another upgrade for the redesigned 2023 Honda CR-V is the new hybrid powertrain, which has a boost in efficiency. Combining a 2.0-liter engine and two electric motors, it enables the crossover SUV to achieve a fuel-sipping estimated gas mileage of up to 40 combined mpg.

In comparison, the 2023 Subaru Outback, which doesn’t offer a hybrid model, has much lower fuel economy than the CR-V Hybrid. It has an estimated efficiency rating of up to 29 combined mpg. Also, even if you choose the fully gas-powered version of the CR-V, you’ll still benefit from slightly higher gas mileage (up to 30 combined mpg). However, the hybrid model is considerably more efficient. 

The higher fuel economy of the CR-V Hybrid results in a great deal of savings at the pump over the long haul. It also has the benefit of convenience. With lower fuel consumption, the CR-V Hybrid requires fewer visits to gas stations than the Outback.

Other benefits of the Honda CR-V over the Subaru Outback

There are other benefits of the 2023 CR-V over the 2023 Outback. Another element of the redesign is a size increase. As a result, the CR-V provides more storage space — with a rear cargo capacity of 39.3 cu-ft and a total capacity of 76.5 cu-ft — compared to 32.6 cu-ft/75.6 cu-ft for the Outback.

Also, the CR-V offers a new complimentary maintenance plan. Good for two years or 24,000 miles, it provides free coverage for factory-scheduled maintenance, including oil changes, multi-point inspections, and tire rotations. Conversely, the Outback doesn’t have a free maintenance program.

With its redesign, the 2023 Honda CR-V has a huge advantage over the 2023 Subaru Outback. While the redesign doesn’t mean that the CR-V is a better overall vehicle than the Outback, it’s something to consider if you’re choosing between the two crossover SUVs.


2023 Honda CR-V: Price, Specs, & Features — All-New Design!