2023 Honda CR-V vs. 2023 Subaru Forester: Crossover SUV Competition!

Two leading choices for the compact crossover segment are the Honda CR-V and the Subaru Forester. See how they compare in this 2023 Honda CR-V vs. 2023 Subaru Forester analysis.

2023 Honda CR-V vs. 2023 Subaru Forester: What are the differences?

Front angle view of Modern Steel Metallic 2023 Honda CR-V crossover SUV
Modern Steel Metallic 2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

In this 2023 Honda CR-V vs. 2023 Subaru Forester crossover SUV comparison, we evaluated several areas. This includes performance, gas mileage, towing, off-road capabilities, safety, passenger and cargo space, warranty coverage, and price.

CR-V vs. Forester: Performance and gas mileage

Front angle view of blue 2023 Subaru Forester crossover SUV
Horizon Blue Pearl 2023 Subaru Forester | Subaru

For performance, the 2023 Honda CR-V offers more powerful engines than the 2023 Subaru Forester. Engine options for the CR-V include a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (190 horsepower) and a hybrid (204 horsepower). In comparison, all Forester models come equipped with a 2.5-liter flat-four engine, which generates 182 horsepower.

For efficiency, the fully gas-powered CR-V gets an estimated fuel economy of up to 30 combined mpg, while the CR-V Hybrid gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 40 combined mpg. In comparison, the Forester has an estimated fuel economy of up to 29 combined mpg.

CR-V vs. Forester: Towing

The 2023 Forester can tow more than the 2023 CR-V. It has a maximum towing capacity of 3,000 pounds, compared to 1,500 pounds for the CR-V.

CR-V vs. Forester: Off-road capabilities

The Forester is better than the CR-V for off-road use. For one, while a traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system is an optional feature for the CR-V, it’s standard for all Forester models. Also, the Forester has higher ground clearance than the CR-V (up to 9.2 vs. 8.2 inches). Furthermore, unlike the CR-V, the Forester has an off-road-focused model with the Wilderness trim.

CR-V vs. Forester: Safety

Given its history, the Forester has the edge for safety. For the previous model year, the Forester earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which is the highest possible IIHS rating. In comparison, the CR-V earned the second-tier IIHS Top Safety Pick award.

CR-V vs. Forester: Passenger and cargo space

Which crossover SUV is bigger: the 2023 CR-V or the 2023 Forester? The Forester provides more passenger space, with a total passenger volume of 111.6 cu-ft, compared to 104 cu-ft for the CR-V. However, the CR-V offers slightly more storage space, with a maximum cargo capacity of 76.5 cu-ft, compared to 74.2 cu-ft for the Forester.

CR-V vs. Forester: Warranty coverage

For warranty coverage, both crossover SUVs have a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. However, unlike the Forester, the CR-V offers a free maintenance plan, with two years or 24,000 miles of coverage.

CR-V vs. Forester: Price

Which crossover SUV costs more: the 2023 CR-V or the 2023 Forester? The starting price of the 2023 CR-V ranges from $31,110 MSRP for the EX trim up to $38,600 MSRP for the Sport Touring Hybrid trim. In comparison, the starting price of the 2023 Forester ranges from $26,395 MSRP for the Base trim up to $36,495 MSRP for the Touring trim.

2023 Honda CR-V vs. 2023 Subaru Forester: Which crossover SUV is better?

In this 2023 Honda CR-V vs. 2023 Subaru Forester, each crossover SUV has various advantages. For the 2023 CR-V advantages include performance, gas mileage, cargo space, and a free maintenance plan. Conversely, advantages for the 2023 Forester include towing, off-road capabilities, safety, passenger space, and a lower price. 

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