2023 Honda CR-V vs. 2023 Subaru Outback: Crossover SUV Showdown!

The Honda CR-V compact crossover SUV is much improved with a thorough redesign for the 2023 model year. However, it faces stiff competition from its rivals, such as the Subaru Outback. Find out how the two crossover SUVs compare in this 2023 Honda CR-V vs. 2023 Subaru Outback analysis.

2023 Honda CR-V vs. 2023 Subaru Outback: Vehicle comparison

Blue 2023 Honda CR-V crossover SUV parked near a lake
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

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

CR-V vs. Outback: Performance

Blue 2023 Subaru Outback crossover SUV driving down a hill
2023 Subaru Outback | Subaru

On the performance front, the 2023 Honda CR-V has a higher base engine horsepower output, but the 2023 Subaru Outback has a higher maximum horsepower output. Engines offered for the CR-V include a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine (190 horsepower) and a hybrid (204 horsepower). In comparison, the Outback offers a 2.5-liter flat-four-cylinder engine (182 horsepower) and a turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four-cylinder engine (260 horsepower).

CR-V vs. Outback: Gas mileage

The 2023 CR-V is more efficient than the 2023 Outback. The fully gas-powered CR-V gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 30 combined mpg, while the CR-V Hybrid gets an estimated fuel economy of up to 40 combined mpg. In comparison, the Outback has an estimated gas mileage of up to 29 combined mpg. 

CR-V vs. Outback: Towing

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

CR-V vs. Outback: Off-road capabilities

Both crossover SUVs offer a traction-enhancing all-wheel drive system, but the Outback is better for off-road use. For one, it has higher ground clearance than the CR-V (up to 9.5 vs. 8.2 inches). Also, unlike the CR-V, the Outback has an off-road-focused model with the Wilderness trim.

CR-V vs. Outback: Safety

With its history of doing well in crash test and accident avoidance evaluations, the Outback has the advantage for safety. For the previous model year, the Outback 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. Outback: Passenger and cargo space

Which crossover SUV is larger: the 2023 CR-V or the 2023 Outback? The Outback has more passenger space, with a total passenger volume of 109 cu-ft, compared to 104 cu-ft for the CR-V. However, the CR-V has marginally more storage space, with a maximum cargo capacity of 76.5 cu-ft, compared to 75.7 cu-ft for the Outback.

CR-V vs. Outback: Warranty coverage

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

The CR-V and Outback have similar warranty coverage. Both crossover SUVs are backed by a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. However, unlike the Outback, the CR-V has a complimentary maintenance plan, with two years or 24,000 miles of coverage.

CR-V vs. Outback: Price

Which crossover SUV costs more: the 2023 CR-V or the 2023 Outback? 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 Outback ranges from $28,395 MSRP for the Base trim up to $42,295 MSRP for the Touring XT trim.

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

In this 2023 Honda CR-V vs. 2023 Subaru Outback comparison, each crossover SUV has various advantages. For the 2023 CR-V, advantages include base engine horsepower output, gas mileage, cargo space, and a complimentary maintenance plan. Conversely, advantages for the 2023 Outback include maximum horsepower output, towing, off-road capabilities, passenger space, and a lower base price. 

RELATED: 2023 Subaru Outback: Design Refresh, Specs, Upgrades, Pricing