Skip to main content

The compact SUV class is extremely competitive, with the 2024 Honda CR-V going head-to-head with the 2024 Subaru Forester. Both SUVs provide room for five people and offer large cargo areas to give growing families plenty of room to bring lots of gear along for the ride. These two compact SUVs have earned reputations for value, fuel economy, and reliability but provide differing driving manners.

What’s the most immediate difference between these compact SUVs?

The 2024 Subaru Forester comes with standard Symmetrical AWD while the 2024 Honda CR-V has an FWD setup with AWD available. This difference means the Forester is ready to handle your off-road trail-riding adventures as long as those trails are rated light or medium in terms of difficulty. The CR-V delivers a smother and more pleasant on-road feeling. This could be a strong reason to lean toward the Honda SUV.

Both SUVs receive important awards

The CR-V scored high in Kelley Blue Book ratings and earned the Compact SUV Best Buy Award. Turning to the Forester, KBB awarded this Subaru SUV with the Lowest 5-Year Cost to Own Award and the Best Resale Value Award.

Let’s take a look at a few highlights of each compact SUV.

2024 Subaru Forester compact SUV in the wilderness.
2024 Subaru Forester | Subaru

Subaru Forester

In addition to the Symmetrical AWD, the 2024 Subaru Forester can be had in a Wilderness trim furthers the off-road adventures. This trim has:

  • Better off-road angles than the other models
  • Lifted suspension
  • Lower gearing
  • Off-road tires
  • Underbody skid plate
  • Advanced version o the X-Mode driving system

This trim and features make the Forester better on trails than any trim of the Honda CR-V.

2024 Honda CR-V compact SUV posed.
2024 Honda CR-V | Honda

Honda CR-V

The 2024 Honda CR-V carries the reputation of being one of the most popular and useful compact SUVs in the class. It provides friendly driving manners and full package of safety features. This helps the CR-V earn the Top Safety Pick+ rating from the IIHS. The Honda Sensing package includes:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Road departure mitigation

The CR-V has the largest cargo area in the class. It offers more than 39 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 75,6 cubic feet with these seats folded.

 2024 Honda CR-V2024 Subaru Forester
Engine1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder2.5-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower190 hp182 hp
Torque179 lb-ft176 lb-ft
Cargo Volume39.3 cu-ft28.9 cu-ft
Starting Price$30,850$28,440

Which compact SUV is a better choice?

Considering most driving is done on the road, the 2024 Honda CR-V beats the 2024 Subaru Forester with smoother driving manners, a larger cargo area, and a more powerful engine. Still, the Forester is hard to beat if you want an SUV that provides good off-road features and confidently handles troublesome weather.