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Both the Subaru Outback and the 2023 Honda CR-V are among the best midsize SUVs. This is true despite the Outback technically being a wagon. However, the Honda CR-V comes out on top of the 2023 Subaru Outback for a few key reasons. The Subaru SUV might have a few advantages over the CR-V, but the Honda option offers more value to drivers as it’s a more well-rounded vehicle in most ways that matter.

The 2023 Honda CR-V is more efficient

2023 Honda CR-V from the front in the dirt
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

The 2023 Honda CR-V delivers better fuel economy than the latest model Subaru Outback. It’s not the most significant difference in the world, but with the relative uncertainty of fuel prices, every added mpg counts. For the 2023 CR-V, it gets an average of 28 miles per gallon in the city and 34 on the highway. The 2023 Outback averages 26 miles per gallon in the city and 32 on the highway. Both make them among the best midsize SUVs in this category, but the Outback leaves drivers wanting a little more in this regard.

Regarding performance, the 2023 Honda CR-V and the Subaru Outback aren’t that far off in terms of power. According to Edmunds, the Honda SUV has a 1.5-liter inline-four with a maximum output of 190 hp. The Subaru Outback has a bigger engine, with a 2.4-liter flat-four that produces 182 horsepower. Both SUVs offer advanced trims, but the 2023 CR-V also has a hybrid trim with a maximum output of 204 hp. The highest power offering of the Outback has a maximum output of 260 hp.

The 2023 CR-V is more reliable

2023 Subaru Outback from the front. One of the best midsize SUVs
2023 Subaru Outback | Subaru

The 2023 Honda CR-V is one of the best midsize SUVs on the market because of its reliability. It has an 82 predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power. Additionally, Consumer Reports believes it will be more reliable than other new vehicles. However, the 2023 Subaru Outback is only average in this regard. Though fairly well trusted, most consider it to be a flawed but awesome vehicle. 

The latest Honda CR-V and the Outback are also both among the safest midsize SUVs. They are both top safety plus picks from the NHTSA, which helps provide confidence to drivers in worst case scenarios. Many of the best SUVs on the market don’t have this distinction.

It has a better interior

The CR-V interior is also arguably better than the 2023 Subaru Outback. Unfortunately, though functional, the 2023 Outback interior is an overall boring display. However, the 2023 CR-V has an interior that’s both functional and includes seats the automaker intends to reduce driver fatigue. The Honda SUV also has better storage space than the 2023 Subaru Outback. 

However, the Outback comes out slightly ahead due to its interior technology. The Outback has a 7-inch touchscreen on the base model, but all other trims have an 11.6 vertical screen. Including a vertical display is a real power move on the part of Subaru. Ford’s Mustang Mach-E offers a similar one. The 2023 Honda CR-V has a 7.0-inch touchscreen on the bottom three trims and a 9.0-inch display on the top two options. 

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