Consumer Reports Ranks the Subaru Forester Ahead of the Honda CR-V

The battle of compact SUVs just got interesting! The 2021 Subaru Forester outranks the 2021 Honda CR-V?! This competition is getting wild. Let’s see what the Subaru Forester has on the insanely popular Honda CR-V. 

The 2021 Subaru Forester vs. the 2021 Honda CR-V 

A white Subaru Forester E-boxer is seen during the Vienna Car Show press preview at Messe Wien
The Subaru Forester | Manfred Schmid/Getty Images

According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Subaru Forester serves as the best SUV option you can buy for under $30,000. It placed ahead of the 2021 Honda CR-V, which still ranks highly as a great option to consider. Other honorable mentions include the 2021 Hyundai Kona, 2021 Kia Sportage, and nearly every Mazda model. 

You can get started in a new Subaru Forester for about $24,795. The Honda CR-V begins at about $25,350. So, these options are pretty competitive in price, but does the CR-V include enough value to be worth paying a little extra for? 

The Honda CR-V may save you a little cash at the fuel pump. It gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and up to 34 mpg on the highway. The Subaru Forester gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. 

Why does the Forester rank ahead of the CR-V? 

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Consumer Reports gave the 2021 Subaru Forester a predicted reliability rating of four out of five. This builds confidence in this SUV because that score is above average. It also has a consumer satisfaction rating of four out of five, meaning people are happy with their Subarus. 

But according to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Honda CR-V also has a predicted reliability rating of four out of five, so you can depend on both of these SUVs. However, the CR-V only has a predicted owner satisfaction rating of three out of five, which is average. 

The Forester ranks higher in terms of value, and it does include standard all-wheel-drive, which is a fantastic perk. Also, it comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, it can tow up to 1,500 lbs, and it accelerates from 0 to 60 in 9.3 seconds, according to Edmunds

The CR-V has a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that pumps out 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. When properly equipped, it can tow up to 1,500 lbs. According to Edmunds, it can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds. You can also add all-wheel drive. 

What are the CR-V and Forester features like? 

A red 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid parked on a desert road by the mountains
2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid | Honda

The 2021 Subaru Forester provides 31.1 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats with up to 74.3 cubic feet total. The 2021 Honda CR-V offers 39.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the backseat and up to 75.8 cubic feet with the seats folded down. 

Both SUVs have a smooth ride, but Edmunds suggests that the CR-V is a little quieter than the Forester. Also, the Forester has a more powerful automatic climate control system that keeps passengers comfortable in the back. 

The Honda CR-V base model comes with a 5-inch touchscreen, but all other models get a 7-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Forester comes with a 6.5-inch display, but it can be upgraded to an 8-inch unit. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trim levels. 

Both SUVs come with standard safety features such as forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane-departure warning.

It seems like the Subaru Forester does provide more standard features than the Honda CR-V, but the Honda CR-V has more space and a sportier ride. You may have to test drive both options before making a final decision.