Honda CR-V vs Subaru Outback

Subaru Outback vs Honda CR-V: A comparison of crossover cars with plenty of cargo space.

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A crossover is an ideal choice when you need more room than what a sedan offers without the large size of a traditional SUV. Crossover refers to both a mid-size SUV like the Subaru Outback and a compact SUV like the Honda CR-V. A Honda CR-V vs. Subaru Outback comparison shows that each model has its advantages and disadvantages, so your choice should depend upon your personal needs and your driving style. 

In addition, you should read unbiased reviews and check car rankings before you decide on purchasing any particular model. Once you're done researching, use Reply! to connect with local dealers, set up test drives and receive competitive price quotes.

Honda CR-V advantagesHonda CR-V

  • Better fuel mileage
  • Better fuel economy
  • Higher safety ratings
  • Exceptional cargo space for size

Subaru Outback advantages

  • Choice of engines
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Better performance and handling
  • More suitable for towing a trailer
  • Unique exterior styling

The base engine of the Honda CR-V is the only option available and offers the following specifications:

  • 2.4 liter displacement (size)
  • Inline-four engine
  • 185 horsepower at 7,000 rpm
  • 163 foot-pounds of torque at 4,400 rpm
  • 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway

Honda CR-V's base engine is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission in all configurations and trim packages.

The Subaru base engine has the following specifications:Subaru Outback

  • 2.5 liter displacement
  • Flat-four engine
  • 173 horsepower at 5,600 rpm
  • 174 foot-pounds of torque at 4,100 rpm
  • 21 mpg (city)/28 mpg (highway)

You can choose between a six-speed manual transmission and a six-speed shiftable automatic transmission with this engine.

You can also choose a larger engine as follows:

  • 3.6 liter displacement
  • Flat-six engine
  • 256 horsepower at 6,000 rpm
  • 247 foot-pounds of torque at 4,400 rpm
  • 18 mpg (city)/25 mpg (highway)

This larger engine is accompanied by a six-speed shiftable automatic transmission.

The Subaru Outback is actually in a class by itself, although it compares in capacity and other features to mid-size crossovers. It retains a bit of the styling of station wagons of old, albeit in an eye-catching modern format. The Honda CR-V follows the traditional style for a subcompact SUV and is attractive, although it does not particularly stand out in a crowd.

Learn more about the Honda CR-V

Both cars seat five passengers comfortably, although the Subaru has quite a bit more legroom. There is actually little difference between the amount of driver and passenger shoulder room in each car. With all seats in place, the Honda CR-V actually has more cargo capacity than the Outback, and even with seats removed, their cargo capacities remain nearly the same.

It is in terms of towing capability that the heavier, longer Subaru Outback truly excels when compared to the Honda CR-V. The CR-V is limited to towing up to 1,500 pounds, whereas the Outback has a towing capacity of 2,700 pounds.

Learn more about the Subaru Outback

In short, if you want a car for family driving, either the CR-V or the Outback will suit your needs. If towing capacity is important to you, the Outback is your choice, and the Outback offers higher performance with its larger engine. There is only a minimal difference in price between the two cars, and both are reliable, but the CR-V has a lower cost of ownership thanks to its better fuel economy.

Find the lowest local price quotes on the Honda CR-V vs Subaru Outback now!

Check a reliable auto buyer's guide for more information about each of these two cars and any other crossover or subcompact SUV that you may be considering. Before you decide between the CR-V and the Outback, you'll want to conduct a hands-on Honda CR-V vs. Subaru Outback comparison by test-driving each car, and then you'll want to shop around online and locally to get the best price for whichever car you choose.
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About the Author

Alex Gabriel is a content editor at Reply! with several years of digital marketing and and copywriting experience. A native of Portland and graduate of the University of Oregon, Alex has a passion for test-driving new cars he can’t afford. Click here to connect with Alex on Google+.