Honda CR-V vs Subaru Forester

Honda CR-V vs Subaru Forester

Both the 2021 Honda CR-V and the 2021 Subaru Forester provide the fuel economy, cargo volume, and safety features you look for in a family-sized SUV. Which one is the right fit for the streets of Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Hershey, PA?

Find out how these two SUVs match up head-to-head in our 2021 Honda CR-V vs. Subaru Forester comparison before you check out our Honda CR-V inventory online!

Quick Facts: 2021 Honda CR-V vs. Subaru Forester

2021 Honda CR-V


2021 Subaru Forester

EPA-Estimated 28 city/34 highway MPG on all 2WD trims¹

Fuel Economy

EPA-estimated 26 city/33 highway MPG

EPA-Estimated 40 city/35 highway MPG on all hybrid trims¹

Hybrid MPG

Not available

190 HP


182 HP

179 lb-ft


176 lb-ft

Honda CR-V vs Subaru Forester: Performance

What if you didn’t have to choose between fuel efficiency and power? The Honda CR-V provides drivers with advantages in both categories.

The standard trim of the Honda CR-V is equipped with a 1.5L in-line 4-cylinder engine. The result is a potent blend of:

  • 190 horsepower
  • 179 lb-ft of torque
  • EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28 city/34 highway MPG on all of the 2WD trims of the 2021 Honda CR-V¹

How does this compare with the Subaru Forester? The 2.5L DOHC engine of every trim of this SUV does not deliver the same output as the CR-V:

  • 182 horsepower
  • 176 lb-ft of torque
  • EPA-estimated fuel economy of 26 city/33 highway MPG

The Honda CR-V lets you experience the value of fuel efficiency without sacrificing power. This boost in muscle helps drivers climb hills and accelerate with confidence.

Difference-Making Design

How does the 2021 Honda CR-V make a difference? This SUV is available in three hybrid trims that offer even greater fuel economy. Each hybrid trim is powered by a 2.0L DOHC iVTEC® Atkinson-cycle engine with an electric motor and an E-CVT transmission that delivers:

  • 143 horsepower
  • 129 lb-ft of torque
  • EPA-estimated 40 city/35 highway MPG on all of the hybrid trims of the 2021 Honda CR-V¹

The Subaru Forester is not available in a hybrid configuration. This lets the CR-V grab the crown when it comes to peak fuel economy.

You have more choices available in the CR-V, too. Every Subaru Forester is a Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicle, which enables them to grip the road with increased traction. The CR-V lets drivers choose from available Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System™, the more agile 2WD, or the efficiency of a hybrid vehicle.

Honda CR-V vs Subaru Forester

Honda CR-V vs Subaru Forester: Standard Safety Systems

Another vital component to consider when selecting an SUV is safety. Both SUVs allow drivers to travel with different suites of safety technology.

Each trim of the 2021 Forester comes standard with EyeSight® Driver Assist technology. This equips the SUV with safety features, like Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keep Assist.

Both features are available in the Honda CR-V. This SUV provides drivers with peace of mind through Honda Sensing®, which includes:

  • Road Departure Mitigation System
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Monitor
  • Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control

While both vehicles let families drive safely, the Honda CR-V provides a more extensive collection of safety features. Like fuel economy, these additional safety measures add up to make a difference to your everyday drives.

Although both the Subaru Forester and the Honda CR-V offer cutting-edge safety systems that boost your awareness, car-shoppers looking for more standard features will appreciate the extra amenities in the Honda CR-V.

Ready to bring home your Honda CR-V? Check out our new vehicle specials!

How to Haul More

If you are perusing reviews for the 2021 Honda CR-V vs. Subaru Forester, there’s a chance that you are planning your next trip, too. The Honda CR-V lets you bring more gear with you than the Subaru Forester.

Both SUVs have a maximum towing capacity of 1,500 pounds when properly equipped. That is strong enough to handle your camping gear, bikes, and jet skis.

What about the space inside the two SUVs? The 2021 Subaru Forester lets you pack up to 31.1 cubic feet of standard cargo volume. If you need more room, this figure expands to 74.3 cubic feet when you fold down the rear seats of the SUV.

2021 Honda CR-V

2021 Subaru Forester

Cargo Volume

39.2 cubic feet

31.1 cubic feet

Maximum Cargo Volume

75.8 cubic feet

74.3 cubic feet

Towing Capacity (when properly equipped)

1,500 pounds

1,500 pounds

Trying to pack more? You might not even need to fold down the seats of the 2021 Honda CR-V. The SUV has a standard cargo volume of 39.2 cubic feet. This extra space creates more room for luggage, without leaving anyone at home.

What if you need additional space for a move? The 2021 CR-V lets you fold down its 60/40 split rear seats for a capacious 75.8 cubic feet of cargo volume.

A perfect workhorse for adventure, the Honda CR-V is capable of handling the extra luggage, bags, and outdoor gear, which enables you to win the weekend.

Honda CR-V vs Subaru Forester: 2021 Awards & Accolades

What are the critics saying? Both the 2021 Honda CR-V and the Subaru Forester received a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), including the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid.2  The vehicles were tested across categories, like:

  • Front Seat (side crash)
  • Rear Seat (side crash)
  • Front Driver Side (frontal crash)

Additionally, the 2021 Honda CR-V received a “2020 Best Buy: Compact SUV Award” from Kelley Blue Book’s 4

Applauded for its interior features and the Honda Sensing® safety suite, the Honda CR-V is designed to handle the every day. The CR-V has what you need to successfully power your commutes and weekend road trips.

Honda CR-V vs Subaru Forester: The Verdict

With additional standard safety features, better fuel economy, and increased performance, the 2021 Honda CR-V delivers what you need to drive with confidence. How can you check out this award-winning compact SUV in person?

Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, and Hershey, PA, drivers can take it for a test drive at Faulkner Honda.

Give us a call or schedule an appointment online for a 2021 Honda CR-V test drive today!


¹ 28 city/34 highway/30 combined mpg rating for 2WD trims. 27 city/32 highway/29 combined mpg rating for AWD trims. 40 city/35 highway/38 combined mpg rating for hybrid trims. Based on 2021 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery-pack age/condition (hybrid trims) and other factors.

2 Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) New Car Assessment Program ( Model tested with standard side airbags (SAB).

For more information, visit Kelley Blue Book’s Kelley Blue Book is a registered trademark of Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc.


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