2018 Honda CR-V

Starting Price: $25,245 | Price yours

Above Average: Honda reliability, Honda resale, available turbocharged engine, big back seat and cargo area

Below Average: Infotainment system controls

Consensus: The segment leader continues to shine, offering value, safety and peace of mind at a very affordable price


2018 Subaru Forester

Starting Price: $24,710 | Price yours

Above Average: Huge interior, standard all-wheel drive, available manual transmission, off-road-capable, available turbocharged engine

Below Average: Noisy at highway speeds, firm ride, hard interior plastics

Consensus: A well-rounded crossover with good marks for safety, resale and reliability, but its aging design is set for replacement next year


The 2018 Honda CR-V remains a favorite for a number of reasons. It’s priced right, offers a roomy interior and cargo area, sips gas and earns top marks for its crash test results and resale values. So good is the CR-V that it won KBB’s Small SUV Best Buy of 2018 award. The 2018 Subaru Forester also does well in the areas of safety, reliability and resale, plus its 8.7 inches of ground clearance and X-Mode system makes it a rather capable off-road vehicle. Compared to the Forester, however, the CR-V offers a more modern interior that is quieter at highway speeds, and its handling is a bit more controlled. Both SUVs deliver good fuel economy, although the Forester’s standard AWD doesn’t penalize with lower numbers. Both offer the option of a turbocharged engine, and while the Forester’s turbo is more powerful than the CR-V’s, it’s also more expensive. Lastly, the Forester offers a massive rear seat and great outward visibility, but the CR-V has a bigger cargo area, smoother ride and more advanced driver assist features.



The CR-V and Forester share similar resale values, reliability ratings and interior dimensions, as well as safety scores


Honda CR-V Advantages

Newer design, smooth ride, turbocharged engine standard on all but the base trim, quiet interior, available road departure mitigation


Subaru Forester Advantages

Tall side glass makes for excellent outward visibility, standard all-wheel drive, available 6-speed manual transmission, lots of legroom, available panoramic sunroof, off-road capability


Final Recommendation

The CR-V is a win-win proposition, offering a nearly unbeatable combination of price, value, features and fuel economy. However, if you need maximum ground clearance, legroom or visibility, you won’t be unhappy with the Subaru Forester.

  2018 Honda CR-V 2018 Subaru Forester
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.4-liter I4 2.5-liter boxer 4
Horsepower 184 hp @ 6,400 rpm 175 hp @ 5,800 rpm
Torque 180 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm 174 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm
Transmission Continuously Variable Continuously Variable
Fuel Economy 28 mpg (26 city/32 hwy) 28 mpg (26 city/32 hwy)
Also Available 1.5L turbo I4 2.0L turbo I4, manual 6-spd
Warranty 3 years or 36,000 miles 3 years or 36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 104.7 inches 103.9 inches
Overall Length 180.6 inches 181.5 inches
Width 73.0 inches 70.7 inches
Height 66.1 inches 66.4 inches
Turning Diameter 37.4 feet 34.8 feet
Headroom, Front 40.1 inches 41.4 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.2 inches 38.8 inches
Legroom, Front 41.3 inches 43.0 inches
Legroom, Rear 40.4 inches 38.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 57.9 inches 57.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.6 inches 56.5 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 105.9 cu. ft.  108.3 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 39.2 cu. ft. 34.4 cu. ft.
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