2018 Honda CR-V

Starting Price: $25,245 | Price yours

Above Average: Efficiency, practicality, comfort, features, resale value...

Below Average: Infotainment interface

Consensus: Perennial segment leader widens the gap with total redesign

 

2018 Subaru Outback

Starting Price: $26,810 | Price yours

Above Average: huge interior, excellent safety and resale numbers, real off-road ability, standard all-wheel drive, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Below Average: EyeSight driver assist costs extra, base engine could use more power, 6-cylinder only offered on most expensive trims

Consensus: A roomy, well-equipped crossover/wagon with real off-road ability, great safety and resale numbers plus lots of standard equipment

 

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 both 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 Outback also impresses, with equally good marks for safety, reliability and resale. The Outback offers a massive interior, 8.7-inches of ground clearance plus the ability tow up to 2,700 pounds vs. the CR-V’s 1,500 pounds. The Outback also offers a powerful 6-cylinder engine option and high-end features like a heated rear seats and harman/kardon audio. Both the CR-V and Outback offer advanced driver assists systems that include collision warning and prevention, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, but the CR-V’s system goes a step further by actually nudging the vehicle back into its lane once the system alerts. The Outback, however, has a better infotainment and navigation setup, especially on the higher-end models.

 

Similarities

Strong reliability and resale figures, strong owner loyalty and a roomy five-passenger cabin are traits shared by both the Outback and CR-V

 

Honda CR-V Advantages

Strong resale figures, excellent safety scores, comfortable ride, peppy turbocharged engine

 

Subaru Outback Advantages

Big interior, clever roof rack system, X-Mode, excellent infotainment systems, 2,700-pound towing capacity

 

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 like to venture off-road, the Outback is better equipped to do so. The Subaru also offers more features, more ground clearance and more power, but it costs a fair bit more when so equipped.

  2018 Honda CR-V 2018 Subaru Outback
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 @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission Continuously Variable Continuously Variable
Fuel Economy 28 mpg (26 city/32 hwy) 28 mpg (25 city/32 hwy)
Also Available 1.5-liter turbo I4  3.6-liter boxer 6
Specs    
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 108.9 inches
Overall Length 180.6 inches 189.6 inches
Width 73.0 inches 72.4 inches
Height 66.1 inches 66.1 inches
Turning Diameter 37.4 feet 36.1 feet
Headroom, Front 40.1 inches 40.8 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.2 inches 38.9 inches
Legroom, Front 41.3 inches 42.9 inches
Legroom, Rear 40.4 inches 38.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 57.9 inches 58.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.6 inches 57.3 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 105.9 cu. ft.  108.1 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 39.2 cu. ft. 35.5 cu. ft.
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