2019 Subaru Forester

Starting Price: $25,270 | Price Yours

Above Average: Standard AWD and EyeSight, huge interior, excellent safety and resale numbers, real off-road ability, superior outward visibility, available driver drowsiness monitor

Below Average: Doesn’t look all that different than the previous model, average acceleration

Consensus: A quirky looking family favorite, providing excellent year-round driving confidence, a roomy interior and top marks in the areas of safety, resale and fuel economy.


2019 Honda CR-V

Starting Price: $25,345 | Price Yours

Above Average: Honda reliability, Honda resale, fuel-efficient turbocharged engine, big back seat and cargo area

Below Average: Latest driver assists cost extra, missing some high-end options, not very powerful

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

The Subaru Forester is all-new for 2019. Slightly larger and riding on Subaru’s new Global Platform, it retains many of the previous generations attributes with some noticeable improvements in the areas of quietness, comfort and fuel-efficiency. The Forester offers an amazing feature set for the money. Standard equipment includes the EyeSight collision avoidance system, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A new Sport model adds Si-Drive and paddle shifters, but with the previous generation’s turbocharged engine, it’s little more than window dressing. The Forester’s roomy interior and high roof make it ideal for tall occupants, and its massive glass greenhouse provides excellent 360-degree visibility.  A generous 8.7-inches of ground clearance allows the Forester to tackle light off-road situations, as does its X-Mode traction management system. With its 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, the Forester isn’t exactly quick, but it can keep up with most other SUVs in this class and, despite its standard all-wheel drive, earns impressive fuel economy figures of 26 mpg city and 33 mpg highway.

Compared to the Forester, the Honda CR-V offers more rear seat legroom and cargo space, but less headroom. The CR-V’s standard 2.4-liter and available 1.5-liter turbocharged engines provide nearly the same horsepower and torque as the Forester, and fuel economy is also about the same. The CR-V can be equipped with the Honda Sensing driver assist system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but not on every trim like the Forester offers. Both around town and on the highway, the CR-V is easy to drive, with good feedback through the steering wheel and minimal body roll in corners. We also think the CR-V’s ride is noticeably smoother than in the Forester, and its cabin better insolated from outside noise. The CR-V and Forester both score well in the areas of resale and reliability, but the CR-V has a slightly longer track record.  In fact, so good is the CR-V that it won KBB.com’s small SUV Best Buy of 2018 Award.

Subaru Forester Advantages

Advantages the Forester has over the CR-V include standard EyeSight, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, more headroom, better visibility, standard all-wheel drive, better infotainment and audio system options, a tighter turning circle and more ground clearance.

Honda CR-V Advantages

The CR-V has a bigger cargo bay, smoother ride, more rear seat legroom, a turbocharged engine option and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.


The Forester and CR-V both hold excellent resale, safety and reliability ratings, both can be equipped with advanced driver assists and both offer roomy interiors with big back seats. All-wheel drive is standard on the Forester and available on the CR-V, and both SUVs come with a CVT automatic transmission that helps them return similar fuel economy numbers

Final Recommendation

In the areas of resale and reliability, it’s pretty much a toss up. However, the Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive and EyeSight, yet its base price is actually lower than the entry-level front-drive CR-V. The Forester also offers more high-end features such as a Harman/Kardon audio system, rear seat heaters and an 8-way power passenger seat. Lastly, the Forester can actually tackle some pretty tough off-road terrain, something to consider if you’re all about weekends off the beaten path.

  2019 Subaru Forester 2019 Honda CR-V
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.5-liter flat-4 2.4-liter I4
Horsepower 182 hp @ 5,800 rpm 184 hp @ 6,400 rpm
Torque 176 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm 180 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm
Transmission Continuously Variable Continuously Variable
Fuel Economy 29 mpg (26 city/33 hwy) 28 mpg (26 city/32 hwy)
Also Available   1.5L turbo I4, AWD
Warranty 3 years/36,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating n/a 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 105.1 inches 104.7 inches
Overall Length 182.1 inches 180.6 inches
Width 71.5 inches 73.0 inches
Height 67.5 inches 66.1 inches
Turning Diameter 35.4 feet 37.4 feet
Headroom, Front 41.2 inches 40.1 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.6 inches 39.2 inches
Legroom, Front 43.3 inches 41.3 inches
Legroom, Rear 39.4 inches 40.4 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 58.2 inches 57.9 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 57.2 inches 55.6 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 111.9 cu. ft 105.9 cu. ft. 
EPA Cargo Volume 33.0 cu. ft. 39.2 cu. ft.
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