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Honda CR-V Beats Subaru Forester in Head-to-Head Comparison

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2017/18/19 Honda CR-V
Photo: Honda

First the 2019 Honda CR-V defeated the Toyota RAV4, and now it’s gone ahead and beaten the Subaru Forester in Car and Driver’s latest compact SUV head-to-head comparison test.

Both models were in their top-level Touring trim, and the CR-V had the all-wheel drive option tacked on, which comes standard in the Forester. Nevertheless, even with AWD added on as a $1,400 option, the CR-V remained a hair more affordable.

In performance tests the CR-V was the clear winner, its 1.5-liter turbo engine putting out more horsepower and torque than the larger, but non-turbocharged 2.5-liter in the Forester. Acceleration tests supported the obvious conclusion: the CR-V is plainly faster by every metric.

Yet thanks to turbocharging technology, it’s hardly less efficient. The EPA gives the CR-V an estimated combined fuel economy of 29 mpg (27 city and 33 highway), almost the same as the Forester, which gets just one less mpg in the city.

Related: 2019 Honda CR-V model overview

However, Car and Driver did find in its own tests driving at 75 mpg on the highway that the Forester was slightly more efficient. The publication also noted that the CR-V handled more responsively.

Performance is just one category, but in every other respect, the two SUVs were surprisingly even. In terms of space, the CR-V had the advantage when it came to cargo and the Forester took the lead when it came to accommodating passengers. The CR-V was praised for its “solidly assembled and attractive environment,” and both cars were noted for their advanced suite of active safety technologies.

Ultimately, performance seemed to be the deciding factor for Car and Driver. “Both are excellent examples of modern compact SUVs. But the Honda is more powerful and satisfying to operate as a vehicle while remaining perfectly agreeable, which is a quality we appreciate even in basic driving appliances,” wrote Michael Simari. “Along with its well-rounded list of attributes, that’s enough for the CR-V to edge out the Forester in our ranking of the segment.”

Related: CR-V ranks among the best family cars

News Source: Car and Driver