Honda CR-V Vs. Subaru Forester

By Justin Cupler | April 8th, 2019

Small crossovers like the 2019 Honda CR-V and 2019 Subaru Forester offer small footprints and great fuel economy while also offering plenty of roominess. Which one is better for our Rochester area buyers? Continue reading to find out.


The Honda CR-V went through its last redesign in 2017, which brought in a new, more mature look. Much like its sedan cousin, the Accord, this redesign included a flatter nose, a bolder grille with large chrome accent, and tons more. This made the CR-V one of the most modern crossovers on the market.

The 2019 Subaru Forester received a redesign of its own, but, like many Subaru redesigns, the changes are subtle. When you put the 2019 Forester next to a 2018 model, the changes become clear. They include new front and rear fascias, a redesigned hood, new lighting, and tons more. The Forester also boasts a longer wheelbase, but we’ll go over what that means when we talk about the interior.

In their base trim levels, the 2019 Forester and 2019 CR-V go in different directions. The CR-V boasts a handful of desirable features, including 17-inch alloy wheels, power mirrors, active grille shutters, LED daytime running lights, and more. The 2019 Forester is far simpler with its standard steel wheels, black manual mirrors, and other lower-tech features.


In terms of size, the 2019 is longer and taller than the CR-V, plus it has more ground clearance and a longer wheelbase. The only measurement the CR-V is larger in is width.


Measurement 2019 Honda CR-V 2019 Subaru Forester Difference
Length 180.6 inches 182.1 inches -1.5 inches
Width 73 inches 71.5 inches +1.5 inches
Height 66.1 to 66.5 inches 67.5 inches -1.4 to -1 inches
Wheelbase 104.7 inches 105.1 inches -0.4 inches
Ground Clearance 7.8 to 8.2 inches 8.7 inches -0.9 to -0.5 inches
Curb weight 3,307 to 3,397 pounds 3,449 to 3,558 pounds -161 to -142 pounds


Advantage: 2019 Honda CR-V

  • More stylish appearance
  • Smaller and easier to handle

Advantage: 2019 Subaru Forester

  • Higher ride height for off-roading
  • More traditional looks


The 2019 Honda CR-V’s interior is not overly special, but next to the 2019 Forester, it is a bit more playful and stylish. Also, with its more horizontal lines and trim, the CR-V’s dash feels wider than it actually is.

The 2019 Forester shares its interior layout with several of its showroom siblings, so the familial ties are evident. While it may not have the fun nature the CR-V has, the Forester is more functional with its large volume and tuning knobs and shows off a fun side with some colorful accents on the Sport model.

In terms of features, the simpler 2019 Forester has more to offer in its base setup than the CR-V. Its standard options include a high-resolution 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, hard-wearing vinyl bolsters, and SiriusXM. The Forester also keeps the occupants inside safe with loads of standard active safety features, including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and more. Most of these level of features do not hit the CR-V lineup until the second-tier EX trim.  


Measurement 2019 Honda CR-V 2019 Subaru Forester Difference
Front headroom 40.1 inches 41.2 inches -1.1 inches
Front legroom 41.3 inches 43.3 inches -2 inches
Front shoulder room 57.9 inches 54.1 inches +0.8 inches
Front hip room 55.1 inches 58.2 inches +3.8 inches
Rear headroom 39.2 inches 39.6 inches -0.4 inches
Rear legroom 40.4 inches 39.4 inches +1 inches
Rear shoulder room 55.6 inches 57.2 inches -1.6 inches
Rear hip room 49.5 inches 53.6 inches -4.6 inches
Cargo capacity (behind second row) 37.6 to 39.2 cubic feet 33 to 35.4 cubic feet +2.2 to +6.2 cubic feet
Cargo capacity (second row folded) 75.8 cubic feet 70.9 to 76.1 cubic feet -0.3 to +4.9 cubic feet


Advantage: 2019 Honda HR-V

  • Standard interior features match the CR-V
  • Plenty of bang for your buck

Advantage: 2019 Honda CR-V

  • Quieter, smoother ride
  • Much roomier cabin
  • Higher luxury ceiling


Small SUVs and crossovers are far from performance vehicles, and the 2019 CR-V and 2019 Forester are examples of this. The redesigned 2019 Forester loses its potent turbocharged XT trim and shrinks to a single powertrain option: a 182-horsepower 2.4-liter engine paired to a continuously variable transmission and all-wheel drive. This adds up to a sluggish 9.6-second 0-to-60 sprint time.

The CR-V has a pair of engine options, including a standard 184-horsepower 2.4-liter and an optional 190-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. With the base engine, the CR-V hits 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, while the more accessible torque of the turbocharged 1.5-liter drops the sprint time to 7.6 seconds. The CR-V comes standard with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive is an option.

Like all Subaru crossovers, the 2019 Forester is off-road ready in all trim levels. Moving up to the second-tier Forester Touring adds off-road-enhancing goodies like X-MODE wheel spin limiter and hill-descent control.  


2019 Honda CR-V 2019 Subaru Forester Difference
Engine 2.4-liter 4-cyl 2.4-liter 4-cyl
Horsepower 184 hp at 6,400 rpm 182 hp at 5,800 rpm +2 hp
Torque 180 lb-ft at 3,900 rpm 176 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm +4 lb-ft
Transmission CVT CVT
Driveline FWD (std.)/AWD (opt.) AWD
0-60 time 8.2 seconds 9.6 seconds -1.4 seconds
Towing 1,500 pounds 1,500 pounds
MPG City 25 to 26 mpg* 26 mpg 1 to 0 mpg
MPG Highway 31 to 32 mpg* 33 mpg -2 to -1 mpg
MPG Combined 27 to 28 mpg* 29 mpg -2 to -1 mpg
Optional engine 1.5-liter turbo 4-cyl
Horsepower 190 hp at 5,600 rpm
+8 hp
Torque 179 at 2,000 to 5,000 rpm
+3 lb-ft
Transmission CVT
Driveline FWD (std.)/AWD (opt.)
0-60 time 7.6 seconds
-2 seconds
Towing 1,500 pounds
MPG City 27 to 28 mpg*
+1 to +2 mpg
MPG Highway 33 to 34 mpg*
+0 to +1 mpg
MPG Combined 29 to 30 mpg*
+0 to +1 mpg


Advantage: 2019 Honda CR-V

  • Significantly quicker acceleration
  • Better fuel economy with 1.5-liter engine
  • Softer ride

Advantage: 2019 Subaru Forester

  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Better standard fuel economy
  • Off-road-ready options

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Honda CR-V is available in four trim levels — LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring — and their starting prices range from $24,250 to $32,750***.


The five trims that make up the 2019 Subaru Forester lineup include the base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring. Their starting prices range from $24,295 to $34,295.

2019 Honda CR-V Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LX: $24,350**

  • 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine
  • CVT
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Electric parking brake with auto hold
  • Electric power steering
  • Active noise cancellation
  • Hill-start assist
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes
  • Brake assist
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Two-speed intermittent windshield wipers
  • Power mirrors
  • Active grille shutters
  • Projector-beam halogen headlights with auto-off
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Intermittent rear wiper
  • Black-color door handles
  • Black roofline spoiler
  • Automatic climate control
  • Power windows with one-touch up/down driver’s side
  • Power door locks
  • Cruise control
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Instrument-panel-mounted gear shifter
  • Conversation mirror with sunglasses holder
  • Floor mats
  • Rear-seat heater ducts
  • Cargo-area tie-down anchors
  • Cargo-area light
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • 160-four-speaker audio system
  • 5-inch LCD touchscreen
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Pandora
  • One 1-amp USB port in center console
  • Two 12-volt power outlets
  • Multi-angle rearview mirrors with guidelines


EX: $27,250**

  • All LX features, plus
  • 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Remote engine start
  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  • Auto-on/-off headlights
  • Body-color roofline spoiler
  • Body-color door handles
  • Tinted rear glass
  • Security system
  • Smart entry with walk-away auto lock
  • One-touch power moonroof
  • Fog lights
  • Variable-intermittent wipers
  • Heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Keyless ignition
  • Retractable cargo cover
  • Power windows with one-touch-up/down front windows
  • Heated front seats
  • 12-way power driver’s seat
  • One 1.5-amp USB port in center console
  • 180-watt, six-speaker audio system
  • 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • HondaLink
  • SiriusXM
  • SMS text messaging function
  • 2.5-amp USB ports in second row
  • Honda LaneWatch


EX-L: $29,750**

  • All EX features, plus
  • Power liftgate
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • HomeLink Remote System
  • Leather seating
  • Four-way power passenger’s seat
  • 180-watt, eight-speaker audio system


Touring: $32,750**

  • All EX-L features, plus
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Hands-free power liftgate
  • Roof rails
  • LED headlights with auto on/off
  • Dual chrome exhaust exits
  • Navigation
  • 330-watt premium nine-speaker audio system with a subwoofer

2019 Subaru Forester Key Features and Pricing by Trim

Base: $24,295

  • 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Continuously variable transmission
  • All-wheel drive
  • Four-wheel disc brakes
  • 17-inch steel wheels
  • Automatic engine stop/start
  • Black mirrors
  • Auto-on/off LED headlights
  • Keyless entry
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Multifunction driver display
  • Power windows with one-touch-up/down driver’s window
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Overhead console with sunglasses storage
  • Dual front USB ports
  • Cargo-area grocery bag and tie-down hooks
  • Cargo-area under-floor storage
  • Automatic climate control
  • Starlink 6.5-inch infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Pandora and Aha radio
  • STARLINK apps
  • SiriusXM
  • Magellan navigation
  • 6.5-inch high-resolution touchscreen
  • Four-speaker AM/FM/CD/HD Radio audio system
  • Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Sway warning
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Rearview camera
  • Anti-theft system


Touring: $26,695

  • All Base features, plus
  • X-MODE wheel spin limiter
  • Hill-descent control
  • 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Roof spoiler
  • Body-color mirrors
  • Raised roof rails
  • Panoramic moonroof
  • 10-way power driver’s seat
  • Reclining rear seats
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
  • Front passenger’s one-touch-up/down window
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi
  • Fold-down rear armrest with cup holders
  • Removable cargo-area tray
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Automatic collision notification
  • SOS emergency service
  • Remote engine start with climate control
  • Remote lock and unlock
  • Concierge service


Sport: $28,795

  • All Premium features, plus
  • Larger front brakes
  • 18-inch black-finish alloy wheels
  • LED fog lights
  • Mirror-integrated turn signals
  • Windshield wiper de-icer
  • Single chrome-outlet exhaust
  • Heated front seats
  • Sport cloth upholstery with orange stitching
  • Color multifunction display
  • Keyless access with push-button start
  • PIN-code access
  • Paddle shifters
  • Dual second-row USB ports
  • Automatic high-beam headlights


Limited: $30,795

  • All Sport features, plus
  • 18-inch five-spoke black aluminum wheels with machine finish
  • Leather upholstery
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Halogen fog lights
  • Power liftgate
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • STARLINK 8-inch infotainment system
  • Hands-free SMS text messaging
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert


Touring: $34,295

  • All Limited features, plus
  • LED fog lights
  • Satin-chrome mirrors
  • Eight-way power passenger’s seat
  • Heated rear outboard seats
  • One-touch folding rear seats
  • Two-position memory for driver’s seat and mirrors
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Paddle shifters
  • Navigation
  • Nine-speaker, 576-watt Harman/Kardon audio system
  • Driver-distraction-mitigation system
  • Reverse automatic emergency braking

Who Should Buy the 2019 Honda CR-V

Need a crossover that rides like a car and still has some off-road capabilities? The CR-V is right for you with its sedan-like drive, roomy interior, and upscale features.

Who Should Buy the 2019 Subaru Forester?

Buyers looking for a more off-road-ready crossover will fall in love with the rugged, high-riding Forester.


Is the 2019 Honda CR-V the right crossover for your family? Come test drive is at Garber Honda serving the Rochester area to get a little seat time in its. Right down the road from Pittsford and Henrietta, our new Honda dealership has loads of 2019 CR-V models in stock today. Can’t make it into our Rochester area Honda dealership today? Check out our online inventory, pick a few 2019 CR-V models you like and schedule a test drive for later.


*26 city/32 highway/28 combined mpg rating for 2WD LX trims. 25 city/31 highway/27 combined mpg rating for AWD LX trims. 28 city/34 highway/30 combined mpg rating for 2WD EX, EX-L & Touring trims. 27 city/33 highway/29 combined mpg rating for AWD EX, EX-L & Touring trims. Based on 2019 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.


**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $1,045.00 destination charge and options. Dealers set own prices.