Honda CRV VS Subaru Forester

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Here's a comparison between the Honda CR-V and the Subaru Forester. These models are two of the most popular small SUVs in the country and after trying them it is easy to see why.

Subaru has been making these sort of cars as a key part of their model line up for decades. The halo model is of course the relatively bargain priced for the performance Imprezza WRX version.

The Forester is based on the Imprezza and it does show. However there are quite a number of improvements, including the larger restyled body that attracted us to it.

Overall we where so of impressed yet not quite sure about a few things that where not quite right about it. Read on...


Subaru Forester
Honda CRV

In terms of exterior design the Forester looks and feels like a cheaper station wagon compared to the CRV. The Forester's front in particular is on the ugly side. However viewed overall the Forester is not ugly. In contrast the CR-V has a more unique look on the outside and more stylish - even in base model trim.

The Forester's feels OK it is car like but unfortunately it is cheaper in feel although it is very solid. It has 90's style air vents and a manual gear knob that belongs in a car made in the 1980's. It also feels cramped despite the larger looking exterior but larger than say the Captiva. There is not much secure storage since some have an open centre console. Over the long term we would not be happy with the presentation.

Interior wise the CR-V again has the advantage. It is designed with convenience space and quality in mind. The CRV feels more comfy due to space arrangement and solid interior. The more upright driving position is preferable.

The only advantage the Forester has over all its competitors is permanent AWD and the availability of a real low range gear box in some of the manual versions.

Last known pricing (RRP)

NOT including on roads, discounts etc...

Honda CR-V
2010 $30,990 - 42,790 AUD

Subaru Forester
2010 $30,990 - 47,490 AUD




Although I did not go off-road, based on the specifications the Forester easily has more ability since it has a dual range gear box but you should know by now there is more to off-road capability but in manual only!  The CR-V has an on-demand AWD system so it works as a front wheel drive most of the time.

In terms of the drive and performance wise, the Honda has the edge since the Forester just doesn't have enough gears or perhaps the engine is just feels like a mute button has been applied. The Honda doesn't needs to work as hard and sounds like a proper engine where as the Forester seems to be slower and sounds like a diesel? I also think the Honda has the edge in terms of smoothness. Both are reasonably quiet on the road but not near Prado levels.

Of course chose the turbo petrol version for excellent on road performance. In the end the Forester looks and feels like a cheaper car especially in base trim. However it drives OK but there are better.

Honda CR-V Subaru Forester (S3)

IL 4 Cylinder (K24Z1)
IL 4 Cylinder petrol
2.4 Litre (2354cc)
Claimed 125Kw @ 5800RPM
Claimed 218Nm @ 4200RPM
F4 Cylinder (EJ25)
IL 4 Cylinder petrol
2.4 Litre (2457cc)
Claimed 126Kw @ 6000RPM
Claimed 229Nm @ 4400RPM

F4 Cylinder Turbo (EJ25DET)
IL 4 Cylinder petrol
2.4 Litre (2457cc)
Claimed 169Kw @ 5200RPM
Claimed 320Nm @ 2800RPM

1580 - 1630Kg
Towing capacity up to 1500kg
1480 - 1525Kg
Towing capacity up to 1400kg
Fuel capacity & consumption  
Up to 58 litres
IL4 Petrol 10 Lts per 100km AVG (Auto)
Up to 60 litres
IL4 Petrol 9.6Lts per 100km AVG (Auto)
Other specifications  
6 speed manual or 5 speed Auto
Overall Height/Width 1680/1820
Overall Length/Wheelbase 4565/2605
4WD system: On demand AWD
ANCAP Safety: 4/5
5 speed manual or 4 speed Auto
Overall height/Width 1700/1795
Overall length/Wheelbase 4560/2615
4WD system: AWD
ANCAP Safety: 5/5
Angle of: (degrees)
Approach xx
Departure xx
Breakover xx
Ground clearance (unloaded) 185mm
Water Fording depth xxmm Max
Angle of: (degrees)
Approach xx
Departure xx
Breakover xx
Ground clearance (unloaded) 220mm
Water Fording depth xxmm Max
Performance Performance

Petrol (non-tubro)
0-100Kph:9.5 secs

Petrol (non-tubro auto)
0-100Kph:11 secs

Petrol (tubro)
0-100Kph: 7.9 secs

2010 $30,990 - 42,790 AUD
*Always check with the dealer for up to date pricing, specifications, on-road costs, accessories and specials etc.. everything as usual is subject to change!
2010 $30,990 - 47,490 AUD
*Always check with the dealer for up to date pricing, specifications, on-road costs, accessories and specials etc.. everything as usual is subject to change!

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