2019 Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester and the Honda CR-V are both small crossover vehicles and are closely matched in terms of seating, towing capacity, fuel efficiency, and both feature all-wheel drive. But that’s where the similarities stop for these two competitors. Take a test-drive of a 2019 Subaru Forester for sale at Lee’s Summit Subaru to feel the difference.


The Subaru Forester has been completely redesigned for 2019 and offers five trim levels: Base, Premium, Sport, Limited, and Touring, each progressively more lavish. All features a 2.5-liter engine, continuous variable automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive.

The Subaru Forester is a top pick for those who live in snowy climates or participate in off-road driving. Acceleration of the new more powerful four-cylinder 2.5-liter engine is great for just driving around the city and never feels slow or under-powered when stepping on the gas.

The Honda CR-V was comprehensively redesigned in 2018 and those changes carry over unchanged to the 2019 CR-V models. The CR-V offers four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring and each trim are progressively more expensive. The base model comes with a 190 horsepower/1.5-liter engine but a buyer could opt for the turbocharged 184 horsepower/2.4-liter engine that is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission and front-wheel drive although all-wheel-drive is an option on all trim models.

The CR-V is quicker than most competitors when it comes to vehicles with small displacement turbocharged engines. Although the CR-V isn’t designed for off-road driving, the ground clearance means you won’t have problems with unpaved roads with comfortable rides yet it handles corners OK.

Cargo Space/ Towing Capacity/ Fuel Efficiency

The Subaru Forester EPA mileage estimate is 26 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway giving it a combined MPG of 29 miles per gallon which is about the same as the Honda CR-V.

The Subaru Forester has increased its passenger space and allows generous cargo capacity compared to previous year models. The Forester offers one of the largest cargo capacities in this segment when comparing to other SUVs - 35.4 cu ft. of cargo space behind the back seat row which increases to 71.1 cu ft. when the back seats are folded nearly flat.

The Forester has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds which is a good towing rate when compared to other SUVs of the same class.

The Forester has a roomier interior and the cabin is fresh with lots of legroom even though the rear seats are mounted high. There are many pockets, trays, and other storage spaces throughout the cabin, and visibility is excellent due to the large windows.

The Honda CR-V EPA mileage estimate is 27 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway giving it a combined mpg of 29 miles per gallon, which is the same as the Subaru Forester.

The CR-V has a towing capacity of 1,500 pounds which is the same as the Subaru Forester and is about the normal for this vehicle class although the CR-V cannot be towed behind a motorhome.

The CR-V features a roomy interior with plentiful storage areas throughout. The CR-V offers 39.2 cu ft. of rear cargo space with the rear seats up but that amount increases to 75.8 cu ft. when the seats are folded down which makes this vehicle cargo capacity at the top of its class. A height adjustable cargo floor allows you the choice between a flat loading surface and more cargo space.

Safety Features

The Subaru Forester safety features include: 

  • DriverFocus: An alert sounds when the drivers head tracking system detects that the driver is distracted.
  • EyeSight Driver Assist technology: Feature lane departure warning and lane keeping assist to provide automatic emergency braking in order to help prevent accidents.
  • Reverse Automatic Braking: Applies the brakes if another vehicle is detected crossing the Forester’s path while in reverse in order to help prevent collisions.

The Honda CR-V safety features include:

  • Auto High-Beam Headlights: The high-beam headlights are activated and deactivated depending on traffic.
  • Mitigation Braking System: Automatically applies vehicle brakes if an imminent collision is detected and the driver hasn’t responded quickly enough.
  • Lane Keeping Assist: Corrects the vehicle’s course if the monitor camera detects an inadvertent lane departure. 


The Subaru Forester has a reworked dashboard giving it a new touchscreen infotainment interface which features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

The Forester includes many safety features which are standard such as the EyeSight safety system which is included in every Forester but the blind spot monitor is only available about halfway up the trim option packages.

The DriverFocus system for facial recognition works great once you enter the driver’s seat. This software can also store memory settings for up to five different drivers by simply sitting down on the seat and the exterior mirrors automatically adjust to your settings.

The Honda CR-V offers physical controls that are intuitive but the touchscreen buttons are small and can be touchy. The touchscreen itself can be touchy and lacks a separate tuning knob.

Although the optional navigation system isn’t as reliable as expected, Apple CarPlay and Android integration are standard on all but the base LX trim and include four USB ports.


Overall both have a lot of options and in general, have a lot to offer, but the Subaru Forester seems to have a better quality product at a better price. The Forester shows better performance and design.

The safety and technology features are at the top of the line for this class vehicle. And although the fuel efficiency is the same when compared to the Honda CR-V, the Forester offers better technological features with fewer bugs and it only requires a tradeoff of a little cargo space in return.

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