There's no question that the 2020 Subaru Forester and Honda CR-V are excellent vehicles. In some respects, the 'head-to-head'
competition is 'neck to neck' with the exception of four key areas where the Forester stands out - PRICE, STANDARD AWD, SAFETY and INFOTAINMENT SYSTEM. Consumer Reports agrees and named the Subaru Forester the #1 Compact SUV and a Top 10 Pick for Best All-Wheel Drive SUVs in the snow. Not Honda. Not Toyota. Subaru Forester.  The 2020 Subaru Forester is less expensive, offers All-Wheel-Drive STANDARD, has higher safety ratings and an infotainment system that gets rave reviews in our connected world. 

All-Wheel Drive

Subaru is the leader in All-Wheel Drive technology and every Subaru Forester comes with it - standard! Honda CR-V comes standard with Front Wheel Drive with a +$1,500 AWD OPTION - making the CR-V SIGNIFICANTLY more expensive than the Forester. Learn more about Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive System and how it ensures outstanding grip in snow, rain, or rough terrain.

Space and Visibility

Both vehicles offer excellent interior accommodations where the differences in dimensions are measured in tenths of an inch.  However, everybody needs their "space". The 2020 Subaru Forester passenger volume is 111.9 cu, ft. vs 105.9 cu. ft. for the CR-V. 

Of the 2020 Forester...

"The Forester builds a lead in comfort and capability, mostly thanks to its brutally efficient shape that prioritizes comfort and not style.  It's boxy shape and cross-trainer looks are a boon to outward vision. The Forester comfortably seats up to five adults with nearly 40 inches of rear seat leg room. The front seats are spacious, with a commanding view ahead, but the rear seat's a coliseum of space for a compact crossover." The Car Connection

"The Subie's cabin feels roomy, airy, and inviting. It's helped by the panoramic sunroof that comes standard on non-base Foresters."
Business Insider

The Foresters "brutally efficient boxy shape", mentioned by The Car Connection, has one other benefit few people consider when test driving a competitive SUV but regret later... GREAT VISIBILITY!  The Forester's high windows significantly reduces driver blind spots and provides rear passengers with a wide-open feel.

COMPARE the side window view in the head to head photo at the top of this page and notice how much taller the Forester's windows are. Great for the passengers and great for the driver when making lane changes or navigating through traffic.

COMPARE the rear window views below. Again, notice the height of the Forester's window and the lower cut (vs straight line on the CR-V) that offers the BEST visibility for your safety and those around you - especially backing up and with children in the area!


The 2020 Subaru Forester MSRP starts at just $25,505 vs the 2020 Honda CR-V (FWD) at $26,170, including destination charges. That's $665 less for the Forester - and its got all wheel drive! When you add the $1,500 AWD option for the CR-V (after all, we DO live in snowy New England), the price difference is OVER $2,000!

When comparing prices from manufacturers or getting dealer quotes, ALWAYS make sure the destination charge is included.

Multi-media and connectivity

2020 Forester and CR-V both offer a multi-media/information display and both support Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and SiriusXM (subscription required).
All Subaru Forester models INCLUDE the  SUBARU STARLINK system. Base model CR-V only offers a 5" color screen vs 7" on the Forester. Industry reviews were not so kind about the Infotainment System offered in the 2020 Honda CR-V.

"Sadly, the 2020 CR-V remains stuck with the Honda's older infotainment system, which isn't as easy to use as the newer system in its latest models." Edmunds

"Honda reintroduced a rotary volume knob last year and we appreciate that, but a lack of other controls, slow infotainment responses, and the absence of an auxiliary input can't be forgiven."  Car and Driver

"If there's a downside inside, it's the touchscreen found in all but the base LX. It's perfectly functional, but its responsiveness, menu structure, and touch-sensitive menu buttons add up to a system that's less user-friendly."  Autotrader

"The Subaru really impressed us with its Starlink infotainment system. It's intuitively designed, attractively rendered, and packed with feature content."  Business Insider

Accident avoidance systems

Both Subaru and Honda have excellent advanced active safety features, albeit they work differently and offer slightly different feature sets with different name terminology. Subaru's system is called EyeSight Driver Assist Technology and Honda's is called Honda Sensing. Of the two, only the 2020 Forester received the 2020 IIHS Top Safety Pick + rating while the CR-V only received Top Safety Pick.

CLICK HERE to learn how Subaru's EyeSight Driver Assist Technology has been shown to reduce rear end crashes with injuries by up to 85%.
Call Center Subaru at 888-869-5889
to schedule a test drive. We'll come to you!


Boxer Engine (across the entire product line)

At the heart of every Subaru is the horizontally opposed boxer engine, where the pistons move from side to side like two boxers punching. This creates less cabin vibration, reduced wear and tear and balanced power sent to the wheels from the symmetrical all-wheel drive train. It's the same proven engine design that drives our family cars as well as our high-performance WRX-STi rally cars. Only Subaru and select Porsche models use the boxer engine. 

The advantages include: Low profile, providing lower center of gravity for predictable handling. Produces less vibration than other engine designs.  SUBARU BOXER engines help enhance overall vehicle safety and longevity.
It's no wonder 96% of Forester vehicles sold in the last 10 years are still on the road today! Honda does not offer the boxer engine.

Forester Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vs CR-V

Subarus are designed and engineered from the start to be all wheel drive. Notice how the components are aligned in a straight line from the boxer engine --> transmission --> drive train and that both sides are symmetrical. This symmetry is incredibly efficient and provides power to all four wheels all the time for maximum traction, balance and control. Other examples of symmetry include butterflies and airplanes.

The Honda CR-V is primarily front wheel drive (FWD) biased that has been re-engineered with an AWD accessory package. With a typical transverse engine, output is rerouted multiple times to get power to the rear wheels (see image above). Its AWD often engages AFTER loss of traction is detected. Notice how one front axle is longer than the other. This can cause torque steer where heavy acceleration can cause the vehicle to veer unpredictably to the left or right. Torque steer can be scary for novice drivers such as teen drivers who have a tendency to "experiment" with acceleration and lose control.

Is the Subaru Forester a Good SUV?
US News states," Yes, the Subaru Forester is a good 2-row compact SUV. It rides smoothly, and unlike many rivals, the Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive. Inside, this Subaru looks good and incorporates premium materials throughout the cabin. There's plenty of cargo space, and the infotainment system is easy to use. There are plenty of standard driver assistance features as well.
In fact, we named the Forester our 2019 Best Compact SUV for Families because of its superior combination of cargo and passenger space, safety and reliability ratings, positive reviews from automotive journalists, and available family-friendly features."

While both vehicles seem like great choices, only the 2020 Subaru Forester offers more value with standard symmetrical AWD, a lower price tag, higher safety ratings and a feature-rich infotainment system that is intuitive and easy to use. Don't take our word for it, schedule a test drive at Center Subaru and decide for yourself.
CALL 888-869-5889 TODAY