2019 Honda CR-V vs. 2019 Subaru Crosstrek

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the CR-V’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Subaru Crosstrek has a metal gas tank.

Both the CR-V and the Crosstrek have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Honda CR-V is safer than the Subaru Crosstrek:

 

CR-V

Crosstrek

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

23%

36%

Neck Stress

194 lbs.

304 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

58/91 lbs.

252/363 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

29%

44.6%

Neck Stress

124 lbs.

195 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

183/200 lbs.

230/427 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Honda CR-V is safer than the Subaru Crosstrek:

 

CR-V

Crosstrek

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

137

138

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.7 inches

Abdominal Force

130 G’s

196 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

125

303

Spine Acceleration

53 G’s

58 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

There are over 66 percent more Honda dealers than there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CR-V’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V third among compact suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Crosstrek isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 23rd in initial quality. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.

Engine

The CR-V LX’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 32 more horsepower (184 vs. 152) and 35 lbs.-ft. more torque (180 vs. 145) than the Crosstrek’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 38 more horsepower (190 vs. 152) and 34 lbs.-ft. more torque (179 vs. 145) than the Crosstrek’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Honda CR-V is faster than the Subaru Crosstrek (automatics tested):

 

CR-V LX

CR-V 1.5T

Crosstrek

Zero to 60 MPH

8.6 sec

8.2 sec

10.2 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

The CR-V has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Honda CR-V comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Crosstrek.

Brakes and Stopping

The CR-V stops much shorter than the Crosstrek:

 

CR-V

Crosstrek

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CR-V has larger tires than the Crosstrek (235/65R17 vs. 225/60R17).

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the CR-V is 2 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Crosstrek.

The CR-V Touring AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Crosstrek Premium pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CR-V LX executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Crosstrek Limited (27.7 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

The front grille of the CR-V uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The CR-V uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The CR-V has 5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Crosstrek (105.9 vs. 100.9).

The CR-V has .3 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom and 3.9 inches more rear legroom than the Crosstrek.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the CR-V’s rear seats recline. The Crosstrek’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Crosstrek with its rear seat up (39.2 vs. 20.8 cubic feet). The CR-V has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Crosstrek with its rear seat folded (75.8 vs. 55.3 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the CR-V easier. The CR-V’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Crosstrek’s liftover is 30.9 inches.

The CR-V’s cargo area is larger than the Crosstrek’s in almost every dimension:

 

CR-V

Crosstrek

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

37.5”/71”

32.3”/64.2”

Max Width

54”

53”

Min Width

41.5”

43”

Height

41”

30”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the CR-V’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the CR-V EX-L/Touring has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the CR-V Touring, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Servicing Ease

The CR-V has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Crosstrek doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The engine computer on the CR-V automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Crosstrek’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

When two different drivers share the CR-V EX-L/Touring, the memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer memory seats.

The CR-V EX-L/Touring’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

If the windows are left open on the CR-V the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Crosstrek can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The CR-V Touring’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Crosstrek’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The CR-V EX/EX-L/Touring’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the CR-V and the Crosstrek offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the CR-V has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Model Availability

The CR-V is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Crosstrek doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CR-V is less expensive to operate than the Crosstrek because it costs $504 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the CR-V than the Crosstrek, including $111 less for a water pump, $19 less for front brake pads, $139 less for front struts and $151 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Honda CR-V has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

CR-V

Crosstrek

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V first among compact suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Crosstrek isn’t in the top three.

The CR-V was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 17 years. The Crosstrek has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

Motor Trend selected the CR-V as their 2018 Sport Utility of the Year. The Crosstrek has never been chosen.

The Honda CR-V outsold the Subaru Crosstrek by almost three to one during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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