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The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek and Honda CR-V are two well-known SUVs. They're both on the smaller side, so they work well for people who don't necessarily need a cavernous cabin or a really powerful engine. The Subaru and Honda companies have been around for a long time, so these models are definitely going to be reliable. They're practical, too, and they meet the needs of many customers.
They are fairly similar to each other, so at first, it may be hard to determine which would be the better choice. This overview will go over the ways in which they differ so that hopefully the decision will be easier.
There are several options for the powertrain with both models. The Subaru Crosstrek has two standard engines and one hybrid powertrain, and the CR-V has either a traditional or hybrid powertrain.
With the Subaru Crosstrek, the lower trims have 2.0-liter engines. These engines have 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque, and they can be paired with six-speed manual transmissions or lineartronic continuously variable transmissions.
The higher trims have 2.5-liter engines that are going to make things a little more exciting. One of these engines can make 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. Manual transmission is not an option with these larger engines. They only come with continuously variable transmissions.
Another option for the Crosstrek is a hybrid powertrain. It, too, uses a 2.0-liter engine, but it also has an electric component. It has a net horsepower of 148. A hybrid Crosstrek can tow up to 1,000 pounds, while all of the others can tow up to 1,500 pounds.
With the Honda CR-V, the standard engine is a 1.5-liter engine. It may be small, but it has a turbocharger. This makes it much more powerful than it would otherwise be. A Honda CR-V, with this engine, has 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. This is more than what any of the Crosstrek engines can do. Like the Crosstrek, the CR-V uses a continuously variable transmission. It has sport mode to make the engine a bit more responsive, and on the flip side, there's an Eco Assist system that can make the engine more fuel efficient.
There's a hybrid choice for the CR-V as well. It uses a 2.0-liter engine along with an electric component, and together they yield 212 horsepower. It's impressive that the hybrid version of the CR-V is actually more powerful than the standard one. It's a sign of what's to come in regards to energy-efficient innovations. In the future, hopefully people won't have to sacrifice too much in order to be more eco-friendly; in fact, they could actually see many benefits as they conserve natural resources.
Both types of CR-V have towing capacities of 1,500 pounds. In this regard, it's on par with what the Crosstrek can do.
A major perk of getting the Subaru Crosstrek is that it comes standard with all-wheel drive. This is one of things that Subaru is known for, and it gives people a lot of peace of mind. Of course, all-wheel drive can come in handy when driving in wintry conditions. It can also be useful in dry conditions, such as when cornering. The hybrid Honda CR-V comes standard with all-wheel drive, and the non-hybrid version can either have front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
Hill start assist is a feature that's found in the Honda CR-V. It's useful when the vehicle has been stopped on a slope and is facing uphill. It can keep pressure on the brakes as the driver switches from the brake to the gas pedal, and it does so in order to keep the vehicle from rolling backwards during this short transition period.
Another handy feature that the Honda CR-V has is remote engine start. It's standard on most of the trims, and it lets people turn their engines on before they even get into their cabins. The real bonus is that the cabin can either warm up or cool down, depending on the weather, before people get in.
In terms of fuel efficiency, these vehicles do pretty well. Obviously, the hybrids are going to be the best models if consumers are concerned about fuel consumption. The hybrid version of the CR-V can earn an estimated 40/35 (city/highway) miles per gallon, for a combined 38 miles per gallon. The hybrid Crosstrek has a combined fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon, and its MPGe is 90.
A non-hybrid CR-V can achieve up to 28/34 (city/highway) miles per gallon. The numbers are a bit lower when an all-wheel drivetrain has been installed. A Crosstrek with a 2.0-liter engine and a manual transmission has an estimated fuel economy of 22/29 miles per gallon. With the continuously variable transmission (CVT), the numbers are actually much better. A Crosstrek with the smaller engine and a CVT can earn up to 28/33 miles per gallon, and one with the larger engine can achieve 27/34 miles per gallon.
Many people would be comfortable behind the wheel of either a Crosstrek or a CR-V. They have enough power to make them responsive, and they have an ideal size.
The Crosstrek has a length of 176.5 inches, and the CR-V has an overall length of 182.1 inches. Just as the CR-V is slightly longer than the Crosstrek, it's also a little wider and taller. However, the Crosstrek sits higher off the ground than the CR-V does. It has a ground clearance of 8.7 inches compared with the Honda's ground clearance of 8.2 inches.
Given its larger size, the CR-V is going to be more comfortable for rear-seat passengers. It has 41.3 inches of leg room in the front and 40.4 inches of leg room in the back. This is a good amount of space that taller passengers will certainly appreciate. While the Crosstrek has 43.1 inches of leg room up front, it only has 36.5 inches of leg room in the back. This may be a concern for some customers who plan on having adults ride in the rear seat.
It's a similar story when looking at the cargo capacity of these two models. The CR-V has 39.2 cubic feet of space behind its second row, and when those back seats are lowered, it has a maximum cargo capacity of 75.8 cubic feet. In a pretty big contrast, the Crosstrek has only 20.8 cubic feet of space in its rear cargo area, and it has a maximum cargo capacity of 55.3 cubic feet.
With both models, it's very easy to lower the rear seats. The whole row can be put down, or just one side. The two SUVs have rear benches that have 60/40 configurations.
Technology is going to be something that many modern customers are interested in. With the right components, it can be easy to stay connected while on the road. The Crosstrek's lower trims have 6.5 inches touchscreens, and the higher ones have eight-inch touchscreens. Either way, there would be Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. All models, with the exception of the base model, have SiriusXM and Wi-Fi capability. Navigation and a premium sound system are available, but not standard, on the higher trims.
A noticeable thing about the base model of the CR-V is that it doesn't have a touchscreen. It does have a five-inch LCD screen and Bluetooth, as well as Pandora compatibility. All of the other trims have seven-inch touchscreens, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and HondaLink. They also have HD Radio and SiriusXM. The most premium trims have standard navigation, premium sound systems, and wireless charging. These elements are definitely going to attract attention.
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The lower trims of the Subaru Crosstrek don't automatically come with driver-assist technology, but they do have the option of getting these safety components. The driver-assist systems are part of a package called EyeSight Driver Assist. In this package, the included features are pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control with lane centering. This means that the Subaru can look out for problems on the drivers behalf and can actually make adjustments to speed or steering, if necessary. Higher trims, in addition, have automatic high beams, blind spot and rear cross-traffic detection, and reverse automatic braking.
In comparison, every trim of the Honda CR-V has multiple driver-assist systems. They have forward collision warning and collision mitigation braking to prevent frontal accidents. Also, they have lane departure warning and road departure mitigation to keep people from veering out of position. Lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control are other standard safety elements in every Honda trim. Most of the trims have blind spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring.
Which Has the Best Value?
From this guide, it may seem that the Honda CR-V has more to offer. In many ways, this is true. Remember, though, that this will be reflected in price. The base model of the Honda CR-V costs $25,350, and all-wheel drive would cost extra. The base model of the Subaru Crosstrek only costs $22,245. This is a fairly significant difference that may matter to some prospective buyers.
The mid-level and higher-end trims of both models are going to have many additional benefits. For example, they have more safety mechanisms, better technology, and more amenities like heated front seats and higher quality upholstery on the seats. The Crosstrek premium costs $23,295, the Sport costs $26,495, and the Limited is priced at $27,995. There's a huge jump in price with the Crosstrek Hybrid, which costs $35,345. Note that the Sport and Limited have the larger 2.5-liter engines.
With the CR-V, the other trims cost $27,860 (EX), $30,450 (EX-L), and $33,650 (Touring). It's clear that these prices reflect the fact that the CR-V is the more capable and more spacious of the two models. The EX, EX-L, and Touring are all available as hybrids, and in general, they're about $3,000 more expensive than their non-hybrid counterparts.
When comparing the top trims of the Crosstrek and the CR-V, there are some similarities. Both have leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheels, and LED fog lights. However, the CR-V has several more features, like navigation, a heated steering wheel, a power moonroof, and a hands-free liftgate.
Which is Better?
The Honda CR-V is the nicer option and would work well for people who have larger budgets. It's more powerful than the Crosstrek is, and this is going to really matter to some drivers. Further, it has more interior space than the Crosstrek has, both in terms of rear-seat leg room and overall cargo capacity. Plus, the CR-V has the nicer technology package (with the exception of what the CR-V's base model offers), and it's great that even its lower trims have driver-assist systems.
For those concerned about expenses, the Subaru Crosstrek would be the more strategic pick. It's more affordable, and if people are willing to go without some extra features, then the Crosstrek would be an excellent choice. Helping this model appeal to buyers are its high ground clearance, its comprehensive infotainment system, and its standard all-wheel drive.
When deciding which model to get, a customer will have to think about whether performance, size, and amenities are more important than cost.