2022 Subaru Crosstrek vs Honda CR-V
While you browse around for a new small SUV to replace your old vehicle, you might be rather surprised to find out just how saturated the market is with these vehicles at the moment. This is certainly a highly competitive segment, and all of these small SUVs strive to supersede one another in terms of power, fuel economy, and included technological features. Two such rivals that will probably end up on your to-best-test-driven list are the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek and the 2022 Honda CR-V, and they sure do compete with one another.
The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek stands out because of its high ground clearance (8.7 inches, to be more precise) and excellent off-roading capabilities. And, for a hatchback-styled SUV, there is a lot of space inside of the cabin, giving occupants enough room fore and aft.
The thing with the Crosstrek is that the base engine is noticeably lackluster in terms of power. That means you will have to spend more money to get the turbo XT engine. Also, the Crosstrek's handling could stand to be stronger and more refined. You also get less cargo space than you do in other crossover SUVs.
The 2022 Honda CR-V mixes snappy acceleration with fuel efficiency from its standard engine. The ride demonstrates a moderate degree of athleticism, especially with how it handles. It also showcases a smooth ride quality. The interior is thoughtfully crafted with an abundance of space, small item storage areas, and a versatile cargo area design. Also, the line-topping Touring trim now has standard all-wheel drive (AWD).
The downside is that there is no separate tuning knob, which makes the already-finicky touchscreen infotainment display troublesome to use. On top of that, the CR-V's 1,500-pound max towing capacity slates way below industry average.
Which one of these two small SUVs is going to hit the sweet spot? Does one offer more all-around value than the other? Which price tag best fits your budget? Read through this comparison review to find out.
A strong powertrain can make owning a small SUV a great experience. You won't need to spend a lot of time planning how you're going to merge onto or pass another vehicle on the highway. However, an under-powered powertrain can leave you feeling as though you're being left in the dust by every other vehicle sharing the road with you.
The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek offers two engine options. The base engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that puts up a power output of 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. This comes on the Base and Premium trim levels. On the Sport and Limited trim levels, you get a more powerful 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which delivers 182 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. Although a six-speed manual is available for the Base and Premium trim levels, all of the trim levels have a continuously variable automatic transmission (or CVT for short).
The base engine takes over 10 seconds to get from 0 to 60 miles per hour, which feels painstakingly slow. The XT engine cuts that down to 8.4 seconds, which is more on par with what you get in this segment. This extra-small SUV has 8.7 inches of ground clearance and responsive steering that lead to a good off-roading performance. However, handling is 'meh' since the tall ride height generates body roll, and the tires don't get much road grip.
The optional XT engine gets an EPA-estimated 29 miles per gallon in combined driving, which is a good fuel economy for an off-roader in this segment. However, real-world tests place the fuel economy around 27.5 mpg, which is a little disappointing. But, with its 16-gallon tank, the Crosstrek's tank is about 20-30% bigger than those found in its rivals.
The 2022 Honda CR-V is powered by a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. It is paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). FWD is standard with AWD being an option on any trim level but the Touring, on which it has recently been standardized. If you're curious about hybrids, there is also a CR-V Hybrid available from Honda that receives even better fuel economy.
The turbo engine is quick off the line, getting from 0 to 60 mph in roughly 8.2 seconds. This might not sound all that enthralling, but it is a respectable showing for this segment. The CVT is refined when it comes to switching between gears, and it has the added benefit of being a bit more fuel savvy than a regular automatic transmission. Handling feels controlled and even a little sporty for this segment. What's more, the steering feels precise and responsive.
The EPA estimates that the FWD equipped 2022 CR-V can get 30 mpg in combined driving while the AWD models are able to draw about 29 mpg combined. While this puts the CR-V near the top of its class, achieving these numbers depends on your driving style. If you have a heavy foot, you will probably see lower numbers. But if you are gentle on the gas pedal, you might see a return that is closer to these estimates - maybe even slightly better.
Drivability is an umbrella term that we use to describe how well-rounded a vehicle is as a daily driver. How comfortable is a vehicle to ride around in? Is the ride quality comfortable and smooth enough without coming off as too drifty? Are the interior materials of a high enough quality? Are the cabin's controls logically laid out? Are the tech features user-friendly How much cargo space is available, and how easy is it to use? These are some of the major factors we talk about when discussing a vehicle's drivability status.
The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek offers a quiet and smooth ride, and the 2.5-L XT engine generates much less noise inside of the cabin. When you press down on the throttle, though, you will get a growl to come out. It's actually quite satisfying - and much less grizzly than the base engine's howl. Road trips are fun and comfortable thanks to the well sculpted front seats. They could use a bit more bolstering though, as evidenced while rounding through turns. Some of the air vents are awkwardly positioned, but the air flow is even and the temperature stable.
Smartly laid out, the controls inside of the Crosstrek are easy to get used to for the average buyer. There are large fonts found in the touchscreen's high-resolution menus, and the elevated ride height makes it easy to get in and out of this cabin. Space abounds, and this happens to be one of the most spacious cabins you will find in an extra-small crossover SUV. Only the rear seat will feel cramped for taller occupants.
You do not need to be a tech guru to use the features found on the Crosstrek. Subaru makes them simple and streamlined. Standard smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto makes for some seamless, user-friendly immersion into the vehicle's capabilities. The center screen offers crisp visuals, and the Limited's eight-speaker Harman Kardon stereo is worth the upgrade for music lovers with its enhanced sound quality and amplified volume.
As far as cargo space goes, it is a little bit restricted. With 20.8 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats or 55 cubes when the rear seats are folded down, you do not have a whole lot to work with. You also do not have a ton of small item storage areas throughout the cabin, so you need to get creative with how you stash all sizes of cargo.
Now, about that 2022 Honda CR-V. This small SUV has a cozy ride quality despite the fact that a minor amount of wind and tire noise make their way in at highway speeds. While riding on rougher road surfaces, the suspension shrugs off bumps and ruts of all sizes, even with the optional 19-inch tires equipped on the Touring trim. The front seats provide supple, sculpted support for longer drives, and the reclining rear seatback adds comfort for backseat occupants. The only downside is that the automatic climate control system does not always maintain the temperature you set it at.
Getting into the CR-V's cabin is easy enough thanks to its wide door sills, and once you're in, you can adjust the steering wheel and driver's seat to your liking. You will feel how spacious the cabin is, and it outdoes a lot of the competition in that regard. The physical controls on the dash are easy to use, but those buried in the touchscreen menus are more difficult. Also, sunlight will wash out the display on the digital temperature gauge.
Honda's technology is straightforward for most people to use. Smartphone app integration is standard on all but the base LX trim level. The higher trims add two USB ports in the rear that are charge-only. The voice controls could stand some fine-tuning, and of course, the touchscreen menus are clunky. The navigation screen generates crisp, clear graphics though.
Given its 9.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats, the CR-V offers a lot of space to work with. You can max the cargo volume out to 75.8 cubic feet by folding the rear seats down flat. There are also many small item storage areas located throughout the cabin, with the center console's deep bin and configurable sliding tray coming in handy. The LATCH system makes installing car seats in the back effortless enough, and you will have plenty of space available for those seats. You'll probably just find yourself wishing the CR-V had about 2,000 pounds more in towing capacity, as it sits at a measly 1,500 pounds max.
Safety is a major concern for almost every driver on the road. Auto makers are certainly aware of the demand for advanced safety features and designs. Both Subaru and Honda are well versed in how to create functional driver aids and include quite a few of them on their SUVs.
The 2022 Subaru Crosstrek is equipped with the EyeSight bundle of advanced driver aids, which comes standard on all trim levels. Forward collision mitigation, a lane keep system, and adaptive cruise control are all included. On the Premium trim level and above, you get Subaru's Starlink connected services suite. If you get the CVT-equipped Premium, you will also have blind spot monitoring with a rear cross-traffic alert. On the Limited, you get adaptive LED headlights and rear automatic braking. For the most part, these features work well, although lane keeping likes to intervene more than it should.
Honda gives the CR-V a bundle of driver aids. These include forward collision mitigation, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, and lane keeping assist. A multi-angle rear-view camera is also standard, with dynamic guidelines coming on the higher trim levels. On the EX and above, you get a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.
Which Has the Best Value?
As you go about making your buying decision, consider what contributes to a vehicle's value for you. Which vehicle has the most overall value? Test-driving a vehicle can only tell you so much, which is why buyers need to do their research and hear about owners' experiences.
The Subaru Crosstrek is one of the most capable off-roaders in this segment and has been popular for that reason for years now. There are a lot of standard features, so you definitely get what you pay for with this vehicle. The build quality definitely feels up to par with plenty of soft-touch surfaces found throughout the cabin. The three-year/36,000-mile warranty is class average coverage in terms of length, but it includes brake pads, wiper blades, and other minor things that make this type of coverage a much-appreciated rarity.
2022 Honda CR-V owners will get a lot of value from their vehicles as well. Honda's interior build quality is clean and of higher quality than others in this class. The leather upholstery in the higher trim levels looks sophisticated, and the standard turbo engine delivers ample power without sipping too heavily on gasoline. Warranty coverage and roadside assistance are all industry average though.
Which is Better?
The 2022 Honda CR-V is a high quality small SUV that offers abundant space and a powerful performance. But it isn't the best for off-roading. If the intent of your purchase is to go off the beaten path a bit more, the 2022 Subaru Crosstrek is a solid choice. Its hill descent control, standard AWD drivetrain, and immense ground clearance make it one of the most capable and rugged vehicles in the crossover segment.