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2022 Subaru Outback vs Honda CR-V

2022 Subaru Outback vs Honda CR-V

2022 Outback vs CR-V - How Do They Stack Up? Which is Better?

Crossovers and SUVs have come a long way. There are many great options out there, including the 2022 Subaru Outback and 2022 Honda CR-V. These models both have two rows of seats, plenty of room for cargo, great safety systems, and good reliability.

These vehicles are also popular because of their affordable price tags. They both come in a variety of trims, so there is a lot to think about when comparing the two. Their entry-level models are nicely equipped in terms of technology and safety features, and their higher trims have quite a few high-end features.

The Powertrain

With both of these models, there are two options for the engine. With the Honda CR-V, there's a choice of a turbocharged engine or one that works together with an electric motor as part of a hybrid system. With the Subaru Outback, there isn't any hybrid option. Instead, there's a regular engine and a turbocharged engine. Keeping in mind this information, it's not a huge surprise that the CR-V wins the matchup in terms of efficiency and the Outback outshines the CR-V when it comes to capability.

The first engine option on the CR-V is a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. It can make 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. The hybrid powertrain uses a 2.0-liter engine with the electric component, and it makes a net horsepower of 181 and 232 pound-feet of torque. These numbers are perfectly adequate, but they're far from what the Outback can do.

The standard engine on the Outback has a displacement of 2.5 liters, and it can make 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque. So far, the Outback seems on par with the CR-V. However, there are several Outback trims that run on 2.4-liter turbocharged engines. These come with 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, so there's a significant increase in power that even a casual driver will be able to notice when accelerating.

Towing might be something that some buyers are interested in. In that case, the Outback would be the clear choice. It can tow up to 2,700 pounds with its regular engine and 3,500 pounds with the turbocharged engine. The CR-V can only tow 1,500 pounds.

Another thing that puts the Outback ahead of the CR-V is that it has standard all-wheel drive. This is something that Subaru crossovers and SUVs are known for. The hybrid CR-V actually comes standard with all-wheel drive as well, but the regular trims only have all-wheel drive as an option.

The flip slide to all of this is that the CR-V does better with fuel efficiency. The hybrid earns 40 miles per gallon in the city and 35 miles per gallon on the highway. The regular CR-V can earn up to 28 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway, and if it has all-wheel drive, those numbers drop slightly by one to two miles per gallon. They become comparable to the fuel economy of the standard Outback, which is an estimated 26 miles per gallon in the city and 33 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Outbacks with the turbocharged engines don't do as well, but compared to some other vehicles, efficiency isn't that bad. The turbocharged Outbacks earn an estimated 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 miles per gallon on the highway. They sacrifice a little bit of efficiency for performance, so customers will have to consider what's more important to them.

If anyone plans on heading into more rugged terrain, the Outback would likely be the better choice. It has a higher ground clearance of 8.7 inches. In comparison, a CR-V with AWD sits 8.2 inches off the ground. Ground clearance for a CR-V with front-wheel drive is 7.8 inches. The Outback also has something called X-MODE, which gives it better traction in difficult terrain. While the CR-V has hill start assist, the Outback has hill descent control.

There's a special trim that's part of the Outback offerings. It's called the Wilderness, and it's been designed specifically for adventure-minded drivers. It has all-terrain tires and an even higher ground clearance that's more than nine inches, along with bumpers that have been engineered to allow for better approach and departure angles.

Drivability

Both of these vehicles have a lot of technology for people to take advantage of. This can make it easier to stay entertained on road trips, and having smartphone compatibility can be so convenient when anyone wants to make calls from the road or safely send and receive texts while driving.

The CR-V is available with a seven-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Unfortunately, its base trim, which is the LX, is only available with a five-inch LCD screen and Bluetooth. Many consumers aren't going to be drawn to this since smartphone compatibility seems to be so important and commonplace these days.

Subaru has given every Outback a touchscreen plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The base trim on the Outback has a seven-inch touchscreen, but all the others have 11.6-inch touchscreens. In the word of technology, size usually matters.

SiriusXM is standard with the Outback, but it's only available with the CR-V. Further, only one trim of the CR-V has navigation. Two Outback trims have integrated navigation, in contrast. If anyone is looking for wireless charging on either model, it's going to be hard to find. One trim of the CR-V offers this feature, and no Outbacks are set up with this type of equipment.

The size of a vehicle affects the driving experience. Fortunately, both of these models have what many would consider to be an ideal size. They have two comfortable rows of seats and spacious cargo areas.

The Honda SUV has a little more than 40 inches of second-row leg room, so tall passengers should be able to stretch their legs. In the back, the cargo area has a volume of 39.2 cubic feet, and when the rear seats are lowered, that expands to 75.8 cubic feet. Note, though, that the hybrid has a slightly smaller cargo area to account for some of the hybrid components. It has a maximum cargo capacity of 68.7 cubic feet.

The Outback crossover has almost exactly the same amount of maximum cargo capacity as the traditional CR-V, with 75.7 cubic feet of space. When it's rear seats are upright, it has 32.5 cubic feet of cargo volume, which is a bit less than what the Honda offers. The Outback has 39.5 inches of leg room, and most people won't notice the one-inch difference between the second-row leg room of the Outback and HR-V.

Safety

Both of these vehicles are fortunate to have multiple driver-assist technologies. Subaru's basic package is called EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, and it consists of adaptive cruise control, pre-collision warning and braking, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. The Honda CR-V has all of those components as well, and they're part of a package that the company calls Honda Sensing Technologies.

Beyond these features, the two vehicles have automatic high beams, rearview cameras, and anti-lock braking. They also have traction control programs that are ready to make adjustments at any time.

The two companies have done the same thing when it comes to extra driver-assist features. Specifically, they've made blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert standard on the mid-level and higher trims in their respective lineups. Three out of the five CR-V trims have these systems, and six out of the eight Outback trims have them.

Select trims of the Outback take safety a few steps further. Many of them have reverse automatic braking to go along with rear cross-traffic alert. They have distraction mitigation systems as well, and some have 180-degree front-view monitors. These types of monitors are useful when maneuvering in small spaces and when navigating rough terrain in which obstacles could be anywhere.

Which Has the Best Value?

There is quite a range in prices for the Outback and CR-V. The Outback starts off at around $27,600 and goes all the way to just over $40,000. The CR-V has a starting price of just under $27,000, and its most expensive trim costs $36,600. From a price perspective, the CR-V might be the better choice, but it's not that simple.

First of all, the starting price of the CR-V applies to the entry-level trim that has front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive costs a bit extra. Typically, this additional cost is around $1,500.

Remember that the more powerful engine is available on the Outback. Four Outback trims have this engine and benefit from the greater capability that it provides, and for many, this is going to be worth the extra cost. Many of these trims also have nicer infotainment packages with larger touchscreens than the typeof equipment found in the CR-V, and many of them have the additional safety mechanisms just mentioned above.

At the top end of the Outback lineup, features are quite impressive. For instance, the Limited XT and Touring XT have heated steering wheels and leather seats, along with heated front and rear seats. The Touring XT gets to have Nappa leather seats as well as ventilation in its front row.

The best that Honda offers is the Touring trim of the CR-V. It, too, has heated front seats and leather upholstery, but it lacks heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

When looking at the base trims, the Outback and CR-V seem to be a little more comparable. They both have manually adjustable front seats and cloth upholstery. They come with multiple storage compartments in the cabin and automatic climate control so that it's easier to stay comfortable. The biggest difference is that the Outback's entry-level trim has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a touchscreen, while the CR-V's base trim does not.

One major factor is that the CR-V is available as a hybrid. Hybrid CR-Vs are going to be slightly more expensive than their non-hybrid counterparts, but of course, there's the opportunity to realize some long-term savings. To some buyers, the idea of conserving fuel and saving money at the gas station each week or each month is going to be something that's very difficult to pass up.

Which is Better?

Subaru and Honda have done excellent jobs with these vehicles. The CR-V and Outback have both been around for awhile and have gained many fans along the way. It's hard to go wrong with either vehicle, since they've both been built with comfort, safety, and reliability in mind.

The Outback is the more rugged choice, as its name suggests. It has the more powerful turbocharged engine that's available, and its Wilderness trim is certainly more tough and durable than any of the CR-V trims. The fact that the Outback has standard all-wheel drive helps it stand out even more.

The CR-V is perhaps a more suburban or urban vehicle than one that's suited for the back woods. It's a full nine inches shorter than the Outback is, when measured from the front to the back, so it's a better vehicle for parking in small spaces. It can come with all-wheel drive, but this isn't standard. What's somewhat unique about the CR-V is that it can come with a hybrid powertrain, which might be really appealing to certain customers.

Another point is that the CR-V is more affordable, whereas the Outback has slightly more advanced technology. If people want to pay extra for the nicer infotainment system and more comprehensive safety package, then the Outback should be the vehicle to pick. If there's a particular customer who simply wants to make a strategic purchase and doesn't want to spend too much money, then the CR-V would be more ideal.

View Comparisons for other Years:

2021 Subaru Outback VS Honda CR-V
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