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Comparison Between Subaru Outback and Honda CR-V

2014 Honda CR-V vs 2015 Outback

 Honda CR-V

Subaru Outback Premium
with All Weather Pkg


Planet's Executive Summary
Honda CR-V is in the "Small Crossover" segment and the Outback is a "Midsize Crossover."   The distance between the axles ("wheelbase") is a substantial five inches longer on the Subaru, so the ride is smoother compared to the CR-V with its closer-set axles (think limousine vs. army Jeep).  CR-V typically competes with Subaru Forester or Toyota RAV4, but we see many people comparing it with the Outback, too.  Either way, for under $30,000, you can drive a practical vehicle with a great reputation for quality, value, and longevity.

Five minute video overview

Let's start with what they have in common:

Standard Features
  • Bluetooth phone connectivity
  • Steering wheel audio controls
  • Power windows, locks, mirrors
  • 3 year, 36,000 mile comprehensive warranty; 5/60 powertrain

Standard Safety: 

  • Back up camera;
  • Vehicle stability control to avoid skids; 
  • Brake override system;
  • Anti-lock brakes with brake assist;  
  • Learn all about how these safety features work. 

Similar Dimensions but Outback is quite a bit longer:
  • Outback is about an inch wider.
  • Outback is about an inch taller (because of standard roof rack).
  • Outback is about ten inches longer.


All Wheel Drive System
Outback was built from the ground up with all wheel drive; Honda started with a front driver and bolted on some extra hardware later.  More sophisticated Subaru system responds more quickly to a loss of traction.


All wheel drive


Ground clearance 
Outback is less likely to get caught in snow or slop.

6.7 inches

8.7 inches

Cargo Space

About the same volume; Outback is about ten inches longer so it's preferable for bicycles and other long cargo.

71 cubic feet (seats down)
37 cubic feet (seats up)


73 cubic feet (seats down)
36 cubic feet (seats up)

Passenger Volume
Outback is a little roomier inside for people.

  102 Cubic Feet 
108 cubic feet

Towing Capacity

1500 pounds

2700 pounds

StandarEngine and acceleration
Outback engine is slightly less powerful but accelerates more quickly.

2.4 liter in-line
four cylinder with
185 horsepower

0-60mph:  9.6 seconds

2.5 liter four
 cylinder Boxer engine

with 175 horsepower 

0-60mph:  8.8 seconds

Fuel Economy and Range
Outback gets better combined fuel economy (primarily because of the superior CVT transmission).  The automotive world was baffled when Honda put an old transmission in the CR-V when it was redesigned in 2012.

Five speed

22 city, 30 hwy 

Fuel tank:  15.3 gallons
Range:  459 miles

Continuously variable 

25 city, 33 hwy

Fuel tank:  18.5 gallons
Range:  611 miles

Need some extra go-go?


No power

Optional 3.6 liter
six cylinder:
20 city, 27 highway

0-60 mph:  8.1 seconds

Outward Visibility

Tailgate glass in Outback is taller and wider, and side windows are more square, reducing blind spots.  Honda chose a dramatic, downward swooping rooflline which looks sporty but makes it hard to see out the back.  CR-V's standard back-up camera helps you in parking lots, but not on the roads.  (Back up camera is also standard on Outback).  Outback is recognized for being among the cars with best visibility.




Power folding mirrors
The CR-V is good for street parking because it's a shorter car and the mirrors automatically tuck in.  If you need a car that's a little smaller than the Outback, then you might want to check out the Forester


Not available

Roof Rails and Crossbars

Outback's ingenious integrated racking system includes standard rails and integrated swinging crossbars.  CR-V offers standard rails only on most expensive model. 


Rails standard only on the
EX-L model.  Crossbars
are extra.

Articulating cross bars
are shown here partially

Purchase and Ownership Experience

You can buy a new Subaru at Planet, but not a new Honda. 

Price with Automatic Transmission
Outback costs about a thousand more (but is better equipped, including the All Weather Package with heated seats, mirrors, and wipers).



Outback Models
and Prices

CR-V has six airbags, Outback, eight.  Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates Outback as Top Safety Pick Plus; CR-V does not earn this award.

CR-V test results

Outback test results


Search our inventory for your Outback:






Planet Subaru provides useful comparison information to Subaru and Honda buyers in Cape Cod, South Shore, Quincy, Braintree, and Boston.

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