Planet Subaru

596 Washington Street
Directions Hanover, MA 02339

  • Sales: (888) 534-2725
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  • Parts: (888) 607-1391

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Compare Subaru Outback and Honda CR-V

Subaru Outback

Honda CR-V


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. 

Outback was all new for 2015.  Honda introduced its all-new CR-V in 2012, and for 2015 they "refreshed" it (made minor changes midway through the product cycle).  The previous CR-V was conspicuously missing some key features against the Outback, which Honda has added.  Among the improvements, CR-V now offers the following optional features:  power tailgate, continuously variable automatic transmission for more fuel economy, and "Honda Sensing," which offers a suite of driver-assistive technologies similar to Outback's Eyesight.  Motor Trend was so impressed with Honda's improvements to the CR-V that they named it 2015 Sport Utility of the Year.

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


Optional Driver-Assistive Technologies
Both offer their own versions of pre-collision warning and braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection/lane change assist, and lane departure warning. The safety suites also
include the additional features described at right.


Exclusive to CR-V:

Lane Keeping Assist which
 will turn your steering wheel to correct your lane departure.

Exclusive to Outback: 

Rear cross traffic alert uses
rear facing radar to detect
vehicles approaching from
behind on either side of the
vehicle such as when reversing
out of a parking space.

Pre-Collision Throttle Management senses the presence of obstacles in front of the vehicle. If you're accelerating when you shouldn't be, the system will reduce available power to lessen or potentially avoid a collision.

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

6.8 inches

8.7 inches

Cargo Space

About the same volume, but CR-V is taller.  Outback is about ten inches longer so it's preferable for bicycles
and other long cargo.

71 cubic feet (seats down)
35 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 (4 cylinder)
3000 pounds (6 cylinder)

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

2.4 liter in-line
four cylinder with
185 horsepower

2.5 liter four
 cylinder Boxer engine

with 175 horsepower

Fuel Economy/Range
This is another close one.

Continuously variable

26 city, 33 hwy 

Fuel tank:  15.3 gallons
Range:  505 miles

Lineartronic continuously
variable automatic

25 city, 32 hwy

Fuel tank:  18.5 gallons
Range:  592 miles

Need some extra go-go?


No power

Optional 3.6 liter
six cylinder:
20 city, 27 highway

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.




Roof Rails and Crossbars

Outback's ingenious integrated racking system includes rails and integrated swinging crossbars standard on all Outback models.


Rails standard only on the
EX-L and Touring models. 
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 several hundred 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.  Both receive a "Top Safety Pick Plus" designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.  

CR-V test results

Outback test results


Search our inventory for your Outback:


...Or look at our nice Honda trades...





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