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. 

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:
  • CR-V is about a half inch wider.
  • Outback is about a half inch taller.
  • Outback is about nine inches longer.

(with Honda Sensing)
 Premium (with Eyesight)

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
Standard on all of the models, 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 additional features.


Honda Sensing


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

8.2 inches

8.7 inches

Cargo Space

CR-V cargo space is a little bigger with the seats up but Outback is about ten inches longer so it's preferable for bicycles and other long cargo.

 76 cubic feet (seats down)
39 cubic feet (seats up)


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

Passenger Volume
Outback is a little roomier inside for people.

103 cubic feet


108 cubic feet

Towing Capacity

1500 pounds

2700 pounds (4 cylinder)
3500 pounds (turbo)

Outback engine is slightly less powerful but accelerates comparably.

1.5 liter turbocharged
in-line four cylinder with
190 horsepower

2.5 liter four
 cylinder Boxer engine

with 175 horsepower

Fuel Economy/Range
This is another close one.

Continuously variable

27 city, 33 hwy 

Lineartronic continuously
variable automatic

26 city, 33 hwy

Need some extra go-go?

The optional turbo in the Outback is designed for performance, the optional hybrid in the CR-V is optimized for fuel efficiency. If you want a Subaru with a hybrid powertrain, look at the Crosstrek.


212 horsepower 1.5 liter four cylinder


260 horsepower 2.4 liter four cylinder turbo

23 city, 30 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 roofline 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.  CR-V crossbars are optional and do not store conveniently.


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 more but is better equipped.



Outback Models
and Prices

CR-V has six airbags, Outback, eight. Both are  "Top Safety Picks" 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.