2023 Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester

Honda CR-V vs. Toyota RAV4 vs Subaru Forester

Compact SUVs have exploded in popularity in recent years thanks to their exceptional versatility, value, and performance capabilities. With increasing demand from buyers, more and more manufacturers have joined the segment. A daunting amount of choices has made choosing the right SUV more difficult than ever before. To help simplify your decision, Germain Honda of Ann Arbor has assembled this competitive comparison in which the CR-V goes up against two of the top rivals in the segment – the Toyota RAV4 and the Subaru Forester. Once you see the results, you'll understand why buyers continue to choose the Honda CR-V.

Honda CR-V vs Toyota RAV4

Honda CR-V LX Toyota RAV4 LE
2023 Honda CR-V EX VS 2023 RAV4 LE
$32,905 MSRP* (including destination charges) $29,140
18-inch ✓ Wheels 17-inch
Bose Premium Sound System with 12 Speakers, including Subwoofer ✓ Premium Stereo 11-speaker JBL Premium Audio including subwoofer
41.3 inches / 41 inches ✓ Legroom (front/rear) 41 inches / 37.8 inches
55.6 inches / 52.6 inches ✓ Hiproom (front/rear) 54.3 inches / 47.7 inches
103.5 cubic feet ✓ Total Passenger Volume 98.9 cubic feet
39.3 cubic feet ✓ Cargo Space Behind 2nd Row 37.6 cubic feet
Standard ✓ Blind Spot Monitoring With Cross Traffic Monitoring Requires Higher Trim Level
Standard ✓ Multi-Angle Rearview Camera Requires Higher Trim Level
Standard ✓ Moonroof Requires Higher Trim Level

First up to challenge the Honda CR-V is one of its most familiar rivals – the Toyota RAV4. Comparing base trim levels equipped with front-wheel drive, the RAV4 offers a slightly lower starting price, but it quickly becomes clear that the slight price difference represents a substantial difference in equipment that puts the CR-V ahead of the RAV4 in terms of value.

You can see some important differences between these two vehicles when you look at standard equipment. Yes, all of the equipment mentioned here is available on the RAV4, but it isn't standard. The CR-V comes with a standard moonroof, a multi-angle rearview camera, and a blindspot monitoring system that includes cross-traffic monitoring. Not only are these items not standard on the RAV4, but you can't order them individually either, you need to move up to a higher trim. And while both vehicles have standard 6-speaker stereo systems, the 12-speaker Bose system in the CR-V is a step above the premium stereo offered by Toyota.

Interior space and versatility are other advantages of the Honda CR-V. It offers more total passenger volume and cargo space than the RAV4, and that space is used well, translating into more legroom and hiproom, especially for back seat passengers.

Standard 18-inch wheels add a stylish touch to the exterior of the Honda CR-V while you'll have to settle for 17-inch wheels with covers on the RAV4 LE.

Honda CR-V vs Subaru Forester

Honda CR-V LX Subaru Forester Base
2023 Honda CR-V EX AWD VS 2023 Subaru Forester Base AWD
$34,405 MSRP* (including destination charges) $27,630
190 HP / 179 LB-FT ✓ Horsepower / Torque 182 HP / 176 LB-FT
27** ✓ City MPG** 26**
Standard ✓ Automatic Climate Control Requires Higher Trim Level
Standard ✓ Automatic On/Off Headlights Requires Higher Trim Level
37.6 cubic feet ✓ Cargo Volume 35.4 cubic feet
Standard ✓ Alloy Wheels Optional
Light ✓ Window Tint Not Available
Standard ✓ Power Adjustable Seats Requires Higher Trim Level
Standard ✓ Heated Seats Requires Higher Trim Level
Standard ✓ Blind Spot Monitoring With Cross Traffic Monitoring Requires Higher Trim Level

Next up to challenge the Honda CR-V is the Subaru Forester. For consistency, we're comparing trim levels equipped with all-wheel drive in this matchup. The Forester starts with a price advantage, but it quickly becomes obvious that very little actually comes standard on the Forester, and any Forester with the equipment you actually want would be significantly more expensive than the pierce you're seeing here.

The CR-V has the edge when it comes to performance, giving you greater horsepower and torque than the Forester. Better still, you'll enjoy greater city fuel economy even with the additional power. But the real advantage, as we mentioned before, is the standard equipment. From creature comforts like heated and power adjustable seats, to safety features like blind spot monitoring, the CR-V is much, much better equipped. In fact, while both front seats are power adjustable on any trim of the CR-V, it is only the top Touring trim where Subaru gives you a power passenger seat. Getting all of the equipment that comes standard on the CR-V will cost you more on a Forester.

Honda CR-V

Winner — Honda CR-V

Now that we've crunched the numbers, the obvious winner of this competitive comparison is the Honda CR-V. The competition from Toyota and Subaru simply cannot compete with the outstanding value, versatility, and premium features you'll receive when you choose the Honda CR-V. Don't just take our word for it. Our team at Germain Honda of Ann Arbor is standing by to help you choose the CR-V model that's perfectly suited for your lifestyle.

*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $1,295 destination charge, and accessories. Dealer prices may vary. MSRP does not include $395 premium color charge for 2022 vehicles or $455 premium color charge for 2023 vehicles.

**28 city/34 highway/30 combined mpg rating for 2WD EX and EX-L. 27 city/32 highway/29 combined mpg rating for AWD EX and EX-L. 43 city/36 highway/40 combined mpg rating for 2WD Sport. 40 city/34 highway/37 combined mpg rating for AWD Sport and Sport Touring. Based on 2023 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery-pack age/condition (hybrid trims), and other factors.