Manchester Subaru

764 Second St
Directions Manchester, NH 03102

  • Sales: (866) 992-7097
  • Service: (866) 992-7097
  • Parts: (866) 992-7097



2015 Subaru Forester vs 2015 Honda CR-V


On this page we compare the 2015 Subaru Forester Premium Package w/All Weather Package to the 2015 Honda CR-V EX 4WD. These are closely aligned trim levels and the most popular here in New England. We will compare and contrast:
  • Visibility
  • Subaru Symmetrical All Wheel Drive vs Honda "Real Time" 4WD
  • Safety - Watch the actual IIHS crash tests
  • Key Features
  • Performance
  • Space
  • Reviews
  • Summary

Manchester Subaru

764 Second St
Directions Manchester, NH 03102

  • Sales: (866) 992-7097
  • Service: (866) 992-7097
  • Parts: (866) 992-7097
SEE the videos, READ what the experts say, then YOU DECIDE.

  2015 Subaru Forester
2015 Honda CR-V

One of the features that captures Forester's essence is the quality of driver visibility, which is commanding in all directions. Notice the narrowing windows on the side of the CR-V which can cause a potential blind spot. Both vehicles have a back-up camera, but that's no substitute for awareness of what's around you, especially when changing lanes. Here's the view looking over the driver's right shoulder:

  Forester Driver's View
CR-V Driver's View

Subaru Symmetrical All Wheel Drive System vs. Honda Real Time 4WD

80% of New England Subaru owners surveyed [6,693 respondents] revealed that Subaru's Symmetrical All-Weel Drive System was a MAJOR factor in their decision to buy a Subaru. Reasons often cited for this were adverse weather conditions, better handling characteristics, safety, and ability to navigate to remote areas. Since this is a core Subaru technology, how does it compare to Honda's optional "Real Time 4WD" and what is it that Forester owners know that CR-V owners don't.




Subarus are designed and engineered from the start to be all wheel drive. Notice how the components are aligned in a straight line from the boxer engine --> transmission --> drive train and that both sides are symmetrical. This symmetry is incredibly efficient and provides power to all four wheels all the time for maximum traction, balance and control. Other well known examples of symmetry include butterflies, airplanes and the human body.

 The Honda CR-V is primarily front wheel drive (FWD) biased that has been re-engineered with a 4WD option package. With a typical transverse engine, output must be rerouted in order to get power to the rear wheels. These AWD/4WD systems often engage AFTER loss of traction is detected. Notice how the drive train is unbalanced, with the axle on the transmission side (L) shorter than the other. Can you imagine an airplane with one wing shorter than the other?



It's pretty hard to split hairs when you talk about safety. Both Honda and Subaru take safety seriously and it's evident in their active and passive safety systems. Most recently, Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) named the 2014 (2015) Subaru Forester a Top Safety Pick + and the only small SUV to ace all their tests.  While the 2015 Honda CR-V has not been rated yet, they are expected to improve their rating after re-engineering the vehicle to perform better in the small overlap crash test, where they only received a Marginal rating in the 2014 model. They have also added an accidental avoidance system (required for the added + rating) found in their Accord models, although it should be noted that it is only available in their most expensive Touring models. Subaru's EyeSight system is available on the Premium, Limited and Touring models, saving your thousands!

 IIHS Summary of the small SUV category

2015 Subaru Forester

2015 Honda CR-V
has not been rated by IIHS yet.  
  Subaru Forester Premium w/AWP
  Symmetrical AWD
  Honda CR-V EX
  "Real Time" 4WD
 (Including Transportation)
 Driver's Seat/Adjustment
10-way Power w/Lumbar Support
          10-way Power w/Lumbar Support
Std (oversized)
 Winter Package
Heated Seats, Wipers, Mirrors
Heated Seats, Mirrors
 Back-Up Camera/Monitor
 Fog Lights
 Tilt/Telescoping Steering Wheel
 Roof Rails
Not Available

As you can see, Honda stepped up their game in the 2015 model as both cars are similarily equipped. However, Not only is the 2015 Forester less expensive than the Honda CR-V, it's SIGNIFICANTLY LESS EXPENSIVE
at Manchester Subaru, the #1 Volume Subaru Dealer in New England.
  Engine and
  Subaru Forester Premium w/AWP
  Symmetrical AWD
  Honda CR-V EX
  "Real Time" 4WD
2.5L 4 cyl Boxer 170 hp @ 5,800 rpm
174 lb-foot @ 4,100 rpm
2.0L 4 cyl Boxer (turbo) 250hp @5600rpm
258 lb-foot @2000-4800 rpm
2.4L 4 cyl 185 hp @ 6400 rpm
181 lb-ft @ 3,900 rpm
 EPA (City/Hwy) 
24/32 (2.5L)
  23/28 (2.0L Turbo)
 Fuel Range (Hwy)
509 mi
6 spd Manual or
  CVT Auto
CVT Auto (new to 2015)

Compared to the CR-V, only the Subaru Forester offers two engine choices - a 2.5 liter engine and for thrill seekers, a 2.0 liter turbo w/SI drive, the same system found on the STI. The Forester also offers both a 6-spd manual transmission or an automatic w/CVT.  You can't get a turbo or manual transmission on the Honda CR-V. It's simply not offered.

  Subaru Forester Premium w/AWP
  Symmetrical AWD
  Honda CR-V EX
  "Real Time" 4WD


 Headroom (in) F/R
40.0 / 39.8
38 / 38.6
 Legroom (in) F/R
43.0 / 41.7
41.3 / 38.3
 Shoulder room (in) F/R
57.0 / 56.5
58.6 / 56.4
 Cargo Volume (cu ft)
 Rear Seats Up/Down
31.5 / 68.5
37.2 / 70.9


 Height (with Rails)
65.1 (no rails)
 Turning Radius (Feet)
 Ground Clearance
 Curb Weight (Lbs)
 Towing Capacity (Lbs)

The 2015 Subaru Forester was designed for passenger room and comfort in mind. Those extra inches of headroom and legroom are like the difference between flying in first class vs a coach seat.

As for the cargo volume, the CR-V cargo floor sits low, directly on the spare tire. In the Subaru Forester, the cargo floor rests on an additional "hidden" storage compartment, an ideal place for jumper cables, emergency supplies, fix-a-flat, or your spouse's birthday present. That space is not figured into the cargo volume. The over-sized moonroof also consumes a little more cargo volume without affecting headroom.

Noteworthy is Forester's 8.7 of ground clearance and shorter turning radius. Those extra 2 inches wouldn't matter if you live in the sunbelt, but here in New England, the higher ground clearance could mean the difference between getting up your driveway or getting stuck in the snow. And who hasn't driven on a dirt road full of ruts or frost heaves around here? Forester's short turning radius makes it easier getting in and out of tight spots and making parallel parking a breeze, especially when combined with better side visibility.

It's hard to say anything "bad" about a Honda as they're well known for their reliability and longevity, albeit uninspiring. The newly designed 2014 Subaru Forester was Motor Trends 2014 SUV of the Year and the newly designed 2015 Honda CR-V was Motor Trend's 2015 SUV of the Year.

Perhaps the best summary of the 2015 Honda CR-V is expressed by this review from the respected Car Connection:
"Despite the styling tweaks, the CR-V lacks design pizazz. It's fine for a family vehicle, but it's a tall, bulky compact crossover with a relatively vertical rear end. The front end is car-like, but the rest of it--despite the visual interest of an upswept triangular third window on either side--says SUV through and through.

"The CR-V is neither particularly fast nor terribly sporty and unlike Hondas of the past, the 2015 CR-V isn't any more rewarding to drive than competitors.

 2015 Subaru Forester

Named 2014 Best Car to Buy

 2015 Honda CR-V

Whether a measurement or feature favors the Subaru Forester or the Honda CR-V is not as significant as some of the core differences that should be explored and validated by potential buyers of either brand. To avoid any regrets, you need to test drive a 2015 Subaru Forester or whatever AWD Subaru model that best meets your needs. Consider:
  • Subaru's unique symmetrical all wheel drive system paired with the boxer engine delivers sure-footed balance and control that is unmatched in the industry. It's the DNA that makes a Subaru a Subaru and the "secret sauce" that puts a knowing smile on all Subaru owners.
  • As a Top Safety Pick +, the Subaru Forester sets the bar for small SUV safety. Subaru's available EyeSight Driver Assist System for the 2015 Forester is the top rated system by IIHS, performing better than Mercedes, Cadillac and other high end vehicles. It is the most affordable accident avoidance technologies on the U.S. market and includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and and throttle management.


When comparing the 2015 Subaru Forester vs the Honda CRV, the Forester offers the best value with a lower MSRP, more driver and passenger room, better visibility, manual or automatic transmission, and two engine choices. What are you waiting for? Call us at 866-992-7097.

Manchester Subaru is the #1 Volume Subaru Dealer in New England and will GUARANTEE you the lowest price. If you live ANYWHERE in New England, we will even deliver your new Subaru right to your doorstep
for free - and take your trade-in, too.

For real-life stories on how Subarus save lives and the technology that makes it happen.

"Subaru has racked up more endorsements by independent arbiters of automotive quality and safety than just about any other manufacturer. Consumer Reports rates Subaru above Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and every other manufacturer in performance, comfort, utility and reliability, and says the company makes the best cars in America." Fortune Magazine

"Yeah, it's that good." -- Consumer Reports

Leaves competition far behind...
"Improvements include class-leading fuel economy at 26 mpg overall and 35 mpg highway, a standard backup camera, excellent visibility, a roomy interior, and very easy access." -- Consumer Reports

Additional Reviews

"The Forester is a great flexible ride that offers interior space, powerful acceleration, AWD capability and rugged good looks." -- AutoWeek

"Much of the Forester's enduring appeal lies in the fact that it offers most of the SUV attributes people really want and use -- full-time all-wheel drive, a little bit of extra ground clearance and hatchback utility -- without the dreadful fuel economy and bulk of a full-blown SUV." -- Edmunds

"Whether you're a Subaru loyalist who appreciates the brand's character, or just want a roomy, reliable compact SUV, the 2014 Forester delivers. There may be cheaper or handsomer options in the class, but the Forester remains a solid all-arounder." -- Motor Trend

"Building on its well-established reputation for capability, reliability, practicality and longevity, the new Forester now delivers even more comfort and convenience while offering the added benefit of standard fuel-efficient all-wheel drive - and does it at an outstanding price point." -- Kelley Blue Book