On this page we compare the 2014 Subaru Forester Premium Package w/All Weather Package to the 2014 Honda CR-V EX 4WD. These are closely aligned trim levels and the most popular here in Oklahoma. 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
View 2014 Forester Inventory

Forester vs Toyota RAV4

SEE the videos, READ what the experts say, then YOU DECIDE.


2014 Subaru Forester

2014 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. The rear window on the CR-V is quite a bit smaller and higher as well. 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

RAV4 Driver's View

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

80% of Oklahoma 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 "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 Subaru Forester a Top Safety Pick Plus while the 2012-2014 (IIHS test applies to all three years) Honda CR-V only received Top Safety Pick. Why the difference? IIHS instituted a new, small overlap crash test that represents 25% of serious injuries and fatalities. Subaru aced the test while the Honda CR-V received a Marginal Performance. Watch the actual crash test for each below:

Note: The vehicle shown in the Honda IIHS crash test was their 2012 Honda CR-V. There is no difference between the 2012-2014 models and the IIHS test applies to all three years. Also, notice the deployment of the driver's knee airbag in the Forester. That's a new addition for 2014. The CR-V does not have this.

IIHS Summary of the small SUV category.

Actual 2014 Subaru Forester Crash Test
Rated GOOD

Actual 2012 Honda CR-V Crash Test

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
Manual Seat
Std (oversized)
Winter Package
Heated Seats, Wipers, Mirrors
Heated Mirrors Only
Back-Up Camera/Monitor
Fog Lights
Tilt/Telescoping Steering Wheel
Roof Rails
Not Available
As you can see, both cars come nicely equipped; but if you are looking for roof rails, a power driver's seat or heated seats (a must-have for Oklahoma) for the Honda CR-V, you will have to spring for the top-of-the-line EX-L model (leather). Not only is the 2014 Forester less expensive than the Honda CR-V, it's SIGNIFICANTLY LESS EXPENSIVE at Bob Moore Subaru, the #1 Volume Subaru Dealer in Oklahoma.

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 @ 7000 rpm
163 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm
EPA (City/Hwy)
27/32 (2.5L)
23/28 (2.0L Turbo)
Fuel Range (Hwy)
509 mi
6 spd Manual or
CVT Auto
No Manual
5 spd Auto
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.

The 2.5L CR-V has the edge in horsepower but the Forester has greater lb-ft torque, which is a measure of "get up and go" or acceleration.

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
54.5 / 53.1
Cargo Volume (cu ft)
Rear Seats Up/Down
31.5 / 68.5
37.2 / 70.9


Height (with Rails)
Turning Radius (Feet)
Ground Clearance
Curb Weight (Lbs)
Towing Capacity (Lbs)

Don't let anyone kid you; when it comes to comfort, size matters! The 2014 Subaru Forester was designed for passenger room and comfort in mind. Those extra inches of head, shoulder 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. 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 Oklahoma, 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.

Perhaps the best summary of the 2013/2014 Honda CR-V is expressed by this review from an actual owner: 
"I've only owned the CR-V for about a month. My previous car was a Civic, which fit my personality better. Frankly, it was cooler. The CRV is a good family/ old person car, nothing flashy here. It handles well, the features are good, and it looks ok. There's just nothing about it that makes my heart race when I drive it. I get decent mileage, but again nothing to write home about, 28-30 mpg so far. The truth is, my husband talked me into this car. Maybe I should have held out for something a bit flashier. Overall, I have no major complaints about the car. It's a Honda, for goodness sakes, a reliable, if slightly boring Honda." [She should have bought a Forester XT!]

Or this review from the Car Connection:
"Hard to get excited about this Honda. The CR-V is fine for a family vehicle, but lacking pizazz for those with upmarket tastes or any kind of performance sense. Altogether, the 2013 CR-V simply doesn't provide a very exciting driving experience." They went on to call it "bland, unimpressive interior trims and unsettled steering trims.

Named 2014 Best Car to Buy Winner  

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 2014 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 2014 Forester is one of the most affordable accident avoidance technologies on the U.S. market and includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and throttle management.


When comparing the 2014 Subaru Forester vs the Honda CRV, the Forester offers the best value with a lower MSRP, better fuel economy, more driver and passenger room, better visibility, manual or automatic transmission, and two engine choices. What are you waiting for? Call us at 866-414-5520.

Bob Moore Subaru is the #1 Volume Subaru Dealer in Oklahoma and will GUARANTEE you the lowest price. If you live ANYWHERE in Oklahoma, 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

"If you're looking for a small SUV that's very functional and fuel-efficient, the Forester is hard to beat," Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, said in an e- mailed statement. The magazine also said the Subaru model has quicker acceleration and leads competitors in fuel economy.

The revamped 2014 model light truck won praise from the non-profit magazine for "space- efficient design, large windows, and big square doors." Those and other features helped it outscore CR-V, Toyota Motor Corp.'s RAV4 and Mazda Motor Corp.'s CX-5, Consumer Reports said.Automotive News

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