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Subaru Forester vs. Honda HR-V: Here’s The Difference

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Silver Honda HR-V

Honda HR-V by EurovisionNim — CC-BY-SA-4.0

In recent years, the American car market has gradually shifted towards larger family-oriented vehicles. Small SUVs are one of the most common vehicle types on the road today, and Subaru and Honda are two carmakers with some of the most loyal consumers out there. If you’re in the market and interested in a small SUV, this is a good place to start. When comparing Subaru Forester vs. Honda HR-V, here’s what to consider. 

Subaru Forester vs. Honda HR-V: Head to Head Performance Winners

Basic Warranty: Tie
Powertrain Warranty: Tie
NHTSA Safety Rating: Subaru Forester
Engine: Subaru Forester
Transmission: Tie
Drivetrain: Subaru Forester
Fuel Economy: Honda HR-V
Fuel Capacity: Subaru Forester
Horsepower: Subaru Forester
Torque: Subaru Forester
Towing Power: Subaru Forester


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Subaru Forester vs. Honda HR-V: Head to Head Exterior Winners

Vehicle Length: Subaru Forester
Vehicle Height: Subaru Forester
Ground Clearance: Subaru Forester
Wheelbase: Subaru Forester

Subaru Forester vs. Honda HR-V: Head to Head Interior Winners

Seating Capacity: Tie
Front legroom: Subaru Forester
Front headroom: Subaru Forester
Rear legroom: Tie
Rear headroom: Subaru Forester
Cargo space: Subaru Forester
Technology Accessories: Honda HR-V

Subaru Forester Breakdown

The Forester is a small crossover SUV that has been produced by Subaru since 1997. It uses the same platform as the Impreza and is available in standard, premium, sport, limited, wilderness, and touring trims. Brown leather upholstery, heated seats, navigation, and a panoramic sunroof are just a few of the options available on the touring. The Forester’s cabin is one of the roomiest in the small SUV segment, and it’s well-built with high-quality materials. It isolates passengers from outside noise, and the new Wilderness trim’s water-repellent fabric makes it an ideal companion on muddy outings.

The Starlink infotainment system is straightforward to understand because of its intuitive layout, which makes browsing menus a breeze. A 6.5-inch touch screen, a four-speaker sound system, satellite and HD Radio, USB connections, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, are among the standard infotainment features. Upgrades include an 8-inch touch screen, a six-speaker sound system, and Wi-Fi hotspots on some versions.

An 8-inch touch screen, a six-speaker stereo, a nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio, extra USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and navigation are among the available infotainment features.


  • Seats with plenty of space
  • Good fuel efficiency scores and a large towing capacity
  • All-wheel drive comes standard


  • Engine power is underwhelming compared to other SUVs
  • The infotainment system isn’t as advanced as most competitors
  • Not as modern looking as some rivals

The Forester received an overall rating of 8.3 out of 10 from U.S. News & World Report. It’s rated as the overall #5 compact SUVs in 2022. Additionally, it received the #9 rank out of all SUVs and #12 in the crossover category. 

  • Critics’ Rating: 8.810
  • Performance: 7.210
  • Interior: 7.510
  • Safety: 9.510
  • Quality and dependability rating 83 out of 100 from JD Power

Honda HR-V Breakdown

The Honda HR-V model hasn’t seen many significant alterations in recent years but did have a minor facelift to the model in 2019. There are a few additional tweaks that the Japanese brand has brought to the relatively young model, which debuted in 2015. Like most Honda vehicles, the HR-V has plenty of practicality on its side, and the value on lower-grade versions is good. Now, with some new range-wide safety equipment and a dynamic design, the HR-V is one of the best-selling small SUV options.

The Honda HR-V is a three-generation subcompact crossover SUV that is based on the third-generation Honda Fit after a brief pause between 2006 and 2013. According to Honda, the “HR-V” stands for “Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle.” The HR-cabin V’s is primarily made of high-quality materials with good fit and finish, while there are a few low-quality plastics that can be found.

The conventional infotainment system is straightforward and simple to operate, with physical knobs for controlling climate and audio features, although it lacks modern smartphone integration. By moving up a trim level, you’ll receive more infotainment features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The Sport is the only trim level with an enhanced infotainment system that includes both music and climate controls. Trims that go beyond that remove the tactile controls, forcing you to rely on the touch screen. 


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A 5-inch monitor, a four-speaker audio, Bluetooth, and a USB port are all standard components in the infotainment system. Additionally, a 7-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, an additional USB port, Pandora compatibility, the HondaLink telematics system, a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, and HD Radio are among the available infotainment features. Automatic climate control, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, and a sunroof are among the other options.

The HR-V received an overall score of 7.7 out of 10 from U.S. News and World Report. It’s rated as the overall #10 Subcompact SUV in the 2022 category. It’s in the middle of the pack in most other categories, is rated #29 in the SUVs with two rows, and is the #43 overall crossover SUV.

  • Critics’ Rating: 8.2/10 
  • Performance: 6.510
  • Interior: 7.0/10
  • Safety: 8.810
  • Quality and dependability rating 78 out of 100 from JD Power


  • There’s plenty of space for cargo and passengers
  • Excellent gas mileage
  • Fun to drive


  • Engine with insufficient power
  • Standard features are limited
  • Underwhelming audio and temperature controls


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Subaru Forester vs. Honda HR-V: The ultimate winner

Honda may have more of a mainstream following, but both brands have loyal customer bases who often stick with the same brand for life. For a slightly higher price, the Forester is a strong option if you’ve in the market for a compact crossover. Some may not like the exterior, but it provides good power, tons of space, and decent fuel efficiency for an SUV. The HR-V is a middle-of-the-pack vehicle but does have plenty of technology and safety options that drivers will love. Ultimately, the Forester gets the win in the head-to-head competition, but both are solid options worth a test drive.

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