Comparison shopping the 2018 Honda CR-V and the 2018 Subaru Forester is like bringing Aesop’s “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse” fable to life. These two compact, five-seat crossovers bring lots to the table, but do so with decidedly different personalities.
The citified 2018 CR-V rates higher on our scale—a 7.0 out of 10—which isn’t unexpected given that it was just redesigned. The 2018 Forester’s basic design dates back five model years and it’s up for a redo, but sales climb annually and it rates a still strong 6.7 overall.
Thanks to its clean-sheet redesign, the CR-V looks and feels fresh. It’s as roomy as ever, with a high-class interior, a luxury crossover-grade ride quality, and decent turbo power in all but the base configuration.
The Forester’s might shows through in ways that might not matter as much to some shoppers: all models boast standard all-wheel drive with an available off-road traction control mode, they sit high with 8.7 inches of running ground clearance, and they’re available with a manual transmission and a far more powerful turbocharged engine (although not together, unfortunately).