Compare Subaru Outback to the Competition

How Does the Subaru Outback Stack Up to Its SUV Competitors, the Honda CR-V & Toyota RAV4?

When Chicago drivers embark on their next adventure, they want to drive an SUV that excites and adds life to each excursion. They also want a crossover that can handle the everyday driving needs for them and their family. No SUV balances those driving characteristics like the Subaru Outback. This Subaru SUV is as versatile as it is capable.

Still, customers from Oak Lawn, Naperville, and the greater Chicago metro are known for doing their due diligence when it comes to SUV shopping. Rightfully so. At The Autobarn Subaru of Countryside, we want our customers to make an informed decision before purchasing a new Subaru Outback. That's why we've done the research to see how the Subaru Outback stacks up against two of its main competitors, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. Discover just how unique the Subaru Outback is as we break down this trio of SUVs.

Subaru Outback vs. Honda CR-V

Outback vs. CR-V Performance Capability

Do you want power? You'll find far superior performance capabilities in the Subaru Outback, as the Honda CR-V only offers one powertrain. The Honda CR-V's 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 engine outputs 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque.

While this slightly edges the base Subaru Outback model, it's no match for the power displayed by other Outback models like the new Subaru Outback Wilderness, a special edition adventure model. Base Subaru Outback models achieve 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque thanks to a 2.5-liter flat-4 BOXER® engine. The Outback Wilderness and other models showcase a more robust 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-4 BOXER® engine that produces 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, along with a 3,500-pound maximum towing rating. This easily exceeds the Honda CR-V, which can only tow 1,500 pounds. Even base Outbacks can tow 2,700 pounds.

The Honda CR-V only offers 7.8 inches of ground clearance compared to the Subaru Outback's 8.7 inches, upgrading to 9.5 inches on the Outback Wilderness. The Outback also showcases standard symmetrical all-wheel drive, Active Torque Vectoring, and Subaru X-Mode®, an enhanced all-wheel-drive system. None are offered on the Honda CR-V.

Outback vs. CR-V Safety & Technology

The Honda CR-V falls behind in technology, failing to offer Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ on the base model. A 5-inch touchscreen is standard and a 7-inch touchscreen is available. All Outbacks receive a standard Subaru STARLINK® Multimedia package with a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, with the option to upgrade to an 11.6-inch touchscreen and additional technology.

With the seats folded, the Subaru Outback's total cargo capacity of 75.7 cubic feet mirrors the Honda CR-V's 75.8 cubic feet. Each SUV is similar in fuel economy ratings, with the Subaru Outback earning 26/33 (city/highway) miles per gallon compared to the Honda CR-V's 28/34 miles per gallon. Safety features are also similar as the standard Honda Sensing® safety suite is nearly identical to Subaru EyeSight®, which provides the following standard driver-assist technology:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane keep assist and sway warning
  • Pre-collision braking
  • Pre-collision throttle management

The Honda CR-V's upper three trims add a Blind Spot Information System. The Subaru Outback adds a Blind-Spot Detection System with Lane Change Assist and Rear-Cross Traffic Alert on the Limited trim, and it's also provided as standard on Outback Wilderness.

Subaru Outback vs. Toyota RAV4

Outback vs. RAV4 Performance Capability

One powertrain won't cut it for Chicago adventurers. The Toyota RAV4's engine - a 2.5-liter inline-4 generating 203 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque - isn't even turbocharged. Base models can only tow 1,500 pounds. Take your pick between the pair of Subaru Outback powertrains, the latter of which is standard on the all-new Subaru Outback Wilderness, an outdoors-oriented model the Toyota RAV4 doesn't offer.

  • 2.5-liter flat-4 BOXER®: 182 horsepower, 176 pound-feet of torque
  • 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-4 BOXER®: 260 horsepower, 277 pound-feet of torque

While the Toyota RAV4 does offer 8.4 inches of ground clearance compared to the base Subaru Outback's 8.7 inches, the Toyota SUV doesn't offer a raised suspension. The Subaru Outback Wilderness does, with a staggering 9.5 inches of ground clearance, allowing Chicago drivers to clear almost any terrain when they go off-road. The Toyota RAV4 doesn't provide standard symmetrical all-wheel drive or a traction system like the Outback's Subaru X-Mode®.

Outback vs. RAV4 Safety, Technology & Interior

The Toyota RAV4 does offer the Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.0 safety suite with several driver-assist technology features as standard, but Subaru EyeSight® in all Outback models can match that. The Toyota RAV4 does tout 37.5 cubic feet of storage and 70 cubic feet total. That tops the Subaru Outback's 32.5 cubic-foot cargo hold, but the RAV4 is smaller and can't match the Outback's total cargo capacity of 75.7 cubic feet.

There's no option for leather upholstery in the Toyota RAV4, which has a noisy cabin. The Subaru Outback is quieter, even on outdoors exploits. The Subaru Outback Wilderness features a luxury-like cabin with StarTex® water-repellent upholstery and anodized copper-finish accents.

Infotainment is similar, as the Toyota RAV4 features a standard 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™. The Outback's standard tech setup matches that, but Subaru's STARLINK® Multimedia package offers a larger 11.6-inch touchscreen and additional entertainment and connectivity.

Test Drive a New Subaru Outback from The Autobarn Subaru of Countryside

Performance and off-roading capabilities are far superior in the Subaru Outback, which also excels in safety, technology, and style. Now that Chicago customers know the Subaru Outback is the best of these three SUVs, we invite them to The Autobarn Subaru of Countryside for a test drive in any new Subaru Outback model, even the all-new Subaru Outback Wilderness.

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