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2023 Honda CR-V vs. Forester, RAV4 and Rogue: Best Compact SUVs Compared

How does the latest mass-market family hauler stand up to its closest rivals?

2023 Honda CR-V
As Honda releases more information, we'll be sure to update this comparison with additional facts and figures.
Honda

Some vehicles debut without any information beyond minor specs like horsepower and torque. But Honda was nice enough to deliver some proper specifications during Tuesday's unveiling of the 2023 CR-V. So, with that information in hand, let's compare this brand spankin' new compact SUV to major competitors from Nissan, Subaru and Toyota. (We know there are more players out there, but these are the biggest hitters.)

We'll compare the vehicles based on the specifications provided from each manufacturer. Honda didn't give out everything you'd find on a usual spec sheet, so we'll use every data point we were able to get our hands on. We'll also take a look at how each powertrain stacks up, in addition to looking at standard features like infotainment and safety tech. Let's dive in.

Exterior

Looking at basic exterior measurements, the 2023 Honda CR-V is pretty close to all its current rivals. At 106.3 inches, the wheelbase is longer than all but the Nissan Rogue, but the CR-V takes the crown on overall length. It's also about as tall as the Rogue, and its width is pretty much in line with every other car on the list. So, don't expect the CR-V to start cracking your driveway after you pick it up from the dealership.

Exterior spec comparison

Model Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Height (in.) Width (in.) Track (in., F/R)
Honda CR-V 106.3 184.8 66.6 73.4 63.4 / 64.0
Nissan Rogue 106.5 183.0 66.5 72.4 62.4 / 62.6
Subaru Forester 105.1 182.7 67.5 71.5 61.6 / 61.8
Toyota RAV4 105.9 180.9 67.0 73.0 63.0 / 63.7

Interior

Honda only gave three interior measurements at the CR-V's debut, and they're good ones. The CR-V offers 41 inches of rear legroom, more than any other competitor by almost 2 inches. With the second row up, its cargo area offers 36.3 cubic feet of space in base models (higher trims offer a couple extra cubes with a hidden compartment), which is more capacious than any competitor except the RAV4. However, folding down the second row gives Honda the cargo crown, while the RAV4 gets placed in the caboose, failing to reach even 70 cubic feet.

Interior spec comparison

Model Rear legroom (in.) Cargo volume, 2nd row up (cu. ft.) Cargo volume, 2nd row down (cu. ft.)
Honda CR-V 41.0 36.3 76.5
Nissan Rogue 38.5 31.6 74.1
Subaru Forester 39.4 28.9 74.2
Toyota RAV4 37.8 37.5 69.8

Powertrain (gas-only)

The CR-V will be offered with both gas and hybrid powertrain options, so we're breaking them out into separate comparisons. The CR-V's 1.5-liter turbocharged I4 produces 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque, which is about on par with the rest of the competitive set. Despite only using a three-cylinder engine, the Nissan Rogue almost wins on horsepower and dominates on torque output. The RAV4 is the only car on the list to sport a traditional automatic transmission; every other vehicle uses a continuously variable transmission.

Gas powertrain spec comparison

Model Engine type Power (hp) Torque (lb-ft) Transmission type
Honda CR-V 1.5-liter I4 190 179 CVT
Nissan Rogue 1.5-liter I3 201 225 CVT
Subaru Forester 2.5-liter H4 182 176 CVT
Toyota RAV4 2.5-liter I4 203 184 8AT

Powertrain (hybrid)

Sadly, Toyota is the only competitor on this list to offer a hybrid variant. Nissan discontinued the Rogue Hybrid after three model years, and Subaru has never offered a hybrid Forester. The CR-V Hybrid uses Honda's clever two-motor hybrid setup, which eschews a traditional transmission in favor of integrated electric motors and a wet clutch, although the RAV4 Hybrid does wield a CVT. The RAV4 produces more net horsepower, but it's believed that the Honda makes more torque; Toyota does not publish net torque figures for its hybrids, but a dealer's website claims net torque is 176 pound-feet, which is a little weak.

Hybrid powertrain spec comparison

Model Engine type Power (hp, net) Torque (lb-ft, net) Transmission type
Honda CR-V 2.0-liter I4 204 247 Dual electric motors
Nissan Rogue N/A N/A N/A N/A
Subaru Forester N/A N/A N/A N/A
Toyota RAV4 2.5-liter I4 219 176 (est.) CVT

Tech

When it comes to in-car tech, it's a mixed bag across the board. The 2023 Honda CR-V comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but uprated trims get a 9-incher with wireless smartphone connectivity. Subaru's base radio rocks a 6.5-inch display, but you have to move up a couple trims to get to the 8-inch display. Toyota's about the same, offering a standard 7-incher and an upgraded 9-inch touchscreen on higher trims. The Nissan Rogue is the most democratic of the group, with a standard 8-inch display across all four trim levels.

And then there's safety tech. The CR-V comes standard with a bunch, including blind-spot monitoring, full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping aid, traffic sign recognition, automatic emergency braking and a new Traffic Jam Assist that combines ACC and LKA at low speeds. The Toyota RAV4 comes close to that, but blind-spot monitoring is only on higher trims, a similar story to Subaru. Nissan isn't far behind, either; while LKA isn't offered on the base trim, the rest come standard with ProPilot Assist, which holds the vehicle in its lane and keeps pace with traffic. Nissan also has blind-spot monitoring standard across the lineup, so points for that, as well.

Price

Honda has not yet divulged pricing for the 2023 CR-V, but we expect its base price to stay below the $30,000 mark. The Toyota RAV4 lineup ranges from about $27,000 to about $38,000, with hybrid variants occupying the pricier half of that spectrum. The Rogue may not have a hybrid powertrain, but it too can be had between about $28,000 and $39,000. The Forester is the most affordable of the three that do have pricing information, starting at a hair over $26,000 and topping out at just over $36,000.