2021 Subaru Forester vs. Its Competition

2021 Subaru Forester
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

Among hyper-competitive compact crossovers, the Subaru Forester keeps pace thanks to its value and standard all-wheel drive.

The Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 are must-drives in the class—they’re stalwarts for good reason.

The RAV4 looks better this year and is intuitive.

The Honda CR-V is spacious and easygoing too, a hybrid model is on the way.

The Ford Escape is new for 2020 and the Sport Hybrid is what we’d recommend, but it’s also very car-like.

The Mazda CX-5 is fun to drive, but its price is creeping up ever-higher.

The Chevy Equinox is a popular model, but now lacks a standout feature.

2021 Subaru Forester2021 Subaru Forester2021 Chevrolet Equinox RS2021 Chevrolet Equinox
2021 Honda CR-V (CR-V Hybrid)2021 Honda CR-V2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime2021 Toyota RAV4Get Your Price2020 Ford Escape Hybrid2020 Ford Escape
Get Your Price
2020 Mazda CX-52020 Mazda CX-5Get Your Price
Quick Specs
6.8
A recent Best Car To Buy winner, the 2021 Subaru Forester notches big wins in utility and safety as one of our most recommended crossover SUVs.
The 2021 Chevy Equinox draws closer to the Blazer in looks and mission.
6.5
The 2021 Honda CR-V wins hundreds of thousands of wallets each year and it’s no surprise: it’s spacious, comfortable, efficient, and quiet.
6.4
The 2021 Toyota RAV4 is the meat-and-potatoes crossover for many buyers; the RAV4 Prime supplies the all-electric range.
7.0
The 2020 Ford Escape takes a more refined tack, and brings its hybrid edition back into vogue.
6.7
The 2020 Mazda CX-5 trades family-ready space for fine handling and good power.
MSRP From     
$24,795$23,800N/A$26,050$24,885$25,190
Gas Mileage     
26 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Regular Unleaded H-4Turbocharged Gas I4N/ARegular Unleaded I-4Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-3Regular Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Small Sport Utility Vehicles 4WD2WD Sport Utility VehicleN/ASmall Sport Utility Vehicles 2WDSmall Sport Utility Vehicles 2WDSmall Sport Utility Vehicles 2WD
Style Name     
CVTFWD 4-Door LN/ALE FWD (Natl)S FWDSport FWD
Drivetrain     
All WheelFront Wheel DriveN/AFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
55N/A555
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
Sport UtilitySport Utility VehicleN/ASport UtilitySport UtilitySport Utility
Transmission     
CVT w/ODAutomaticN/AAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2021 Subaru Forester vs. 2021 Chevrolet Equinox2021 Subaru Forester vs. 2021 Honda CR-V2021 Subaru Forester vs. 2021 Toyota RAV42021 Subaru Forester vs. 2020 Ford Escape2021 Subaru Forester vs. 2020 Mazda CX-5