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Safety CRV with ESC vs Subaru Forester without

I’m trying to decide between a 2006 Honda CRV SE (with Traction control and Electronic Stability Control) and a 2008 Subaru Premium (without ESC). Which car is safer? Is there a big difference with ESC?

Is the CRV AWD?

yes, it’s also got curtain air bags

Question: Which car is “safer”?

Answer: The one with the more intelligent driver behind the wheel.

If you want or need All Wheel Drive, which most people don’t, the Subaru system is superior.

Which Subaru model are you comparing to the CR-V? Legacy? Forester? Outback? Impreza?

You only mentioned “2008 Premium.”

For you, I recommend the vehicle with traction control and ESC. I guess that means Honda. But, hey, it’s got curtain airbags.

Are you planning to crash?

Please see “Question, and Answer,” above.

I feel safety is as much a matter of what safety features a car has as the make.
Both should be adequate. In my experience with both, the Subaru has a superior AWD drive train performance wise, with or without traction control compared to the CRV. I would recommend the CRV which is more reliable IMO, for occasional bad weather use, but the Subaru if most of your winter daily commutes meant travel over slippery conditions with hills involved. The 2012 model CRV will have a locking feature which will help narrow the gap. IMO, a Subaru has the best over the road AWD performance of any car at or near it’s price range. I feel you have to spend a lot more to approach it.

Which Subaru? A Forester.
Am I planning to crash? I’m an outdoor enthusiast (skiing, trip to mountains etc) and I also have a 5 year son so if I do wind up in really bad road conditions, which has definitely happened, I want to know my car will best enable me to keep control. I have been driving 38 years. I’ve had a Subaru and a Honda before but not Forester or CRV. Don’t know much about ESC except via literature.


I’ll just say that, when faced with that choice for our son, we got the Forester, based on crash test ratings. Either is good, though.

thanks for reply

ok, my brother has one as well for his family. Also 2008 Forester has < 8k miles, vs 2006 CRV SE with 38K miles, another plus for Forester, so that’s my choice. I think both are very good and safe cars in general. CRV has nicer interior and roomier however for me safety for my family is above all else.

thanks for your input scores the two at about the same safety.

But informedforlife does not recommend vehicles w/o ESC.

I personally would not buy a vehicle w/o ESC.