Subaru vs CR-V?

Still looking for a used AWD. Used CR-V’s are pricey. Will spend less for a Subaru. How do they compare? A couple of owners on consumer reports’ comment section said Subaru was expensive to repair. Anyone know about that?

Are you sure you really want an AWD. If you don’t drive off the road few people need AWD. If winter driving is the issue, consider that it is far more important to be able to stay on the road and to be able to stop faster and a FWD car with good winter tyres on it is going to do better than an AWD with all season tyres on it at stopping and keeping control on snow and ice. In deep snow it is more a matter of ground clearance.

And CR-Vs AREN’T expensive to repair? I’d go with the Subaru IF I REALLY needed AWD.

Subaru’s and CR-V are about the same to repair. Some repairs are CRV will be cheaper and some on Subaru. I would buy on preference.

If AWD is your interest the CRV system is after the fact and usually too late. When it slips it sends power to the rear wheels. A bit better on fuel MPG but really just FWD with a bit extra traction. I have seen them in action(lack thereof stuck in parking lots at ski slopes). Subaru AWD is always working at every wheel. Subaru consumes a bit more fuel due to this. (its about a 2-3MPG for this).

Any difference on how often each will be in the shop?

For complete clarity AWD is for on the road maximum traction. 4wd is for offroad.

For what it’s worth, Carolina, my neighbor’s wife has had a CRV for 9 years now. The maintenance (routine) has been average, and repairs have been nil other than a brake job and spark plugs. This machine has been virtually bulletproof.

The Subaru is also a good machine, but the routine maintenance is very expensive compared to a CRV, and repairs, when needed, are also very expensive.

Performance-wise both are good, but an AWD vehicle costs much more to operate than 2 wheel drive; worse gas mileage, more maintenance, and more expensive repairs.

Unless you live in a snow belt, I would go for front wheel drive only and buy good winter tires, a much less expesive solution.

Accordng to Consumer Reports, both makes are among the most reliable on the road. Of course, each has its own unique problem areas. A Subaru Legacy/Outback that is older than the '01 model year could have head gasket problems after ~100k. On the other hand, CR-Vs have a known problem with the rear differential that requires more frequent changes of differential oil (with a special, expensive, proprietary Honda oil) than even the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule recommends. And, early CR-Vs had a problem with engine fires.

Will you encounter these problems on either make? This is hard to say, but the fact remains that they are both among the most reliable on the road. I am now on my second Subaru, and I would not have bought the second one unless the first one was a reliable vehicle. And, you might want to note that I traded in a Honda Accord on that first Subaru and found that the Subaru spent less time in the shop than the Honda did. But, as the old saying goes, “your mileage may differ”.

As to the need for AWD, only you can judge whether you need it or not, but if you do, you should be aware that on the older CR-Vs, the AWD mechanism only kicks in after it senses slippage of the front wheels. If you want to have maximum traction in slippery conditions, the Honda method of waiting until the front wheels are spinning might not suit your needs.

It should be noted that Honda apparently does things this way with the CR-V’s AWD mechanism in order to boost gas mileage–and the CR-V is indeed more economical than a Subaru. However, if excellent traction in winter conditions is your aim, the CR-V definitely takes a back seat to any Subaru. And, that being said, I strongly recommend a set of 4 winter tires for anyone in snow country–even if they drive an AWD vehicle.