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How The New Second-Generation Subaru Crosstrek Is Blowing Away Honda HR-V And Toyota C-HR

The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek had record sales but how does it compare with its Japanese rivals Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR?

The second-generation 2019 Subaru Crosstrek set an all-time record and was the hottest car in the Subaru stable last month. Subaru of America (SOA) reports Crosstrek had its best month ever and was up 33.3 percent in August compared with last year. Subaru delivered 15,860 Crosstrek crossovers to customers last month compared with 11,900 for the same month in 2018 to give the compact SUV a record August.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek

But how does it compare with its main rivals from Honda and Toyota? Honda has the 2019 HR-V, and Toyota brings the 2019 C-HR compact crossovers as its main competition. Subaru is blowing away their much bigger Japanese rivals with the highly-awarded Crosstrek that was new to the market in 2012. How are customers voting?

2019 Honda HR-V

For August, American Honda delivered 9,730 HR-V of the compact crossovers to customers. Toyota USA sold 4,935 C-HR vehicles to its customers. Subaru outsold both the Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR models combined by 1,195 units in August. That’s an amazing feat for the smallest Japanese automaker.

2019 Toyota C-HR

Why is Crosstrek so popular? The compact SUV is selling well to a new generation of buyers who use the Crosstrek for more than a grocery hauler. It’s being purchased by those who lead active lifestyles. Its “go-anywhere” attitude with 8.7-inches of ground clearance, standard all-wheel-drive, and X-Mode off-road hardware is a big selling point with adventurous customers.

2019 Subaru Crosstrek

Crosstrek is also highly-awarded according to Kelly Blue Book. The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek is the sixth most-awarded vehicle among 350 automotive models available in the marketplace. Crosstrek scored two of Kelley Blue Books top awards. The compact SUV earned the Best Resale Value Award and 5-Year Cost to Own Award. The Subaru brand was number three on KBB’s 10 Most Awarded Brands of 2019 list. They were only behind number one Honda and Toyota at number two.

The second-generation 2019 Subaru Crosstrek is the compact crossover leader beating the 2019 Honda HR-V that was introduced in 2016 and thumps the 2019 Toyota C-HR that launched in 2017.

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Photo credit: Timmons Subaru, American Honda, Toyota USA


Digitaldoc (not verified)    September 7, 2019 - 12:37PM

As underpowered as the Crosstrek is, the issue is that the HR-V, and the C-HR are even worse. Seriously, that C-HR is not even available in AWD, and it still is the slowest of the subcompact CUV's. The whole subcompact CUV segment needs some better choices, and this also explains the better sales of the Hyundai Kona, the only non-luxury choice in the segment to offer a turbo engine, and not be a total slug.

Bob Bruce (not verified)    September 7, 2019 - 9:23PM

In reply to by Digitaldoc (not verified)

Those of us who buy vehicles like a HR-V or Fit dont really care how fast we get to 60 mph. I hit the gas and it goes from A to B just fine. And it is never in the shop. I change the oil, rotate the tires. Thats it.
And I can load it up with 8 ft lumber or a surf board easy peasy.
If you want "power" you could look at another category of vehicle.
Just a suggestion.

Michael P. Smith (not verified)    September 8, 2019 - 6:36AM

In reply to by Bob Bruce (not verified)

You certainly are not the voice of the market segment. I, too, would like something a little more zippy that wouldn't bog down in a incline entrance ramp to an expressway.

Mike (not verified)    September 8, 2019 - 7:29AM

In reply to by Bob Bruce (not verified)

Agreed. My fit is not fast. It’s utilitarian. Friends with larger vehicles are always surprised when I can fit more than they can in my hatchback. Add a roof rack and you can haul even more. Looking at the HRV for the AWD benefit, but honestly my fit ran fine with studded snow tires in VT winters. The crosstrek is sexier for sure, but I’ll take Honda reliability. Just about to hit the 100k mark and it’s only needed oil changes.

NCB (not verified)    September 8, 2019 - 11:48AM

In reply to by Bob Bruce (not verified)

I bought a crosstrek and love it. I’ve been a loyal toyota buyer for years but unfortunately the CH-R only is available with front wheel drive. If a Manual transmission and AWD were offered I probably would have bought on

Wolffe (not verified)    September 8, 2019 - 9:08PM

In reply to by Bob Bruce (not verified)

The problem is that a lot of people like myself consider the Crosstrek (and the Impreza for that matter) then pass it by because we don't want to drive a soccer mom car. I would buy a Crosstrek or Impreza in a heartbeat if they had closer to 200HP and 200 pound feet or torque. But they don't.

I actually want the next car I buy to be practical and was looking at the Crosstrek and Impreza because AWD is standard, but after driving a Silverado for as long as I have I also can't settle for something without some torque and power.

On a side note, why is Subaru so heavily invested in CVTs? Why can't you get a Subaru Legacy with a manual? Makes me so sad. I actually think the Legacy is a sexy car but I just don't want to buy a vehicle with a CVT transmission.

mike (not verified)    September 8, 2019 - 5:59AM

And just think, with the Crosstrek, you get the added benefit of not having the body welded properly, having to consider replacing 2 head gaskets at 100K miles, not getting to go 7500 miles or more between synthetic oil changes, gas mileage below the epa estimates AND the thinnest sheet metal in the auto industry. I call that a tremendous bargain!

zy (not verified)    September 8, 2019 - 10:10AM

Owned Both Crosstrek and Honda H-RV (and Owned 2011 Outback 2019 Outback) Last Outback toooooo the run a round / lies from the dealerships.....
The difference between Crossterk Cheaper and rides Rough and H-RV is priced higher for the 4 Wheel mid-level and Rides like an car smooth. I never uses these cars off road but live in area with a lot of winter driving!
Love the size of the trunk area / height and the seat manipulation - stacking.
In the Honda H-RV
Next car / SUV won't be either brand and I'm the one who was buying cars every 18 month - Love the new Mazda's (bought a new 2018 last year for $18K with all the bells and whistles through AAA next car will upgrade to Mazda 5 all wheel

danwat1234 (not verified)    September 8, 2019 - 4:57PM

How well is the plug-in hybrid Crosstrek selling? If it was priced lower it would sell better. Hardly use any gas day to day and I think it is slightly faster than the nonhybrid model.
AWD Prius doesn't have any much ground clearance but has cargo room, 55MPG.

India Smith (not verified)    September 8, 2019 - 9:57PM

Talk about a safe car. My brother was driving on interstate 75 in south Macon, Georgia last month. He was hit 4 times when 3 eighteen wheelers, wrecker truck and numerous others cars collided. His crosstrek protected him. He went to the hospital, but he survived. Thanks Subaru.

Michael (not verified)    September 8, 2019 - 11:46PM

The only thing that's blowing in a Subaru is there head gaskets and automatic transmissions after hundred thousand miles.

Kurt (not verified)    September 9, 2019 - 1:58AM

I was in the market for a small crossover. I wanted a manual transmission so my only choice was the hrv and Crosstrek. I test drove the Crosstrek and after the test drive I asked to speak to the manager about a extended warranty. Subaru has major issues with head gaskets.....still, they also had a class action lawsuit because piston rings weren't seating correctly. Long story short, I went with the honda.

Russ in PA (not verified)    September 10, 2019 - 9:32PM

I too had heard about the "sluggish" Crosstrek and was concerned about when we test drove the vehicle. It wasn't like my turbo A-4 but I felt it was not as bad as my expectations were. We also test drove the Forester, which had more pep, but it the vehicle is just too large for my wife and I. We went with the Crosstrek and are not disappointed. We took a 900 mile road trip this summer and the Crosstrek got us on the highway with ease. While the Crosstrek does not need wings, at 38.1 MPG over 900 miles of varied driving, I'll take it!

JERZEYBOY (not verified)    September 16, 2019 - 7:46AM

I'm in my 3rd Crosstrek. My 1st was a '14. I loved it! My 2nd was a '16: an upgrade to get the Eyesight feature. I loved it! My 3rd and current car car is an '18: an upgrade to the new platform and reintroduction of the orange color. I love it! I live in the Pocono Mountains of NE PA with the steep inclines and frequent and heavy snowfall, and have never had an issue with the power. There are several interstates that i drive on a daily basis onto which I have no problems entering, or passing. I have the CVT transmission with paddle shifters (which I have never felt the need to use!) and I have no issue of any kind! I'm sure the car could exceed 100mph, but why would I need to? I love it, and won't be trading it anytime soon!

Christinedb (not verified)    October 7, 2019 - 11:57AM

Hi, I am debating between the Crosstrek, HRV, and RAV4. My kids are all grown so I don't need the room of the Forester. I need a car that can handle Pacific NW mountain snow, has modern safety features, and gets 30-40 mpg as I currently own and love a Fit. To get a good price, I will buy used with some mileage. Recommendations?