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Subaru Crosstrek, Honda HR-V, Or Toyota C-HR? There Are Two Models You Should Avoid

In the subcompact SUV segment, shoppers have options like the 2021 Toyota C-HR, 2021 Honda HR-V, and 2021 Subaru Crosstrek. Which model is best?

With so many choices in the subcompact SUV segment, consumers can do their homework and develop a shortlist of models that are the best choice. One way is to check owner satisfaction of the model and see what vehicles are rated highest by Consumer Reports in road tests, reliability, advanced safety features and performed well in crash tests.

In the Consumer Reports (by subscription), popular small SUVs to avoid list reveals current owners rating their new vehicles and measures the current state of owner satisfaction. Surprisingly, both the Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR make the cars to avoid list. The Toyota C-HR was on last year's list, and the HR-V is on the list for 2020. In contrast, the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek is the highest-rated compact SUV.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek pricing, features, specs

Why should I avoid the Honda HR-V?

According to Consumer Reports, the HR-V is "really showing its age." They also say it's underpowered and the engine is loud when you hit the gas. They list other negative qualities like a stiff ride, uncomfortable front seats, and the oddly styled rear door handles.

The Honda HR-V does have some strengths, such as good fuel economy, strong reliability, and a roomy cargo area. But the flaws outweigh the advantages. CR members give it a low owner satisfaction rating, too.

Why should I avoid the Toyota C-HR?

Consumer Reports gives the C-HR a number 17 rating out of 20 subcompact cars. It scored a 64/100 in the road test and only 1/5 in predicted owner satisfaction. Owners scored it lowest in interior comfort (49/100), and when asked, "Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?", 58 out of 100 owners said no, and 49 percent said they would not repurchase the car.

2021 Subaru Crosstrek Sport and Limited

What makes the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek the best pick?

For the 2021 model year, Crosstrek gets a new 2.5-liter engine with 30 additional horsepower over last year's model. It's available on the new Sport trim and also the top-of-the-lineup Limited trim. You can read our new Sport review and Limited review. CR says ride comfort is impressive, and the Crosstrek has competent and enjoyable handling. The infotainment system is easy to use.

There are other reasons why the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek could be the best choice in the Subcompact SUV segment. CR gives the Crosstrek an overall score of 85, the highest of any Subcompact SUV. The Toyota C-HR has a total score of 61 and the Honda HR-V, a score of 66.

All 2021 Crosstrek trim levels come standard with all-wheel-drive for all-weather capability and 8.7-inches of ground clearance, which no competitor exceeds. The competition does not offer anything like Crosstrek's X-Mode for more severe winter driving and off-road excursions. Sport and Limited trims get upgraded with the brand's dual-function X-Mode for deep snow and mud settings.

In the subcompact SUV segment, the Subaru Crosstrek is rated the best by owners, Consumer Reports says the Toyota C-HR and Honda HR-V are two models to avoid.

You Might Also Like: The New Subaru Crosstrek Gets A Power Upgrade - Its Next Big Move Is A Turbo

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Sean Peacock (not verified)    October 9, 2020 - 6:03PM

Has the Crosstrek experienced any of the non intended acceleration issues that Has Subaru dealing with class action lawsuits?

Michael Breaux (not verified)    October 10, 2020 - 1:52AM

I had a 2014 Subaru Forster for 3 years and love it but has problems with oil consumption and traded in for 2017 Subaru Outback, I love it! My mom was impressed with Subaru Outback and quality car then she decided buy 2019 Subaru Ascent. I sure like Subaru Ascent turbo engine 2.4 engine but gas mileage in town wasn’t impressed me but on highway wasn’t too bad. 2020 Subaru Outback doesn’t change much as outside but inside has changed look pretty good. I find hard to believe they say 2.4 turbo engine and gas mileage improve?? I’m Subaru fan! I’m curious is Subaru will build full size truck in future? I would love have one but please be different model

NormT (not verified)    October 10, 2020 - 8:08AM

The problem with Subaru is the higher price than everyone else. You can get a Crosstrek as advertised on autotrader for as low as $20K. A Chevy Trailblazer is $17K and a Chevy Trax is $13K. Or pony up to a Buick Encore for $18K and it'll be nicer riding and more quiet than all of these.

Poskit16k (not verified)    October 10, 2020 - 11:04AM

Had my CH-R Approx 6 weeks and tbh we are quite happy with it so far. Does what 8 need it to do! Everyone who's seen it or been in it are happy enough n quite impressed tbh. Each to their own I suppose?! If we all liked the same it would be.....more boring than it already is. Stay safe everyone

Pam Vellucci (not verified)    October 10, 2020 - 11:11AM

Beg to differ, I love my 2019 Honda HRV. Great gas mileage, comfy front seats, plenty of cargo space. Easy maneuverability, what’s not to love?

Ethan (not verified)    October 10, 2020 - 2:24PM

Some people buy these segment of vehicles to actually haul stuff. Have you actually seen the size of the Crosstrek's luggage/cargo area? Not sure if it's been improved for 2021, but the model I saw a few years ago has a miserable amount of space.