2021 Honda HR-V vs. 2021 Subaru Crosstrek

2021 Honda HR-V vs 2021 Subaru Crosstrek

The perfect balance between sedan and full-size crossover, with a sprinkling of minivan utility for good measure, tiny SUVs are all the rage these days. Models like the HR-V and Crosstrek amplify the characteristics Americans like most about the segment -- they’re practical, incredibly versatile, and ready for just about anything life can throw down.

As you go about narrowing your choices down to a select few, don’t pretend the Honda HR-V doesn’t exist. It does exist -- and it may very well be a better pick for you. These are the reasons why the 2021 Honda HR-V, not the rival 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, should be in your garage.

Cargo Volume

The 2021 Crosstrek squeaks through the rankings mostly because of its cargo-carrying capabilities. Every Crosstrek model offers 20.8 cubic feet of storage space in the very back and 55.3 cubes up to the front row.

As McConaughey says, those are rookie numbers. Subaru’s gotta pump those numbers up to compete with the 2021 Honda HR-V and its 24.3 cu. ft./58.8 cu. ft. cargo volume.

2021 HR-V LX (2WD) 2021 Crosstrek
Rear Cargo Volume 24.3 cu. ft. 20.8 cu. ft.
Max Cargo Volume 58.8 cu. ft. 55.3 cu. ft.

2nd-Row Magic Seat

When you need the space -- and you will -- you’ll want to have the Honda HR-V as your partner in crime. With its 60/40 split 2nd-Row Magic Seat, you get three extraordinary cargo-carrying modes, allowing you to take advantage of every spare millimeter inside the cabin.

2021 HR-V - Utility Mode

Utility Mode

Maximize your cargo room by flopping the Magic Seat down flat, ultimately freeing up the 58.8-cubic-foot* storage area for all your thingies.

2021 HR-V - Outdoorsy Street Cred

Long Mode

Turn HR-V’s passenger side into a legendary backpack, complete with an 8-foot-long wingspan -- that’s enough space for kayaks, surfboards, and a Shaq.

2021 HR-V - Long Mode

Tall Mode

Need to load up your Schwinn or a few potted plants you’d got in the clearance aisle? Simply flip your HR-V’s Magic Seat cushions up to gain 4 feet of vertical cargo space. The Crosstrek can’t offer this level of versatility.

Rear Passenger Comfort

Your lunchtime crew should enjoy the group trip to the Chinese buffet just as much as you do. Ensure they’re not knocking kneecaps by choosing a spacious SUV.

If you go with a moonroof-equipped Crosstrek, you get a fairly wide and comfy front row; it’s a different story in the back, however, as riders three, four and five only get 36.5 inches of legroom and 37.8 inches of headroom.

Back-seat passengers in the HR-V don’t have to deal with the same space constraints. Rear legroom comes in at 39.3 inches and rear headroom equals 38.3 inches.

2021 HR-V EX-L 2021 Crosstrek Limited
Rear Headroom 38.3 in. 37.8 in. (w/ moonroof)
Rear Legroom 39.3 in. 36.5 in.

Adaptive Cruise Control

Driving just got easier thanks to Honda’s Adaptive Cruise Control, which is a standard feature on the HR-V EX and EX-L. ACC helps you maintain a set speed and following distance behind the flow of traffic. If a slowdown is detected, ACC slows your HR-V down. If traffic comes to a stop, so too does your HR-V. And when traffic starts moving again, ACC accelerates back to the status quo.

To get a similar cruise control system in the Crosstrek, you’d be forced to spend more for the Crosstrek Premium with an EyeSight® package.

Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto Lock

When you need an extra hand, HR-V’s there for you. Its Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto Lock allows you to get your errands done without worrying about locking up. Even with your arms full and your key fob buried in your pocket, HR-V becomes its own guard dog by automatically locking itself. That’s peace of mind.

The 2021 Crosstrek comes with a keyless entry system, but doesn’t offer a similar auto-lock feature.

2021 Honda HR-V - One-Touch Power Moonroof

One-Touch Power Moonroof

Every Honda HR-V EX and EX-L comes with a one-touch moonroof with a tilt feature. And because it’s standard, welcoming in all that extra fresh air and sunshine doesn’t cost a penny extra.

That’s not the case with the 2021 Subaru Crosstrek. No Crosstrek trim includes a standard power tilt/sliding moonroof, though it is available on select models for an additional cost.


Just one in five drivers know how to drive a stickshift in America. The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek must be vying for those drivers, as their base Crosstrek comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission. A CVT is standard on other Crosstrek trims, but to get one in the entry-level Crosstrek, shoppers would have to sign off on a pricier package.

Every Honda HR-V comes equipped with a standard CVT with Sport Mode, which is more efficient than the manual Crosstrek transmission.

2021 HR-V - Fuel Economy

Fuel Economy

“Efficient, you say?” That’s right. The Honda HR-V gets far more miles per gallon than the manual Crosstrek.

HR-V 2WD models return 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, while the AWD HR-V LX gets 27 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

Let’s take a look at the Crosstrek. WIth its 2.0L engine and that stick shifter, the Crosstrek returns 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Switch to the Crosstrek CVT and the numbers strengthen to 28 city/33 highway -- EPA-estimated ratings that just about line up with HR-V’s.

2021 HR-V LX
2021 HR-V LX
2021 Crosstrek
2021 Crosstrek
(2.0L CVT)
MPG (city/hwy) 28/34 27/31 22/29 28/33


It makes sense to count cents when you’re a savvy car shopper. HR-V’s sticker prices should attract you away from the dark side. Trim by trim, the Honda HR-V is priced lower than the rival Crosstrek. And with several standard features that are either optional or packaged fare in the Subaru, the 2021 HR-V represents a better value.

2021 HR-V Trim MSRP MSRP 2021 Crosstrek Trim
LX (2WD) $21,020* $22,245 Crosstrek
Sport (2WD) $22,970* $23,295 Premium
EX (2WD) $24,220* $26,495 Sport
EX-L (2WD) $25,820* $27,995 Limited


28 city/34 highway/30 combined mpg rating for 2WD trims. 27 city/31 highway/29 combined mpg rating for AWD LX trims. 26 city/31 highway/28 combined mpg rating for AWD Sport, EX, & EX-L trims. Based on 2021 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.

Cargo volume based on SAE J1100 cargo volume measurement standard plus, where applicable, floor space between seating rows and seats in their forward-most and upright position.

MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $1120 destination charge and accessories. Dealer prices may vary. MSRP does not include $395 charge for select premium colors. $395 charge only applies to 2021 models.