2019 Chevrolet Blazer vs. 2019 Subaru Forester

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Blazer are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Forester doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Blazer LT/RS/Premier offers an optional 360 degree parking monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Forester only offers a rear monitor.

Both the Blazer and the Forester have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Blazer’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Forester’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Chevrolet pays for the first scheduled maintenance on the Blazer. Chevrolet will pay for the first oil change, lubrication and any other required maintenance in the first year. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Forester.

There are almost 5 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Blazer’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 33 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.

Engine

The Blazer’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 11 more horsepower (193 vs. 182) and 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (188 vs. 176) than the Forester’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Blazer’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 126 more horsepower (308 vs. 182) and 94 lbs.-ft. more torque (270 vs. 176) than the Forester’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Blazer V6’s fuel efficiency. The Forester doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Blazer FWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Forester (19.4 vs. 16.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Blazer AWD’s standard fuel tank has 5.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Forester (21.7 vs. 16.6 gallons).

The Blazer has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Forester doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Blazer’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Forester:

Blazer

Forester Base/Premium

Forester Sport/Limited/Touring

Front Rotors

12.64 inches

11.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

11.2 inches

11.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Blazer has larger standard tires than the Forester (235/65R18 vs. 225/60R17). The Blazer RS/Premier’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Forester (265/45R21 vs. 225/60R17).

The Blazer RS/Premier’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Forester Sport/Limited/Touring’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Blazer has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Forester. The Blazer RS/Premier’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Forester Sport/Limited/Touring.

The Chevrolet Blazer’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Subaru Forester only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Blazer has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Forester doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Blazer’s wheelbase is 7.6 inches longer than on the Forester (112.7 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Blazer is 4.8 inches wider in the front and 4.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Forester.

Chassis

The Blazer uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Forester doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The Blazer has 1.5 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear legroom, .6 inches more rear hip room and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Forester.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Blazer RS/Premier’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Forester doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Forester is limited to 1500 pounds. The Blazer offers up to a 4500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Blazer’s front and rear power windows all lower with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Forester’s standard power windows’ passenger windows don’t open automatically. The Forester Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to lower them fully.

On a hot day the Blazer’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Forester can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Blazer’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Heated mirrors cost extra on the Forester and aren’t offered on the Forester Base.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Blazer (except L/LT) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Forester doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Blazer has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Forester Limited/Touring.

The Blazer (except L) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Forester doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

The Blazer is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Forester doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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