2019 Honda Passport vs. 2019 Subaru Forester

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Passport deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Passport’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Forester’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.

Both the Passport and the Forester have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are over 66 percent more Honda dealers than there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Passport’s warranty.

Reliability

The engine in the Passport has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Forester has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Honda vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 23rd in initial quality. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Honda vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Honda 12th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.

Engine

The Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 98 more horsepower (280 vs. 182) and 86 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 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 Passport’s fuel efficiency. The Forester doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Passport has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Forester (19.5 vs. 16.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Passport 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 Passport’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Forester:

 

Passport

Forester Base/Premium

Forester Sport/Limited/Touring

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.2 inches

11.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Passport has larger standard tires than the Forester (245/50R20 vs. 225/60R17). The Passport Touring/Elite’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Forester (265/45R20 vs. 225/60R17).

The Passport Sport/EX-L’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Forester’s standard 60 series tires. The Passport Touring/Elite’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Forester Sport/Limited/Touring’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Passport has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Forester. The Forester’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Passport 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 Passport’s wheelbase is 5.8 inches longer than on the Forester (110.9 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Passport is 5.2 inches wider in the front and 5 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Forester.

Chassis

The Passport 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 Passport has 4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Forester (115.9 vs. 111.9).

The Passport has 5 inches more front hip room, 3.8 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, .2 inches more rear legroom, 3.7 inches more rear hip room and 4.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Forester.

Cargo Capacity

The Passport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Forester with its rear seat up (41.2 vs. 35.4 cubic feet). The Passport has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Forester with its rear seat folded (77.9 vs. 76.1 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Passport Touring/Elite’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

The Passport’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Forester’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Forester is only 1500 pounds. The Passport offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Passport Touring/Elite’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Forester doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Passport’s front power windows open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Forester’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. The Forester Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring’s rear windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Passport the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or 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 Passport Elite’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Forester’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Passport Elite 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 Passport 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 Passport Touring/Elite has a 115-volt a/c outlet, 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 Passport 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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