2019 Infiniti QX30 vs. 2018 Subaru Forester

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Infiniti QX30 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Subaru Forester doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The QX30 (except Pure) offers an optional Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Forester only offers a rear monitor.

Both the QX30 and the Forester have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

Warranty

The QX30 comes with a full 4-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Forester’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 24,000 miles sooner.

Infiniti’s powertrain warranty covers the QX30 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Subaru covers the Forester. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Forester ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The QX30’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Forester’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Infiniti vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 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 Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 47 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.

Engine

The QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 38 more horsepower (208 vs. 170) and 84 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 174) than the Forester 2.5i’s standard 2.5 SOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Infiniti QX30 is faster than the Forester 2.5i (automatics tested):

 

QX30

Forester

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

9 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

93.7 MPH

83.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the QX30 AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Forester 2.0XT (21 city/30 hwy vs. 23 city/27 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the QX30’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Forester doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

The Infiniti QX30 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Forester.

The QX30 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is more internally efficient than a CVT but just as easy to drive. The Forester doesn’t offer an SMG.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the QX30’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Forester:

 

QX30

Forester 2.5i

Forester 2.0XT

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

11.6 inches

10.8 inches

10.9 inches

The QX30 stops much shorter than the Forester:

 

QX30

Forester

 

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the QX30 has larger tires than the Forester (235/50R18 vs. 225/60R17).

The QX30’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 2.5i’s standard 60 series tires. The QX30’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Forester 2.5i Touring/2.0XT’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the QX30 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Forester 2.5i. The QX30’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Forester 2.5i Touring/2.0XT.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the QX30 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Forester doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the QX30’s wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer than on the Forester (106.3 inches vs. 103.9 inches).

The QX30 Essential AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the Forester 2.0XT Touring pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The QX30 Sport executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.5 seconds quicker than the Forester 2.5i Touring (26.1 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Chassis

The QX30 is 6.7 inches shorter than the Forester, making the QX30 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The QX30 is 8.4 inches shorter in height than the Forester, making the QX30 much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the QX30 Essential AWD is quieter than the Forester 2.5i Touring (41 vs. 42 dB).

Servicing Ease

The QX30 has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Forester doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Infiniti service is better than Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti first in service department satisfaction. With a 50% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory seat in the Forester Touring, the QX30 Luxe/Sport/Essential has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The QX30 Luxe/Sport/Essential’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 QX30’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’s optional windows’ rear windows don’t close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the QX30 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower 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 QX30 Sport/Essential’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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the QX30 Sport/Essential to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Forester doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The QX30 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Forester has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Limited/Touring/2.0XT.

The QX30’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.

When the QX30 Luxe/Sport/Essential is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Forester’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The QX30 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 Touring.

Both the QX30 and the Forester offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the QX30 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Forester doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The QX30 (except Pure/Luxe)’s optional Intelligent Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Forester doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The QX30 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Forester doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the QX30 is less expensive to operate than the Forester because it costs $306 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the QX30 than the Forester, including $3 less for front brake pads, $154 less for a starter, $156 less for fuel injection and $41 less for front struts.

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

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