2019 Lexus UX Series 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 Lexus UX Series 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 UX Series has standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Forester doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The UX Series’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Forester doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the UX Series’ plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Subaru Forester has a metal gas tank.

Both the UX Series 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 blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The UX Series comes with a full 4-year/50,000-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 14,000 miles sooner.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the UX Series 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 UX Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Forester’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 31 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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 68 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Subaru is ranked fourth.

Engine

The UX 250h’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 11 more horsepower (181 vs. 170) than the Forester 2.5i’s standard 2.5 SOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the UX Series gets better fuel mileage than the Forester:

 

 

 

MPG

UX Series

FWD

Auto

200 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

AWD

Auto

200h 2.0 4 cyl. Hybrid

41 city/38 hwy

Forester

AWD

Manual

2.5i 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

Auto

2.5i 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

26 city/32 hwy

 

 

2.0XT 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/27 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the UX 250h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Forester doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the UX Series Hybrid’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.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Lexus UX Series uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Forester 2.0XT requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

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

To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the UX Series F Sport has a standard up-shift light to indicate when the engine is approaching redline. The Forester doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the UX Series’ standard brake rotors are larger than those on the Forester:

 

UX Series

Forester

Front Rotors

12 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.8 inches

Tires and Wheels

The UX Series’ 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 UX Series’ tires are lower profile than the Forester 2.5i Touring/2.0XT’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the UX Series has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Forester 2.5i.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the UX Series 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 better maneuverability, the UX Series’ turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Forester’s (34.2 feet vs. 34.8 feet).

Chassis

The UX Series is 3.9 inches shorter than the Forester, making the UX Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the UX Series’ 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.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 45% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

The UX Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 UX Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Forester doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The UX Series’ front and rear power windows all 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. With the Forester’s optional power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the UX Series 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. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Forester can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The UX Series’ optional 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.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The UX Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Forester doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The UX Series 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 UX Series’ 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 UX Series with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Forester’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the UX Series 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 UX Series has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Forester Base doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The UX Series 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 UX Series and the Forester offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the UX Series 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.

Model Availability

The UX Series 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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