2019 Nissan Murano 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 Murano 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 Murano (except S) 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 Murano and the Forester have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Murano the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 139 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Forester has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

There are over 72 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Murano’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Murano third among midsize suvs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Forester isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 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 Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.

Engine

The Murano’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 78 more horsepower (260 vs. 182) and 64 lbs.-ft. more torque (240 vs. 176) than the Forester’s 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Nissan Murano is faster than the Subaru Forester:

 

Murano

Forester

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.6 sec

17.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.8 MPH

82.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Murano has 2.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Forester (19 vs. 16.6 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Murano

Forester Base/Premium

Forester Sport/Limited/Touring

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.1 inches

11.2 inches

11.2 inches

The Murano’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Forester are solid, not vented.

The Murano stops much shorter than the Forester:

 

Murano

Forester

 

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Murano has larger tires than the Forester (235/65R18 vs. 225/60R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Murano has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Forester. The Murano SL/Platinum’s 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Forester Sport/Limited/Touring.

The Murano 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 Murano’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the Forester (111.2 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Murano is 3 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Forester.

The Murano Platinum AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Forester Touring pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space

The Murano has 1.3 inches more front hip room, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 1.6 inches more rear hip room and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Forester.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Murano’s liftgate can be opened just by waving your foot, 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.

Ergonomics

The Murano SL/Platinum’s standard 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 Murano’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 front windows are left open on the Murano the driver can close them 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 Murano SV/SL/Platinum’s standard wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Forester’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Murano Platinum 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 Murano 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.

Model Availability

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

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Murano, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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