2020 Chevrolet Blazer vs. 2020 Subaru Forester

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Chevrolet Blazer are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Subaru Forester has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The Blazer LT/RS/Premier offers an optional HD Surround Vision 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, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

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

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

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

Engine

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Blazer’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 11 more horsepower (193 vs. 182) and 12 lbs.-ft. more torque (188 vs. 176) than the Forester’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Blazer’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 48 more horsepower (230 vs. 182) and 82 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 176) than the Forester’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. 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-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Blazer 2.5 4-cylinder is faster than the Subaru Forester:

Blazer

Forester

Zero to 60 MPH

8.1 sec

8.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.3 sec

9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

16.6 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

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

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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

The Blazer stops shorter than the Forester:

Blazer

Forester

70 to 0 MPH

165 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

126 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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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

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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.

The Blazer RS 4x4 handles at .87 G’s, while the Forester Touring pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Blazer RS 4x4 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Forester Touring (27.1 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

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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.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Blazer RS 4x4 is quieter than the Forester Touring:

Blazer

Forester

Full-Throttle

74 dB

81 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

76 dB

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

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

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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

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Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Forester is limited to 1500 pounds. The Blazer 4x4 offers up to a 4500 lbs. towing capacity.

The Blazer can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Blazer can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Forester can’t be towed flat on the ground.

Servicing Ease

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The Blazer uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Forester uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

Ergonomics

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The Blazer’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Forester does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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.

Consumer Reports rated the Blazer’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Forester’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Blazer’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Forester Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring.

The Blazer offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Forester offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Blazer RS/Premier offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Forester doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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

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

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Blazer first among midsize SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Forester isn’t in the top three.

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

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