2020 Chevrolet Equinox vs. 2019 Subaru Forester

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Equinox’s 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 doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear seat belts.

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 Equinox 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 Equinox Premier offers an optional 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 Equinox and the Forester have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Chevrolet Equinox is safer than the Subaru Forester:

Equinox

Forester

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

159

186

Neck Injury Risk

17%

23%

Neck Stress

190 lbs.

326 lbs.

Neck Compression

10 lbs.

22 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

26%

31%

Neck Stress

153 lbs.

213 lbs.

Neck Compression

51 lbs.

103 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Chevrolet Equinox is safer than the Subaru Forester:

Equinox

Forester

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

357 lbs.

389 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

55 G’s

56 G’s

Hip Force

630 lbs.

670 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

13 inches

16 inches

Spine Acceleration

40 G’s

40 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The Equinox’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 Equinox’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Equinox first among compact SUVs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Forester isn’t in the top three in its category.

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

The Equinox’s standard 1.5 turbo 4-cyl. produces 27 lbs.-ft. more torque (203 vs. 176) than the Forester’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl. The Equinox’s optional 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. produces 70 more horsepower (252 vs. 182) and 84 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 176) than the Forester’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chevrolet Equinox is faster than the Subaru Forester:

Equinox 1.5

Equinox 2.0

Forester

Zero to 30 MPH

2.9 sec

n/a

3.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.7 sec

6.6 sec

9.6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

15.2 sec

n/a

15.5 sec

Quarter Mile

16.7 sec

15.2 sec

17.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83.1 MPH

92.1 MPH

82.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

Equinox 1.5T

Equinox 2.0T

Forester Base/Premium

Forester Sport/Limited/Touring

Front Rotors

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

11.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

11.3 inches

11.3 inches

11.2 inches

11.2 inches

The Equinox stops much shorter than the Forester:

Equinox

Forester

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

168 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Equinox Premier’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Forester (235/50R19 vs. 225/60R17).

The Equinox Premier’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 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 Equinox Premier offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Forester’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

The Equinox 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 Equinox’s wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the Forester (107.3 inches vs. 105.1 inches).

The Equinox Premier AWD handles at .86 G’s, while the Forester Touring pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Equinox Premier executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Forester Touring (27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

The Equinox 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 Equinox has .1 inches more front hip room and .5 inches more rear legroom than the Forester.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Equinox 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

Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Forester is limited to 1500 pounds. The Equinox offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

The Equinox’s optional 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 Equinox’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 Equinox’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.

The Equinox’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.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the Equinox Premier 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 Equinox (except L/LS) 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

The Equinox 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 Equinox is less expensive to operate than the Forester because typical repairs cost less on the Equinox than the Forester, including $149 less for a starter, $72 less for fuel injection and $178 less for front struts.

Recommendations

The Chevrolet Equinox outsold the Subaru Forester by almost two to one during 2018.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos