2020 GMC Terrain vs. 2019 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 2019/11/13

For enhanced safety, the GMC Terrain’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 Terrain 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 Terrain Denali 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 Terrain 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 GMC Terrain is safer than the Subaru Forester:

Terrain

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 GMC Terrain is safer than the Subaru Forester:

Terrain

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

© 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 2019/11/13

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

There are almost 3 times as many GMC dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Terrain’s warranty.

Reliability

© 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 2019/11/13

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that GMC vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks GMC 12th in initial quality. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.

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 2019/11/13

The Terrain’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 Terrain’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 GMC Terrain 2.0 turbo 4-cyl. is faster than the Subaru Forester:

Terrain

Forester

Zero to 60 MPH

6.8 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

17.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

82.3 MPH

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 2019/11/13

The Terrain 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

© 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 2019/11/13

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

Terrain 1.5T

Terrain 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 Terrain stops shorter than the Forester:

Terrain

Forester

60 to 0 MPH

128 feet

130 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

136 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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

The Terrain’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 Terrain offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Forester’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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

The Terrain Denali AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Forester Touring (27.5 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

© 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 2019/11/13

The Terrain 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

© 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 2019/11/13

The Terrain has .3 inches more front hip room and .3 inches more rear legroom than the Forester.

Cargo Capacity

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To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Terrain SLT/Denali’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 Terrain offers up to a 3500 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

© 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 2019/11/13

The Terrain (except SL/SLE)’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 Terrain’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 Terrain’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 Terrain’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 Terrain Denali 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 Terrain (except SL) 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.

The Terrain Denali’s optional Automatic Parking 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

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

Economic Advantages

© 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 2019/11/13

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Terrain is less expensive to operate than the Forester because typical repairs cost less on the Terrain than the Forester, including $149 less for a starter, $72 less for fuel injection and $178 less for front struts.

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

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