2020 Lexus NX Series 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 2019/10/21

The NX Series’ optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Forester doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The NX Series offers an optional Panoramic View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Forester only offers a rear monitor.

Both the NX Series 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, 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 side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Lexus NX Series is safer than the Subaru Forester:

NX Series

Forester

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.6 inches

Hip Force

352 lbs.

389 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

49 G’s

56 G’s

Hip Force

303 lbs.

670 lbs.

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

Warranty

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

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 2019/10/21

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 23 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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

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

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The NX 300h’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 12 more horsepower (194 vs. 182) and 23 lbs.-ft. more torque (199 vs. 176) than the Forester’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder. The NX 300’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 53 more horsepower (235 vs. 182) and 82 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 176) than the Forester’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Lexus NX Series is faster than the Subaru Forester:

NX 300h

NX 300

Forester

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

6.9 sec

9.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

15.3 sec

17.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.5 MPH

91 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 2019/10/21

On the EPA test cycle the NX 300h gets better fuel mileage than the Forester (33 city/30 hwy vs. 26 city/33 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the NX Series 300h’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Forester doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

NX Series

Forester Base/Premium

Forester Sport/Limited/Touring

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

11.6 inches

12.4 inches

The NX Series stops much shorter than the Forester:

NX Series

Forester

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the NX Series F Sport’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Forester (235/55R18 vs. 225/60R17).

Suspension and Handling

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The NX Series offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Forester’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The NX 300h handles at .80 G’s, while the Forester Touring pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The NX 300 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Forester Touring (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .6 average G’s).

Chassis

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the NX 300 F Sport AWD is quieter than the Forester Touring:

NX Series

Forester

Full-Throttle

74 dB

81 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 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 2019/10/21

The NX Series has 1 inch more front hip room and .3 inches more rear hip room than the Forester.

Cargo Capacity

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

Towing

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Standard trailer towing in the NX 300 is 2000 pounds. Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Forester is limited to 1500 pounds.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Subaru. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 52% lower rating, Subaru is ranked 19th.

Ergonomics

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The NX 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 NX 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 Premium/Sport/Limited/Touring’s power windows, only the front windows open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the NX 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 NX 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.

The NX 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.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the NX 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 NX 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 Limited/Touring.

Model Availability

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The NX Series 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 2019/10/21

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the NX Series is less expensive to operate than the Forester because typical repairs cost less on the NX Series than the Forester, including $33 less for front brake pads, $21 less for a starter and $98 less for front struts.

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

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