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Which suv reigns supreme? forester vs pathfinder: head-to-head comparison

Mike has spent over 15 years working in the automotive industry and is a lifelong Ford truck guy. He currently drives a 2018 Ford F-150 Lariat that he enjoys customizing on the weekends. As editor of wheelsgeeks.com, Mike focuses on sharing his passion for Blue Oval vehicles through reviews, how-to...

What To Know

  • In terms of fuel economy, the Forester has a slight advantage, offering up to 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.
  • However, the Pathfinder offers a more luxurious experience with features such as heated and cooled front seats, a panoramic moonroof, and a premium Bose audio system.
  • The Forester, on the other hand, focuses on practicality and functionality, offering features like a large touchscreen infotainment system, dual-zone climate control, and a spacious center console.

When it comes to selecting an adventure-ready SUV, two standout options are the Subaru Forester and the Nissan Pathfinder. Both vehicles offer rugged capabilities, spacious interiors, and advanced safety features. But which one is the better choice for your needs? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the Subaru Forester vs Pathfinder in key areas to help you make an informed decision.

Performance and Handling

Engine Power and Efficiency

The Subaru Forester comes equipped with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque. The Pathfinder, on the other hand, offers a more powerful 3.5-liter V6 engine that generates 284 horsepower and 259 lb-ft of torque. In terms of fuel economy, the Forester has a slight advantage, offering up to 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The Pathfinder, meanwhile, achieves 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

All-Wheel Drive Systems

Both the Forester and Pathfinder are equipped with all-wheel drive systems, providing enhanced traction and stability on various terrains. However, the Forester’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system is renowned for its superior handling and off-road capabilities, making it an excellent choice for adventurous drivers.

Interior Space and Comfort

Passenger and Cargo Capacity

The Forester offers comfortable seating for up to five adults, while the Pathfinder can accommodate up to seven passengers. In terms of cargo space, the Forester provides 31.1 cubic feet behind the rear seats, expandable to 76.1 cubic feet with the seats folded down. The Pathfinder, on the other hand, offers a more spacious 16.6 cubic feet behind the third row of seats, expandable to 80.5 cubic feet with all seats folded down.

Interior Features and Amenities

Both SUVs feature well-equipped cabins with a range of amenities. However, the Pathfinder offers a more luxurious experience with features such as heated and cooled front seats, a panoramic moonroof, and a premium Bose audio system. The Forester, on the other hand, focuses on practicality and functionality, offering features like a large touchscreen infotainment system, dual-zone climate control, and a spacious center console.

Safety and Reliability

Safety Features

Both the Forester and Pathfinder have received top safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). They come standard with a suite of advanced safety features, including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. The Pathfinder offers additional features such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Reliability and Warranty

Subaru has a reputation for producing reliable vehicles, and the Forester has consistently ranked highly in reliability surveys. The Pathfinder, while not as reliable as the Forester, still offers a solid track record. Both SUVs come with comprehensive warranties, including a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Off-Road Capabilities

Ground Clearance and Approach/Departure Angles

The Forester has a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, while the Pathfinder offers a slightly higher ground clearance of 9.5 inches. In terms of approach and departure angles, the Forester has a 21.7-degree approach angle and a 26.3-degree departure angle, while the Pathfinder has a 19.2-degree approach angle and a 22.6-degree departure angle.

All-Terrain Modes and Off-Road Features

Both the Forester and Pathfinder offer all-terrain modes that optimize their performance on various terrains. The Forester’s X-MODE system provides additional traction and stability control for off-road adventures. The Pathfinder, on the other hand, features an Intelligent 4×4 system that automatically adjusts the vehicle’s power distribution to match the terrain.

Pricing and Value

Starting Price and Trim Levels

The Subaru Forester has a starting price of $26,395 for the base trim level. The Pathfinder, on the other hand, has a starting price of $34,980 for the base trim level. Both SUVs offer a range of trim levels with varying features and amenities, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your budget and needs.

Value for Money

The Forester offers excellent value for money, providing a combination of rugged capabilities, spacious interior, and advanced safety features at a competitive price. The Pathfinder, while more expensive, offers a more luxurious experience and additional off-road features. Ultimately, the best value for money depends on your individual priorities and budget.

Takeaways

Choosing between the Subaru Forester and Nissan Pathfinder is a matter of weighing your specific needs and preferences. If you prioritize off-road capabilities, reliability, and a practical interior, the Forester is an excellent choice. If you seek a more luxurious experience, additional passenger capacity, and a more powerful engine, the Pathfinder may be a better fit. Both SUVs offer their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice for you will depend on what you value most in an adventure-ready SUV.

Questions We Hear a Lot

1. Which SUV has a better fuel economy?

The Subaru Forester has a slightly better fuel economy than the Nissan Pathfinder.

2. Which SUV offers more interior space?

The Nissan Pathfinder offers more interior space, including seating for up to seven passengers.

3. Which SUV has a more advanced safety suite?

Both SUVs offer a comprehensive suite of advanced safety features, with the Pathfinder offering additional features such as blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

4. Which SUV is more reliable?

The Subaru Forester has a reputation for being more reliable than the Nissan Pathfinder.

5. Which SUV is better for off-roading?

Both SUVs offer off-road capabilities, but the Subaru Forester has a slight advantage due to its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and X-MODE system.

Mike Sullivan

Mike has spent over 15 years working in the automotive industry and is a lifelong Ford truck guy. He currently drives a 2018 Ford F-150 Lariat that he enjoys customizing on the weekends. As editor of wheelsgeeks.com, Mike focuses on sharing his passion for Blue Oval vehicles through reviews, how-to guides and industry news updates. When he's not writing about Ford, you can find Mike cheering on his favorite NFL team at the local pub on game days.
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