Nissan X-Trail vs Subaru Forester Comparison

When someone talks about crossover sports utility vehicles (CUV), there are brand names that by default come to mind and for sure the Nissan X-Trail and Subaru Forester are one of those. Today we are going to take a look at these two great cars by comparing the Nissan X-Trail vs Subaru Forester to see what they offer in detail. We are going to take a look at the interior, exterior, performance, and functionality.

Nissan X-Trail vs Subaru Forester Side-By-Side Comparison

(*Prices are reflective of average BE FORWARD pricings as of December 2020.)

 Nissan X-TrailSubaru Forester
Generations3 (T30, T31, T32)5 (SF, SG, SH, SJ, SK)
Production Year2000 - Present1997 Present
Performance108 HP - 178 HP147.51 HP - 268.20 HP
Fuel Consumption12.5 KM/L - 22.11 KM/L7.69 KM/L - 19.20 KM/L
DrivetrainFWD or 4WDFWD or 4WD
Key FeaturesCD Player, Power Steering, Power Window, A/C,

Alloy Wheels, Airbag, Radio, DVD, Fog Lights, ESC,

Back Camera
Rear Spoiler, Power Steering, Power Windows,

Airbag, A/C, ABS, ESC, Fog Lights, Radio, Keyless

Entry
Seating Capacity5 - 7 Passengers5 Passengers
BE FORWARD priceUS$ 1030 - US$ 33,170US$ 1,300 - US$ 57,960

Interior/Exterior Comparison

Nissan X-Trail

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Interior

One area that the X-Trail has never disappointed is space. It has always been spacious with enough legroom for front and rear passengers, with the mid-row having excellent legroom enough to fit a 6’3” tall passenger comfortably. The X-Trail also offers good elbow and shoulder room with great headroom as well on the standard X-Trail, but for the one that comes with a sunroof, headroom is reduced a bit and tall passengers sitting at the mid-row might struggle. 

The center console comes fitted with a 7-inch touch screen, sat-nav, dual-zone climate control, digital radio (DAB+), two cup holders between the front seats, a small storage area in front of the gear stick, and bottle holders and midsize pockets on the front doors. Mid-row passengers get directional air vents, two cup holders available only when two passengers are occupying the seats, map pockets behind the front seats, and small door pockets.

Other features include a USB port at the front and two 12-volt outlets at the front and one at the rear.

The seats of the X-Trail are comfortable. They are made of nice soothing fabric and for the high-end models, you get leather upholstery, power front seats, heated rear seats, Bose 8-speaker stereo, and a heated steering wheel. 

The X-Trail’s storage side of things is so great. It features a boot of 565 liters with the seats up and when the seats are folded down, you get up to 945 liters of boot space. There is more storage area underneath the boot floor and under it is the space-saver spare wheel.

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Exterior

The X-Trail has been evolving over the years and to this day when you hear an X-Trail being mentioned, you get wide thoughts. From the boxier first-generation X-Trail to the Curvier third generation with fine looks. The third generation X-Trail has combined elegant curves that run from its wheel arches through to its bonnet where you are met with a determined and bold looking front end which is completed by Nissan V-motion front grille and LED adaptive headlights, while at the rear you get a neatly designed auto tailgate with kick-open lift up function and beautiful rear lights.

Safety

The X-Trail earned all 5-stars from the ANCAP when it was tested in 2017, but apart from that it also comes with lots of advanced safety technologies such as the Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) which automatically pulls the brakes to avoid a collision when the car is at speed of 5km/h or more and will also brake to avoid hitting a pedestrian at a speed of 10-60km/h. Other technologies include adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-keeping assist.

Subaru Forester

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Interior

The Forester has grown and evolved over the years, from its first-generation wheelbase of 2525 mm, length of 4450 mm, a width of 1735 mm, and height of 1650 mm to the current wheelbase of 2670 mm, length of 4620 mm, a width of 1815 mm, and height of 1730 mm. This growth is reflected in the car’s cabin as it is spacious and airy. The front seats of the Forester are supportive and close-grained, with the option for height adjustment for both front passengers. The rear seat is spacious as well, thanks to its long (2670 mm) wheelbase. The seats are covered with cloth upholstery with hard-wearing vinyl bolsters. The Forester Sport upholstery has some orange and shiny black accents that add a little zest to its styling, and the Touring model features brown leather upholstery repeated on its doors, dashboard, and center console.

The Forester comes fitted with a functional 6.5-inch (8.0-inch for high-end models) touchscreen for the infotainment system at top of its center console with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility as standard.

The cargo space of the Forester is excellent. Its tailgate opens wider than you can imagine making it easy to load and unload goods.

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Exterior

The third-generation Forester is box-shaped and angular, at the front it features a big vertical grille with bird imitating projectile headlights that seamlessly run to its fenders. On the sides, the Forester has tall windows that fill the cabin with enough light in the day, but also give passengers good outward visibility. At the rear, the Forester has an extra-wide tailgate with a spoiler at the top, and nice-looking rear LED taillights.

As standard, the Forester comes with 17-inch steel wheels with wheel caps, the high-end comes fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels.

Safety

The Forester comes with standard technological safety included, such as Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, and active lane control as standard. Rear cross-traffic alerts and Blind-spot monitoring are reserved for high-end models while remaining standard on the Touring and Forester Limited.

The Touring model has a facial recognition tool that monitors the driver’s alertness. It beeps you when it senses that you are not attentive.

Engine and Fuel Efficiency Comparison

Nissan X-Trail

Almost every X-Trail release comes with a new or upgraded engine with several releases over its three generations. Several engines are listed below.

The 1st generation X-Trails were fitted with the engine choices below.

  • The 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder (QR20DE) petrol engine produces 140 HP and average fuel consumption of 12.98 KM/L
  • The 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder (QR25DE) petrol engine produces 178 HP and average fuel consumption of 12.5 KM/L
  • The 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder (YD22DDT) diesel engine produces 108 HP and average fuel consumption of 13.7 KM/L

These engines transmitted power to the wheels via a 4-speed automatic or 5 and 6-speed manual.

The 2nd generation X-Trails were fitted with the engine choices below.

  • The 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder (MR20DE) petrol engine produces 137 HP and average fuel consumption of 11.49 KM/L
  • The 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder (M9R) diesel produces 148 HP and average fuel consumption of 14.08 KM/L

These engines transmitted power to the wheels via a 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, or CVT transmission

The 3rd generation X-Trails were fitted with the engine choices below.

  • The 1.3-liter inline 4-cylinder (HR13DDT) petrol produces 160 HP and average fuel consumption of 22.11 KM/L
  • The 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder (R9M) diesel produces 129 HP and average fuel consumption of 11.49 KM/L

These engines transmitted power to the wheels via a 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, or CVT transmission, but also had optional 7-speed automatic CVT or 7-speed automatic DCT.

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Subaru Forester

The Subaru Forester has been around for quite some time now and over these years that it has been around, it was able to offer great engines that helped it conquer the hearts of car enthusiasts. Let’s see what the Forester has offered under the hood as listed below. 

The 1st generation Foresters came fitted with the engine options below.

  • The 2.5-liter horizontally opposed (boxer) 4-cylinder (EJ25D) petrol produces 165 HP and average fuel consumption of 9.62 KM/L. 
  • The 2.0-liter horizontally opposed (boxer) 4-cylinder (EJ20) petrol produces 255 HP and average fuel consumption of 8.26 KM/L. This EJ20 petrol engine is available in about 4 variants with varying power with the option of a turbo.

These engines transmitted power to the wheels via a 5-speed manual transmission as standard and an optional 4-speed automatic transmission.

The 2nd generation Foresters came fitted with the variants of the EJ25 engine below.

  • The naturally aspirated 2.5-liter  horizontally opposed (boxer) 4-cylinder (EJ254) petrol produces 173 HP and average fuel consumption of 9.61 KM/L 
  • The turbocharged 2.5-liter horizontally opposed (boxer) 4-cylinder (EJ255) petrol produces 210.54 HP (slight tuning achieved up to 300 HP) and average fuel consumption of 7.62 KM/L

The 3rd generation Foresters came fitted with the engine options below.

  • The 2.0-liter horizontally opposed (boxer) 4-cylinder (FB2) petrol produces 147 HP and average fuel consumption of 12.5 KM/L. 
  • The 2.0-liter horizontally opposed (boxer) 4-cylinder (EE20) diesel produces 148 HP and average fuel consumption of 19.23 KM/L 

The 4th generation Foresters came fitted with the engine options below.

  • The 2.0-liter horizontally opposed (boxer) 4-cylinder (FA20) petrol produces 268 HP and average fuel consumption of 12.82 KM/L. 
  • The previous 2.0-liter horizontally opposed (boxer) 4-cylinder (EE20) diesel was available as well, with the option for turbo and naturally aspirated. 

These engines transferred power to the wheels via 4-speed automatic CVT and a 6-speed manual transmission. 

The 5th generation Foresters came fitted with the engine options below.

  • The 2.5-liter horizontally opposed (boxer) 4-cylinder (FB25) petrol produces 170 HP with average fuel consumption of 12 KM/L. 
  • The turbocharged 2.0-liter horizontally opposed (boxer) 4-cylinder (FB20-T) petrol produces 147.51 HP and average fuel consumption of 12.5 KM/L.

These engines transmitted power to the wheels via a six-speed manual or a CVT transmission.

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The Verdict

The Nissan X-Trail and the Subaru Forester are two great cars that have rightfully earned their top spots in their categories. From this article, we have seen how the two differ from one another. The X-Trail’s best attribute has always been space, and from here we see that it is still the case compared with the Forester. The X-Trail is enormous with respect to space and it can accommodate up to 7 passengers comfortably and still have enough room for luggage, while the Forester can only offer room for 5 passengers and cargo with the advantage of a wide-open tailgate. When it comes to ride quality, both cars are excellent. The Forester offers engines with much more power and speed than the X-Trail. On the fuel economy, the X-Trail and Forester both offer lots of kilometers per liter, especially the latest engines, with X-Trail’s HR13DDT engine achieving 22.11 KM/L and Forester’s EE20 engine achieving 19.23 KM/L.

If your daily/frequent car use involves carrying lots of luggage and passengers, the X-Trail will be an ideal car for you but if you need more power and speed, then the Forester is the ideal car for you.

For more details regarding these two cars, you can follow the links below.

Nissan X-Trail

Subaru Forester

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Written by: Samuel H. Mponezya

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