Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2005 Subaru Forester VS 2005 Mazda Tribute Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2005 Subaru Forester

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2005 Mazda Tribute

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Subaru Forester are height adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mazda Tribute has only front height adjustable seat belts.

The Forester has standard tall side airbags which act as a forgiving barrier between the driver and passenger’s upper bodies and the window and pillars. Combined with high-strength steel door beams and lower side airbags this system increases head protection in broadside collisions. Head airbags cost extra in the Tribute and requires s.

The Forester has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Tribute doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All Wheel Drive is standard on the Forester. But it costs extra on the Tribute.

The Subaru Forester has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Daytime Running Lights decrease the chances of collisions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Tribute doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

Both the Forester and the Tribute have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts and four wheel antilock brakes.

Instrumented handling tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and analysis of its dimensions indicate that the Forester, with its four-star roll-over rating, is 5.9% to 8.7% less likely to roll over than the Tribute, which received a three-star rating.

The Subaru Forester has a better injury history. The Forester was involved in injury causing accidents at a rate 13% lower per vehicle registered than the Tribute, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute.

Warranty Comparison

Subaru’s powertrain warranty covers the Forester 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mazda covers the Tribute. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years and 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Tribute ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability Comparison

The Forester’s reliability is better than the Tribute’s. In Consumer Reports, the Forester’s reliability is 37% better.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2004 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Subaru vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Subaru 21st in initial quality. With 34 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 33rd.

Engine Comparison

The Forester’s standard 2.5 SOHC 4 cyl. produces 12 more horsepower (165 vs. 153) and 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (166 vs. 152) than the Tribute i’s standard 2.3 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid. The Forester 2.5XT’s standard 2.5 turbo 4 cyl. produces 10 more horsepower (210 vs. 200) and 42 lbs.-ft. more torque (235 vs. 193) than the Tribute s’ standard 3.0 DOHC V6.

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the Forester lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability without compromising ground clearance. The Tribute doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Subaru Forester gets better fuel mileage than the Tribute:




4 cyl./Auto

22 city/28 hwy

19 city/22 hwy

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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



Front Rotors

11.4 inches

10.9 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Forester’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Tribute’s standard 70 series tires.

The Forester has a standard full size spare so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare costs extra on the Tribute Without the option you must depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Forester has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Forester flat and controlled during cornering. The Tribute’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Forester offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Tribute doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The Forester’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56.6% to 43.4%) than the Tribute’s (58% to 42%). This gives the Forester more stable handling and braking.

The Forester 2.5XS handles at .74 G’s, while the Tribute 4x4 pulls only .73 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability the Forester’s turning circle is 3.5 feet tighter than the Tribute’s (34.8 vs. 38.3 feet).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Forester has 2 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more rear headroom and 2.5 inches more rear hip room than the Tribute.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Forester has a much larger cargo area than the Tribute with its rear seat up (32 vs. 29.7 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Forester has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Tribute doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Forester XS/XT’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Tribute doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Forester owner. The Car Book rates the Forester with a number 1 insurance rate while the Tribute is rated higher at a number 10 rate.

The Forester will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that the Forester will retain 48.79% to 55.1% of its original price after five years, while the Tribute only retains 41.4% to 44.68%.

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