Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 BMW X1 VS 2014 Subaru Forester Near Phoenix, AZ

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2014 BMW X1

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VS

2014 Subaru Forester

Safety Comparison

The X1 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Forester doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the X1 and the Forester have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

The X1 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.

The X1’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Forester’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Forester.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X1 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The Forester’s 130-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 18th in initial quality. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th.

Engine Comparison

The X1 sDrive/xDrive28i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 70 more horsepower (240 vs. 170) and 86 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 174) than the Forester 2.5i’s standard 2.5 SOHC 4 cyl. The X1 sDrive/xDrive28i’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 2 lbs.-ft. more torque (260 vs. 258) than the Forester 2.0XT’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The X1 xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 50 more horsepower (300 vs. 250) and 42 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 258) than the Forester 2.0XT’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the X1 sDrive/xDrive28i is faster than the Forester 2.5i (automatics tested):

X1

Forester

Zero to 30 MPH

2.1 sec

3.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11.1 sec

15.3 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.4 sec

4.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.2 MPH

83.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X1 gets better fuel mileage than the Forester:

X1

Forester

2WD

sDrive28i/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

n/a

4WD

2.5i/Auto

n/a

24 city/32 hwy

xDrive28i/Auto

22 city/33 hwy

23 city/28 hwy

2.0XT

Regenerative brakes improve the X1’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Forester doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X1 s/xDrive28i’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Forester doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the X1’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Forester:

X1

Forester 2.5i

Forester 2.0XT

Front Rotors

13 inches

11.6 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

10.8 inches

10.9 inches

The X1’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Forester 2.5i are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The X1’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Forester 2.5i’s standard 60 series tires. The X1’s optional 225/35R19 front and 255/30R19 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the Forester 2.0XT’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X1 offers optional 19-inch wheels. The Forester’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X1 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Forester doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The X1 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Forester’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X1’s wheelbase is 4.8 inches longer than on the Forester (108.7 inches vs. 103.9 inches).

The X1’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (49.4% to 50.6%) than the Forester’s (57% to 43%). This gives the X1 more stable handling and braking.

The X1 xDrive28i xDrive handles at .82 G’s, while the Forester 2.5i Touring pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X1 xDrive35i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.9 seconds quicker than the Forester 2.5i Touring (26.7 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .55 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The X1 is 4.4 inches shorter than the Forester, making the X1 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The X1 has 1.3 inches more front headroom and 2.2 inches more rear headroom than the Forester.

Ergonomics Comparison

When two different drivers share the X1, the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Forester doesn’t offer a memory system.

The power windows standard on both the X1 and the Forester have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X1 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Forester prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The X1’s front and rear power windows all open fully with one touch of the switches and its front windows also automatically close, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Forester’s standard power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

If the windows are left down on the X1 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Forester can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The X1’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Forester’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The X1 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Forester doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The X1 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Forester has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Limited/Touring.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the X1 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Forester doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the X1 offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Forester doesn’t offer cornering lights. The X1 also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The X1 has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Forester 2.5i Base doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW X1 and the Subaru Forester, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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