Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Subaru Forester VS 2015 Acura RDX Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 Subaru Forester

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2015 Acura RDX

Safety Comparison

The Forester 2.5i Premium/2.5i Limited/Touring offers an optional EyeSight™ System, which uses forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The RDX doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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

The Forester 2.5i Premium/2.5i Limited/Touring’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The RDX doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Forester and the RDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

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 and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Subaru Forester is safer than the Acura RDX:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Movement

.6 inches

.7 inches

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

52 G’s

59 G’s

Hip Force

598 lbs.

679 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

16 inches




Spine Acceleration

44 G’s

56 G’s

Hip Force

666 lbs.

946 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Forester its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2014, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The RDX has not been fully tested, yet, but doesn’t qualify for “Top Pick Plus.”

Warranty Comparison

There are over 2 times as many Subaru dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Forester’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Forester’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The RDX’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the RDX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the Forester’s reliability will be 35% better than the RDX.

Engine Comparison

The Forester 2.0XT’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 251) than the RDX’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Forester 2.0XT is faster than the Acura RDX (automatics tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.3 sec

Quarter Mile

14.8 sec

14.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

95.8 MPH

93.9 MPH

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

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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






20 city/28 hwy


4 cyl./Manual

22 city/29 hwy


4 cyl./Auto

24 city/32 hwy


Turbo 4 cyl./Auto

23 city/28 hwy

19 city/27 hwy


Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Forester 2.0XT’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the RDX are solid, not vented.

The Forester stops much shorter than the RDX:



60 to 0 MPH

111 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

140 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Forester 2.5i Touring/2.0XT’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RDX’s 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Forester’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57% to 43%) than the RDX’s (59% to 41%). This gives the Forester more stable handling and braking.

The Forester 2.5i Premium handles at .81 G’s, while the RDX AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Forester’s turning circle is 4.6 feet tighter than the RDX’s (34.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Forester has a greater minimum ground clearance than the RDX (8.7 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the Forester to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The Subaru Forester may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 200 to 400 pounds less than the Acura RDX.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Forester has 4.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RDX (108.3 vs. 103.5).

The Forester has 2.7 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more front legroom and 1.7 inches more rear headroom than the RDX.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Forester’s available rear seats recline. The RDX’s rear seats don’t recline.

The front step up height for the Forester is 2.2 inches lower than the RDX (17” vs. 19.2”). The Forester’s rear step up height is .9 inches lower than the RDX’s (18.6” vs. 19.5”).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Forester has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the RDX with its rear seat up (34.4 vs. 26.1 cubic feet). The Forester has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the RDX with its rear seat folded (74.7 vs. 61.3 cubic feet).

The Forester’s cargo area is larger than the RDX’s in almost every dimension:



Length to seat (2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






Ergonomics Comparison

The Forester Auto offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The RDX doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Forester offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The RDX has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Forester 2.5i Premium/2.5i Limited/Touring offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The RDX doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Forester offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The RDX doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Forester will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the Forester will retain a greater percentage of its original price after three and five years than the RDX.



Five Year

46% to 47%

40% to 41%

Three Year

63% to 66%

58% to 59%

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Subaru Forester will be $9474 to $10252 less than for the Acura RDX.

Recommendations Comparison

The Subaru Forester has won recognition from these important consumer publications:



Consumer Reports® Recommends


Top Pick

Kiplinger’s Awards



Motor Trend selected the Forester as their 2014 Sport Utility of the Year. The RDX has never been chosen.

The Subaru Forester outsold the Acura RDX by almost three to one during 2013.

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