Just like a lot of prospective buyers that are currently in the market for an SUV, we do a lot of cross-comparison between vehicles that are in the same class. It makes sense, of course, considering there are so many different competitors in every class, anyone would naturally compare two vehicles that are almost completely alike. However, what if you are a budget-minded shopper that wants all the luxuriousness of a German brand, but something in the back of your mind is telling you to be more frugal?
In that case, there are options that we feel you should be aware of. One such option is if you happen to be eyeing a BMW X5, you may want to include the Subaru Forester as your back-up plan, and here is why.
OK, we know that the Subaru is obviously going to be far less expensive than the BMW. In fact, the Forester starts at around $25,000 while the BMW has a starting price of $58,900. We’re not mathematicians but that’s more than half the price! And if you want to option-out the Forester, then you’re looking to up that price to nearly $40,000 with all the boxes checked for the top-level Touring trim.
What about the BMW X5? If you want to option that car out then, be prepared to spend twice the amount. Yes, it’s a luxury SUV compared to the granola-loving Subaru, but money is hard to come by, and it’s good to save it.
It has almost the same equipment
Believe it or not, the Subaru Forester comes with almost the same type of standard equipment that the X5 has. Most notably, the Forester comes with Subaru’s EyeSight suite of driver-assist features, which includes adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, and a pre-collision braking system. It also comes standard with a 6.5-inch touchscreen display that includes Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
As you would expect, you’ll get all the same features on the BMW X5, but at a much higher price. Stepping up in the Subaru Forester trim levels unlocks even more features, though, as you’ll get a lot in the way of comfort and convenience via a 10-way power driver’s seat, leather seats, front and rear heated seats, a one-touch folding rear seatback, and a power tailgate. It might not be as nice as the fit and finish you’ll find in the X5, but the top-level Forester interior is still a nice place to be in while sitting in traffic.
Some other similarities between the two SUVs are that they both have 8.7 inches of ground clearance and they both have tremendous amounts of off-road capability. For example, the Subaru Forester has X-Mode, which is a handy knob on the center console that will enable the driver to switch the differential settings on the car in order to get it out of deep snow or muddy conditions. The X5 has the same capability, however, BMW doesn’t have a fancy name for it.
There are differences of course
There are some luxuries that you miss out on by not going with the X5, though. For starters, the sound system on the Subaru Forester is nowhere near as good, however, the available Harmon Kardon upgraded premium audio could come close. Also, you would definitely be down on horsepower as the Subaru has a 2.5-liter engine that produces 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque compared to the X5’s twin-turbo six-cylinder that puts out 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque. As you can tell, there’s basically no comparison there.
It’s still a great back-up option
Sure, there’s no comparing the Subaru Forester to the BMW X5 when it comes to certain aspects, including the interior quality and engine power, but we will say that the Forester is a formidable performer in its own right. The Forester is perfectly capable off-road, comfortable on the road, and provides all of the necessary amenities that you need in an SUV at half the price of the BMW. And while it might be as nice of an SUV, your bank account will look even nicer later on.