Date Posted: January 29, 2019

The 2019 Toyota Highlander in Bend, OR is one of the top best-selling midsize SUVs on the market. With the arrival of the 2019 Subaru Ascent, however, the competition just got heated up. Can the 2019 Toyota Highlander compete against the standard Symmetrical AWD, sporty performance, and a large suite of safety and comfort features of the 2019 Subaru Ascent? Let's find out!


Safety Comparison

Subaru is considered an industry leader when it comes to automotive safety, so it's no surprise that the 2019 Subaru Ascent fits right in. For starters, the 2019 Subaru Ascent earned the IIHS' Top Safety Pick+ award - one of the most difficult distinctions to earn when it comes to crash test safety. Notably, the Subaru Ascent scored "Good" on the driver-side small overlap test, one of the newest tests from the agency and a tough one for most vehicles to ace.

On the other hand, the 2019 Toyota Highlander also garnered great safety scores, but it only did well enough to be a Top Safety Pick, not a Top Safety Pick Plus. Taking points away from the Toyota Highlander are poorly-rated headlights and poor small front overlap scores. Symmetrical AWD, an essential feature for maximum control on challenging roads, is standard on the Subaru Ascent but only available as an upgrade on the Toyota Highlander.

Included as a standard feature on the 2019 Subaru Ascent is the innovative Subaru EyeSight system, complete with Pre-Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, a rearview camera, and Lane Keep Assist and Sway Warning. Advanced options include Reverse Automatic Braking, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Traffic Alert, and the security services exclusive to the Subaru STARLINK system.

Passenger Space Comparison

Both vehicles can seat eight people, however, the 2019 Subaru Ascent (196 inches) is more spacious than the 2019 Toyota Highlander (192 inches), so you won't have any problem accommodating adults in any seating position.


Overall, the Toyota Highlander has a total of 83.7 cubic feet, more than the 72.6 cubic feet available on the Subaru Ascent. However, you can only get that number with all the seats down, and that's not a situation that often happens except when you're hauling gear. For every day loading, the 2019 Subaru Ascent offers 19.6 cubic feet behind the third row, while the 2019 Toyota Highlander only provides a cramped 13.8 cubic feet.

In terms of features, both the 2019 Subaru Ascent and the 2019 Toyota Highlander are equipped with advanced options. With available 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot and standard Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, the 2019 Subaru Ascent still maintains an edge over the 2019 Toyota Highlander.

Reliability Comparison

Reliability has always been a strong point of the Subaru lineup. It's now the fourth most reliable automaker according to the most recent Reliability survey from Consumer Reports. Toyota cars are historically reliable as well, so you can't go wrong with the 2019 Toyota Highlander in this aspect.

With excellent reliability for both contenders, you might want to look at other measures. For instance, Subaru is one of the very few car brands wherein buying new offers equal or greater value than buying used. This is because Subaru vehicles have terrific resale value, so they are still sought-after even after thousands of miles.

In addition, the 2019 Subaru Ascent has well-designed major components such as the AWD system, engine transmission, and differentials, so repairs are usually minimal. If you'd like a lot of bang for your buck, the 2019 Subaru Ascent is the car to choose.

Engine Comparison

Under the hood, the 2019 Subaru Ascent continues to leave the 2019 Toyota Highlander in the dust. The exclusive Subaru BOXER engine produces 260 horsepower and 277 pounds of torque. The 2019 Toyota Highlander only registers a much less powerful 185 horsepower from its base engine.

It also has All-Wheel Drive, X-Mode with Hill Descent Mode, and Active Torque Vectoring that give the 2019 Subaru Ascent the kind of versatility that's second to none. Furthermore, you get 8.7 inches of ground clearance with the Subaru Ascent for outstanding off-road capabilities, which is difficult to find on the Toyota Highlander.

The 2019 Subaru Ascent is the midsize SUV to drive. The 2019 Toyota Highlander in Bend, OR is still a great competitor, but it pales in comparison to the standard Symmetrical AWD, reliability, safety, and capabilities of the 2019 Subaru Ascent. Click to learn more about the 2019 Subaru Ascent!

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