Subaru Ascent

The all-new 2019 Subaru Ascent: a rookie taking on the competition with ease

The 2019 Subaru Ascent is set to be the largest model Subaru has ever built. It'll be a perfect option for families in the Bend, Redmond, Prineville, La Pine, and Madras areas who've outgrown their Outback and need three-rows worth of seating for seven or eight passengers! We at Subaru of Bend are going to see how the Ascent compares against current competitors in the segment like the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot.

Toyota Highlander

Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander

  • Size: the Highlander isn't known for being the largest three-row option. The Ascent is 4-inches taller, 10-inches wider, and 6-inches longer, which makes for a commanding presence.
  • Engine: the Ascent has a 2.4L BOXER® engine with 260 horsepower, which is more than the standard 2.5L on the Highlander with 185 horsepower. That said, the Highlander's V6 has 295 horsepower, but you will pay extra for that engine and the gas!
  • Technology: all Ascent models have Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ capabilities. In the past Toyota was staunchly opposed to partnering with either company, and though one vehicle now has these integrations it's uncertain how long until core models like the Highlander can "take a bit of the apple."
  • Drivetrain: all Subaru's except the BRZ have standard all-wheel drive, and that includes the Ascent. You have to pay extra to get AWD on the Highlander, and on a vehicle this size we don't think FWD cuts it.
  • Hotspot: the Ascent has available wi-fi capabilities, and that's perfect for road trips. The Highlander doesn't offer these features, so be prepared for restless passengers as you travel across Oregon.
  • Shopping Ease: Toyota is known for offering a dizzying amount of trim levels. It's far easier to shop the Ascent's four options than the Highlander's six.
Honda Pilot

Subaru Ascent vs Honda Pilot

  • Safety: Honda has a safety package (Honda Sensing®) but we're shocked that a.) the base cannot get it b.) it's only available on the second trim c.) you need to hit the third of five trims to get it standard. This technology should be a no-brainer for family-focused vehicles. We appreciate that the EyeSight® package is standard on all Ascent trims.
  • Style: looks are subjective, but we believe the Ascent has curves and angles in all the right places, compared to the Pilot which has a more bloated look.
  • Drivetrain: just like the Highlander, the Pilot only has available AWD. The Ascent's standard symmetrical all-wheel drive wins out again.
  • Cargo Space: the Ascent has 86 cubic feet of maximum cargo space with all seats flat and 20 cubic feet with all seats in the upright. The Pilot falls short with 84 cubic feet as the max and 17 cubic feet with all seats up.
  • Refinement: just because you're driving the family doesn't mean you cannot have luxe appointments; the available Java Brown leather seats on the top-trim blow the Pilot's perforated beige, gray, and black leather options out of the water.
  • Touchscreens: all Ascent's have a touchscreen and they can display Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. The base Pilot trim doesn't have a touchscreen, but once you hit the second trim you'll get one along with the smartphone integrations.

We could go on and on comparing the finer points of the 2019 Subaru Ascent to the competition, but we think the best way to see if this model is right for you is to come in for a test drive. The Ascent is set to arrive at Subaru dealerships in June of 2018. Keep following our website for updates on its arrival or contact us so you can be one of the first to check it out.