Subaru Ascent vs Three Row SUVs

Subaru Ascent vs Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander

The brand new 2019 Ascent holds the title as Subaru's biggest production model ever. It is the ultimate family vehicle - with a flexible seating layout that can hold up to eight passengers. At the same time, it carries Subaru's well-tested Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, as well as Subaru EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. It can also tow up to 5,000 pounds, giving owners even greater ability for multi-use. The Ascent is designed to provide a quiet cabin space, a responsive driving feel and a focus on durability and rigidity.  It is packed with in-car technologies such as Subaru's STARLINK Multimedia and Safety and Security system. It's powered by a turbocharged 260-horsepower SUBARU BOXER engine.  Two front-runners in the three-row SUV class include the Toyota Highlander and the Honda Pilot. While they certainly hold their own, they will surely face stiff competition from the newest to join the class, the Ascent.  Read on to see how they match up against each other.

2018 Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander offers a premium cabin space for up to eight passengers, and loads of cargo space. Its exterior design includes a bold front grille and its power comes from a direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 engine
2018 Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot also offers room for up to eight passengers. Its cabin is designed for comfort and has premium features available. The exterior is sporty and modern. It is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine.

Interior Space and Functionality

Passenger and cargo space are some of the most important factors when it comes to a three-row SUV.  In most cases, when a potential buyer is deciding upon a certain model, in this class, they will be considering the interior volume, layout, and functionality. When Subaru designed the Ascent, they knew they had to make it big, and big it is. Its cargo space tops the Highlander and the Pilot, with 86.5 cubic feet of maximum space and 47.5 cubic feet of space behind the second row.  For legroom, the Pilot and the Ascent are both spacious, especially for the third row. The Highlander's third row can be a tight squeeze.

Power and performance

While the Highlander and Pilot use traditional V6 engines, the Subaru use its brand-standard 2.4-liter turbocharged horizontally opposed four-cylinder. Whiles its total horsepower is slightly lower, it produces a larger amount of torque. When it comes to mileage the Ascent comes out on top. Even though it has standard all-wheel-drive its fuel efficiency comes in at 23 mpg combined, which matches the front-wheel-drive Pilot and Highlanders. And lastly - as is standard for all Subaru vehicles, all-wheel-drive is included in every model. To get all-wheel drive for the Pilot or Highlander, you have to go with a higher trim level.

  Ascent Pilot Highlander
 Engine 2.4L Turbo Flat-4
 3.5-L V6
  3.5-L V6
 Transmission CVT 6- or 9-Speed Auto
 8-Speed Auto
 Ground Clearance
 8.7 IN
 7.3 IN
 8 IN
 Cargo Volume (all seats down)
 17.8 CU FT
 16.5 CU FT 13.8 CU FT
 Head Room (1st Row)
 41.3 IN
 40.1 IN
 40.7 IN
 AWD Base Price
 $32,970 $33,775 $35,535

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