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Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander: Which Is Better? 2022

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The Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander are both popular SUVs, but which one is better for you? The Ascent is the newest SUV from Subaru and offers a spacious interior with plenty of room for cargo. It’s also available with all-wheel drive, making it a great choice for those who live in snowy areas.

The Highlander is a bit older than the Ascent but it’s still a solid SUV. It has a roomy interior and is available with either front- or all-wheel drive. It’s also less expensive than the Ascent. So, which SUV is better for you? It depends on your needs and budget.

Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander

Subaru AscentToyota Highlander
MPG – CITY20 – 21 MPG20 – 21 MPG
MPG – HWY26 – 27 MPG27 – 29 MPG
SEATING CAPACITY7 – 8 seats7 – 8 seats
CARGO SPACE86.0 – 86.5 ft384.3 ft3
ENGINE260-hp, 2.4-liter, 4 Cylinder Engine (Gasoline Fuel)295-hp, 3.5-liter, V6 Cylinder Engine (Gasoline Fuel)
TRANSMISSIONContinuously Variable8-Speed A/T
DRIVETRAINAll Wheel DriveAll Wheel Drive, Front Wheel Drive
HORSEPOWER260 hp295 hp
TOWING CAPACITY2,000 – 5,000 lbs5,000 lbs
EXTERIOR LENGTH196.8 in194.9 – 197.4 in
EXTERIOR WIDTH76.0 in76.0 in
LEG ROOMFront 42.2 in
Rear 38.6 in
Front 42.0 in
Rear 41.0 in
HEAD ROOMFront 40.1 – 41.3 in
Rear 38.7 – 40.0 in
Front 38.4 – 41.2 in
Rear 37.1 – 39.4 in

1. Standard Features

In addition to the numerous similarities between Subaru Ascent and the Toyota Highlander, they both sport a sport utility and automated transmission style.

The Ascent has an electronically variable transmission with the option of manual, while the Highlander comes with a six-speed auto transmission with a manual mode.

The Subaru Ascent and the Toyota Highlander both come with bucket seats made of cloth and benches on the 2nd row with the ability to pass through rear seats and seats with additional options.

If you’re planning on using your SUV’s mid-sized size for towing it, it is recommended that the Ascent or the Highlander include the trailer hitch receiver.

The Highlander offers a substantial capability to pull 1500 pounds; however, the Ascent has an even greater capacity for trailering, with a maximum capacity of 2000 pounds. The Ascent comes with an electric liftgate and dual exhausts in the back of the vehicle.

According to U.S. News, the prices of the Subaru Ascent range from a starting point of $31,995, with upgrade options and trims that could cost as high as $44,695.

Toyota Highlander’s competitor has a comparable beginning price that can reach the mid-$30,000s. This gives the cars an exact price for tickets, as well as their identical specifications.

Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander: Standard Features

2. Side-By-Side Specifications

Toyota Highlander Toyota Highlander comes in a handful of different engines; some are more efficient than others. The base model has front-wheel drive and an ordinary Unleaded four-cylinder engine inline.

But, performance increases significantly by choosing either the V-6 or hybrid engine, according to Kelley Blue Book.

For comparison, the Ascent has all-wheel drive, the Turbo Regular Unleaded H-4 cylinder engine, and the added benefit of turbocharging.

Toyota Highlanders’ 2.7 L/163 displacements and 185 horsepower and 814 lb-ft of torque at 4200 rpm offer an additional kick than The Ascent’s 2.4L/146 displacement with 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque when it is at 2000 rpm.

With a turning diameter of 38 inches, the Ascent’s turn diameter is a bit smaller than the 38.7-inch equivalent, Toyota Highlander. Toyota Highlander.

3. What Are the Dimensions of the Ascent and the Highlander?

The most basic dimensions outside that make up Highlanders are: Highlander is:

  • The wheelbase is 109.8 inches
  • The maximum size (without mirrors): 75.8 inches
  • Total height 68.1 inches

Ascent is slightly larger by the following measurements:

  • The wheelbase is 119.8 inches
  • The maximum length (without mirrors) The maximum width (without mirrors) is 75 inches
  • The total height is 71.6 inches

With a capacity for eight persons, the Highlander’s cabin has the following features:

  • Total passenger volume: 144.9 cubic feet
  • The front headroom is 40.7 inches
  • Headroom 2: 39.9 inches
  • Front legroom: 44.2 inches
  • Second legroom: 38.4 inches
  • The front shoulder space: 59.3 inches
  • Second shoulder space: 59.6 inches
  • The hip area in front: 57.2 inches
  • Second hip space: 27.7 inches
  • Third legroom: 27.7 inches
  • Cargo space Seat One: 83.7 cubic feet
  • Cargo volume for seat two: 42.3 cubic feet
  • Three seats of cargo volume: 13.8 cubic feet

The Ascent also comes with eight seats and bigger dimensions:

  • The front headroom is 41.3 inches
  • Second headroom Second headroom
  • Front legroom: 42.2 inches
  • Second legroom: 38.6 inches
  • The front shoulder space: 61.1 inches
  • Second shoulder space: 60.3 inches
  • Front hip space: 57.7 inches
  • Second hip space: 57.5 inches
  • Third legroom: 31.7 inches
  • Cargo space Seat One: 86.5 cubic feet
  • Cargo volume for seat two: 47.5 cubic feet
  • Three seats of cargo volume: 17.8 cubic feet

4. Which Has the Better Fuel Economy?

Subaru Ascent Subaru Ascent beats the Highlander in terms of fuel efficiency, achieving 21 mpg in city driving as opposed to Highlanders’ 20.

The Ascent’s fuel efficiency increases its advantage on the highway by a whopping 27 mpg, compared to the Highlander’s 24. Its gas tank is 19.2 gallons, less than Ascent’s 19.3-gallon tank.

5. Style Overview

Its Subaru Ascent features a classic cabin with standard, conventional features with user-friendly features such as ergonomic seating, a well-designed central console, and 19 cup holders across the car.

As J.K. Subaru points out, the Ascent’s length is longer than the Subaru, which gives passengers more seating comfort and space. Its elegant, minimal design is similar to other crossovers while incorporating design elements from traditional Subaru components like The Forester or the Outback.

The Highlander is a basic appearance that focuses on utility over fashion. But, inside, premium materials, thoughtful design, and meticulous craftsmanship create the impression of luxury and elegance.

6. Standard AWD

Every model in the Ascent comes with an all-wheel drive on the standard. If you’re looking for a three-row vehicle with all-wheel drive, Subaru offers the most accessible option.

The Ascent’s base price is $33,345, as opposed to $37,685 for the base Highlander L with its optional all-wheel-drive option.

What Are the Dimensions of the Ascent and the Highlander?

7. Convenience

You’ll make about the same amount of visits to the gas station when you have Subaru Ascent as you will with the Toyota Highlander, as they can travel the exact distances with one full tank of gas.

8. Handling

Subaru Ascent Subaru Ascent has the same turning radius similar to that of the Toyota Highlander, so they each maneuver into and out of tricky spots.

9. Powertrain

With a bit more torque, The Subaru Ascent transmits power to its wheels better than Toyota Highlander. Toyota Highlander.

10. Off-road capabilities

For off-roading the Ascent is the best choice for off-road use. For starters, while an all-wheel drive system that improves traction is an option on the Highlander, AWD is standard for all Ascent models.

Furthermore, the Ascent has a higher level of ground clearance than the Highlander (up the number of inches to 8.7 instead of. 8.0 inches).

11. Safety

The 2023 Highlander and the 2023 Ascent are both safe vehicles. Both of them received their IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award from the model year prior. Because the Highlander and the Ascent are carryover models, they will likely have the same IIHS ratings for the 2023 model year.

Ascent Guarantee coverage and reliability

12. Guarantee coverage and reliability

In terms of warranty coverage, Both Highlander and Ascent have warranty coverage. Highlander and Ascent come with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

However, unlike Ascent, it is not covered by the Highlander and comes with a no-cost maintenance plan that provides the option of two years and 25,000 miles of coverage.

Additionally, the Highlander is a bit more secure as compared to the Ascent. It is a J.D. Power estimated reliability rating of 82/100. It is compared against 80/100 in the case of Ascent.

13. Technology

A high-tech interior is increasingly important with time, And it is evident that the Ascent Premium is well-equipped to fulfill your expectations with its extensive list of highly-coveted features.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard on all Ascent models and allow users to utilize their most loved smartphone applications and features using an intuitive touchscreen interface and quick voice commands. These informational features are not included in Highlander’s options.

Final Thoughts

Subaru Ascent has many benefits, including spacious cargo areas with smooth handling, spacious legroom for the initial two rows, and an array of useful technological features.

The Ascent’s robust base trim options and its supple, fluid handling create a pleasant driving experience that is sporty and fun. The high-end interior and the stylish, modern exterior contribute to a feeling of luxury and ease.

If you’re happy to be restricted to a four-cylinder engine, Ascent is a good choice. Ascent is a highly comfortable and reliable choice for your new SUV.

However, the third row of the Ascent is cramped with little legroom. Several similar SUVs come with an upgraded, luxurious interior for comparison. It is worth noting that the Subaru Ascent does not offer a hybrid choice, so owners only have one choice with respect to the motor.

The Toyota Highlander’s base four-cylinder engine is a bit fragile, and its suspension can cause excessive body roll in corners. Its compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto isn’t available on the Highlander, although these features are standard on most modern cars.

However, its powerful V-6 engine enhancement, luxurious interior, and numerous security features make the Highlander an excellent choice for those looking to purchase an SUV-style crossover.

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