Subaru Ascent Forum banner
1 - 20 of 68 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello All. I'm in the market for either an Ascent or an Outback and hoping for some feedback. Been a life long Nissan driver, but they've slipped in my opinion. My family all drives Subaru's and recommends them, so ready to make the jump. Looking for some feedback on the better option - Ascent or Outback?

Will be mostly for long highway trips, but also camping and travel in some inclement weather. I'm 6'3" and other than me, it needs to be big enough to travel with a few dogs, some gear and possibly a girlfriend now and then. Plan is to put a hitch bike rack on it, a Yakima box on the top if needed and do some road tripping in mid 2021 to catch up with family. I usually take care of my cars and keep them for a long time.

I know a bigger ride is sometimes better or safer, but questioning if I need so much space like the Ascent - and it's not as proven in terms of reliability as the Outback. But really I'm just looking for some solid feedback on the Outback and any experience you can share that might help me make the decision!

Thanks in advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,698 Posts
Ascent is the way to go. Both models have changed so "reliability" of the Outback is really equivalent to the Ascent. The Ascent (I have the 2019) has had some warranty items, all of which have been taken care of. Now it seems as though for the most part any problems are individual unit issues.

The functional usability of space between the two models is very different so don't just go by the numbers. You will not have the same power with the Outback unless you go for the larger engine which at that point you are near the Ascent level so go ahead and get the Ascent. The tow package is better and the included features are superior.

Think of closets in the home. Do you ever really have enough closet storage space?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
627 Posts
Ascent has more space for sure but I feel and believe there are more aftermarket stuff for the outback. Depends what you want to do with your rig.

Also that 12" only touch screen needs a bit of adjustment, it felt weird for me when I got a loaner.
 

·
Registered
2020 CWP Touring
Joined
·
1,156 Posts
I really like the Outback. (My wife did not want a station wagon shaped object, so the Ascent was our choice.)

The 2018-2019 Outback was a little closer to the Ascent in terms of ergonomics, with a modestly-sized in-dash display and dedicated HVAC panel, etc. But, the 2018-2019 Outback was still on the older platform which doesn't offer the improved rigidity and crash worthiness that the new global platform offers (the Ascent is based on the new global platform). The 2020 Outback moved to the new platform, but all trims save for the base model moved to a mandatory 11.6" display in the dash, which seems to have some teething problems in terms of performance, user experience, etc. I'm not sure I'd care for the large screen in the Outback but I also haven't driven one...so I couldn't say for sure. That's probably one of the more polarizing features, though...if you like the idea of the large display, then it's a non-issue.

It'd certainly be best if you could drive both and see which you prefer. The Outback can be had with the Ascent's turbocharged 2.4L engine (and it's a real rocket with this motor!), but you're into the Onyx/Limited/Touring XT trims which are costly. If you can, drive both powertrains in the Outback to see if you're drawn to one or the other. The naturally aspirated 2.5L engine in the Outback is worth 3 mpg over the turbo engine for what it's worth...

Good luck!
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
3,828 Posts
You absolutely need to test drive both...especially given you are tall. I suspect you'll be more comfortable in the Ascent, especially over long distances, but every body (two words on purpose) is different.

As to reliability, Outback and Ascent are built on the same platform. Yes, size differences, but the Subaru Global Platform is a consistent design and build methodology. The Outback XT has the same engine as the Ascent.
 

·
Premium Member
2021 Ascent Touring
Joined
·
211 Posts
How big are the dogs? We have 2-3 average sized humans and 230# of dog (in the form of 2 dogs) and that's the primary reason we went with the Ascent. Probably would have gone with a Forester if it weren't for the giant dogs we need to tote around. One of our dogs is unable to stand up in the back of the Outback (we checked).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
The decision breaker for me was the start stop feature. The Ascent does not have that.
I do like the sport/xt models in the Forester and Outback. I simply did not like the Outback touch screen and
wanted more room to sleep than our Forester. We are very happy with the Ascent. A test ride will reveal the feel of the extra curb weight and width difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
197 Posts
Hi Ced1

I have a 2019 Ascent Touring and a 2020 Legacy XT (not an Outback, but it is close enough). I would say look at the Outback if you don't need the space and you can probably save some money too if you opt for the non-turbo Outback. I do not find the auto-start-stop that annoying, but that is something for you to decide. I had concerns about big center display, being laggy or non responsive, but that has not been the case for me. Just be sure you test drive an Outback with the latest software updates. You can tell because it has a button on the main screen to turn off the auto-start-stop next to the Home button. Also the Outback maybe better on the trails since the Onyx versions come with a more advanced X-Mode than the Ascent.

However, the Ascent does have a lot more space than the Outback and that maybe what you need if your dogs are big. Ascent is also better for towing and on the Touring models, there is the handy Smart Rear View Mirror Camera that allows you to look past occupants and cargo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
495 Posts
My general rule between the two vehicles are, if you have 2+ living beings behind the front row on a regular basis, go with the Ascent. If you have 2 or less, go with the Outback.
 

·
Registered
2020 Ascent, 2011 WRX, 2009 Outback
Joined
·
618 Posts
I'm around 6'1" and our 2005 Outback worked well for me. We actually enjoyed that car quite a bit.

When the Ascent was coming out the first year we went to the auto show and sat/reviewed it for like an hour. Afterwards we decided to check out the latest Outback for giggles. Wow, what a difference in interior quality. The Ascent is so much better.

Having own(ed) 4 Subaru's I can say the Ascent is great and meets all Subaru expectations, except for gas mileage. As others noted, cargo and people are probably the big deciding factor.

How do you plan to use it and how have you used previous vehicles?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,115 Posts
For long highway trips, you might want to go for the better fuel economy. If I was as short as you I would have bought the Forester. Kind of in between the Ascent and the Outback. The Forester for me (6’7”) needed just a little more room for my legs but I do fit OKish. My wife talked me into spending the extra on the Ascent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,406 Posts
It sounds to me that you don't necessarily need the bigger vehicle. So my vote is Outback; higher power to weight ratio. I would also look at 4Runner bc it provides that "bag of F-U" when you're off-roading, if you're really that big into camping/outdoor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
775 Posts
Drive them both. If you like a slightly sportier drive you might like the outback. And, for the price of a more basic Ascent, you could get an outback with more goodies on it, and/or the Turbo motor.

How tall are your dogs?, Ascent will have more headroom in the cargo area. I'm assuming your girlfriends aren't so tall that headroom in either row will be an issue.

Take an extended drive in each, and see what's best for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,698 Posts
I don't want to offend, so I will keep it to myself ;)
Just in case there was a misunderstanding. I am talking about for space decisions, so if you required more gear for outings you would need the larger vehicle. The exchange rate is how much extra room is available for extra gear versus a person in a given vehicle.
 

·
Registered
2020 Ascent
Joined
·
195 Posts
Our fam consists of 2 adults, (Wife is 5’3” and myself at 5’8”) 2 kids, (8 and 10) and two dogs, (60 and 90lbs). It’s rare to have us all in at once but wanted the option to load everyone and stuff, say for a trip out to the lake. But at the same time had to be a good everyday vehicle. It needed to allow room as the kids grow because I keep my vehicles for a long time. I felt a minivan or 3 row suv were the only realistic options.
I really liked the Ascents “lack” of some modern “features”. It has actual gear shift, volume and climate knobs and most importantly NO stop/start! In -40C the starter and battery take enough if a beating without adding to the workload. (I’ve witnessed a number of cars failing to restart using it and know folks who despise it as they replace batteries every two years and starters far too often). I really didn’t want to have to be turning it off every time I got in the car, all winter in particular. If you could permanently shut it off, that’d be o.k.. If I lived in a nice warm place I suppose it wouldn’t be much of a concern.
We are casually watching a few vehicles for my wife’s next ride in a couple years, the Crosstrek is in the running but I’m pretty sure it’s got that stupid stop/start and that’s likely going to be a dealbreaker when the time comes if there’s an offering available without it.
 
1 - 20 of 68 Posts
Top