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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not really sure what I want out of this post, but maybe it's just to discuss the weird situation I'm looking at. First off, we have a 2004 Subaru WRX that has 235k miles on it and it's been the most reliable vehicle we've ever owned, literally only issue was new radiator at 192k miles and then new clutch at about 230k miles. Rock solid vehicle, we'll never sell it! We also live in the PNW (western washington) so Subaru love is a big thing here. :)

Anyway, our family vehicle is a 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid with about 7k miles on it. It's fully loaded. It is suppose to be our family hauler, we have 2 kids in child car seats and 1 kid now in a booster seat.

We went from a 3 row-pathfinder to the Pacifica Hybrid because the pathfinder felt cramped for 3 rows (technically it's our 2nd pacifica hybrid, we had a new 2018 we traded in for a new 2020...the discounts and federal tax credits are crazy and we made money on the deal). However, we recently (today) test drove a 2021 Subaru Ascent 8 passenger Limited and...well it surprised us with size and features. We had no idea the door opening was that large and it made it easy to access the 2nd row (and even 3rd row) seats. Also, the 3rd row seats had more legroom than we thought they would. Less than our Pacifica, but seemingly way more than the 2016 Pathfinder we had years ago.

Now you are probably wondering "what are these people doing, they are crazy for considering trading in a basically new 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid". And the answer is, because it's currently going through a lemon law case (have lawyer involved). Meaning sometime later this year we will have a new pacifica hybrid or some cash to keep the current one. Long story short, we had the transmission replaced and we got stuck on a long road trip half way between seattle area and southern california (literally broke down on the freeway in the middle of california....it's a LONG story and we were without the pacifica for over 7 weeks. It's back now, but has new problems). We got a killer deal on the 2020 Pacifica Hybrid in the first place, so we have a lot of options on what to end up with later this year and wanted to at least take a look at those options, hence the test drive of the Ascent.

Has anyone else gone from a minivan to a subaru ascent?

Feels like we'd be giving up some cargo space and some feeling of luxury (and honestly our pacifica hybrid looks nicer than the subaru ascent). However, we realized with the 8 passenger Ascent we actually get more seating arrangement options vs the 7 seat configuration of our pacifica. I.E. we could fit 5 child car seats in the Ascent vs only 4 in the Pacifica, despite the Pacifica being a larger vehicle both inside and out. The3rd row in the pacifica can't handle 3 car seats, middle seat is too narrow and it only has 2 seats in the 2nd row. However, when test driving the Ascent we were able to fit 3 child seats in the 2nd row and still have 3 seats available in the 3rd row (for 2 child car seats...or 3 regular passengers, etc). And with the Ascent's passenger side 2nd and 3rd row folded down, still maintaining 2 child seats in the 2nd row and 1 in the 3rd row, we have tons of storage.

Anyway, I guess I'm just rambling here, but we are seriously considering making the switch to the Ascent. We do miss the AWD (Pacifica Hybrid is FWD only), but also we love the MPG from the Pacific Hybrid (it's a plug-in hybrid). My math suggests we would pay about 3x for gas if we went for the Ascent vs the pacifica, so that'd be a big negative. We'd gain ground clearance and AWD though and an extra seat, but also lose some cargo space. Lastly, we'd gain towing capacity (the pacifica hybrid has zero) which could be used to offset the lack of cargo space in the Ascent.

Feels more like comparing a luxury vehicle (the pacifica hybrid) vs a more rugged/robust and capable vehicle (the Ascent).

I do have a couple of specific questions on the Ascent that I can't find info on.
1) Is there an option to prevent the Ascent from creeping forward when you release your foot from the brake while in "D"?
2) Is there any option for wireless Android Auto or does it have to be plugged into the USB?
3) Is there any option/package that adds the top-down 360 degree view when in reverse?
4) Are there any hidden/non-obvious features of the Ascent that you want to share? We found a lot more features in the Ascent than we expected. Any hidden storage compartments, etc?

Thanks for reading. :)
 

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Hi, and welcome. We didn't go directly from a minivan to our Ascent, but we've owned several minivans in the past (and I was actually pulling for another one, but my wife wanted an SUV instead). to answer your questions:

1) Yes, the Ascent has what Subaru calls Auto Vehicle Hold. When engaged, you push the brake a little further after you're stopped and then it'll hold the car. Either tap the brake again or tap the gas to get it to release.

2) No, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not wireless in the Subaru. You have to plug the phone in.

3) No, Subaru do not offer a 360 degree camera on any of their vehicles yet. It's a traditional backup camera.

4) We like the Touring trim for the front view camera (we used it when parking in tight spaces), for the Smart rearview mirror (you can use it as a traditional mirror or as a video monitor for a high-mounted camera -- and we use it in video monitor mode pretty much 100% of the time), and for the ventilated seats. They're not "cooled" seats, but they are ventilated and they really do work well for us. I also really like the CVT...it's the primary reason I wanted to try a Subaru this time vs. another transverse FWD-based van or SUV.

There are some things you very likely will miss from your van. The interior room, while nice in the Ascent, just isn't the same as a real van. The rear doors open wide, but nothing beats sliding doors for utility and practicality in parking lots, at least in my opinion. Real world fuel economy is in the neighborhood of 18-22 mpg city and 24-28 mpg highway, depending on your location, driving style, etc. Subaru's AWD can't be beat -- if you need AWD, it's excellent.
 

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I'm not really sure what I want out of this post, but maybe it's just to discuss the weird situation I'm looking at. First off, we have a 2004 Subaru WRX that has 235k miles on it and it's been the most reliable vehicle we've ever owned, literally only issue was new radiator at 192k miles and then new clutch at about 230k miles. Rock solid vehicle, we'll never sell it! We also live in the PNW (western washington) so Subaru love is a big thing here. :)

Anyway, our family vehicle is a 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid with about 7k miles on it. It's fully loaded. It is suppose to be our family hauler, we have 2 kids in child car seats and 1 kid now in a booster seat.

We went from a 3 row-pathfinder to the Pacifica Hybrid because the pathfinder felt cramped for 3 rows (technically it's our 2nd pacifica hybrid, we had a new 2018 we traded in for a new 2020...the discounts and federal tax credits are crazy and we made money on the deal). However, we recently (today) test drove a 2021 Subaru Ascent 8 passenger Limited and...well it surprised us with size and features. We had no idea the door opening was that large and it made it easy to access the 2nd row (and even 3rd row) seats. Also, the 3rd row seats had more legroom than we thought they would. Less than our Pacifica, but seemingly way more than the 2016 Pathfinder we had years ago.

Now you are probably wondering "what are these people doing, they are crazy for considering trading in a basically new 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid". And the answer is, because it's currently going through a lemon law case (have lawyer involved). Meaning sometime later this year we will have a new pacifica hybrid or some cash to keep the current one. Long story short, we had the transmission replaced and we got stuck on a long road trip half way between seattle area and southern california (literally broke down on the freeway in the middle of california....it's a LONG story and we were without the pacifica for over 7 weeks. It's back now, but has new problems). We got a killer deal on the 2020 Pacifica Hybrid in the first place, so we have a lot of options on what to end up with later this year and wanted to at least take a look at those options, hence the test drive of the Ascent.

Has anyone else gone from a minivan to a subaru ascent?

Feels like we'd be giving up some cargo space and some feeling of luxury (and honestly our pacifica hybrid looks nicer than the subaru ascent). However, we realized with the 8 passenger Ascent we actually get more seating arrangement options vs the 7 seat configuration of our pacifica. I.E. we could fit 5 child car seats in the Ascent vs only 4 in the Pacifica, despite the Pacifica being a larger vehicle both inside and out. The3rd row in the pacifica can't handle 3 car seats, middle seat is too narrow and it only has 2 seats in the 2nd row. However, when test driving the Ascent we were able to fit 3 child seats in the 2nd row and still have 3 seats available in the 3rd row (for 2 child car seats...or 3 regular passengers, etc). And with the Ascent's passenger side 2nd and 3rd row folded down, still maintaining 2 child seats in the 2nd row and 1 in the 3rd row, we have tons of storage.

Anyway, I guess I'm just rambling here, but we are seriously considering making the switch to the Ascent. We do miss the AWD (Pacifica Hybrid is FWD only), but also we love the MPG from the Pacific Hybrid (it's a plug-in hybrid). My math suggests we would pay about 3x for gas if we went for the Ascent vs the pacifica, so that'd be a big negative. We'd gain ground clearance and AWD though and an extra seat, but also lose some cargo space. Lastly, we'd gain towing capacity (the pacifica hybrid has zero) which could be used to offset the lack of cargo space in the Ascent.

Feels more like comparing a luxury vehicle (the pacifica hybrid) vs a more rugged/robust and capable vehicle (the Ascent).

I do have a couple of specific questions on the Ascent that I can't find info on.
1) Is there an option to prevent the Ascent from creeping forward when you release your foot from the brake while in "D"?
2) Is there any option for wireless Android Auto or does it have to be plugged into the USB?
3) Is there any option/package that adds the top-down 360 degree view when in reverse?
4) Are there any hidden/non-obvious features of the Ascent that you want to share? We found a lot more features in the Ascent than we expected. Any hidden storage compartments, etc?

Thanks for reading. :)
Its a tough comparison, because in some ways it is apples and oranges. As you know Subaru awd is great, but do you need it as much as what you give up in a van?. How long are you goingbto keep the vehicle. Those kids are not goingbto be in car seats forever. Van space convenience is hard to beat. If you know for sure you can work with car seats in ascent, it may be wsy to go. YES, to all your ascent feature quedtions. But check trim level feature availability. 5000lb towing for limited and touring with tow package. The redidual value of ascent versus van is much better.
 

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Hi, and welcome. We didn't go directly from a minivan to our Ascent, but we've owned several minivans in the past (and I was actually pulling for another one, but my wife wanted an SUV instead). to answer your questions:

1) Yes, the Ascent has what Subaru calls Auto Vehicle Hold. When engaged, you push the brake a little further after you're stopped and then it'll hold the car. Either tap the brake again or tap the gas to get it to release.

2) No, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not wireless in the Subaru. You have to plug the phone in.

3) No, Subaru do not offer a 360 degree camera on any of their vehicles yet. It's a traditional backup camera.

4) We like the Touring trim for the front view camera (we used it when parking in tight spaces), for the Smart rearview mirror (you can use it as a traditional mirror or as a video monitor for a high-mounted camera -- and we use it in video monitor mode pretty much 100% of the time), and for the ventilated seats. They're not "cooled" seats, but they are ventilated and they really do work well for us. I also really like the CVT...it's the primary reason I wanted to try a Subaru this time vs. another transverse FWD-based van or SUV.

There are some things you very likely will miss from your van. The interior room, while nice in the Ascent, just isn't the same as a real van. The rear doors open wide, but nothing beats sliding doors for utility and practicality in parking lots, at least in my opinion. Real world fuel economy is in the neighborhood of 18-22 mpg city and 24-28 mpg highway, depending on your location, driving style, etc. Subaru's AWD can't be beat -- if you need AWD, it's excellent.
Wireless aa i think is available in new model.
 

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Aside from the sliding door and very low entry of the minivan, the only "clear" advantage that the van has is in raw interior space over a well designed 3-row midsize SUV like the Ascent. That can be mostly mitigated with a hitch receiver mount container and/or a roof mounted container when traveling. The space thing is a judgement call on your part, but if you really like the Ascent and it will work for your hauling needs, go for it! Great vehicle!
 
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1) Is there an option to prevent the Ascent from creeping forward when you release your foot from the brake while in "D"?
2) Is there any option for wireless Android Auto or does it have to be plugged into the USB?
3) Is there any option/package that adds the top-down 360 degree view when in reverse?
4) Are there any hidden/non-obvious features of the Ascent that you want to share? We found a lot more features in the Ascent than we expected. Any hidden storage compartments, etc?
It sounds like you're well aware of the trade offs. Pacifica has superior cargo and people hauling capability. Ascent has AWD, offroad capability, and towing.
To answer some questions:
1. Yes, Auto Vehicle Hold (AVH). It will keep you at a stop without holding down the brake pedal.
2. Android Auto is not wireless in this car. I think there's an aftermarket effort though using a bluetooth dongle of sorts.
3. Nope.
4. Storage under the rear deck is pretty deep. For extra cargo on long trips I resort to a rooftop box or hitch carrier.
 

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For long term use (e.g. 5yrs+) I think you'll be disappointed with going from sliding doors to swing doors.
 

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I bought a Subaru Ascent to replace my Toyota Sienna (which had been totaled in an accident).

I'm definitely going to miss the roomy 3rd row (which was comfortable for adults). The only reason we went with an SUV was for the increased towing capacity because we plan to buy a camping trailer soon.

If you need the towing capacity, then it makes sense to get an Ascent. But otherwise, I don't think I'd trade in a hybrid minivan, especially given the increase in fuel costs.
 

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We moved to the Ascent about 8 months ago from an old 2009 Grand Caravan. Here are my comments:
  • I cannot compare luxury/comfort as the Caravan was a base trim and the Ascent is loaded and much-much newer.
  • We certainly miss the space of the minivan. It is often only three of us on long trips, though; so it will not be a big issue. I just feel the "pain" whenever trying to haul furniture, big boxes, or construction material, which I used to do with the van. All that could be solved with a trailer, though.
  • We also sometimes miss the sliding doors of the van. Our son is 13-years-old, so is careful opening them, but loading/unloading stuff in tight parking spaces or in the garage is quite tricky with the swing doors. This might be a challenge if you have to load/unload kids to/from car seats.
  • I do not find the 3rd row of the Ascent any worse than that of the Caravan. Both are really for 2 people or three kids. We have the 7 passenger Ascent which I find makes sitting in the 3rd row easier as you can stretch your legs between the two captain chairs of the 2nd row.
  • Fuel economy is slightly better on the Ascent, but the van was not a hybrid one.
  • The Ascent is much more fun to drive :)
  • Living in Canada, the AWD of the Ascent is a blessing in the winter. I never had issues with the van with winter tires on it, but the Ascent with winter tires gives you another level of confidence in snow driving... let it snow!!
 

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I consider the Ascent to be minvan SUV crossover. It's kinda like a minivan turned into kinda an SUV.
 

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Feels more like comparing a luxury vehicle (the pacifica hybrid) vs a more rugged/robust and capable vehicle (the Ascent).

I do have a couple of specific questions on the Ascent that I can't find info on.
1) Is there an option to prevent the Ascent from creeping forward when you release your foot from the brake while in "D"?
2) Is there any option for wireless Android Auto or does it have to be plugged into the USB?
3) Is there any option/package that adds the top-down 360 degree view when in reverse?
4) Are there any hidden/non-obvious features of the Ascent that you want to share? We found a lot more features in the Ascent than we expected. Any hidden storage compartments, etc?

Thanks for reading. :)
Hi Landshark

Sorry to hear about bad experience with your Pacifica. Hokiefyd and DJRussell answered most of your questions, but I would like to add to #4.

4a. On the Touring trims, when you shift from reverse to drive, the Ascent automatically starts the front view camera so you can see what is in front of the car as you move forward. Could be counted as #3, while the Ascent does not have a 360 camera, the front camera on the touring can be turned on by pushing a button. This gives you a almost a 360 view with the front view on the secondary screen and the reverse on the main radio screen.

4b. Again on the Touring, the center mirror is a smart mirror. On most cars, flipping the tab under the center rear view mirror normally meant to reduce glare, but on the Ascent, it starts a rear view camera so you can see behind your passengers. Good for when someone tall is sitting in the 3rd row or if you have high stacking cargo.

4c. USB charging for the 3rd row!

4e. HUD for the Eyesite while using the adaptive cruise control.

I consider the Ascent to be minvan SUV crossover. It's kinda like a minivan turned into kinda an SUV.
Maybe I am old, but I learned to drive on a Mazda MPV AWD. To me, that was the original minivan SUV crossover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi Landshark

Sorry to hear about bad experience with your Pacifica. Hokiefyd and DJRussell answered most of your questions, but I would like to add to #4.

4a. On the Touring trims, when you shift from reverse to drive, the Ascent automatically starts the front view camera so you can see what is in front of the car as you move forward. Could be counted as #3, while the Ascent does not have a 360 camera, the front camera on the touring can be turned on by pushing a button. This gives you a almost a 360 view with the front view on the secondary screen and the reverse on the main radio screen.

4b. Again on the Touring, the center mirror is a smart mirror. On most cars, flipping the tab under the center rear view mirror normally meant to reduce glare, but on the Ascent, it starts a rear view camera so you can see behind your passengers. Good for when someone tall is sitting in the 3rd row or if you have high stacking cargo.

4c. USB charging for the 3rd row!

4e. HUD for the Eyesite while using the adaptive cruise control.



Maybe I am old, but I learned to drive on a Mazda MPV AWD. To me, that was the original minivan SUV crossover.
Thanks everyone for the replies!

I would spring for the Touring, but looks like it only comes with 7 seats. And if we were to trade-in our minivan we would need to get an 8 seater as part of the motivation to switch. :) I really like the touring though!

Honestly the 2022 Ascent in Onyx trim looks nice too, but again only in 7 seats. We like the all-black look (we have the "S" package on our pacifica which is all black as well.

This is our 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid in all black (pic taken the day we bought it, before we got the front windows tinted):
13121


If we were to get an Ascent I'd work on making it all black too over time. Kind of a weird thing, my Wife and I have a thing for all black vehicles.
 

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I would spring for the Touring, but looks like it only comes with 7 seats. And if we were to trade-in our minivan we would need to get an 8 seater as part of the motivation to switch. :) I really like the touring though!
If you haven't tried sitting in the third row of the Ascent, I'd recommend that you try it in both the 7- and 8-seat versions.

I normally like extra seating, but I found the third row in the 8-passenger version to be WAY too claustrophobic. I felt so much less trapped in the 7-passenger version (so that's what we bought).

You may find that you actually prefer the 7-passenger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If you haven't tried sitting in the third row of the Ascent, I'd recommend that you try it in both the 7- and 8-seat versions.

I normally like extra seating, but I found the third row in the 8-passenger version to be WAY too claustrophobic. I felt so much less trapped in the 7-passenger version (so that's what we bought).

You may find that you actually prefer the 7-passenger.
That's a good point. I did make sure to sit in all the seats. :) My Wife also took all 3 of the child car seats we use (well 2 child cars seats and 1 booster) and put them in all different kinds of configurations in the Ascent to see what was possible (and what wasn't).

We have 3 kids, and with the 8 seat Ascent it would allow us to take an additional 2 kids in child seats (right now with our minivan we can only take 1 other child), most of our family friends have 2 kids. Also, if the 5 of us want to take another couple (say, my sister and her husband) with us, we can't fit everyone into the 7 seater van...the car seat in the 3rd row make it a very tight squeeze for an adult to sit back there (and putting 2 car seats in the 3rd row, and 1 in 2nd row, means only space for 1 additional adult even though we have 7 seats). Oddly, the Ascent has better seat configuration and spacing in that regard.

I know it's all personal preference/lifestyle, I was just surprised to find the Ascent gave us better seating options, not less. It has a more capable 3rd row (as far as width goes) than our minivan does, but of course has less headroom and legroom (although still way more than I expected!).
 

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I'm not really sure what I want out of this post, but maybe it's just to discuss the weird situation I'm looking at. First off, we have a 2004 Subaru WRX that has 235k miles on it and it's been the most reliable vehicle we've ever owned, literally only issue was new radiator at 192k miles and then new clutch at about 230k miles. Rock solid vehicle, we'll never sell it! We also live in the PNW (western washington) so Subaru love is a big thing here. :)

Anyway, our family vehicle is a 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid with about 7k miles on it. It's fully loaded. It is suppose to be our family hauler, we have 2 kids in child car seats and 1 kid now in a booster seat.

We went from a 3 row-pathfinder to the Pacifica Hybrid because the pathfinder felt cramped for 3 rows (technically it's our 2nd pacifica hybrid, we had a new 2018 we traded in for a new 2020...the discounts and federal tax credits are crazy and we made money on the deal). However, we recently (today) test drove a 2021 Subaru Ascent 8 passenger Limited and...well it surprised us with size and features. We had no idea the door opening was that large and it made it easy to access the 2nd row (and even 3rd row) seats. Also, the 3rd row seats had more legroom than we thought they would. Less than our Pacifica, but seemingly way more than the 2016 Pathfinder we had years ago.

Now you are probably wondering "what are these people doing, they are crazy for considering trading in a basically new 2020 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid". And the answer is, because it's currently going through a lemon law case (have lawyer involved). Meaning sometime later this year we will have a new pacifica hybrid or some cash to keep the current one. Long story short, we had the transmission replaced and we got stuck on a long road trip half way between seattle area and southern california (literally broke down on the freeway in the middle of california....it's a LONG story and we were without the pacifica for over 7 weeks. It's back now, but has new problems). We got a killer deal on the 2020 Pacifica Hybrid in the first place, so we have a lot of options on what to end up with later this year and wanted to at least take a look at those options, hence the test drive of the Ascent.

Has anyone else gone from a minivan to a subaru ascent?

Feels like we'd be giving up some cargo space and some feeling of luxury (and honestly our pacifica hybrid looks nicer than the subaru ascent). However, we realized with the 8 passenger Ascent we actually get more seating arrangement options vs the 7 seat configuration of our pacifica. I.E. we could fit 5 child car seats in the Ascent vs only 4 in the Pacifica, despite the Pacifica being a larger vehicle both inside and out. The3rd row in the pacifica can't handle 3 car seats, middle seat is too narrow and it only has 2 seats in the 2nd row. However, when test driving the Ascent we were able to fit 3 child seats in the 2nd row and still have 3 seats available in the 3rd row (for 2 child car seats...or 3 regular passengers, etc). And with the Ascent's passenger side 2nd and 3rd row folded down, still maintaining 2 child seats in the 2nd row and 1 in the 3rd row, we have tons of storage.

Anyway, I guess I'm just rambling here, but we are seriously considering making the switch to the Ascent. We do miss the AWD (Pacifica Hybrid is FWD only), but also we love the MPG from the Pacific Hybrid (it's a plug-in hybrid). My math suggests we would pay about 3x for gas if we went for the Ascent vs the pacifica, so that'd be a big negative. We'd gain ground clearance and AWD though and an extra seat, but also lose some cargo space. Lastly, we'd gain towing capacity (the pacifica hybrid has zero) which could be used to offset the lack of cargo space in the Ascent.

Feels more like comparing a luxury vehicle (the pacifica hybrid) vs a more rugged/robust and capable vehicle (the Ascent).

I do have a couple of specific questions on the Ascent that I can't find info on.
1) Is there an option to prevent the Ascent from creeping forward when you release your foot from the brake while in "D"?
2) Is there any option for wireless Android Auto or does it have to be plugged into the USB?
3) Is there any option/package that adds the top-down 360 degree view when in reverse?
4) Are there any hidden/non-obvious features of the Ascent that you want to share? We found a lot more features in the Ascent than we expected. Any hidden storage compartments, etc?

Thanks for reading. :)
I had a 2007 Honda Odyssey and 2017 Nissan Pathfinder and now my 2019 Ascent! With regards to space the minivan still the best car for families! If not for the kiddos ( teens) I should have had still considering another minivan!
 

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We had two 4th generation Mopar minivans (a 2003 Grand Caravan Sport and a 2007 Town & Country Touring) and both had more comfortable 2nd and 3rd row seating options than our Ascent does. The 2007's second row seats were less comfortable than the 2003's because of their physical size (to fit into the Stow-n-Go floor openings), but both offered more space and more leg room. The 3rd row was also no contest, really. It sounds like the Pacifica may be smaller inside than Mopar's older vans are, if the Ascent offers at least as much room behind the front row.
 

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One of the things I think is important, is to consider your needs 4-5 years out from now. Kids will be bigger. If you get the Ascent, will you need the 3rd row to be occupied by one of your kids ( as they might not all fit comfortably or, more likely, peacefully in the second row 5 years from now). Will one kid fit behind a larger kid in the second row ( mine don't).
Consider future needs too, like space in the car for activity/ sports gear ( like my neighbor whose kid plays a tuba) for the kids, or that you might be saving for college or a bigger house and might not be able to buy a car a few years from now.
I drove 3-5 teens and preteens to swim practice for years. Each swimmer had their backpack and wet bag, the gear took up more space than when I played hockey ( and never mind the $500 tech suits that were only good for two days of high level competition- which might only be a grand total of 5 minutes swim time in a short course pool- but 2 kids in my carpool made trials so it was a worthwhile expense). I had an Odyssey then, and I could not have done it in a mid size SUV or Ascent. I always had to drive when there were 4 or 5 kids going to practice, as the CX9 ( prev gen), 4Runner, Q7, and original gen Highlander in the carpool didn't have enough room for everyone and their gear. And keep in mind wet bags are wet after practice, so those couldn't be kept on the kids' laps for the ride home.
If you have any space concerns, stick with a minivan. If you think the Ascent might work, or will be in a position where you can buy a larger car in 5 years if you outgrow theAscent, then why not?
 

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We went from a 2014 odyssey to the ascent 7 passenger limited. Space is no contest, and loading/unloading...the odyssey was a parking lot beast, lol. But the transverse powertrain was eating front struts every 30k miles and the odyssey is pretty uninspiring to drive.

We chose the 7 passenger specifically because the 2nd row captiains chairs made getting to the 3rd row much easier with a carseat and booster in the 2nd row seats. An arrangement we tried in the odyssey first and loved, but we have 2 kids so your results may vary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
We went from a 2014 odyssey to the ascent 7 passenger limited. Space is no contest, and loading/unloading...the odyssey was a parking lot beast, lol. But the transverse powertrain was eating front struts every 30k miles and the odyssey is pretty uninspiring to drive.

We chose the 7 passenger specifically because the 2nd row captiains chairs made getting to the 3rd row much easier with a carseat and booster in the 2nd row seats. An arrangement we tried in the odyssey first and loved, but we have 2 kids so your results may vary.
Thanks for sharing your experience. :)

If we had an Ascent we'd have a booster seat on the passenger side 2nd row, so the seat could easily slide/flip forward and people could enter the 3rd row. I was comparing the easy of entry into 3rd row between the Ascent and our Pacifica Hybrid and honestly they are pretty similar if using method of flipping the 2nd row seat forward. Although we have captains chairs in the pacifica, so usually you just crawl in and then through that space. We'd 100% go for the 8 seater Ascent however for more seating arrangement options for us.

Anyway, our Pacifica Hybrid got towed back to the dealership today which is unfortunate, but now the Ascent is looking even better (my Wife really wants it). :) For the Pacifica, something went very seriously wrong with the steering today while running errands. Suddenly 'straight' on the steering wheel is no longer straight and the car wobbles while trying to drive in a straight line (felt like it wanted to randomly pull the car in one direction or the other without warning...not related to the lane keep assist feature). No way we were going to drive that thing anymore, so had it towed. We've only had it back from the last dealership service (transmission replacement) for 2.5 weeks... ugh..

Coincidentally a new 2021 Ascent in the color, trim and features we want arrives at our local dealership in just a couple of days. lol But now our Pacifica is locked in a lemon law case so we can't really sell it (plus it's broken again) without cancelling the lawyer.

For now we are back in our 2004 subaru wrx wagon (3 child seats in the back BARELY fit...had to actually buy a smaller/basic booster seat because our other one would hit the ceiling/top of door in the WRX).
 

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Wow. Best of luck with the proceedings on your Chrysler. That was ultimately the reason we got out of Mopar minivans ourselves. Our '07 T&C went through two A/C compressors, three alternators, an engine wiring harness (the OEM battery had a pinhole in it and it corroded off the terminal end), and it'd eat front sway bar bushings at the rate of a pair every six months or so. I was tired of taking it to the dealer so I just did those on my own dime. Our 2003 Grand Caravan was more reliable, but still had component failures I'd consider to be premature (like a water pump at 80k miles, and also plenty of sway bar bushings). My folks had to Lemon Law a Grand Cherokee once and it went well with a good lawyer. They even got Jeep to pay for the modifications my parents made to it in order to tow it behind an RV.
 
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