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Hi,
My wife and I have been proud owners of two generations of Subaru Outbacks. Extremely good reliability and impressive resale values. We now have to toddlers and the wife is requesting a bigger SUV. She doesn't like minivans so SUV it is.
I assume most of you tried many competitors vehicles before choosing the Ascent so I was hoping to get your feedback. My wife and I have not even tried any bigger SUV, but the wife seems adamant that we need to get an Ascent due to our positive experience with the Outbacks. By doing some quick internet research, it seems that the Highlander and the Telluride are comparable competitors of the Ascent. Have any of you tried them vs the Ascent? What was your opinion and what tilled your decision?
Thanks in advance!
 

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Well if you want to do any kind of offroading (besides just dirt roads) you'll want the Subaru AWD system.

Beyond that, resale value alone will make the Ascent much cheaper in the long run when you do trade it in.

Other people have taken test drives. There should be a two massive threads.... one on Ascent vs Palisade and the other Ascent vs Telluride. Tons of data in there.
 
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The Kia Telluride will cost you approximately 12%-15% more than an Ascent as they are being sold with a $1000 markup.

The Toyota Highlander’s third row space is the smallest amongst the competition. Also, with the new model just being released, I’d imagine the negotiations are minimal.

As a current Subaru owner, youldnlikely be able to obtain a $500-$750 loyalty coupon from Subaru.
 

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Drive a few options and see what you like. Don't take this the wrong way, but I think it's foolish to spend $32-47k on a depreciating asset that you will possibly own for 5-10 years, without checking out at least a few competitive options.

With two toddlers, the minivan is the best option in terms of user friendliness. I still miss the convenience of my Odyssey. Unfortunately, even with winter tires, it couldn't get to my lake house in the winter without getting hung up on the snow on the sometimes unplowed roads, so it had to go.
 

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By doing some quick internet research, it seems that the Highlander and the Telluride are comparable competitors of the Ascent. Have any of you tried them vs the Ascent?
'Bunch of threads on this subject for you to explore here in additions to answers to your question directly.

I only briefly looked at Highlander (since I had a great experience with an '06 Hybrid Limited) but it felt cramped/smaller inside than the Ascent. The Telluride didn't exist when I was buying my Ascent, but I still wouldn't even look at it because I find it visually attractive and I prefer Subaru's approach to all wheel drive.
 
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I'm currently test driving all of the third row SUVs trying to decide on the 2020 Highlander vs Ascent as well. Tough choice, Toyota's reliability and strong V6 engine vs Subaru's great value and AWD system. The thing that is difficult is the engine on the Ascent and how many people on this site have issues with the vehicle in general. Good luck, I'll be watching this thread trying to get as much info as possible.
 

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Hi,
My wife and I have been proud owners of two generations of Subaru Outbacks. Extremely good reliability and impressive resale values. We now have to toddlers and the wife is requesting a bigger SUV. She doesn't like minivans so SUV it is.
I assume most of you tried many competitors vehicles before choosing the Ascent so I was hoping to get your feedback. My wife and I have not even tried any bigger SUV, but the wife seems adamant that we need to get an Ascent due to our positive experience with the Outbacks. By doing some quick internet research, it seems that the Highlander and the Telluride are comparable competitors of the Ascent. Have any of you tried them vs the Ascent? What was your opinion and what tilled your decision?
Thanks in advance!
Happy wife - happy life. You have a great opportunity to highlight how smart your wife is.
 

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I'm currently test driving all of the third row SUVs trying to decide on the 2020 Highlander vs Ascent as well. Tough choice, Toyota's reliability and strong V6 engine vs Subaru's great value and AWD system. The thing that is difficult is the engine on the Ascent and how many people on this site have issues with the vehicle in general. Good luck, I'll be watching this thread trying to get as much info as possible.
If the MN in your screen name is for Minnesota then I'd think the Subie's AWD system should put it on top. While the Toyota engine has more HP the Ascent has more torque that is completely available starting at 2000rpm versus 4700rpm to reach the Highlander's max torque.
 

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'Bunch of threads on this subject for you to explore here in additions to answers to your question directly.

I only briefly looked at Highlander (since I had a great experience with an '06 Hybrid Limited) but it felt cramped/smaller inside than the Ascent. The Telluride didn't exist when I was buying my Ascent, but I still wouldn't even look at it because I find it visually attractive and I prefer Subaru's approach to all wheel drive.
Same here! probably I’m not a fan of the Korean brand. If not the ascent I would be driving a Durango RT or the 2020 explorer. We were considering the Q7 but the 3rd is useless. So if my ascent will give me a bad experience before the warranty expires then I might consider a KIA. ?. That is why I push my car hard and didn’t even look at the RPM. Just drive and enjoy
 

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If the MN in your screen name is for Minnesota then I'd think the Subie's AWD system should put it on top. While the Toyota engine has more HP the Ascent has more torque that is completely available starting at 2000rpm versus 4700rpm to reach the Highlander's max torque.
Wise words... more important than the peak torque is where that torque happens. At higher revs you simply won't have it available all the time, only when you push the engine enough to reach 4700 rpm you'll experience that pull. If you need that torque for towing, you'll have to run 4700 rpms all the way, with a lot more heat and wear than you should.
 

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Of course more torque at lower rpm is nice, but you'll never see it if you leave the transmission in auto mode. It'll downshift long before reaching max torque at 2000 or 3000 rpm. TCU and ECU programming determines the rpm for a given load and throttle input.

You can choose to use manual mode to force lower rpm, but IDK if that's better or worse than letting the engineers who analyzed, designed, and tested it decide.
 

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The thing that is difficult is the engine on the Ascent and how many people on this site have issues with the vehicle in general.
The Ascent's engine is excellent. It's also risky to base any decision on experiences posted on Internet forums because while many folks will readily talk about issues, the same is not true about the majority of folks out there who have little or no problems and are out there driving around instead. It's normal for things to be skewed to the negative...for any make or model. The actual number of folks with major issues with Ascent is in reality a very small percentage of the total of well over a hundred thousand of them sold so far and most people with certain major issues have vehicles produced during a defined time period.
 

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Hi Trevor,

My Wife and I tested the (Every single one tested was the highest trim level).
  • 2019 Highlander
  • 2020 loaded Palisade (Kia didn't have any at the time)
  • 2020 Mazda CX9
  • 2020 Honda Pilot and Passport
  • 2019 VW Atlas
  • 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit
The first one we tested was the Passport. We were coming from a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid so all the new auto self driving features we were unaware of. Being the first we fell in love with it, but mostly it was the new features like lane keep assist that sucked us in. We really liked it but we knew we had to try more to be sure.

Next was the Mazda CX9. This thing made me feel like a sardine. I sat in it and refused to even turn it on and take the test drive. I told the salesman this and he suggested the Atlas. Off to the VW dealer a mile away...

The Atlas was nice inside. Huge spacious interior, very comfortable.

Before I go on, it's important to note that our objective was a comfortable car with a quiet interior that is just plain nice inside. Knowing these things can help with the driving and reduce frustration on long drives means those features are huge too. I could care less about AWD as we have snow three days a year at most, but I was getting it anyway as my wife wanted it.

So the Atlas with it's huge spacious interior really fit the bill. It drove nice, was comfortable and the LKAS worked nicely. The laser cruise worked well. Sadly, my research showed many reliability problems. I crossed it off my list.

Next up the Highlander. I chose the Hybrid as the technology in it was nice. I really wanted to like this car. The cabin was not spacious. I had to put the seat height all the way down to only scrape the ceiling a little. On the test drive the LKAS was so bad it never once engaged to center me. I asked the salesman over and over if it was turned off and he said all it does is beep but doesn't steer. For 50+k It better do more than that. To this day I wonder if Toyota is really that bad and my salesman was just clueless. When the 2020 came out I read headroom was reduced, so off the list.

The Hyundai dealer called me out of the blue and told me they had the highest trim Palisade in, so I went in that day for a test drive. I really wanted to like this car. Inside it was beautiful. But the first trouble started immediately when I sat in it. I figured I better take pictures to remind myself that at 6 feet 2 inches the way my kneecaps hit the side of the car would drive me insane on a long drive. On the test drive the self driving features were very competent. The car drove nice, the cabin was quiet, the technology was impressive. If only my seating position was better...

That Palisade had one major problem on the highway portion of the test drive too. When trying to engage the cruise control on a busy highway it kept refusing to engage until I positioned myself behind a car appropriately. In other words, it wouldn't engage until I achieved a 'targeting lock'. The salesman was the one guiding me through this process too. I didn't know enough at the time to find this odd. So, it took a good while to get that started, but once I did it worked well.

I was in love with the interior of the Palisade, but the seating position was very concerning for me. My wife and I decided to test drive the Honda again. The second test drive with the Honda I was less enamoured than the first time. It turns out Honda sensing is only beaten in crappyness by Toyota. It was great compared to my 2008 Ford Escape, but the VW and Palisade beat it solidly.

I wasn't sure what to do, and to be honest my perception of Subaru was a car company that made tanks for people that wished they could buy an M1 Abrams. I never thought of them as a company that made 'nice' cars. Yes, I had read consumer reports and saw the high review, but I just didn't have the desire to step foot on the lot.

I was running out of options though so off to Subaru we went. The cabin was nice and spacious, almost at the Atlas level. The cabin was nicer than VW, but not quite as nice as the Palisade. The seating position was infinitely better (Palisade) and when I pulled out the thigh support in the drivers seat, I couldn't even touch the sides of the car with my legs if I wanted to.

The eyesight was leaps and bounds better than the competition too. I turned on adaptive cruise control. It didn't argue with me, it just went on. When a car came in front of it it acquired the lock. When the car in front of me stopped the Subaru stopped (The Honda just makes the crash suck less).

The same day I tested the Subie I decided to test another to make sure the love stayed. Went to try a Jeep Grand Cherokee Summit. Sat in it and refused to test drive it. The interior wasn’t spacious or as nice as the Subie.

I bought the Subaru the following weekend..

Hope this helps.
 

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You were wise to stay away from VW. I Bought a new one in 2003 and had so many issues, recalls, problems. My front springs broke twice.. both of them at separate times. Where I work someone had a 2016 VW and his springs both broke before the lease ran out. So this spring problem is now been going on close to 20 years and VW couldn't care less. My VW dealer always has 40-50 broken springs behind their parts desk. Not a good sign. I had lots of other crazy problems too. Never again..
 
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