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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess this is another way of asking what the runner-up(s) was on your list. Also, if you were coming from another SUV/crossover what was it and what made you want to change?

The Ascent is on the short list for me and my wife in our search for a 3-row, but we're still keeping our options somewhat open. That said, I'm interested in knowing what else Ascent owners considered.
 

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I guess this is another way of asking what the runner-up(s) was on your list. Also, if you were coming from another SUV/crossover what was it and what made you want to change?

The Ascent is on the short list for me and my wife in our search for a 3-row, but we're still keeping our options somewhat open. That said, I'm interested in knowing what else Ascent owners considered.
Highlander is the only vehicle in class that comes close the complete package the ascent offers imho. My only wish is that they re designed the H6 for more cylinders, displacement and horsepower and mated it to a proven (Toyota) automatic transmission. I think this CVT is the best out there but I do worry about longevity. Time can only tell.
 

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I debated throwing some cash at the ‘07 Ridgeline I was driving, and briefly considered replacing it with a new Ridgeline but between the new pricetag and Honda’s recent decision to affiliate themselves with GM turned me off that idea, also ruled out a Pilot.
I’ve never found the American Brands reliable, especially GM. Always found Toyota’s styling too bland and the price high. VW doesn’t have a great reputation around here.
On to The Korean brands, both the Telluride and Pallisade would have definitely been in the running but neither offers base model in Canada so they start many thou$and$ higher.
I came across the Ascent and it seemed to have everything I wanted, at a price I was comfortable with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My only wish is that they re designed the H6 for more cylinders, displacement and horsepower and mated it to a proven (Toyota) automatic transmission. I think this CVT is the best out there but I do worry about longevity. Time can only tell.
Those are atop my list of things working against the Ascent. It seems like the CVT is fine, but I don't have any personal experience with them. I may be way off base, but I feel like the driving experience may have been better with a traditional AT, even with the current power plant.

I would have ended up with a KIA Telluride had it not been for a $9K price difference for similarly equipped models. Got the ascent for $5K off MSRP while Tellurides were selling for $4K over MSRP.
The mark-ups on the Telluride/Palisades were a deal breakers for me on those - no chance I'm going to pay a mark-up...

Toyota Sequoia. King of the SUV
I'd really prefer something like that, and we got close in the past to picking up a GX and 4Runner, but my wife doesn't like the feeling of driving a BOF SUV. Realistically though, we'd probably never find ourselves needing something like that anyway - but I still like them... :)

2020 Land Rover Defender- Still on the list when the Audi Etron lease is up
The Defender looks pretty cool. My wife actually half-jokingly suggested that one!

I’ve never found the American Brands reliable, especially GM. Always found Toyota’s styling too bland and the price high. VW doesn’t have a great reputation around here.
On to The Korean brands, both the Telluride and Pallisade would have definitely been in the running but neither offers base model in Canada so they start many thou$and$ higher.
I came across the Ascent and it seemed to have everything I wanted, at a price I was comfortable with.
I don't mind buying American (Explorer ST, Aviator, or even Expedition would be top choices), however, my wife is not too found of that idea. Your last sentence is sort of where we find ourselves - the biggest gripe, again, is that I wish it came with a couple more cylinders and/or a standard AT.
 

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Coming out of Infiniti QX60 for my previous two SUV’s, I sure wasn’t going to get a third one. Very much outdated info system, and pretty bad ´´ intelligent ´´ all-wheel drive nowhere as efficient in the snow made me nervous. The QX60 was a supremely quiet drive and great on dry pavement though, but towing a 3,000 pound travel trailer gave the auto transmission permanent hiccups. Surprisingly, the Infiniti’s 6 cylinder engine and body frame made for borderline towing enjoyment.

I did look at Land Rover, but I know a couple of folks who told me it was very unreliable for them. Had a look at Highlander, but found them pricey for what you get, plus I never could find their styling to my taste, especially their interiors. Put the whole Toyota line, cars amd trucks, in this basket. Had a look also at the Audi Q5, it is somewhat smaller. Seems that EVERYTHING is an extra on those, like a simple back-up camera for like $1000...you know, the kind that comes with most subcompacts for free. Are you kidding me? They of course offer a more spirited driving experience, and their 4W system is equal footing with Subaru. But Ascent strikes the perfect balance for me. Love it! Used to own Outback, but had to go to a trailer worthy pull vehicle years ago...My wife drives an Impreza, our son just purchased a new 2021 Crosstrek base-model, EyeSight is even standard on those now. Can you believe it? How about THAT, Audi, with your charging extra for that simple rear camera?
 

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Interesting question, and for me there was a huge gap between the Ascent and everything else, because I have been a die hard Subaru fanatic since buying my old '82 GL wagon back in 1990, and my Subaru love went next level when I bought my '95 Outback back in '95 that I happily drove for 24 years (until it was stolen for the 3rd time and ****ed up beyond its worth. So it had to be a Subaru for me, and we've got a big enough family that my wife was absolutely insistent that we get something with 8 seats instead of 5, so obviously when you combine it having to be a Subaru with it having to have 8 seats, well that's a pretty short list of vehicles to choose from. Although I guess if you want to get technical, we ended up buying the Limited, but my 2nd choice was the Premium :)
 

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Interesting question, and for me there was a huge gap between the Ascent and everything else, because I have been a die hard Subaru fanatic since buying my old '82 GL wagon back in 1990, and my Subaru love went next level when I bought my '95 Outback back in '95 that I happily drove for 24 years (until it was stolen for the 3rd time and ****ed up beyond its worth. So it had to be a Subaru for me, and we've got a big enough family that my wife was absolutely insistent that we get something with 8 seats instead of 5, so obviously when you combine it having to be a Subaru with it having to have 8 seats, well that's a pretty short list of vehicles to choose from. Although I guess if you want to get technical, we ended up buying the Limited, but my 2nd choice was the Premium :)
Greetings,
Similar for me. I needed something bigger than my 12 year old Forester XT. Seemed like fate when the Ascent came along just in time. I looked into the usual suspects (Highlander, Pilot...), but I didn't look very far. My wife does like the three-row Audi though, so I guess you can call that second place.
 

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Those are atop my list of things working against the Ascent. It seems like the CVT is fine, but I don't have any personal experience with them. I may be way off base, but I feel like the driving experience may have been better with a traditional AT, even with the current power plant.



The mark-ups on the Telluride/Palisades were a deal breakers for me on those - no chance I'm going to pay a mark-up...



I'd really prefer something like that, and we got close in the past to picking up a GX and 4Runner, but my wife doesn't like the feeling of driving a BOF SUV. Realistically though, we'd probably never find ourselves needing something like that anyway - but I still like them... :)



The Defender looks pretty cool. My wife actually half-jokingly suggested that one!



I don't mind buying American (Explorer ST, Aviator, or even Expedition would be top choices), however, my wife is not too found of that idea. Your last sentence is sort of where we find ourselves - the biggest gripe, again, is that I wish it came with a couple more cylinders and/or a standard AT.

I had my concerns about the Cvt, but from everything I’ve read the one in the Ascent is up to the job, but I never thought there was/is a need for more cylinders. The engine makes more hp and torque than the 3.5 v6 In my Ridgeline and they are close in weight. Again from things I’ve read, it can put out a lot more reliably as well.
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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The only other vehicle I would have likely considered was another Grand Cherokee, but I wanted the space of a three row and the next gen Grand Cherokee that will offer a 3 row was delayed. (it will be out in CY21, hopefully in the first half) That combined with our excellent experience with Subarus made the choice easy. I had been watching the Ascent develop before it was even offered and it was a natural choice for me. Subaru and Jeep are the only two brands that I find attractive and interesting. I'm not a Honda/Acura fan, never had good experiences with GM products, had good experience with Toyota including a Highlander Hybrid but Highlander is cramped inside to me, never owned or was interested in Ford, Nissan, Kia or Hyundai, etc. So Ascent or another JGC and the choice was obvious. ZERO regrets as my Ascent has been great...including fuel economy, actually.
 

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I would have considered the Kia/Hyundai but dealership greed made that a big fat no. The Highlander was a strong candidate but inventory on high end models was non-existent during the summer. Bottom line, I got a Touring model with hitch for under $42,000. There wasn't another similar SUV that would have given me that level of trim for that price.
 

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There wasn’t anything else desireable in 2018 with the same price and features.
As a result I likely would’ve kept the 2017 Santa Fe I had (to fill the gap between when my Chevy Cruze was totaled and Ascents were available; it’s a long story). I wasn’t happy driving that, nor did I feel safe, especially on one particular ramp near my work that slopes downward and has a hard left turn. The Santa Fe rear end would come loose easily on that turn, but never in the Ascent.
The only other vehicles with similar space and capabilities that were desirable were full size SUV’s, which priced me right out of the new vehicle market.
In today’s market I’d buy the Ascent again in a heartbeat!
 

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Audi Q7, but only because the wife likes Audi and it would have been fun to drive. Not a fan of the overpriced domestic garbage from the big 3.

The AWD is what has us coming back to Subaru.
 

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Because of the excellent service we've received from our 2005 Acura MDX and 2009 Honda Ridgeline, both of which we still have, a 2020 Honda Pilot was near the top of our shopping list. However, we could not configure it exactly how we wanted (with 2nd row captain's chairs and the 6-speed automatic). Captain's chairs are available only on trims above the EX-L, and those higher trims also come mandatory with the ZF 9-speed, which I do not want. I like Honda's 6-speed, and also their 10-speed, but I didn't want the ZF 9-speed. So the Pilot was off the list.

Our other top choice was the Buick Enclave. We didn't like the smaller GMC Acadia and the Chevy Traverse didn't really speak to us. But we liked the Enclave. And we drove one, an Enclave. It drives nice -- it definitely feels like a heavier and more substantial vehicle than the Ascent. Whereas the Ascent's quicker handling belies its true weight, the Buick drove like a more traditional large SUV, which has its pros and cons. Ultimately, some of the standard safety features that come on the Subaru were optional on the Buick, even on the top Avenir model (like adaptive cruise control).

I really like Subaru's EyeSight system. Not just the implementation, but the concept even. It's all driven, so to speak, by the camera module in the ceiling. Lane keep assist/centering, collision braking, adaptive cruise, etc. It's ALL there. If you get one thing you get everything, and everything is standard on every Ascent. Frankly, that makes it pretty easy for buyers, letting them concentrate on the other differences in the trims knowing that all the basic forward safety features come on all trims. That was a bummer with the GM bunch -- we think we'd find a trim that works for us, but then forgot, "oh, it's missing lane keep assist" or, "oops, this one doesn't have the collision braking", etc.

We did not seriously consider the Toyota Highlander (smaller than we wanted), the Kia/Hyundai twins (too ostentatious/"look at me"), the Dodge Durango (also too ostentatious), the Ford Explorer (uncomfortable seats and styled like a Tonka or Lego vehicle on the inside), or any of the European offerings (unfamiliarity and lack of local dealer network).

If Subaru hadn't come out with the Ascent, I'm not sure what we'd have done. My wife is firmly against the idea of a station wagon-shaped object, so I'd have never convinced her to look at an Outback. I was pushing hard for another minivan (Odyssey with a 10-speed), but she wanted an SUV-shaped object. I'm glad Subaru has something for both of us!
 

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We likely would have kept our Odyssey, no other SUVs piqued our interest at that time. Now I likely would go for used lexus gx or lx, maybe a 1st gen sequoia.
 

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We bought our 2019 Ascent because we have 2 giant dogs and one average sized teenager, and we like to go snowshoeing, hiking and camping and the cars we had at the time (Lexus CT200h and Mini Cooper Countryman ALL4S) weren't big enough for the 3 humans, 2 dogs and more than a bag of groceries. In fact, by the time we got rid of the Lexus (lease), one of the dogs was too big to stand up in it.

1. 4Runner - This was what we were convinced we were going to get. But my partner, who is 5'2" said there was no way she was buying a car that she had to purchase extra accessories just to be able to get into. I also didn't really care for the "truck"-ness of it.
2 Highlander - Literally the most boring vehicle I have ever driven. Also, no CarPlay that MY.
3. Acura RDX - Loved it. Too Small.
4. Acura MDX - Didn't hate it. Hadn't had a tech upgrade in a few years so felt really dated (I'm sure that's been addressed by now). Also couldn't really justify spending $70K on a car that we were going to use primarily to transport wet, dirty, giant hairy dogs. This is also why we didn't look at Volvo, MB, etc.
5. VW Tiguan - Liked it. 3rd row was a joke. Too small.
6. VW Atlas - Liked it. On paper it's pretty much got the same specs as the Ascent but it felt huge while driving it. The Ascent, to me anyway, drives a lot smaller than it is. Looking at all the issues it's had since then I'm glad we skipped it.
 
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