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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2020 Subaru Ascent vs. 2020 Honda Pilot: Comparing Two Family SUV Favorites
Which 3-row SUV is right for you?

If you're in the market for a large, three-row SUV for your family, you're spoiled for choice. Ignoring luxury options from the likes of Tesla or Volvo, mainstream automakers alone offer up more than a dozen different options to choose from, ranging from the Buick Enclave to the Volkswagen Atlas. To alleviate your analysis paralysis, we gathered up two of our favorite three-row SUVs, the 2020 Honda Pilot Black Edition AWD and the 2020 Subaru Ascent Touring, to help you decide which is the better buy for you and your family's needs...



...Final Thoughts: Should You Get An Ascent Or Pilot?
The choice between the Honda Pilot and Subaru Ascent wasn't an easy one. Both are roomy, comfortable, and surprisingly great to drive. With the Ascent and Pilot scoring so evenly in subjective metrics, it's the objective stuff that help serve as our tiebreaker. Ultimately, the Ascent is more affordable, more modern, and ever-so-slightly more enjoyable to drive. The Pilot put up a helluva fight, but the Subaru Ascent is the better three-row family SUV.
 

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I really like my Ascent. I really do. It has been good, thankfully. If I had any major issues with this one I might have sworn off the brand since my previous Outback spent more unplanned time in the shop than my prior Honda, Nissan, and Toyota products combined ( between 1997-2012). That being said, I'll probably continue to look at Subaru first when it comes time for another new car. I like their customer service and their unique niche in the market. I can deal with a few quirks.

The latest Motor Trend article is a bit of a gut-punch. Online forums are one thing, but when Motor Trend publishes an article like this it can't be good. It looks like they got one of the (few) bad ones. I hope they follow up with a long-term 2021 tester. I'm rooting for you, Subaru!
 

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The latest Motor Trend article is a bit of a gut-punch. Online forums are one thing, but when Motor Trend publishes an article like this it can't be good. It looks like they got one of the (few) bad ones. I hope they follow up with a long-term 2021 tester. I'm rooting for you, Subaru!
Wow that is embarrassing. It does not reflect well on the dealership that serviced the Ascent or SoA. I wonder if the dealership knew it was a review car from a major publication.
 

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Sounds like the dealer really messed up the windshield install and that lead to other issues. I wonder if the dealer used a third party windshield repair company and spent weeks sorting out having them pay for the eyesight repairs caused during the windshield install.

Also can’t fault the car for time spent doing paint and body work.
 

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Sounds like the dealer really messed up the windshield install and that lead to other issues. I wonder if the dealer used a third party windshield repair company and spent weeks sorting out having them pay for the eyesight repairs caused during the windshield install.

Also can’t fault the car for time spent doing paint and body work.
What/where is the Body Integrated Unit (BIU). That's doesn't sound like a windshield issue.
 

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I was basing my assumption on the article. They said the eyesight connection was damaged during the windshield install. They also said the BIU was related to the eyesight issue. So I must confess that I assumed since they both the BIU and the eyesight connector went bad at the time of the windshield install that they must be related.
 

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That second article seemed to skim by the "calls infrequently returned" from Sept to end of Oct. I'd want to know more about that, that also shows you how this car will get handled. No surprise really they had issues if the dealer isnt very good and likely made things worse.
 

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Quoted from Motortrend:

"The Subaru Ascent's value, interior design, and spacious cabin helped it claim the silver medal. Shame about that exterior design, though"
 

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"The Traverse's sound system sounds like someone threw an iPhone in a trash can!" LOL!
 

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I think this was a pretty fair assessment for all the competitors. It was nice that they focused on what most buyers are looking for, and it wasn't strictly a performance numbers game like they often are. I understand that outright performance is important for many segments, and I do want my SUV to have decent numbers, but it's not the deciding factor in most cases for a family hauler.
It's interesting that some of the newest models ( Highlander, Explorer) didn't fare so well, but it's definitely a competitive segment with no real lousy choices.
 

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I can't quite figure out why Motortrend said: "Shame about that exterior design, though"

It's not like the Ascent is any worse then the competitors..
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I can't quite figure out why Motortrend said: "Shame about that exterior design, though"

It's not like the Ascent is any worse then the competitors..
Thanks to meeting CAFE and wind tunnel testing most CUVs have the same basic shape now.
 

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Styling is obviously a subject point, so it's probably flattering that the primary negative comment they had against the Ascent was something cosmetic. We looked briefly at both Hyundai/Kia products, but found the styling a bit ostentatious. I find the Subaru to have subtle and understated lines...lines that will continue to look good for a long time. Motor Trend echos my observation of the Ascent Touring's interior: it's a warm and inviting place to be, easily the equal of its peers in the segment.

Motor Trend's assessment of the mechanicals is also a big reason I was personally interested in the Ascent -- its CVT. I notice they had something negative to say about virtually all of the stepped transmissions they reviewed and, while I haven't driven all of the SUVs in this list, I wouldn't argue against their findings. It seems that stepped transmissions, though offered with an increasing number of forward speeds, come with more and more compromises these days in terms of general driveability. Motor Trend said nothing negative of the Subaru's CVT and even praised how it works with the turbo engine. Some of us have annoyances at the throttle tip-in and other things, but it appears the grass isn't necessarily greener over there. Getting away from stepped transmissions was a big factor for me in buying the Ascent. I just hope powertrain reliability is as good over the long haul as its first impressions have been with me!
 

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Well everyone is doing it so now no one can be blamed... I recently was out of town for a week and rented a Hyundai Sante Fe.. with a 4 cylinder and it was a good vehicle.. tracked straight as an arrow w/50% worn tire tread, had good MPG, great brakes, the 6 speed transmission was perfect, it was a pleasure to drive. I never cared for Hyundai but this totally changed my mindset. and it was a 2018 with 75k miles on it, that I was able to get real cheap.
 

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Styling is always subjective, I think the Ascent is a nice looking car, if a little anonymous ( which can be said for most of the Subaru lineup, which isn't a bad thing to me). I am glad they didn't go with the hidden/ floating D pillar design that seems to be popular now.
I think the design will age well, which is more than most of us can say for ourselves ?!!
 

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^^^

I find Kia/Hyundai in this class pretty much a direct ripoff of Euro luxury styling.
I think that is to be expected since Kia/Hyundai hired away all the old guard designers from Euro automakers.

Regarding the throttle tip in, that is a Subaru thing. Every Subaru I had driven (4EAt, 5EAT or CVT) had an overly sensitive throttle with the exception of a 2008 Legacy 3.0R that I test drove. That Legacy came with SI-Drive, but I also test drove a B9 Tribeca with the same engine and it had the sensitive throttle.
 
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