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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks, I’m struggling trying to decide between the Honda Pilot Elite, 2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum, or Subaru Ascent Touring. I’ve never owned a Subaru.

I like the Honda Pilot, I expect the 2020 Highlander to be good—I do like the looks, and I like the way the Ascent drove during the test drive but IMHO, the Ascent’s looks are just ok inside and outside (I must prefer the new interior of the 2020 Outback) but my wife wants something bigger. I also like the exterior looks of the 2020 Highlander. Also, Subaru according to Consumer Reports has great reliability but there have been a large number of owners reporting transmission problems in this forum. I have a Toyota Tundra and it has been flawless. Buying a Toyota would be “safe.” The Honda is also a good vehicle but reliability is not as strong as Toyota. The Subaru would be a more “adventurous” purchase but I’m a little nervous about it. I live in the Midwest so AWD is mainly to help in inclement weather—I’ll do no off-roading of consequence.

I guess I’m asking if there are any former/current Honda and Toyota owners who now have the Ascent—are you happy you purchased the Ascent or if you had it to do over, would you go with the new 2020 Highlander or the Pilot?
 

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We went from an Odyssey to the Ascent and couldn't be happier. Toyota and honda also make safe and reliable vehicles but I like the Ascent better than either the pilot or highlander in terms of safety, value, and comfort. Even downsizing we have been pleased with the room especially for the kids in the 2nd row and no complaints from the in-laws about 3rd seat comfort.
 

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Drive them all and see what works best. We are all fortunate to have to face such a first world problem when it comes to deciding which car to buy!!

None of them are bad cars at all. Regarding reliability, it's really a crapshoot. We went a little out of our comfort zone in going with the Subaru. On paper it's a great value. This time around I was on the losing end with regards to issues, but, I've had plenty of cars from questionable manufacturers (Mercedes, Volvo, Saab) that have been super reliable. And, you'll see that there have been plenty of owners here who have had no problems at all (and yes I'm envious of all of them!).

And, if you really like one model more than the other, you really have to ask yourself if one or two cubic feet is really that critical, or if one or two inches of leg or head room is really that critical. However if you have a tall family, be advised that second row legroom and headroom is fairly limited in the touring model. My wife is 5'10" and my son is currently 6'2" and growing, and he does not have enough head or legroom in the second row.
 

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I went for the 2020 Touring after test driving the Pilot and the Highlander. The dual exhaust tips, ventilated seats, front collision option and the turbo 4 was what sold me. Subaru had a nicer ride overall. The Honda's stop and start feature and the push button transmission steered me away. The Highlander didn't have the punch that the Subaru had getting onto the highway. All things said the Honda and Toyota were very close. You can't go wrong chosing any of them. Good luck on your decision.
 

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I was debating the same plus the Nissan Pathfinder. I actually hadn't heard of the Ascent until a neighbor bought one. Once I test drove one it was no contest for me and my family. Ended up grabbing a 2020 Premium with the package #12. So far so good, love it more every day. The only mistake I made was getting the the ivory interior with 2 kids under 9 years old. Nothing a seat cover and some scotch guard can't fix!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I went for the 2020 Touring after test driving the Pilot and the Highlander. The dual exhaust tips, ventilated seats, front collision option and the turbo 4 was what sold me. Subaru had a nicer ride overall. The Honda's stop and start feature and the push button transmission steered me away. The Highlander didn't have the punch that the Subaru had getting onto the highway. All things said the Honda and Toyota were very close. You can't go wrong chosing any of them. Good luck on your decision.
Thank s for the input. I’m taking a slightly different approach—I’m waiting to compare the 2020 Highlander with the 2020 Ascent and Outback. I think that is a better Apples to Apples comparison as both are on new platforms with new engines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was debating the same plus the Nissan Pathfinder. I actually hadn't heard of the Ascent until a neighbor bought one. Once I test drove one it was no contest for me and my family. Ended up grabbing a 2020 Premium with the package #12. So far so good, love it more every day. The only mistake I made was getting the the ivory interior with 2 kids under 9 years old. Nothing a seat cover and some scotch guard can't fix!
Given Nissan’s poor reliability ratings, I’d say you made a great decision!
 

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Given Nissan’s poor reliability ratings, I’d say you made a great decision!
I have no regrets at all. However, I was looked at a year old Pathfinder with less that 10k miles that came with a certified pre-owned warranty of 7 years/100,000 miles. I was shocked that that's what they were offering but it's probably because of the reliability issues.
Anyway, couldn't be happier with our choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have no regrets at all. However, I was looked at a year old Pathfinder with less that 10k miles that came with a certified pre-owned warranty of 7 years/100,000 miles. I was shocked that that's what they were offering but it's probably because of the reliability issues.
Anyway, couldn't be happier with our choice.
I hope, and expect, that you will not have some of the various issues reported on the forum (which of course are skewed) but if you do, be sure to report here for those of us still in the decision making process. Actually, as I write this, it would also be nice if you post your experience after 10-15K if all is good as well. Forums like this need to be as diligent about posting the positive experiences as the negative.
 

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I hope, and expect, that you will not have some of the various issues reported on the forum (which of course are skewed) but if you do, be sure to report here for those of us still in the decision making process. Actually, as I write this, it would also be nice if you post your experience after 10-15K if all is good as well. Forums like this need to be as diligent about posting the positive experiences as the negative.
Couldn't agree more, my previous car was an 06 Ford Freestyle and if you made decisions by just reading that forum you would never buy that car. That said, it was the best car I've ever owned. Forums tend to be a place for people to air their grievances or look for solutions to problems. Setting a forum up with "who has the most miles" is always a good thing.
 

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You all have given me an idea. I think I will create a thread this week with a rolling mileage cap.

Maybe start it at 25,000 miles, and add 2,000 miles a month as the lower limit. Anyone who posts would need to show a pic of their MySubaru screen or photo of the odometer.

I will start a poll this week, and implement it if there's good response to the polls.

I think it would be a great place to get feedback on how they are holding up.
 

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I hope, and expect, that you will not have some of the various issues reported on the forum (which of course are skewed) but if you do, be sure to report here for those of us still in the decision making process. Actually, as I write this, it would also be nice if you post your experience after 10-15K if all is good as well. Forums like this need to be as diligent about posting the positive experiences as the negative.
Greetings,
From your posts, I see that you are very thoughtful about this. So out of curiosity, does the fact that Toyota is one of the largest (if not the largest) shareholder of Subaru affect your thought process? There seems a fair amount of collaboration between them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Goo
Greetings,
From your posts, I see that you are very thoughtful about this. So out of curiosity, does the fact that Toyota is one of the largest (if not the largest) shareholder of Subaru affect your thought process? There seems a fair amount of collaboration between them.
Good question. It does to some extent, I certainly consider it a positive. I just responded to a post of a new owner whose new Ascent died the first day of ownership. I was just feeling more confidence in the brand and then that post. Honestly, I just don’t know what to think.

 

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I'm not sure that one DOA is worthy of torpedoing a decision. Stuff happens with every single manufacturer and every single vehicle model out there from time to time. And as has been noted over and over, an Internet forum doesn't provide a statistically accurate assessment of the actual number of issues with a given vehicle. Have there been some? Yes, clearly. But insiders have indicated that out of the 90K + Ascents that have been sold to date, the actual percentage of vehicles with significant issues is very small...less than some other Subaru models in the past if my memory serves well.

Buy the vehicle that you like and best fits your needs. Your risk is going to be similar no matter what the name plate is in most cases.
 
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Folks, I’m struggling trying to decide between the Honda Pilot Elite, 2020 Toyota Highlander Platinum, or Subaru Ascent Touring. I’ve never owned a Subaru.

.... I have a Toyota Tundra and it has been flawless. Buying a Toyota would be “safe.” ...
And the irony of that is that the 2 people at work who own Toyota Tundras both had transmissions issues!

At this point I know you've been going back and forth. Between your choices, they are all known to be reliable brands (including Subaru) so buy what you like best. Any car purchase is always a roll of the dice. But picking good brands increases your odds. Subaru is a good brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
And the irony of that is that the 2 people at work who own Toyota Tundras both had transmissions issues!

At this point I know you've been going back and forth. Between your choices, they are all known to be reliable brands (including Subaru) so buy what you like best. Any car purchase is always a roll of the dice. But picking good brands increases your odds. Subaru is a good brand.
Kevin, I actually tend to agree. I’m not so concerned about Subaru as a brand as I am the Ascent in particular. In fact, I had copy a lengthy positive post on the Outback forum that I was just about to post on the Ascent forum when I read the Dead on Arrival post. I decided not to post it at the time. My general sense, with no personal experience, is that Subaru is a good company, will take care of its customers, and build high quality, reliability vehicles. I’m just not yet confident that Ascent reflects that reliability. I believe the CR ratings in April will give us a better statistically valid read on this.
 

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I hope, and expect, that you will not have some of the various issues reported on the forum (which of course are skewed) but if you do, be sure to report here for those of us still in the decision making process. Actually, as I write this, it would also be nice if you post your experience after 10-15K if all is good as well. Forums like this need to be as diligent about posting the positive experiences as the negative.
I just came back from a dealer oil change 12000 miles. I rave about the vehicle to everyone. Plenty of pep going up the mountains with three bikes on a hitch rack. Quite and smooth acceleration. I guess I am one of the lucky ones. 2/19 build Limited.
 

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I guess I am one of the lucky ones
Most Ascent owners are the lucky ones, including you and I...it's a real small minority that have had major issues.
 
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