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Hi Everyone

We are considering the 2021 Honda Pilot and 2021 Subaru Ascent. We were wondering how reliable the 2.4l Turbo Boxer engine will be in the long run vs say the 3.5L V6 in the Pilot? Will there be more carbon build up on the 2.4L?

Thanks
 

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At the end of the day, I guess it really depends on how long you intend to keep vehicles. For us, our 2010 Honda Pilot was suppose to give us at least 200k. It’s a Honda right? At 110k it started acting up and before we knew it the repairs started adding up. We kept up with the service recommendations. It also had a known piston ring problem that was fixed at 60k to rear it’s ugly head again at 110k. Luckily, Honda paid for it anyway even though it was out of the drivetrain warranty. Then another thing happeded that we had to shed another 1k for. The battery holder basically disintegrated, luckily they were already fixing the 1k problem. The 2019 Ascent replaced the Pilot. Leap of faith, because of being a 1st Gen. My wife was turned off by Honda and she really didn’t like the new body style of the Pilot. I think you are good either way. Reliability for cars today is really a crapshoot. We’ve been good with our purchase so far.
 

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I asked myself that very question in 2018 before I ordered my Ascent. My answer was: Subaru has been building turbo charged motors for a long time. I believe they have the experience to make a reliable turbo motor. Therefore, I have 2019 red Ascent Touring in my carport.
 

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The current Honda engines seem to be good. They had a tough time with them in the 2007-2012 timeframe when they were still trying to figure out their active cylinder management. Our 2005 Acura has 178k miles and our 2009 Ridgeline has 150k miles. The drivetrains are 100% original and flawless still, but neither has the active cylinder management...both have just the standard VTEC. My folks have a 2014 Acura MDX with something like 120k miles and it's been good to them so far. The engine seems solid and it seems like Honda worked out many of the kinks with their valvetrain trickery to disable cylinders by 2012-2013-ish. Theirs is also direct injected (the 2014 MDX) and that system has proven to be pretty good, at least for them. No issues to report.

On the other hand, the latest Subaru engines have been good also. The FB and FA engines have, to my knowledge, resolved the EJ engines' tendency to blow head gaskets. Those were installed in Outbacks as recently as 2012 I think. So Subaru's had some challenges with the fundamentals just like Honda has, but the FB and FA engines seem to be pretty robust. I don't worry about the turbocharger, personally. Like @Rick S WA noted, Subie's been building engines with turbos for a long time.

It's also worth noting that Subaru's getting only 260 hp and 277 lb*ft of torque out of 2.4L of displacement. Acura's RDX engine (the K20C4), achieves 272 hp and 280 lb*ft of torque from 20% less displacement (2.0L). In other words, Subaru's squeezing less power/volume out of this engine than many of their competitors are. In general, that's a good thing for durability. Also worth noting: aftermarket tuners have found the tune in the Ascent to be very conservative and have even found more fuel octane to not really increase engine performance in the stock tune. This is also a good thing for durability.
 

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At the end of the day, I guess it really depends on how long you intend to keep vehicles. For us, our 2010 Honda Pilot was suppose to give us at least 200k. It’s a Honda right? At 110k it started acting up and before we knew it the repairs started adding up. We kept up with the service recommendations. It also had a known piston ring problem that was fixed at 60k to rear it’s ugly head again at 110k. Luckily, Honda paid for it anyway even though it was out of the drivetrain warranty. Then another thing happeded that we had to shed another 1k for. The battery holder basically disintegrated, luckily they were already fixing the 1k problem. The 2019 Ascent replaced the Pilot. Leap of faith, because of being a 1st Gen. My wife was turned off by Honda and she really didn’t like the new body style of the Pilot. I think you are good either way. Reliability for cars today is really a crapshoot. We’ve been good with our purchase so far.
My 2000 Ford Taurus has 300.000 miles. No engine repairs yet.

update: we are planning on buying a Forester or Outback near the end of this year, so we are not left high and dry. I do not want to be pushing our luck on the Taurus. I would rather order it ahead of time.
 

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I don't think you have anything to worry about with the Subaru 2.4 T (Pretty much every manufacturer out there makes reliable turbo motors at this point). I wouldn't base your purchase decision strictly on whether the engine is NA or forced induction. If you like the ascent better, then buy it

Maybe if you were considering a Turbo versus an NA engine back in the mid eighties or nineties we'd recommend the NA engine, But nowadays it's pretty much irrelevant. All 3 of my current cars are turbocharged, and every car I've owned in the past 10 years, save for my Corvette, has been. Nowadays with turbos producing torque at such low rpms, it's almost no different than having a moderate sized V6 or V8.
 

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I used to run screaming from turbo engines, but after reading up on the Ascent. I jumped into the small displacement turbo bandwagon. I've been completely happy with the range of power and the torque band. I had the 3.0-H6 and the 2.4 reminds me of it (except for the laggy 4 speed....). I have no doubt I will get the normal Subaru life span out of my 21 Ascent.
 

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I'm at over 72,000 pretty brutal miles with no issues.
 

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I don't think you have anything to worry about with the Subaru 2.4 T (Pretty much every manufacturer out there makes reliable turbo motors at this point). I wouldn't base your purchase decision strictly on whether the engine is NA or forced induction. If you like the ascent better, then buy it

Maybe if you were considering a Turbo versus an NA engine back in the mid eighties or nineties we'd recommend the NA engine, But nowadays it's pretty much irrelevant. All 3 of my current cars are turbocharged, and every car I've owned in the past 10 years, save for my Corvette, has been. Nowadays with turbos producing [inconsistent] torque at such low rpms, it's almost no different than having a moderate sized V6 or V8.
fixed it for ya .... lol 😉 :p
 

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The only problem I've ever had with torque delivery on any turbo 4 is, at least my opinion, related to the CVT on the ascent. I get the lag, or dead spot, at low speeds (usually, but not always) going uphill when the rpms drop from 2600-3200 to ~2000-2200.

I know it's not the engine, as it's got plenty of torque, I believe it's the cvt and ecm not playing nicely. If I hold gears manually I don't get the lag, even in the 2000-2200rpm range.

My other cars, which currently are all turbo 4's with zf8 speed slushboxes (the zf is great transmission, btw) don't have that issue. Interestingly, all 3 of my cars make nearly identical peak torque at nearly the same speed. I honestly don't miss my v6, i6, t6, or ttv8's.
 

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The current Honda engines seem to be good. They had a tough time with them in the 2007-2012 timeframe when they were still trying to figure out their active cylinder management. Our 2005 Acura has 178k miles and our 2009 Ridgeline has 150k miles. The drivetrains are 100% original and flawless still, but neither has the active cylinder management...both have just the standard VTEC. My folks have a 2014 Acura MDX with something like 120k miles and it's been good to them so far. The engine seems solid and it seems like Honda worked out many of the kinks with their valvetrain trickery to disable cylinders by 2012-2013-ish. Theirs is also direct injected (the 2014 MDX) and that system has proven to be pretty good, at least for them. No issues to report.

On the other hand, the latest Subaru engines have been good also. The FB and FA engines have, to my knowledge, resolved the EJ engines' tendency to blow head gaskets. Those were installed in Outbacks as recently as 2012 I think. So Subaru's had some challenges with the fundamentals just like Honda has, but the FB and FA engines seem to be pretty robust. I don't worry about the turbocharger, personally. Like @Rick S WA noted, Subie's been building engines with turbos for a long time.

It's also worth noting that Subaru's getting only 260 hp and 277 lb*ft of torque out of 2.4L of displacement. Acura's RDX engine (the K20C4), achieves 272 hp and 280 lb*ft of torque from 20% less displacement (2.0L). In other words, Subaru's squeezing less power/volume out of this engine than many of their competitors are. In general, that's a good thing for durability. Also worth noting: aftermarket tuners have found the tune in the Ascent to be very conservative and have even found more fuel octane to not really increase engine performance in the stock tune. This is also a good thing for durability.
Agree with Hokiefyd’s comments ... they are very well said. I also spoke at length to a tech at COBB tuning who reiterated his comments, in that COBB had a relatively easy time bringing the 2.4’s HP and Torque up significantly with only a high octane tune. And did so without any additional bolt-ons. Having just bought a 2021 Touring I hope this to be true!
 

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Hi Everyone

We are considering the 2021 Honda Pilot and 2021 Subaru Ascent. We were wondering how reliable the 2.4l Turbo Boxer engine will be in the long run vs say the 3.5L V6 in the Pilot? Will there be more carbon build up on the 2.4L?

Thanks
Consider leasing. 3 years will give you a risk free idea of what you're up against. If you like it, refinance the balance. If you don't start over. My guess is Subaru will have other engine options by then. We just got an Ascent on a 3 year lease and we have been pulling a 4K lb camper and the engine is purring with no issues.
 

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Hi Everyone

We are considering the 2021 Honda Pilot and 2021 Subaru Ascent. We were wondering how reliable the 2.4l Turbo Boxer engine will be in the long run vs say the 3.5L V6 in the Pilot? Will there be more carbon build up on the 2.4L?

Thanks
I have a 1958 Mercedes with 2.5 Million miles on it but recently got rid of a 2016 Mercedes s500 with 158,000 as it was garbage. It is always a crapshoot but then life is as well. Any mechanical machine will last as you want it to if you are willing to make the investment including in some rare cases having a part made for you.
 

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Consider leasing. 3 years will give you a risk free idea of what you're up against. If you like it, refinance the balance. If you don't start over. My guess is Subaru will have other engine options by then. We just got an Ascent on a 3 year lease and we have been pulling a 4K lb camper and the engine is purring with no issues.
That's my plan as well. I also just leased a 2021 Ascent Limited to use for towing a 4K lb. camper as well as an everyday driver. Who knows what improvements or new tech will come along in three years? Leasing keeps me close to the forefront of innovation and keeps me in a nice, fairly new car.
 

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Interesting point of view ... I have always been a buyer vs a leaser, as I have not wanted to be a slave to a mileage limit. Other than that, not sure if it (leasing vs buying) really makes much difference from a financial perspective. All I know for sure is I am happy with my 2021 Touring. Love the upgraded eyesight, adaptive cruise, overall driving position/comfort.
 
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