2021 Subaru Ascent vs. Its Competition

2021 Subaru Ascent
Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor

The Ascent fights against cutthroat three-row competitors.

The Traverse and Explorer are among the biggest in its class, although the Ford is available with a high-po or high-efficiency powertrain that the Subaru skips.

The Honda Pilot has family bona fides, but it’s relatively old.

The Kia Telluride is exceptional—it should be on every family’s shortlist to drive—but it’s hard to find.

The new Highlander is svelte, stylish, and efficient (in hybrid form) but lacks pizzazz.

2021 Subaru Ascent2021 Subaru Ascent
2021 Chevrolet Traverse2021 Chevrolet Traverse
2021 Honda Pilot2021 Honda Pilot
2021 Kia Telluride2021 Kia Telluride
2021 Toyota Highlander XSE2021 Toyota Highlander
2020 Ford Explorer ST  -  First Drive  -  Portland OR, June 20192020 Ford Explorer
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Quick Specs
The 2021 Subaru Ascent scales the mountain of family needs for a three-row crossover.
The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is a big family mover with an update on the way next year.
The 2021 Honda Pilot does a solid impression of a minivan, minus the cultural baggage.
The 2021 Kia Telluride earns our Best Car To Buy nod with its excellent features, warranty, space, and style.
The 2021 Toyota Highlander learned new tricks to keep us entertained on the road, when we’re not asleep in the back anyway.
The 2020 Ford Explorer rediscovers its capable, outdoorsy side without becoming trucklike in any other respect.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
20 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy
Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded H-4Gas V6Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4
EPA Class     
Standard SUV 4WDSport Utility VehiclesSmall SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WDStandard SUV 2WD
Style Name     
8-PassengerFWD 4-Door LLX 2WDLX FWDL FWD (GS)Base RWD
All Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Sport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport Utility
CVT w/ODAutomaticAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2021 Subaru Ascent vs. 2021 Chevrolet Traverse2021 Subaru Ascent vs. 2021 Honda Pilot2021 Subaru Ascent vs. 2021 Kia Telluride2021 Subaru Ascent vs. 2021 Toyota Highlander2021 Subaru Ascent vs. 2020 Ford Explorer