The Subaru Ascent is the largest Subaru option available and delivers on all drivers’ expectations of a Subaru. It has three rows of seats to provide room for eight passengers. In addition, the second row is configurable to add captain’s chairs.
As you would expect, the Ascent comes with all-wheel drive as a standard and a large amount of safety tech. It offers a smooth and quiet ride.
Subaru has amassed a fan base that will not be disappointed by the 2022 Subaru Ascent. This model year presents a premium trim called the Onyx Edition. This version has a blacked-out interior and 20 inch rims.
Every trim level of this midsize crossover comes with numerous standard driver assists. These include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automated emergency braking.
In addition, it comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that has 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque to tow up to 5,000 pounds. If you love the Subaru Ascent, you might also love these close competitors, including Honda Pilot, Kia Telluride, and Chevy Traverse.
1. Honda Pilot
The Honda Pilot is a powerful alternative to the Subaru Ascent. It was updated about three years ago and was given a modern look, safety features, and updated technology. The Pilot has five trim levels, the LX, EX, EX-L, Touring, and Elite trims.
All models have a 3.5-liter engine with front-wheel drive, except on the Elite, where it is standard. On the Touring trim level, you will find all-wheel drive is an optional upgrade. The average gas mileage is 20 in the city and 27 on the highway.
The starting price of a Honda Pilot is around $31,450 but quickly jumps in price at the higher trim levels. All models include Honda sensing, which provides a large number of safety features, including collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, road departure mitigation, and many more.
For more information, you can visit Honda’s official Pilot website.
2. Kia Telluride
The Kia Telluride is ranked the #1 midsize SUV, which makes it a great competitor to Subaru. It has a large amount of room in the cabin and in the cargo area.
New for 2022 is sleek technology, including dual-zone climate control that is automatic. In addition, it includes a driving assist and a 10.25 inch infotainment system.
The updated Telluride seats as many as eight people. It has four trim levels, LX FWD/AWD, S FWD/AWD, EX FWD/AWD, and SX FWD/AWD.
Both the AWD and FWD drivetrains have 291 horsepower. You can expect about 20 miles to the gallon in the city and 26 on the highway. The starting price for the Telluride is $32,790.
For more information, you can visit Kia’s official Telluride website.
3. Chevy Traverse
The Chevy Traverse is a great alternative to the Ascent, and it comes with a slightly lower starting price. This SUV has three rows and comfortably seats eight, or you can opt for captain’s chairs. However, this does reduce seating to seven.
The Chevy Traverse comes in seven trim levels, which include the L, LS, LT Cloth, LT Leather, RS, Premier, and High Country. All trim levels come with a 3.6L V6 engine. This engine has start/stop technology to help with fuel performance, especially when driving in stop-and-go traffic.
You can expect to see 18 miles to the gallon in the city and 27 on the highway. The starting price for the base model Traverse is $33,700 but quickly goes up to over $50,000.
To find out more, you can visit Chevy’s official Traverse website.
4. Mazda CX-9
Mazda CX-9 is an enjoyable alternative to the Subaru Ascent. The latest model, CX-9, has athletic handling and increased driver engagement. It is considered a modern SUV with a standard four-cylinder engine that can provide competitive acceleration.
Mazda CX-9 provides seating for seven and has six trim levels. They are the Sport, Touring, Touring Plus, Carbon Edition, Grand Touring, and Signature. It comes equipped with a responsive 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.
It includes G-Vectoring Control for improved handling with a simple adjustment of power delivery to shift the vehicle’s weight in the corners. The CX-9 gets you 22 mpg for city driving and 28 mpg on the highway. The base price is $35,630.
For more information, you can visit Mazda’s official CX-9 website.
5. Toyota Highlander
The Toyota Highlander is a competitive alternative to the Ascent because of all the amazing options from which you can choose.
It has eleven trim levels, which include hybrid and non-hybrid options. It comes with a front-wheel-drive as the standard power train, but an all-wheel drive is an option.
This three row SUV has a standard 265-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, which is combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission. You also have the choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
In addition, you can upgrade to a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with a choice of one of two electric motors. This gives a combined 243 horsepower in the Hybrid version.
The Highlander offers 21 mph in the city and 29 mph in the non-hybrid version on the highway. It has a base price of $35,855 but quickly goes up over $50,000.
To find out more, you can visit Toyota’s official Highlander website.
6. Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer is a great alternative to the Subaru Ascent because with three rows and a vast amount of cargo space; it is ideal for transporting the family. It is a versatile SUV that can meet all of your needs.
It comes with a standard turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower, which will satisfy most. For those that want a little something more, there is a 400-hp twin-turbo V-6 or a hybrid powertrain available.
The Ford Explorer boasts of ten trim levels, including the Base, XLT, ST-Line, Limited, Timberline, ST, Limited Hybrid, Platinum, King Ranch, and Platinum Hybrid.
All trim levels have an array of safety features, including driver assist and self parking. You can expect 27 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway from the Explorer. However, it has a base price of $35,240.
For more information, you can visit Ford’s official Explorer website.
7. Buick Enclave
The 2022 Buick Enclave is a great competitor for the Ascent. It is roomy for families, stylish, and packed with value for its price. It is a stiff rival for other luxury models while remaining firmly rooted in value.
The Enclave provides three rows of seating and has a 3.6 liter V-6 engine to power it. The engine is powerful but quiet. The Enclave is not flashy, but it is reliable and durable. It has three trim levels, Essence, Premium, and Avenir.
The 2022 edition has a more modern look, updated exterior lighting, and a push-button start. The highest trim level offers quilted leather, massaging driver seats, and wood inlay in the cabin.
All trim levels have safety and driver assists like automatic high beams and lane-keep assistance. You can get about 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. The base price starts at $44,095.
To find out more, you can visit Buick’s official Enclave website.
8. Nissan Pathfinder
The Nissan Pathfinder is a great competitor to the Subaru Ascent because it is rugged, offers off-road capability, and has enough room to tow the family.
The Pathfinder has three rows to provide your family with all the room it needs. In addition, the 2022 model year received a full facelift to upgrade to a more modern design.
The Pathfinder has a V-6 engine matched with a nine-speed automatic and standard front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available as an upgrade.
In addition, all trim levels have driver assist capabilities and an infotainment system. It has four trims; S, SV, SL, and Platinum. With the Pathfinder, you can get about 21 mpg in the city and 27 on the highway. The base price starts at $35,865.
For more information, you can visit Nissan’s official Pathfinder website.
9. Volkswagen Tiguan
The Volkswagen Tiguan is another consideration when thinking about competitors to the Ascent. It provides handling that is more athletic than most.
It offers three rows of seating, but you can select a model with only two. It comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower.
The Tiguan has a more modern appearance in 2022 with revamped lights, new wheels, and an upgraded grille and bumpers. Inside you will find some upgrades, as well. They include a new steering wheel with touch-sensitive controls.
Heated seats and a digital gauge display are standard across the line. In addition, all but the base S trim have a new touch-sensitive climate control panel, Travel Assist, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist. You should expect to get about 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The base model starts at around $27,785.
For more information, you can visit Volkswagen’s official Tiguan website.
10. Dodge Durango
The Dodge Durango offers a more macho alternative to the Subaru Ascent. It has three rows of seats providing room for your whole family.
It has a standard V-6 engine with an eight-speed transmission and 295 hp, but you can upgrade to a V-8 engine with 360 hp to really give your SUV muscle.
For 2022, the Durango gains blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, roof rails, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat as standard on all trims.
The GT trim gets a remote start, a heated steering wheel, heated seats, and a power liftgate. The GT Plus trim gets driver memory settings, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a scuff plate for the rear cargo area, leather-and-suede upholstery, and heated rear seats.
The top trim lines, R/T Plus, have soft leather with contrast stitching, an advanced automated emergency braking system, a sunroof, and a Harman/Kardon stereo system, just to name a few. You can expect to see 14 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway from the Dodge Durango. The base trim starts at $39,355.
For more information, you can visit Dodge’s official Durango website.
11. Kia Sorrento
The Kia Sorrento is a great alternative to the Subaru Ascent. It is a little smaller but has numerous powertrain options. It has three rows, but the third does not provide enough room for most adults. The Sorrento does not have as much cargo space as there is in other SUVs. It is also availed as a plug-in hybrid or a regular hybrid.
The engine options on the Sorrento are almost limitless. It is available as an all-wheel or front-wheel drive. The standard engine is a 2.5 liter inline-four-cylinder with 191 hp.
There is a turbocharged 2.5 liter four-cylinder with 281 hp also available. Both engines have an eight-speed transmission, but the hybrid has a six-speed. The hybrid has a turbo 1.6-liter four-cylinder gas engine combined with a 44.0-kW electric motor that provides 227 hp.
The plug-in hybrid has the turbo 1.6 liter but a 66.9-kW electric motor giving it a combined 261 hp and is only all-wheel drive. The standard engine gives you 24 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The base model starts at around $30,885.
To find out more, you can visit Kia’s official Sorrento website.
12. Subaru Outback
If you want to stay in the Subaru line but are looking for a comparable alternative to the Ascent, the Outback may be for you. It looks tough on the outside and sits a little higher than in the past. This helps it look less like a station wagon and more like an SUV.
The Outback offers eight trim levels. Its standard engine is a four-cylinder 2.5 liter engine with 182 hp. There is an upgrade available which is a turbocharged 2.4 liter engine with 260 hp. You will find 26 mpg in the city and 33 on the highway. The base price starts at around $29,000.
For more information, you can visit Subaru’s official Outback website.
Related: 25 Cars Similar to Subaru Outback
Is There A Known Concern with the Subaru Ascent?
In the past few years, the Ascent has had some issues with reliability, according to Consumer Reports. However, the model has been in existence since 2017 and seems to be still working on those bugs.
What Is New For the 2023 Subaru Ascent?
In 2023, there is a new trim coming for the Ascent. It is the Wilderness trim that makes the Ascent more off-road ready. It has wide fenders, a unique front, knobby tires, special graphics, and a more robust bumper.
Is the Subaru Ascent Good in Snow?
The Ascent is solid for driving in the snow. It can hold its course and does not waver or drift as snow forms on the road.