Midsize SUVs like the Subaru Ascent and Toyota Highlander offer room for the whole family, lots of storage space, and the kind of features that give you peace of mind. So, which one is right for you?

Maguire Subaru helps families in Ithaca decide with this 2020 Subaru Ascent vs. Toyota Highlander comparison.

SUV Specs

The Subaru Ascent runs on a 2.4L turbocharged SUBARU BOXER® 4-cylinder engine. It works with a Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and gets up to 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque.

Unfortunately, the Toyota Highlander can't provide you with as much power. Its standard 2.7L 4-cylinder engine only gets up to 185 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Plus, the vehicle's 6-speed automatic transmission doesn't offer the same smooth, efficient shifting that a CVT provides.

Interior Dimensions

Both the Subaru Ascent and Toyota Highlander feature room for the whole family. Each SUV comes with three rows of seats and has space for up to eight people. A second-row bench is standard in both, but a pair of captain's chairs is available for the middle seats. This gives you seating for seven people and a convenient center aisle for easy access in and out of the third row.

Taller drivers and passengers will appreciate the Subaru's interior more. It has 41.3 inches of headroom up front, 40 inches of headroom in the middle, and 36.3 inches of rear headroom. The Toyota Highlander, meanwhile, has a lower roof with 40.7 inches of front headroom, 39.9 inches of headroom in the middle, and 35.9 inches of rear headroom.

Both SUVs are also built to carry lots of cargo. While they're each capable of towing up to 5,000 pounds, the Ascent offers more space inside. There's 17.8 cubic feet of cargo room in the trunk. You can then fold down both the second and third rows of seats to make extra space. With both rows down, you'll have up to 86.5 cubic feet of space.

The Highlander doesn't have as much space inside. It only features 13.8 cubic feet of cargo room in the trunk. Plus, while it also has folding seats, it's still a bit smaller with 83.7 cubic feet of cargo room when the back two rows are down. 

Safety & Capability

The Subaru Ascent is capable of keeping you safe and in control in any condition. It has standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and lets you take on trails and rocky roads with confidence thanks to its 8.7-inch ground clearance.

It also uses driver-assistance features to help keep you safe. EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology comes standard and can help prevent accidents before they occur. This suite gives you more awareness with features such as:

  • Pre-Collision Braking
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Departure and Sway Warning
  • Lane Keep Assist

The Toyota Highlander also comes with a full system of similar driver-assistance features. However, it doesn't offer you the same traction with its standard front-wheel drive. Plus, it can't clear as many obstacles with its 8-inch ground clearance.

Test Drive a Family-Friendly SUV

Contact Maguire Subaru to learn more about this 2020 Subaru Ascent vs. Toyota Highlander comparison and take a test drive. The Subaru Ascent offers more cargo room and a more dependable and powerful drive to families in Ithaca. 

Schedule Test Drive

Maguire Subaru of Ithaca

320 Elmira Road
Directions Ithaca, NY 14850

  • Call or Text Sales: (607)289-3768
  • Service: (607)273-8585
  • Parts: (607)273-8585

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