The Subaru Ascent vs The Toyota Highlander


SUVs are the new family vehicles for their spacious interior, impressive capability, and safety. With recent improvements in fuel efficiency, 3-row SUVs are more popular than ever among Bellevue drivers and there are several options to choose from. A little research goes a long way in helping you decide which SUV has everything you are looking for and won't break the bank. The Subaru Ascent hit the ground running last year and has quickly become the go-to SUV for active families. See how well the Toyota Highlander compares to the Ascent.


Michael's Subaru of Bellevue

15150 SE Eastgate Way
Directions Bellevue, WA 98007

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Safety Features: 

Safety has been something that Subaru excels at and the Ascent has set the bar. The Toyota Highlander does come standard with Toyota Safety Sense which includes Pre-Collision with Pedestrian Detection and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. However, the Highlander doesn't offer many other safety features. Like Rear Seat Reminder which is standard on the Ascent and will alert you to double-check the rear seats for children and pets. The Ascent also offers Mercer Island, WA drivers with standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology; which is regarded as the best driver-assist package on the road. The Ascent also features Reverse Automatic Braking, 180-Degree Front-View Monitor, STARLINK Safety & Security, and LED Steering Responsive Headlights.   

Powertrain & Performance: 

The Subaru Ascent is ready for running errands around town with impressive fuel economy or taking the road less traveled on your weekend adventure thanks to standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with X-Mode. Subaru's Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system provides a commanding grip on the road while X-Mode delivers enhanced stability, traction, and control on low-friction surfaces. The Toyota Highlander doesn't offer a similar off-road performance feature and all-wheel-drive will cost you an extra $3,510. Neither of the Highlanders two engine options are not nearly as fuel-efficient as the Ascent with 27 highway and 21 city mpg. The Highlander equipped with all-wheel-drive only gets 26 highway and 19 city mpg. Both SUVs are capable of towing up to 5,000 lbs. But the base model Highlander can only tow 1,500 lbs. while the base model Ascent can tow 2,000 lbs.   

Interior Dimensions: 

While the Highlander and Ascent both offer seating for either 7 or 8 passengers, the Ascent provides Sammamish drivers with significantly more spacious seating for everyone. The Ascent also has more cargo space to handle all of your weekend adventures. 

    Subaru Ascent: 
  • Headroom Front/Rear/3rd: 41.3/40.0/36.3 inches 
  • Legroom Front/Rear/3rd: 42.2/38.6/31.7 inches 
  • Total Passenger Space: 153.5 cubic feet 
  • Seating Capacity: 7 or 8 
  • Cargo Space Behind 3rd: 20.8 cubic feet 
  • Maximum Cargo Space: 86.5 cubic feet 
    Toyota Highlander: 
  • Headroom Front/Rear/3rd: 40.7/39.9/35.9 inches 
  • Legroom Front/Rear/3rd: 44.2/38.4/27.7inches 
  • Total Passenger Space: 142.2cubic feet 
  • Seating Capacity: 7 or 8 
  • Cargo Space Behind 3rd: 13.8cubic feet 
  • Maximum Cargo Space: 83.7 cubic feet   


When it comes to getting the most bang for your buck the Subaru Ascent comes out on top once again with a more affordable starting price and more standard features. The Ascent starts at just $31,995 and comes equipped with STARLINK multimedia with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with X-Mode, roof rails, and EyeSight Driver Assist Technology. While to get a similarly equipped Highlander Issaquah drivers will end up spending almost $5,000 more and still not be able to get Apple CarPlay & Android Auto. Subaru also has a stellar reputation for long-lasting quality and performance that is built for 200,000-miles of adventure.