Midsized Three-Row SUV Face-Off: 2021 Subaru Ascent vs. 2021 Toyota Highlander

These family-friendly models compete for a space in your driveway

2019 Subaru Ascent and 2020 Toyota Highlander John Powers/Consumer Reports

When the Subaru Ascent debuted, it took on and outscored the previous-generation Toyota Highlander as the best three-row midsized SUV we tested. But the landscape has changed.

Toyota introduced a redesigned Highlander in 2020, with both V6 and hybrid powertrains. It joined an increasingly competitive segment, challenged not only by the Ascent but also by the impressive Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride.

Both the 2021 Subaru Ascent and 2021 Toyota Highlander are well-rounded packages that should make most families happy. But they each have strengths and weaknesses that buyers should know about before making their purchase decision.

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To help streamline that process, we take an in-depth look at these two models by comparing how they fared in Consumer Reports’ testing and surveys. Then we let you know which could be the right one for you.

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