Face-Off: Subaru Ascent vs. Toyota Highlander

Subaru’s all-new midsized SUV takes on the segment stalwart

Subaru Ascent vs. Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander has been among CR’s top-rated SUVs for years—and a nine-time Top Pick—but now it faces a brand-new challenger: the Subaru Ascent. These two models match up closely, and it’s a hard-fought battle to declare a winner.

There are at least 13 midsized, three-row SUVs on the market (more if you add luxury models), but the Highlander has been a Top Pick for so many years because it has consistently delivered good performance, fuel economy, and very good reliability. It’s a well-rounded SUV that’s easy to live with.

More Three-row SUV road tests

This isn’t Subaru’s first three-row SUV. It used to sell the Tribeca from 2006 through 2014. It was an okay vehicle, but it couldn’t compete well because of its small second- and third-row seats, underpowered engine, and poor fuel economy. Now that Subaru has a true three-row SUV, the question is, has the automaker learned the lessons of the Tribeca? And can the Ascent unseat the category champ?

We take an in-depth look at these two models by comparing how they fared in CR’s testing and surveys. And we let you know which one climbs to the top.

The Case for the Subaru Ascent

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