2021 Subaru Ascent vs. 2021 Toyota Highlander

2021 Subaru Ascent vs. 2021 Toyota Highlander

2021 Ascent vs. 2021 Highlander – Here are some factors we know that identify winners when it comes to the 2021 Ascent vs 2021 Highlander.

Since its in-production, the 2021 Toyota Highlander has become one of the most popular SUVs in its class. Good performance, excellent fuel economy, and proven reliability make it a clear choice for many drivers.

2021 Subaru Ascent vs. 2021 Toyota Highlander

2021 Subaru Ascent vs. 2021 Toyota Highlander
2021 Subaru Ascent vs. 2021 Toyota Highlander

Even the introduction of a new three-line crossover from Volkswagen has not stopped the popularity of the Toyota Highlander, with sales increasing significantly over time.

A new midsize crossover SUV on the market, the Subaru Ascent 2021, provides some stiff competition for the Toyota Highlander. The ascent follows Subaru’s last midsize SUV design, the failed Tribeca B9, and is increasing in size, style, and performance of Tribeca to compete with Highlander as one of the top SUVs on the market today according to Consumer Reports.

The Toyota Highlander will still be strong, selling nearly 216,000 Highlanders in 2017 and ranking third in sales for mid-sized SUVs, Business Insider reports.

Standard Features

Among the many similarities between the Subaru Ascent and Toyota Highlander, both have sport utility body styles and automatic transmissions. Ascent uses a continuously variable transmission with manual mode, while highlander has a six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode.

Subaru Ascent and Toyota Highlander are both standard with fabric bucket seats, bench seats in the second row, pass-through rear seats, and additional seat options.

If you plan on using a medium-sized SUV to tow, The Ascent and Highlander are equipped with trailer crash receivers. Highlander has a sizeable towing capacity of 1500 pounds, but Ascent offers even more trailer power with a maximum capacity of 2000 pounds. The Ascent also has a power liftgate and dual exhaust in the back of the vehicle.

Prices for Subaru Ascent range from a starting price of $31,995 with trim and upgrade options that can cost up to $44,695, according to US News. The Toyota Highlander has a comparable starting price to the mid-$30,000s, providing comparable ticket prices to vehicles in addition to their similar specifications.


Toyota Highlander comes in several different engines, with some performing better than others. The standard trim is equipped with a front-wheel drive and a regular Unleaded inline-four cylinder engine. However, performance improves significantly when you choose the option of a V-6 or V-6 hybrid engine, according to Kelley Blue Book.

By comparison, the Ascent comes with all-wheel drive, a Turbo Regular Unleaded H-4 cylinder engine, and additional turbocharge facilities.

The Highlander’s 2.7 L/163 displacements, 185 horsepower, and 814 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm give it a slightly more kick than the Ascent’s 2.4L/146 displacement, 260 horsepower, and 277 lb-ft of torque in 2000 rpm. Ascent’s lap diameter is slightly smaller than the Toyota Highlander’s 38.7-inch counterpart.

Fuel Economy

Subaru Ascent beat the Highlander in fuel economy, gaining 21 mpg in the city compared to the Highlander’s 20. Ascent’s fuel efficiency improves its lead on the highway, with an impressive 27 mpg versus 24 mpg Highlander. Toyota Highlander’s 2021 gasoline tank has a fuel capacity of 19.2 gallons, only slightly smaller than Ascent’s 19.3-gallon tank.


The 2021 Subaru Ascent features a classic cabin with traditional features with user-friendly design features such as ergonomic seating, a well-designed center console, and 19 cup holders throughout the vehicle.

As the JK Subaru points out, the additional length of the Ascent compared to Subaru provides more comfortable seating and extra legroom for passengers. Its sleek and understated profile looks similar to other crossovers while incorporating design elements from classic Subaru elements such as Forester and Outback.

Highlander has a basic and unmemorable exterior that emphasizes utility over style. however, the interior includes excellent, high-quality materials, thoughtful design, and detailed craftsmanship that provides a sense of comfort and class.

Final Conclusion

Subaru Ascent has many benefits, including a large cargo area, smooth handling, comfortable legroom in the first two rows, and a variety of convenient technology features. Climbing’s powerful basic trim options and balanced and agile handling contribute to a fun and sporty drive.

The attractive and sleek interior and exterior qualities help create a sense of luxury and comfort. If you don’t mind being limited to four-cylinder engines, Ascent offers a convenient and reliable option for your next SUV.

On the other hand, The Ascent’s third row has narrow seats with limited legroom, and some similar SUVs have improved luxury interiors by comparison. Subaru Ascent does not offer hybrid options, and drivers have only one option for engines.

Toyota Highlander’s four-cylinder base engine is relatively weak, and its suspension causes excessive body rolls when driving around corners.

Compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is missing from Highlander, although these features are considered standard in many modern vehicles. But impressive V-6 engine upgrades, luxurious interiors, and extensive safety features make the Highlander a strong contender for anyone looking to get an SUV crossover.

Back to top button