Family-Size SUV Showdown in Columbus: 2022 Subaru Ascent vs 2022 Toyota Highlander

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2022 Subaru Ascent vs 2022 Toyota Highlander Research Comparison in Columbus, OH

When you think of three-row SUVs, you might automatically think that means more seating room for extra passengers. While this is a great benefit, the extra room also translates to being able to easily carry more cargo. You also will find amazing performance and a robust towing capacity as well. The 2022 Subaru Ascent is the perfect example, bringing with it the stellar standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and the award-winning safety that Subaru is known for the world over. We know that there's more than just one three-row SUV on the market to research but that can be time-consuming so we've done the heavy lifting for you. Below you'll find a head-to-head comparison of the 2022 Ascent and one it's main rivals, the 2022 Toyota Highlander. You'll see how they stack up against each other in all the important categories including standard and available features, technology, performance, safety, and value. When you're done reading, stop into Byers Airport Subaru to speak to any of our friendly Subaru experts and check out the exciting and versatile 2022 Ascent for yourself.

Full body shot from the driver's side of the 2022 Ascent

2022 Subaru Ascent vs 2022 Toyota Highlander: Design & Exterior Features

Both the 2022 Ascent and 2022 Highlander are handsome SUVs with sporty curves and standard 18" aluminum alloy wheels. Both vehicles give you the option of jumping up trim levels for larger 20" alloy wheels. LED fog lights are available on both SUVs for better vision in adverse weather conditions and an available panoramic moonroof gives a more open-air feel to both the Ascent and the Highlander. Where the Ascent really stands out from the competition is with its standard features. LED Steering Responsive Headlights swivel with the vehicle while turning for ideal lighting while cornering, roof rails for extra cargo space including bikes and kayaks, and an 8.7 ground clearance to handle most kinds of off road conditions. The Highlander offers a comparable lighting configuration and roof rails on higher trim levels and only offers an 8" ground clearance.


Green & Blue water bottles in bottle holders under dash.

2022 Subaru Ascent vs 2022 Toyota Highlander: Comfort & Technology

Both the 2022 Ascent and the 2022 Highlander offer almost identical interior dimensions in terms of head and legroom with the exception of 3rd row legroom: the Ascent boasts 31.7 inches of space while the Highlander only offers 27.7 inches. While both SUVs seat up to 8,  you'll find 153.5 cubic feet of passenger volume in the Ascent and only 141.3 cubic feet inside the Highlander. That's a difference of almost ten percent! There's also plenty of room for luggage, shopping bags, camping gear, and much more with 75.6 cubic feet of cargo space when you lay the two rear seats flat. A multitude of amenities are available on both SUVs including heated and ventilated front seats, heated second row seats, and  second row captain's chairs to make room for 7. A feature exclusive to the Ascent is the available StarTex® water-repellent upholstery to keep your interior looking its best.

Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and Bluetooth® are standard fare on both the Ascent and the Highlander, offering easy access to apps, hands-free phone connectivity and texting. Navigation is available on higher trim levels of both vehicles as well as a premium audio system for a more enjoyable journey.

Black Ascent driving down city street

2022 Subaru Ascent vs 2022 Toyota Highlander: Performance

With a three-row SUV, you expect high performance and neither one of these SUVs disappoint. The 2022 Highlander offers a 3.5L V6 engine under the hood that generates 295 horsepower and 263 lb/ft of torque. The 2022 Ascent may produce a little less horsepower but you get 277 lb/ft of torque thanks to the horizontally opposed 4-cylinder BOXER® engine that gives you better handling and better fuel efficiency thanks to its low center of gravity. Both SUVs are paired to automatic transmissions and can tow up to 5,000 lbs but only the Ascent comes standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. You can opt for all-wheel drive on the HIghlander but it will cost you $1,600 extra.


Close-up of rear view camera display on dash of Ascent

2022 Subaru Ascent vs 2022 Toyota Highlander: Safety

Subaru and Toyota are renowned for their advanced safety features and the 2022 Ascent and 2022 Highlander are no exception. Both were named an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ and were awarded an overall crash safety rating of five stars from the NHTSA. They both offer standard suites of driver assist technology that add an extra layer of peace of mind to every drive. Thanks to the standard EyeSight® on the Ascent and the Highlander's Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, you'll see features such as the Pre-Collision Braking System, Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, and much more.

2022 Subaru Ascent vs 2022 Toyota Highlander: Overall Value

With a starting MSRP of only $32,295, the 2022 Subaru Ascent is the three-row SUV that has everything you need: the reliability of the Subaru BOXER® engine, the versatility of a 7 or 8 passenger seating configuration, and the peace of mind that comes with standard all-wheel drive and award-winning safety features. The 2022 Toyota Highlander not only has a higher starting MSRP at $35,205 but you have to pay more for features like all-wheel drive, roof rails, and higher quality headlights. To see the clear winner of this comparison, we invite you to stop by Byers Airport Subaru to test drive the 2022 Ascent today.

Feature 2022 Subaru Ascent 2022 Toyota Highlander
Starting MSRP* $32,295 $35,205
Standard Engine 2.4-Liter Turbocharged SUBARU BOXER 4-Cylinder 3.5-Liter V6
Performance Output (Horsepower/Torque) 260 hp / 277 lb/ft 295 hp / 263 lb/ft
Standard Drivetrain Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive Front-Wheel Drive
Standard Fuel Economy (MPG) 27 Highway / 21 City 29 Highway / 21 City
Seating Capacity 8 8
Cargo Capacity (Behind 2nd Row / Behind 3rd Row) 47.5 Cubic Feet / 86.5 Cubic Feet 48,4 Cubic Feet / 84.3 Cubic Feet
Max Towing Capacity 5,000 lbs 5,000 lbs
Standard Climate Control Tri-Zone Tri-Zone
NHTSA Overall Rating 5/5 Stars 5/5 Stars

*Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. Excludes options; taxes; title; registration; delivery, processing and handling fee; dealer charges. Dealer sets actual selling price.

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401 N Hamilton Rd, Columbus, OH, 43213
Byers Airport Subaru 39.9843728, -82.8702342.