Road Trip Warriors: Subaru Ascent vs. Outback

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Hannah DeWitt
Updated on Apr 27, 2022 · 4 min read
If you're interested in getting a
, you have several great options. Subaru is known for its quality vehicles and wide, committed fanbase. 
If you're looking to take a Subaru out on a
road trip
, an SUV may be the best option for you. Two of the best models Subaru offers in that category are the Ascent and the Outback. 
Since it might be hard to decide between the two, we’ve compared the models with some assistance from
Planet Subaru
. Let’s see which is the better SUV for the road trip warrior.
Both the Ascent and the Outback are great for driving on rural roads and in the snow.

Two of Subaru's best crossover SUVs

If you're shopping for a Subaru crossover SUV, the Ascent and the Outback are two of the best options you have. The Ascent is the newer of the two models, having been introduced to consumers in the 2019 model year. The Outback has a bit of a longer history and has been around since the mid-90s.
There are a number of similarities between the models, including an identical 8.7-inch ground clearance that makes the vehicles ideal for light
and use in snow. The Ascent and Outback both have a unique window design that lets you look past the outside mirrors.
Both also have command driving position, meaning the car’s height and driver’s seat positioning gives the driver better visibility. The sight line from the driver’s seat is high enough that you can see over the traffic in front of you. 

Differences between the Ascent vs. Outback

The Ascent is wider, 7 inches longer, and 5.5 inches taller than the Outback. It has 153.5 cubic feet of space in the interior, versus the Outback’s 109 cubic feet. This gives it some extra space for passengers and allows for an extra row of seats.
However, with those extra seats comes a lack of cargo space. With all the seats up, the Outback has 35.5 cubic feet of storage available, whereas the Ascent has just 19.6 cubic feet for your belongings. With the seats down, however, the Ascent gains the edge with 86.5 cubic feet compared to 75.7 cubic feet in the Outback. 
If you're looking at
towing capacity
, the Ascent is the way to go. It can tow up to 5,000 pounds, with the Outback maxing out at 2,700 pounds.

Which SUV is better for road trips?

If you're looking at buying one of these crossover SUVs to take on road trips, the Ascent is likely the better option for you. If you're going with a group, you have more seating available to you in the newer Subaru model. And if it's just a couple of you heading out on the road and you don't need all the available seating, you'll get more cargo room by putting down some of the seats.
If you're going to be towing something on your trek, the Ascent also gets the advantage; it can tow a sailboat if you're heading out to the water. With the Outback, you'd be limited to a small utility trailer. 
However, if you want a capable, affordable crossover that’s just big enough for some extra adventuring equipment, the Outback could be a good fit. The 2021 Ascent costs more than the 2021 Outback, with a price tag of about $6,000 higher.
Road tripping can be a great time, but it’s important to have good car insurance before driving cross-country.
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