2021 Subaru Ascent vs 2021 Subaru Outback Comparison in Huntington Beach, CA

Discover the differences between the 2021 Subaru Ascent and 2021 Subaru Outback below! Subaru has earned a reputation for building durable, hard-working family SUVs with more utility and toughness than other brands. All you need to know is how to pick the new Subaru model that's for you and your family! We're here to help at McKenna. Learn about the key differences between these vehicles below.

2021 Subaru Ascent vs 2021 Subaru Outback Exterior

Exterior Design

Both these cars feature many of the same Subaru design elements and standard features, such as versatile roof rails, durable lower body paneling, alloy wheels and LED Steering Responsive Headlights. These headlights pivot as you steer to better illuminate the night ahead in curves and around corners. And since these Subaru SUVs provide 8.7" of ground clearance, they're more rugged and capable off-road than most rival SUVs.

However, there are some key differences to take note of. For instance, the 2021 Subaru Ascent comes standard with a power rear gate for effortless access to the cargo area. That's an optional upgrade on the 2021 Subaru Outback. But on the Outback, you also get a hands-free function that allows the available power liftgate to open with a gesture of your foot under the rear bumper. For when you've got an armload of groceries (or kids!). The Outback also comes standard with retractable roof rail crossbars, so you can more easily attach more accessories for hauling extra gear on the roof. The Ascent, by contrast, comes with roof rails only.

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2021 Subaru Ascent vs 2021 Subaru Outback Interior

Interior Features

The 2021 Subaru Outback is a family wagon with a little more capability and comfort than you might expect when you think of a "family wagon." With two rows of seating, it's comfortable and convenient for families and individuals alike. The latest Subaru Outback features a standard dual touchscreen multimedia system, with a pair of 7-inch touchscreens in entry-level models, or a gorgeous 11.6-inch tablet-style display in more premium trim levels. You also get standard cargo tie-downs, grocery bag hooks and a removable cargo tray in the cargo area. And with available upgrades like genuine Nappa leather upholstery, the 2021 Subaru Outback can be a downright luxurious way to get around.

By contrast, the 2021 Subaru Ascent has three rows of seating to accommodate more passengers or cargo. Every new Subaru Ascent comes with 19 cup and bottle holders, more than any rival in its class! And with standard tri-zone automatic climate control, everyone can get comfortable with individualized temperature settings. Available upgrades include stain-resistant upholstery, so spills are problems no more, and middle row captain's chairs for easy access to the rear seats and extra comfort in the middle. It features a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen system at the entry level, or an 8-inch unit is available as an upgrade.


Entry-level 2021 Subaru Outback models feature a naturally-aspirated BOXER® engine making 182 horsepower and achieving up to 33 MPG! It's an impressive combination of power and efficiency, and it'll give you all the confidence you need for the daily drive. The 2021 Subaru Ascent is quite a bit bigger, and requires a more powerful engine: a turbocharged BOXER® that delivers 260 horsepower. And with 277 lb-ft of torque, it moves this vehicle quickly from a stop light, even when fully loaded with passengers.

But if you crave an even more powerful drive, upgrade to the new Outback XT. Equipped with a 260 horsepower turbocharged engine, in the smaller, lighter Outback body, you'll have the quickest ride among Subaru SUVs with more guts for off-roading and pulling on the highway if your needs demand it.

The unique BOXER® engine design sets the Ascent and Outback apart from other SUV brands. Its unique shape changes the way the vehicle is designed, improving balance and handling for a more car-like driving experience. And since they both come standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, you'll have the best grip and control for dry pavement, wet pavement, icy conditions or unpaved roads.

2021 Subaru Ascent vs 2021 Subaru Outback Features


The 2021 Subaru Ascent can carry more passengers than the 2021 Subaru Outback thanks to an extra row of seats. Or, simply fold down the rear seats and discover you can also carry more cargo in the Ascent. With the second and third rows folded flat, you get a whopping 86.5 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume! The new Outback provides an impressive 75.7 cubic feet of maximum storage space, but the Ascent has the most interior volume for passengers and cargo alike out of any new Subaru model.

Both come with roof rails as standard, and both are capable of towing, too. And you can upgrade to more towing strength if you need it. Entry-level 2021 Subaru Ascent models can tow up to 2,000 pounds, while more premium trim levels get an additional towing package enabling a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. Meanwhile, entry-level 2021 Subaru Outback models can tow up to 2,700 pounds, and available Subaru Outback XT models get a boost to 3,500 pounds of maximum towing capacity.

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Find The Perfect Subaru For Life In Southern California At McKenna

At the links below, we invite you to browse our inventory and find the new Subaru SUV that fits you best. Then, come take it for a spin! A test drive at McKenna Subaru is the best way to find out if a new Subaru has the comfort, convenience, space, safey, style and utility you demand for life in Southern California.

2021 Subaru Ascent2021 Subaru Outback
$32,295Starting MSRP*$26,795
27 Highway / 21 CityFuel Economy (MPG)33 Highway / 26 City
260Standard Horsepower182
Up to 8  OccupantsSeating Capacity5 Occupants
153.5 Cubic FeetPassenger Space109 Cubic Feet
17.8 Cubic FeetCargo Volume32.5 Cubic Feet
86.5 Cubic FeetMax Cargo Volume73.3 Cubic Feet
18" AlloyStandard Wheels17" Alloy
38 FeetCurb-To-Curb Turning Circle36.1 Feet
113.8 InchesWheelbase108.1 Inches
5,000 PoundsMax Towing Capacity3,500 Pounds

*Manufacturer's suggested retail price does not include destination and delivery charges, tax, title and registration fees. Destination and delivery includes handling and inland freight fees and may vary in some states. Prices, specifications, options, features and models subject to change without notice.