2020 Subaru Ascent vs Outback SUV Comparison in Huntington Beach, CA

Subaru SUVs combine on-road comfort, off-road capability, stunning safety, and impressive affordability in a way that is simply unmatched. This means that picking a Subaru is an easy decision. What's harder is choosing between two exceptional models, like the iconic Subaru Outback and the three-row Subaru Ascent. The Ascent was introduced in 2019, and the Outback was completely redesigned for 2020, so they both represent some of the latest and best that Subaru has to offer. At McKenna Subaru, we're here to help you narrow down your decision and get a better idea of what each SUV offers. Learn more below before taking one, or both, for a test drive.

2020 Subaru Ascent vs Outback SUV Exterior

Subaru Ascent vs Subaru Outback: Size & Convenience Comparison

We'll start with one of the bigger differences: size. The 2020 Subaru Outback is a roomy two-row SUV with wagon-inspired stylings. With 109 cubic feet of passenger volume, it has more space than many other small SUVs. But the midsize Subaru Ascent is even roomier. It's a three-row SUV that can seat up to eight people in 153.5 cubic feet of passenger volume. Comfort and convenience features are of similar quality on both vehicles, but they're scaled up in the Ascent. While the Subaru Outback has eight cup and bottle holders, the Subaru Ascent has nineteen. Automatic climate control is standard on the Subaru Outback, but the Ascent comes standard with tri-zone automatic climate control.

Subaru Ascent vs Subaru Outback: Infotainment

With its 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™, and cloud-based applications, the STARLINK® infotainment system in the 2020 Subaru Ascent is an impressive piece of technology. Upgrading to higher trim levels will get you an 8-inch touchscreen and navigation. But the 2020 Subaru Outback has an even more impressive system. At the entry level, you'll get a STARLINK® multimedia system with dual 7-inch touchscreens and similar capabilities as the system in the larger Subaru Ascent. However, the rest of the all-new Subaru Outback lineup comes with a stunning, high-definition 11.6-inch touchscreen!

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2020 Subaru Ascent vs Outback SUV Interior

Subaru Ascent vs Subaru Outback: Performance

The 2020 Subaru Ascent and the 2020 Subaru Outback have a number of similarities. They both come standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive; they're both equipped with SUBARU BOXER® engines; they're both built on the Subaru Global Platform for smooth on-road performance, while also being equipped with off-road features that make them capable of exploring unexplored trails.


But when it comes to power, these SUVs differ. Every 2020 Subaru Ascent comes with a turbocharged engine that generates 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. This engine allows the Ascent to tow up to 2,000 pounds at the entry level, and up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped. What's more, this engine helps the Ascent get up to 27 miles per gallon.

The 2020 Subaru Outback has two engine options. The entry-level engine generates 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque, which is enough to tow up to 2,700 pounds. This powerful engine is also efficient with up to 33 miles per gallon! Choose one of the Outback XT models, and you'll enjoy a turbocharged engine that generates the same 260 horsepower and 277 lb/ft of torque as the engine in the Subaru Ascent, but with a towing capacity topping out at 3,500 pounds.

2020 Subaru Ascent vs Outback SUV Features

Subaru Ascent vs Subaru Outback: Driver Assist Technology

EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology comes standard with both of these SUVs. This suite of features includes adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure/sway warning, and pre-collision braking features. In addition, available features include high beam assist, blind-spot detection, and reverse automatic braking. But the 2020 Subaru Outback offers one more feature: the DriverFocus™ Distraction Mitigation System, which alerts you if your driving indicates that you need to focus on the road.

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Subaru Ascent vs Subaru Outback: Value

All Subaru models present industry-leading value with an impressive amount of features for your money. That being said, the 2020 Subaru Ascent does have a starting MSRP that's over $5,000 more than that of the 2020 Subaru Outback. If you need the extra space, it's worth every penny. But if you don't mind the smaller size of the Outback and want to get improved features, even the upgraded 2020 Subaru Outback Premium costs less than the entry-level 2020 Subaru Ascent. In addition to the 11.6-inch touchscreen we mentioned earlier, the Outback Premium also includes upgraded features like LED fog lights, a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat (with power lumbar support), heated front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

2020 Subaru Ascent2020 Subaru Outback
$31,995Starting MSRP*$26,645
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.