2021 Subaru Ascent VS 2021 Ford Explorer Comparison in Salt Lake City, UT

Upgrading your family shuttle to a new three-row SUV is a great way to reduce arguments among siblings and accommodate more cargo no matter where the journey leads. These advantages and others have made the midsize SUV a popular choice, and that means just about every car manufacturer has their own version. Aside from the beloved Subaru Ascent with standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a host of industry awards, the Ford Explorer continues to be a popular choice for many. Below, we look at just what you're getting for your money in both models. Once you have an idea of what separates these two three-row SUVs, we invite you to come experience the new 2021 Subaru Ascent in person at Nate Wade Subaru.

2021 Ascent With Car Seats

2021 Subaru Ascent vs Ford Explorer: Size & Convenience

Anyone who has had to drive children around likely knows that peace can be a fragile thing. The new Subaru Ascent and Ford Explorer both offer a third row of seating, which is helpful in providing children with their own space. However, the Ascent offers seating for up to eight passengers compared to a max seating capacity of seven in the Ford Explorer. One extra seat may not sound like much, but it could become much handier when the kids want to bring a friend along.

Aside from an additional seat, the new Subaru Ascent also provides a few other advantages to make your travels and adventures more convenient. Reclining seats are standard in all three rows of the Subaru Ascent, but not the Ford Explorer. While cargo space inside each model is about the same, you'll get standard roof rails on the Subaru Ascent that are ready for a wide range of cargo accessories. That's another option that will cost more on the new Ford Explorer.


2021 Ascent LED Headlights

2021 Subaru Ascent vs Ford Explorer: Value & Features

While an additional seat and other convenience advantages start to show how the new Subaru Ascent offers more for your money, consider the features offered by both models. When comparing entry-level models, a few small things like body-color door handles and LED signature lighting on the Subaru Ascent begin adding up to make a big difference. Look a little closer at those headlights and you'll find that they're all LED and point in the direction that the steering wheel turns. To get these steering responsive headlights in the new Ford Explorer means paying much more for the highest trim levels.

Inside, the new Subaru Ascent provides nineteen cup and bottle holders, which offer a level of convenience that the new Ford Explorer just can't compete with. Also standard in the new three-row midsize SUV from Subaru are second-row USB ports to help everyone keep their devices charged. You have to spend more to upgrade the new Ford Explorer with USB ports for second-row passengers, and that's another example of how you're getting more for your investment in a new Subaru SUV.

Browse our new Subaru Ascent inventory in Salt Lake City, UT
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2021 Ascent Wheel

2021 Subaru Ascent vs Ford Explorer: Performance & Capability

The difference in performance between these two popular midsize SUVs is best realized from behind the wheel. The numbers on paper just don't do a very good job at explaining the comfort of the drive or how much engine and road noise will be a part of every trip. When you go for a test drive in the new Subaru Ascent, these things will become apparent thanks to the flat design of the BOXER® engine. This unique engine design also naturally reduces engine noise, vibration, and harshness while also providing a more planted feel with less body-roll in the turns thanks to the low center of gravity.

As you're already aware, winter driving in Utah presents its own demands on your next SUVs performance, and the Subaru Ascent delivers well beyond what you get from the Ford Explorer. It starts with standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which is much better that the standard rear-wheel drive configuration that the Ford Explorer starts out with. You can pay substantially more to upgrade this midsize SUV from Ford to a four-wheel drive system. However, we think you'll agree that the standard AWD system with X-MODE® traction technology, Active Torque Vectoring, and Hill Descent Control in the Subaru Forester provides a clear advantage in value, capability, and safety in the new Subaru Ascent.


2021 Ascent Kids Buckled In Rear Seats

2021 Subaru Ascent vs Ford Explorer: Safety

Whether your next three-row SUV is serving as the family taxi, bringing home the groceries, or just enduring the daily commute, nothing is more important than safety. Today's advanced engineering has made new vehicles especially safe. The new Subaru Ascent and Ford Explorer are no exceptions, but there are some important distinctions to be aware of. Both models do come standard with automatic pre-collision braking, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control that helped them earn top industry safety awards.

These midsize SUVs enter the market with essentially the same price tag, so it makes sense that they'd start out with similar equipment. However, the added safety of standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and a lower center of gravity from the flat Subaru BOXER® engine provide safety advantages that the Ford Explorer just can't compete with.

Browse our new Subaru Ascent inventory in Salt Lake City, UT
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Which 3-Row SUV Is A Better Value For Your Money?

The 2021 Subaru Ascent starts out with a competitive starting MSRP of $32,295, which is within $100 of the new 2021 Ford Explorer. However, when you consider the standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, better features, and improved capability on and off road, it's clear that you're getting a lot more for your money when investing in the new three-row midsize SUV from Subaru. Come see us at Nate Wade Subaru to learn more.

2021 Subaru Ascent2021 Ford Explorer
$32,295Starting MSRP*$32,225
260Standard Horsepower300
277 lb.-ft.Torque310 lb.-ft.
5,000 lbs.Maximum Towing Capacity5,600 lbs.
All-Wheel DriveDrivetrainRear-Wheel Drive (4WD Available)
153.5 cu. ft.Passenger Volume152.7 cu. ft.
8Max Seating Capacity7
StandardSteering Responsive HeadlightsAvailable Upgrade
StandardAdaptive Cruise ControlAvailable Upgrade
Standard Roof RailsAvailable Upgrade

*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.