2020 Subaru Ascent vs Subaru Outback Comparison in Salt Lake City, UT

Subaru SUVs are a perfect match for life in Utah. They're refined and comfortable enough for driving around the streets of Salt Lake City, while also being capable and versatile enough to explore our great state. But choosing between the different Subaru SUVs can be difficult, particularly since they share so much value and generous standard features. That's where we come in. Head-to-head Subaru comparison pages like this one will let you see key differences between two vehicles, as well as some impressive similarities. The Subaru Ascent was all-new in 2019, and this year's model continues to offer the same exceptional features with a few upgrades. The Subaru Outback has remained an icon for generations, and it's been completely redesigned for an impressive 2020 redesign. We preview how these two SUVs compare to each other below, but be sure to stop by and take them for a test drive to experience them for yourself.

2020 Subaru Ascent vs Subaru Outback Exterior

2020 Subaru Ascent vs 2020 Subaru Outback: Size Comparison

One of the more notable differences between these two vehicles is the size. The 2020 Subaru Outback is spacious, with 109 cubic feet of passenger volume throughout the two rows of seats and 32.5 cubic feet of cargo space in back. Fold down the rear seats and that cargo space can expand to up to 75.7 cubic feet.

The 2020 Subaru Ascent is a three-row SUV that can seat up to eight with the standard second-row bench seats, or up to seven occupants with the available second-row bucket seats. It has an impressive 153.5 cubic feet of passenger volume, as well as 17.8 cubic feet of standard cargo space. Folding down the third row yields 47.5 cubic feet of cargo space, while folding both the second and third rows will get you an impressive 86.5 cubic feet! Both of these Subaru SUVs do come standard with roof rails, making it easy to attach bicycles, skis, and other larger cargo.

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2020 Subaru Ascent vs Subaru Outback Interior

2020 Subaru Ascent vs 2020 Subaru Outback: Interior Comfort & Amenities

The impressive interior space is only one of many ways that these SUVs keep you comfortable. Both come with automatic climate control. However, the 2020 Outback starts with single-zone climate control, with dual-zone as an available upgrade. By comparison, every 2020 Subaru Ascent comes standard with tri-zone climate control, and second-row controls are available. The Subaru Outback has eight cup and bottle holders, while the Ascent has nineteen!

When it comes to infotainment, both SUVs are impressive--but the Outback has the edge. The 2020 Subaru Ascent comes standard with a STARLINK® Multimedia Plus system that includes a 6.5-inch touchscreen, as well as cloud-based applications and connectivity through Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™. If you upgrade to higher trim levels, you'll get an 8-inch touchscreen. The 2020 Subaru Outback has a STARLINK® system with many of the same features, but it also has two 7-inch touchscreens! Upgrade to higher trim levels and you'll get a high-definition 11.6-inch touchscreen!

2020 Subaru Ascent vs Subaru Outback Features

2020 Subaru Ascent vs 2020 Subaru Outback:  Performance

Once you're behind the wheel, you'll find that both of these vehicles are impressive performers. Every 2020 Subaru Ascent comes with a turbocharged BOXER® engine that generates 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a Lineartronic® CVT automatic transmission with 8-speed manual mode and paddle shifters. When properly equipped, the Ascent can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

The 2020 Outback starts off with a BOXER® engine that generates 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque, and is paired with the same transmission as the Ascent. This engine allows the Outback to tow up to 2,700 pounds when properly equipped. But the Subaru Outback also offers an available turbocharged engine that generates identical horsepower and torque as the standard engine in the 2020 Subaru Ascent! This engine, which is standard in the XT models, allows the Outback to tow up to 3,500 pounds.

The 2020 Ascent and the 2020 Outback are both built on the Subaru Global Platform. This platform makes extensive use of high-strength steel to create a comfortable and responsive ride on city streets and highways. But there's much more to Utah than our beautiful cities. If you enjoy exploring our great state on the weekends, both of these SUVs are remarkably capable. They're both equipped with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, which gives them the grip they need on off-road trails. Standard Hill Descent Control keeps things easy when going down a steep hill while standard X-MODE® further enhances capability by reducing individual wheelspin. When the paved road ends, 8.7 inches of ground clearance means that the Subaru Ascent and Outback will confidently overcome what stands in their way.

2020 Subaru Ascent vs 2020 Subaru Outback: Safety

Subaru vehicles are known for their impressive safety, and these two are no exception. We've mentioned the standard all-wheel drive; in addition to giving these SUVs off-road prowess, it also gives them exceptional traction for a safer drive on wet or snowy roads. EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology is standard on both the 2020 Subaru Outback and Ascent. This suite of features includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane keep assist, and lane departure/sway warning functions. High Beam Assist is available on the Ascent, but a standard feature on the Outback. What's more, the 2020 Subaru Outback offers an available DriverFocus™ Distraction Mitigation System. This system, which will alert you if your driving indicates that you're drowsy or distracted, is not yet available in the 2020 Subaru Ascent.

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2020 Subaru Ascent vs 2020 Subaru Outback: Final Thoughts

In choosing between these two vehicles, one of the most important questions is: how much space do you need? If you have a larger family or regularly shuttle more than four passengers around, or if you need extra cargo room, the 2020 Ascent may be the better option. But if you don't need the extra row, the Outback might be the better choice. In fact, you can even get the upgraded 2020 Subaru Outback Premium model for less than the starting MSRP of the entry-level 2020 Subaru Ascent. In addition to the 11.6-inch touchscreen, the Outback Premium includes features like a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat and heated front seats. These options are not available in the entry-level Ascent.

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.