Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

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WanderingWilly
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Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by WanderingWilly » Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:01 pm

Hey Folks,
Going to retire within the next year and have decided to buy a new vehicle because I love road trips . I've always lived frugally and view this as a one time treat. I currently own a 2010 Forester and love it but for long distance driving (1000+ miles) it can be confining and I'm tired of crawling down into it. Also, in high wind areas or where there are long uphill grades (Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota) the mileage can easily drop from 28 mpg to 20 mpg. I've pretty much narrowed the choices down to a 2019 Toyota Highlander or 2019 Subaru Ascent. I have first hand experience with the quality of Subaru's and know some folks who are very satisfied with their Toyotas. Another reason for wanting a larger vehicle is I can throw in a large dog kennel or bicycle and still have room to stretch out in the back to take a nap. Of course the safety features of newer vehicles are a plus too.
I'm appealing to this group for comments and or experience with either vehicle. Thanks in advance.

retiredjg
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by retiredjg » Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:31 pm

...I'm tired of crawling down into it.
The lowness of my Subaru (hard on old knees getting in and out) was a big reason I sold it to buy a Highlander (an older one). If the Ascent is not higher you may not be happy with it.

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Gort
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by Gort » Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:34 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:31 pm
...I'm tired of crawling down into it.
The lowness of my Subaru (hard on old knees getting in and out) was a big reason I sold it to buy a Highlander (an older one). If the Ascent is not higher you may not be happy with it.
How tall are you guys????

retiredjg
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by retiredjg » Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:39 pm

It's not tallness. It is squatting.

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Nate79
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by Nate79 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:22 pm

We have had the Ascent for about 10 months now. Absolutely love it, especially on road trips (we also have a 2010 Forester). We recently rented a Highlander on a vacation and the Ascent is night and day better. Comfort, handling, technology, etc.

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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by TheOscarGuy » Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:48 pm

WanderingWilly wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:01 pm
Hey Folks,
Going to retire within the next year and have decided to buy a new vehicle because I love road trips . I've always lived frugally and view this as a one time treat. I currently own a 2010 Forester and love it but for long distance driving (1000+ miles) it can be confining and I'm tired of crawling down into it. Also, in high wind areas or where there are long uphill grades (Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota) the mileage can easily drop from 28 mpg to 20 mpg. I've pretty much narrowed the choices down to a 2019 Toyota Highlander or 2019 Subaru Ascent. I have first hand experience with the quality of Subaru's and know some folks who are very satisfied with their Toyotas. Another reason for wanting a larger vehicle is I can throw in a large dog kennel or bicycle and still have room to stretch out in the back to take a nap. Of course the safety features of newer vehicles are a plus too.
I'm appealing to this group for comments and or experience with either vehicle. Thanks in advance.
If it were me, I would go with Toyota. Why?
Subarus *sometimes* burn oil. I am unsure if that is an issue with Ascent. But the problem was pretty widespread from what I could gather.
Highlander is older design, so it should be more reliable than Ascent.
Subaru seats sometimes can be pain in the neck. Literally. I would definitely try it for at least a few days/a week before I commit.

A question: do you seriously expect these two vehicles when fully loaded to get better than 20 mpg? That being one reason you mentioned for getting a new SUV.

Helo80
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by Helo80 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:36 pm

BLUF: I think that you will be happy with either, though, I think that 2019 or 2020 Highlander have the edge.

The 2019 Highlander is at the tail end of this generation. It is unlikely dealers will be receiving anymore as MY2020 is about to go into production. So, if you're looking for a deal on 2019's, the rebates should be decent for your market as Toyota will be helping dealers move inventory. It would be better to make your decision sooner rather than later on the Toyota as it's going to enter slim-pickings stage the closer we get to year end.

For Highlander, rumor-mill is that MY20 it's slated for Nov 29... though, I could have sworn I saw one last night... though, it was dark and turning, but the profile sure did look like a 2020. (though, I am unaware of any local dealer in my city whom has received their first batch... and plus I am reading that production has not started yet....) The all-new Highlander 2020 Highlander will be built on Toyota's TNGA platform. That being said, with Toyota's QC and the way cars are tested nowadays, I would not worry about buying the first model year as others have alluded to. There is so much bad and dated car buying and repair knowledge that continues to be passed on that I thought I would clear that up. This is not 1985 where information is not widely available... the kiss of death for a new model roll-out is for new buyers to take the internet by storm about what a crap product that was made... Things like Youtube are helping to keep the makers honest.

I think Subaru got the Ascent right compared to their last mid-sized SUV with that bizarre name and design. It's priced right. I have a feeling it will be a decently reliable vehicle. EyeSight is a great system. And, it's decently comfortable. That being said, I have not driven one. Unfortunately, I was not very impressed by the amount of plastic Subaru used on the interior. Plus, the interior just looks... dated. Google interiors of everything from Kia/Hyundai through BMW, Porsche, Mercedes and even the Lamborghini Urus. Subaru has one of the worst interiors of 2019, IMHO. That's not to say it's a bad product... but it's more akin to something from 2013 than 2020.

The 2019 Highlander is a great vehicle as well. I think that EyeSight has the edge over Toyota Safety Sense, but the build quality and interior is superior on the Highlander, IMHO. The 2020 appears to be an even greater step forward. To me, the interior is what ties the vehicle together because that's the part of the car you will interact with the most. Some of y'all like to drive cars 150,000+ miles... if you're going to put yourself through that, you might as well like what you touch. Highlander borrows heavily from the Lexus RX... and if you know anything about the midsize luxury SUV segment, Lexus RX is king and their bread and butter product for like... ever.


If I were you, drive both and go with the one that you like more. You really cannot go wrong.

Helo80
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by Helo80 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:39 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:48 pm
If it were me, I would go with Toyota. Why?
Subarus *sometimes* burn oil. I am unsure if that is an issue with Ascent. But the problem was pretty widespread from what I could gather.
Highlander is older design, so it should be more reliable than Ascent.

I agree with this point as a weekend mechanic.

Subaru makes a good product, and I would generally have no qualms about buying one. But, there are sometimes some random and weird stuff that pop up within their makes and MYs with either the engine or transmission.

Helo80
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by Helo80 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:41 pm

Nate79 wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:22 pm
We have had the Ascent for about 10 months now. Absolutely love it, especially on road trips (we also have a 2010 Forester). We recently rented a Highlander on a vacation and the Ascent is night and day better. Comfort, handling, technology, etc.

Were you comparing like to like? Rental companies generally buy the most entry level trims.

On the previous generation Camry's, there was a trim that was sold exclusively to rental companies that shaved off another $800 (or so) off the already reasonable starting MSRP.

Rudedog
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by Rudedog » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:29 pm

I've owned two Highlanders. Great vehicles. We got almost 27 mpg on a thousand mile trip in September. V-6 engine has plenty of power.

BuckyBadger
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by BuckyBadger » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:38 pm

We went through this search recently and looked at all the vehicles in that class. We bought a Subaru Ascent and really liked it. We've had many Subarus and our other car is an Outback.

It was a great car. Really nice. But we decided after a few months that we wanted something different with a little more luxury and features.

So we traded in a practically brand new Ascent for a Kia Telluride and we couldn't be happier. We love love love that car. The seats are incredibly comfortable and it has a ton of little convenience features that we really enjoy.

The Subaru was probably a more practical choice, but the Telluride is really great and if you haven't tried one, you should really consider adding it to your search.

5280Tim
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by 5280Tim » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:57 pm

Subaru has already issued 2 recalls on the the Ascent. They’re also in the middle of a recall of 400,000 cars to fix engine issues. They’ve made cars with leaky head gaskets and oil consumption issues for 20 years and can’t figure out a fix. I had an outback and it was the worst car I’ve ever owned in terms of reliability. Get the Highlander and save yourself the headaches.

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fortfun
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by fortfun » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:01 pm

Highlander. Have a 2009 with >100k miles. Very comfortable, Zero issues. I change the oil once a year. That's it. I've had a few friends with Subarus that have had problems.

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Nate79
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by Nate79 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:25 pm

5280Tim wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:57 pm
Subaru has already issued 2 recalls on the the Ascent. They’re also in the middle of a recall of 400,000 cars to fix engine issues. They’ve made cars with leaky head gaskets and oil consumption issues for 20 years and can’t figure out a fix. I had an outback and it was the worst car I’ve ever owned in terms of reliability. Get the Highlander and save yourself the headaches.
Those two minor recalls of the Ascent (many months old) affected less than 500 cars. The 400,000 recall has nothing to do with the Ascent. All manufacturers have issues and recalls, including the Highlander. The 2018 had multiple recalls and the 2019 has one as well.

fundseeker
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by fundseeker » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:03 pm

WanderingWilly,

We just finished shopping for an SUV to replace our 2011 minivan, and what we found about these new vehicles is that we hated the eight speed transmissions, especially in the Highlander, MDX, etc. They could not ever seem to decide which gear to be in especially in the lower speeds. We also hated the engine turning off whenever we stopped at red lights or in bad traffic. You can turn that feature off, but you have to turn it off every time you start your drive. Another thing we didn't like was that the manufacturers have gone to push buttons instead of shifters.

Fortunately for us, the Honda Pilot EX-L still comes with a tried and true six speed transmission, a shifter, and NO engine shut off feature. The Pilot Touring and Elite do have those things for some reason.

Anyway, if you're considering a Highlander, most Toyota dealers rent them. We rented the XLE overnight for $60, which really convinced us that was not the SUV for us. In addition to the reasons above, it really looked huge in our garage. My point is, there is nothing like spending hours with a vehicle model before buying, instead of just a test drive with some annoying salesman. So, you might want to consider renting a Highlander for a day, and getting the other dealers to let you take one home, without the salesman. Good luck.

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beyou
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by beyou » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:23 am

On my 4th Subaru, and starting to tire of their reliability issues. 3 of 4 have had issues and Subaru sticks their head in the sand and wont/cant fix them. I am going to look at Toyota again when I get my next car.

teCh0010
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by teCh0010 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:00 am

I went down this path comparing the Ascent, Highlander, and Pilot in 2017. I ended up with the Pilot.

I got an EXL Pilot with Honda Sensing, which kept me with a 6 speed transmission and no start stop. I was very impressed with the usable space in the Pilot. Cargo room is great with the third row down, and there is actually still cargo room with the third row up. The third row is also very usable space, an adult can ride back there.

Honda Sensing was about equal to Eyesight, and better than Toyota.

TT
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by TT » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:22 am

Currently on my 3rd Subaru and I have not had many issues.
2000 Outback - purchased new - head gaskets went @ 90,000 miles and Subaru extended the warranty -sold car @ 190,000 miles with no other major issues.
2004 Outback 6 cylinder - purchased used @ 120,000 miles traded @ 209,000 miles - normal wear and tear issues only
2010 Outback - currently 185,000 miles purchased new - only issue is low beam lights constantly burning out Subaru extended warrant out to 10 years.
Volunteer @ Hospital with 2 Outbacks 2014 and 2015 - normal wear and tear items -one has 219.000 miles and other has 259,000 miles.
Currently also driving 2013 Toyota Venza purchased in 2016 with 26,000 miles - very satisfied - average around 25mpg overall and on trips around 27mpg.
Subaru has had reliabilty issues lately but I do think they are more responsive to issues than some other companies.

Regarding your choice - I would choose the Toyota mainly due to fact that I prefer V6 over a turbo 4.
Reliabilty of small turbo 4 's remains to be seen.

Galaxy8
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by Galaxy8 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:33 am

I have owned my 2020 Subaru Ascent for 800 miles now and I really love it. I would tell you to purchase a 2020, not 2019 and will expand on why.

Part of what drove me to this vehicle over the Ford Explorer and Jeep Grand Cherokee:
- Ascent was the number 1 vehicle on consumer reports
- IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus (highest rating)

Here are some things you need to know:
- The 2019 is the first model-year and has had issues. Specifically, transmissions needing replacement. Some people have reported their transmissions being replaced three times.
- There is a very active facebook group with 4,400 members for this model and there is a lot of talk about problems, etc.
- A January 2019 poll in that group had 13 of 339 (3.8%) of responders reporting a major problem. There were 1,400 members at that time.
- I haven't seen anyone with a 2020 model report any transmission issues.

Subaru provides a 5 year / 60k mile powertrain warranty with the new vehicle. This should be enough time to allow them to tease out transmission issues. In the past, Subaru has freely extended such warranties for models with an abnormally failing components.

A note on the trim levels (Base, Premium, Limited, Touring):
- Limited trim is the lowest level with leather seats, heated seats and steering wheel.
- Technology package ($2,900) adds upgraded speakers, moonroof, and navigation suite.
- Popular Package 2a adds LED lights and auto-dimming mirrors
- Touring adds folding mirrors, front camera, and ventilated seats.

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WanderingWilly
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by WanderingWilly » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:10 am

First I want to thank everyone who as responded. I appreciate the comments, suggestions and insights. I hadn't considered the Honda Pilot but will take a closer look. To answer an inquiry or two. I'm 6 foot tall. My current 2010 Subaru has decent leg room but I need to scrunch down to get into it and sort of climb out. Maybe it's an age thing but getting in and out of the vehicle is getting to be a hassle. I'd like to get a higher sitting vehicle where I can more easily slide in and out. Yes, I expect my next vehicle to get more than 20MPG.

The idea of renting a vehicle for a week is great but probably not feasible here, especially with winter coming on. The nearest Subaru or Honda dealerships are 80 miles away, the next nearest are close to 200 miles away. There is a Toyota dealership 35 miles away.

I'm a little concerned about the Subaru 4 cylinder engine being underpowered. As stated earlier, on flat ground my Forester get great MPG's but the minute I start bucking the wind or climbing a grade the mileage can decline by 1/3 because the engine is working so hard. Under the conditions in which I drive I believe a 6 cylinder engine is in order. Although I don't currently have plans on towing anything I do want to get a towing package if available. I like the idea of a receiver hitch for a bike rack or accessories. It's seems like in the past Consumer Reports has stated problems with Subaru's turbocharged engines. Maybe those problems have been solved.

All the vehicles folks recommended here get good to excellent rating by Consumer Reports and it's obvious people have their favorites. As far as the 2019 models it seems like the Ascents have the most complaints but some sound awfully petty (I'm not talking recalls).

I know time is running out on the 2019 models but I did swing past the local Toyota dealership yesterday and saw they still had five 2019 Highlands left. Unfortunately, they were either the most expensive model, or the most basic. I was leaning towards the mid range. Although I hadn't given it much thought before I may investigate a hybrid. Not sure if they even offer them out here.

Thanks again, WanderingWilly

dbr
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by dbr » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:38 pm

retiredjg wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:31 pm
...I'm tired of crawling down into it.
The lowness of my Subaru (hard on old knees getting in and out) was a big reason I sold it to buy a Highlander (an older one). If the Ascent is not higher you may not be happy with it.
That must not be the models since 2105 or so as the difference in vehicle height and clearance is no more than a inch to an inch and half between the two. Many people find Outback/Subaru exactly right for entrance and exit along with large door clearance. A tall person could find the slightly taller Highlander to be optimum. The Subaru Assent is a taller car than the Outback or the Highlander. This is certainly one of those things where a person has to shop and try out what best suits.

Disclaimer: I bought an Outback for among other reasons that the entrance/exit heights are just about perfect for me and also don't challenge my wife to need to climb up to get in.

Nowizard
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by Nowizard » Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:30 pm

You are probably aware of this, but the new Foresters are advertised and even rated as being intuitive in terms of various functions. As one who has moved from a Toyota 4-Runner to a Forester, my experience is that the technology is not intuitive. That may not be an issue for you, but it is an everyday annoyance for me. I suspect this applies to the Ascent as well. However, having made the opposite switch from a larger to smaller vehicle, there are advantages for both, and I loved the 4-Runner but felt a smaller vehicle was appropriate for my increasing age.

Tim

aude
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by aude » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:28 pm

We have about 3,000 miles on a 2020 Ascent Touring. We like the trunk space and better AWD system as compared to the Toyota, at least the outgoing generation. The turbo 4 has plenty of power and gets good MPG if driven gently.

Trader Joe
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by Trader Joe » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:38 pm

WanderingWilly wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:01 pm
Hey Folks,
Going to retire within the next year and have decided to buy a new vehicle because I love road trips . I've always lived frugally and view this as a one time treat. I currently own a 2010 Forester and love it but for long distance driving (1000+ miles) it can be confining and I'm tired of crawling down into it. Also, in high wind areas or where there are long uphill grades (Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota) the mileage can easily drop from 28 mpg to 20 mpg. I've pretty much narrowed the choices down to a 2019 Toyota Highlander or 2019 Subaru Ascent. I have first hand experience with the quality of Subaru's and know some folks who are very satisfied with their Toyotas. Another reason for wanting a larger vehicle is I can throw in a large dog kennel or bicycle and still have room to stretch out in the back to take a nap. Of course the safety features of newer vehicles are a plus too.
I'm appealing to this group for comments and or experience with either vehicle. Thanks in advance.
Toyota Highlander - all the way.

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fortfun
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by fortfun » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:03 pm

WanderingWilly wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:10 am
First I want to thank everyone who as responded. I appreciate the comments, suggestions and insights. I hadn't considered the Honda Pilot but will take a closer look. To answer an inquiry or two. I'm 6 foot tall. My current 2010 Subaru has decent leg room but I need to scrunch down to get into it and sort of climb out. Maybe it's an age thing but getting in and out of the vehicle is getting to be a hassle. I'd like to get a higher sitting vehicle where I can more easily slide in and out. Yes, I expect my next vehicle to get more than 20MPG.

The idea of renting a vehicle for a week is great but probably not feasible here, especially with winter coming on. The nearest Subaru or Honda dealerships are 80 miles away, the next nearest are close to 200 miles away. There is a Toyota dealership 35 miles away.

I'm a little concerned about the Subaru 4 cylinder engine being underpowered. As stated earlier, on flat ground my Forester get great MPG's but the minute I start bucking the wind or climbing a grade the mileage can decline by 1/3 because the engine is working so hard. Under the conditions in which I drive I believe a 6 cylinder engine is in order. Although I don't currently have plans on towing anything I do want to get a towing package if available. I like the idea of a receiver hitch for a bike rack or accessories. It's seems like in the past Consumer Reports has stated problems with Subaru's turbocharged engines. Maybe those problems have been solved.

All the vehicles folks recommended here get good to excellent rating by Consumer Reports and it's obvious people have their favorites. As far as the 2019 models it seems like the Ascents have the most complaints but some sound awfully petty (I'm not talking recalls).

I know time is running out on the 2019 models but I did swing past the local Toyota dealership yesterday and saw they still had five 2019 Highlands left. Unfortunately, they were either the most expensive model, or the most basic. I was leaning towards the mid range. Although I hadn't given it much thought before I may investigate a hybrid. Not sure if they even offer them out here.

Thanks again, WanderingWilly
Do NOT limit yourself to the local dealer. I ended up getting the best deal in the next town away from us. Make them all "sharpen" their pencils and get the best deal!

jucor
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by jucor » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:33 pm

fortfun wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:01 pm
Highlander. Have a 2009 with >100k miles. Very comfortable, Zero issues. I change the oil once a year. That's it. I've had a few friends with Subarus that have had problems.
FWIW (which is not much!), I have a friend with a Highlander that has had several major issues including a transmission replacement within the first 4 years of ownership -- all but one issue were eventually covered by Toyota but not until lots of letters, calls, etc, and lots of time w/o the car.

YMMV --- literally! 8-)

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fortfun
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by fortfun » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:36 pm

jucor wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:33 pm
fortfun wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:01 pm
Highlander. Have a 2009 with >100k miles. Very comfortable, Zero issues. I change the oil once a year. That's it. I've had a few friends with Subarus that have had problems.
FWIW (which is not much!), I have a friend with a Highlander that has had several major issues including a transmission replacement within the first 4 years of ownership -- all but one issue were eventually covered by Toyota but not until lots of letters, calls, etc, and lots of time w/o the car.

YMMV --- literally! 8-)
Was he trying to pull a fifth wheel with it :)

I've only owned 2 but zero problems with either of them. Like you said though, YMMV...

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dwickenh
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by dwickenh » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:29 pm

I bought a 19 Highlander this year and have been very happy with the handling and ride. I did not drive the Ascent before buying the Highlander. I did drive the Passport, Pilot, Blazer.

Dan
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

jbmitt
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by jbmitt » Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:40 pm

Another vote for the Ascent. My wife and I have a 2020 Ascent Touring with about 2000 miles on it so far. I convinced her to ‘downgrade’ from her last Acura.

I compared it to the Honda, Acura, Toyota, and Volvo options. It works well for us.

We couldn’t wait for the Highlander to be updated, so I eliminated the current offering since it’s dated.

I would have also considered the Kia Telluride, but the local dealer wasn’t willing to below their msrp + market adjustment.

We’re in a fairly remote mid size city, need AWD and snow tires, and don’t have many competing dealer options or some brands at all.

Helo80
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by Helo80 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:14 pm

jbmitt wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:40 pm
We couldn’t wait for the Highlander to be updated, so I eliminated the current offering since it’s dated.
In what way is it dated? Serious question here.... It came out in 2017 and has a new one come in December.

IMHO, the Ascent is the one that has the dated interior. Look at all the mid-size SUVs from Kia, Hyundai, Lexus, Infiniti, Land Rover, Porsche, BMW, Mercedes and even the Lamborghini Urus..... what do they all have? widescreen infotainment screens... That will be on Highlander in 2020. I prefer the interior on the current generation Highlander over the Ascent any day of the week. That's not to say the Ascent has a bad interior by any means.

snowox
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by snowox » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:47 am

Have a 2012 Highlander and to date the best vehicle I have ever owned. And I have owned a bunch. This one I am going to keep till it goes to the graveyard. Dependable, love that I cant pull stuff with it, configuration is perfect and feel like driving something a little more solid. Be my choice again

alfaspider
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Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by alfaspider » Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:36 am

WanderingWilly wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:10 am


I'm a little concerned about the Subaru 4 cylinder engine being underpowered. As stated earlier, on flat ground my Forester get great MPG's but the minute I start bucking the wind or climbing a grade the mileage can decline by 1/3 because the engine is working so hard. Under the conditions in which I drive I believe a 6 cylinder engine is in order. Although I don't currently have plans on towing anything I do want to get a towing package if available. I like the idea of a receiver hitch for a bike rack or accessories. It's seems like in the past Consumer Reports has stated problems with Subaru's turbocharged engines. Maybe those problems have been solved.


We've been very happy with our Ascent. If you are interested in buying one, look into purchasing through the partner program. For $50, you can join the Pennsylvania horticultural society (it's the cheapest and quickest charity in the partner pricing program- our certificate came in 24 hours) and get 2% under invoice at a participating dealer. This is particularly helpful on the Ascent because dealers tend not to discount them much. You can also stack with a $500 ambassador or loyalty coupon (we used a loyalty coupon).

The motor in the Ascent is a new FA24 2.4 Turbo that bears no relationship with the motor in your Forrester other than being a 4cyl boxer (or the EJ series motors Consumer reports is talking about). I'm guessing you had the naturally aspirated motor in your Forester (i.e. not the "XT" model). The Ascent by no means a high performance vehicle, but it has plenty of juice for climbing grades or towing. It will likely feel a bit "punchier" than the v6 in the Highlander because turbocharged motors tend to be a bit torquier at lower RPMs than naturally aspirated motors at the same power output. That said, if you want a motor to last 300,000 miles, I would bet on the Toyota over the Subaru. If you are more of a drive for 100,000 miles kind of person, either should be perfectly fine.
Last edited by alfaspider on Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ndlex
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:14 am

Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by ndlex » Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:02 pm

My 2014 Highlander has been pretty frustrating. I do think most of my issues are due to it being the first model year of a new body style. I've had the following issues:

Front right strut replaced
Rear trailing arms replaced twice
All four door lock actuators replaced (failed one by one over a year period)
Leaking sunroof that required 8 visits to completely repair (knock on wood)
Rear power liftgate doesn't work in cold weather
Consistent reboots from stereo

Not what I would expect from Toyota. I will never buy first model year of new body style again.

Helo80
Posts: 1079
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 8:47 pm

Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by Helo80 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:10 pm

ndlex wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:02 pm
My 2014 Highlander has been pretty frustrating. I do think most of my issues are due to it being the first model year of a new body style. I've had the following issues:

Front right strut replaced
Rear trailing arms replaced twice
All four door lock actuators replaced (failed one by one over a year period)

With those issues, I really do not think that they had anything to do with the first model year run. It honestly would not surprise me if every single one of those parts is binned out to Lexus RX as well.

Pull up amazon ASIN: B07QH18V3Z
https://www.amazon.com/Actuator-4Runner ... 07QH18V3Z/

Door Lock Actuator Motor Front Left Driver Side | for Toyota 4Runner Camry Tundra Sequoia, Lexus ES350 GS350 LS460 RX450h, Scion tC xB xD | Replaces# 69040-0C050, 69040-06180, 931-401

That runs the gamut from the $20k Camry to the $120k Lexus LS

Hydraulic shocks are a bit trickier, but Highlander usually shares the same part bin as Lexus RX (non F-sport).

wilked
Posts: 1625
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 1:50 pm

Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by wilked » Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:56 pm

We test drove all of them. My wife hated the Highlander interior, definitely dated, and to me just not comfortable. Ended up with the Ascent and love it, just did the second oil change. I will say it’s got a ton of power, don’t let the old mentality of 4 vs 6 cylinder fool you.

If you are considering the Highlander I’d say at least wait and give the updated model a shot, it looks like a decent improvement

ndlex
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:14 am

Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by ndlex » Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:48 am

Helo80 wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:10 pm
ndlex wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:02 pm
My 2014 Highlander has been pretty frustrating. I do think most of my issues are due to it being the first model year of a new body style. I've had the following issues:

Front right strut replaced
Rear trailing arms replaced twice
All four door lock actuators replaced (failed one by one over a year period)

With those issues, I really do not think that they had anything to do with the first model year run. It honestly would not surprise me if every single one of those parts is binned out to Lexus RX as well.

Pull up amazon ASIN: B07QH18V3Z
https://www.amazon.com/Actuator-4Runner ... 07QH18V3Z/

Door Lock Actuator Motor Front Left Driver Side | for Toyota 4Runner Camry Tundra Sequoia, Lexus ES350 GS350 LS460 RX450h, Scion tC xB xD | Replaces# 69040-0C050, 69040-06180, 931-401

That runs the gamut from the $20k Camry to the $120k Lexus LS

Hydraulic shocks are a bit trickier, but Highlander usually shares the same part bin as Lexus RX (non F-sport).
Not sure about that as they are somewhat common problems with the 2014-15 Highlanders and I didn't look into the Lexus RX issues for the same period. I do know the trailing arms, sunroof seal, and auto liftgate issues were addressed in TSB's and got part number changes. I don't see much when searching on those issues that they are still a problem for 2016 and later. The door actuator problem looks like a bad batch as they all failed within a year of each other. The strut just leaked out within first 5K miles. Mixed bag but I think some are definitely first model year problems (trailing arms, sunroof seal, and auto liftgate).

Laker1
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:50 pm

Re: Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent--Advice

Post by Laker1 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:20 am

Toyota...because it is a Toyota..

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