Subaru Ascent vs. Toyota Highlander
Subaru Ascent
Toyota Highlander
At a Glance: Subaru Ascent vs. Toyota Highlander

Are you on the hunt for an SUV that can handle the demands of your daily commutes around Mesquite, Rockwall, and Garland? You're certainly on the right track if you're considering the 2023 Subaru Ascent or the Toyota Highlander. The experts here at Norm Reeves Subaru Superstore Rockwall want to help you finish your research and get behind the wheel.

We’ve placed these two SUVs side by side in order to find out which one provides you with more advantages.



8 | 8
Ascent vs Highlander


14 | 11
Ascent vs Highlander


Standard | Upgrade
Ascent vs Highlander
See the Difference for Yourself
Select a category below to learn more about how the Subaru Ascent compares to the Toyota Highlander.
Subaru Ascent

SUVs like the Subaru Ascent and the Toyota Highlander are known for their spacious interiors. Whether you’re carpooling to the next soccer game or packing up for a family vacation, everyone is sure to be comfortable in these models.

Stay Comfy Inside the Cabin

Both vehicles provide their occupants with three spacious rows in which to stretch out and relax. See below for some of their interior dimensions:

Subaru Ascent
Toyota Highlander
Headroom (first/second/third row) 41.2 inches/40 inches/36.2 inches 41.2 inches/39.4 inches/36.1 inches
Should Room (first/second/third row) 61.1 inches/60.3 inches/36.2 inches 59 inches/58.7 inches/55 inches

Which Model Has the Most Room?

With numbers like these, the 2023 Ascent makes it possible for you and your passengers to make yourselves comfortable without having to worry about encroaching on anyone else's space. In fact, you’ll find 153.2 cubic feet of passenger room.

While the Highlander comes close in terms of headroom and shoulder room, it's unable to compete with the Ascent in terms of total passenger volume. With just 141.8 cubic feet, this ride ends up feeling more cramped.

Subaru Ascent

Wondering about the performance you can expect from the Highlander and the Ascent? Both models put out more than 260 horsepower. However, if you want to explore different terrain while maintaining a smooth ride, you’ll want to stick with the Subaru.

Your SUV Should Be Ready for Anything

Snow, sleet, ice, or rain—no matter the weather or the state of the roads, your SUV should be able to handle it all. A durable drivetrain that provides power to the right wheels at the right time is an absolute must.

In this sense, the 2023 Ascent barrels ahead of the Highlander. The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive (AWD) system isn’t just an optional upgrade, it’s standard in every single trim. No matter which Ascent trim you choose, you’ll have superior wheel grip. The Highlander, on the other hand, makes front-wheel drive standard in the base trims. In order to secure AWD handling, you’ll have to opt for an upgrade.


In addition, you’ll have smoother shifting in the Subaru Ascent. The Ascent comes standard with the Lineartronic® CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). This system comes with Adaptive Control, Auto Vehicle Hold, and an 8-speed manual mode.

While the Highlander does offer an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission, it isn’t available on lower trims.

Subaru Ascent

With room for eight passengers, the Subaru Ascent and the Toyota Highlander will be home to all sorts of adventures. Whether you’re taking the kids on a camping trip or carpooling with coworkers to happy hour, you’ll want to make sure everyone has a great ride.

Turn Up the Audio on Your Next Trip

Road trips are fun. With collaborative playlists, traveling games like “I Spy”, and even audiobooks, there are plenty of entertainment choices to be made. One convenient feature that will allow you to stay connected to all your passengers in the Subaru Ascent is Cabin Connect. This feature allows you to project your voice to the passengers in the back seats through the third-row speakers.

Speaking of which, you can upgrade to the available Harman Kardon® premium audio system, which outfits your Subaru Ascent with 14 speakers. Unfortunately, the Toyota Highlander doesn’t have a Cabin Connect feature and maxes out at 11 speakers.


Of course, you’ll want to use those audio systems to play music, the radio, or podcasts. Connecting your phone is easier than ever with these features in both the Ascent and the Highlander:

  • Wireless Apple CarPlay®
  • Wireless Android Auto™
  • Bluetooth® * wireless technology

While both models have impressive connectivity features, these features will be easier to use with the standard 11.6-inch touchscreen in the Subaru Ascent. In comparison, the Toyota Highlander’s standard touchscreen is just eight inches.

Which One Will Be Your Next SUV?
Subaru Ascent

As you can see, both these vehicles are poised to impress. However, the Ascent pulls ahead of the Highlander thanks to such accommodating aspects as its spacious interior, generous audio, and enduring drivetrain.

Now that you know how the Subaru Ascent can enhance your Mesquite, Rockwall, or Garland driving experience, it's time to check it out firsthand. Contact Norm Reeves Subaru Superstore Rockwall today to set up your 2023 Subaru Ascent test drive for a day and time that fits your schedule.

All of the tools you need to move forward with experiencing a new 2023 Ascent for yourself are conveniently available right here online.

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