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The 2022 Honda Pilot vs the 2022 Subaru Ascent decision may be tough in many regards. After all, they’re similarly sized SUVs with three-rows that make attractive options for families. They both also offer a sensible and stylish exterior, which may make it difficult to decide between them. So which SUV is safer, the Honda Pilot or the Subaru Ascent? The answer is pretty clear.

A brown 2022 Subaru Ascent midsize SUV is parked outdoors.
The 2022 Subaru Ascent | Subaru

The 2022 Subaru Ascent is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+

The 2022 Subaru Ascent wins the highest safety award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This is the Top Safety Pick+ award. To earn it, the Subaru Ascent had to get all good crashworthiness scores, as well as have acceptable or good headlights standard on all trim levels. In addition, the Ascent has superior or advanced safety systems. 

The Subaru Ascent has 2022 Subaru Ascent has a standard front crash prevention system: vehicle-to-vehicle system that gets a superior rating. This is the highest award that a crash prevention system can fit. The vehicle-to-pedestrian also gets a superior rating.

The 2022 Honda Pilot doesn’t win either safety award 

The Honda Pilot doesn’t win either of the IIHS’ safety awards. These are the Top Safety Pick and the Top Safety Pick+ awards. To win these awards an SUV must have good crash test ratings, acceptable or good headlights, and fantastic safety systems. The exact ratings vary depending on the award’s criteria.

Many of the 2022 Honda Pilot’s IIHS crash test ratings are good, but a couple of key subpar ratings stand out. For example, the small overlap front crash test on the passenger side is just acceptable. While this is the second-highest rating, it is enough to keep the Pilot from the Top Safety Pick award. In addition, the updated side crash test is marginal. The updated side crash test isn’t yet part of the IIHS Top Safety Pick awards, but it’s still important to pay attention to.

The Subaru Ascent is one of only 2 SUVs with good seatbelt ratings


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The 2022 Subaru Ascent and the 2022 Subaru Forester are the only two SUVs that earn a good rating from the IIHS for their seatbelt notifications. That’s out of the 26 SUVs that the IIHS tested. Both SUVs have audible alerts that are four times as high as the regular SUV noise.

On the other hand, the 2022 Honda Pilot is one of the SUVs that have poor seatbelt ratings. The IIHS says that the Honda Pilot’s signals aren’t loud enough or long enough to be safe. 

The 2022 Honda Pilot vs the 2022 Subaru Ascent isn’t as difficult to sort through as it may first appear. The 2022 Subaru Ascent is by far the safer of these two SUVs. It is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ with great crashworthiness scores and superior safety systems. While the 2022 Honda Pilot may be an incredible SUV, it isn’t quite as safe as the Ascent, and if you’re torn between these two SUVs, the Ascent is the easy choice.