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The 2023 Toyota Highlander has much to offer almost any SUV buyer. However, it’s not the only great SUV on the market, as the 2023 Subaru Ascent beats in three main ways. Perhaps the most significant way it comes out on top is with its standard all-wheel drive. Of course, the Toyota Highlander is the more legendary of the two SUVs, but there are many who would be just as happy with the Subaru Ascent 2023. 

The Subaru Ascent 2023 is faster than the new Toyota Highlander

2023 green Toyota Highlander
2023 Toyota Highlander | Toyota

The 2023 Subaru Ascent has a great deal going for itself. According to Car and Driver, it comes powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with a maximum output of 260 horsepower. Though noisy, it uses a continuously variable transmission, which makes towing things easier. In fact, it has a 5000-pound towing capacity, which is the same as the 2022 Subaru Ascent. 

The 2023 Highlander also delivers impressive performance. Its 2.4-liter 265 horsepower engine is even a tad bit more powerful than the latest Subaru Ascent. The Highlander can be either front or all-wheel drive, but not for the base trims. Where the Subaru Ascent 2023 really comes out on top is that it’s faster as it accelerates from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.7 seconds. 

The Subaru Ascent has a better interior than the Toyota SUV

Third-row seating of a 2023 Subaru Ascent in brown leather.
2023 Subaru Ascent Interior | Subaru of North America, Inc.

The new Subaru Ascent is also better than the Toyota Highlander 2023 because of its interior. Though this can be seen all over, the real victory is with the third row of seats. Most SUVs that offer three rows aren’t super comfortable for the rear passengers. However, the Subaru Ascent has ample space for the people in the back.

The Subaru Ascent also has an advanced interior. It comes standard with an 11.6-inch touchscreen. The great thing is that the screen and its rather large icons are positioned in such a way that they are less of a distraction for the driver. By comparison, the Toyota Highlander 2023 has a standard eight-inch screen with a 12.3-inch on higher trims.

The Subaru SUV is cheaper

The 2023 Subaru Ascent three-row family SUV drives down a road with trees in the background.
2023 Subaru Ascent | Subaru of North America, Inc.

Another thing the Subaru Ascent 2023 has over the new Toyota Highlander is the price. The Ascent starts at $32,975, which still isn’t cheap. The price isn’t far off from the Subaru Ascent 2022. However, the Toyota Highlander 2023 costs $36,420 before any extras are added. Of course, it makes sense that three-row SUVs are a little more expensive, but the lower price of the Subaru Ascent could make it a smart buy for many people.

The 2023 Toyota Highlander is an excellent larger SUV. However, it has many rivals that beat it in various ways. Though sometimes underrated, the Subaru Ascent is one of those vehicles. It may not be the biggest price difference, but it’s still cheaper for an arguably better SUV.

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