Is the Subaru Ascent Bigger Than the Outback?

Many auto critics say that the Subaru Outback is what put Subaru on the map. If you’re interested in the Outback’s amenities and capabilities, you’ll probably be curious about the Ascent too. Buyers often wonder: is the Subaru Ascent bigger than the Outback?

Subaru Outback vs. Subaru Ascent dimensions

2020 Subaru Ascent driving down road
2020 Subaru Ascent | Subraru

Subaru’s Outback continues to dominate the competition because it’s the perfect blend of a station wagon and SUV. To eclipse its other rivals, Subaru introduced its newest SUV, the Ascent. Technically, both the Outback and Ascent compete in the midsize SUV class. The Ascent is bigger than the Outback, though.

2020 Subaru Outback
2020 Subaru Outback | Subaru

The Ascent is a three-row SUV that can seat up to eight passengers depending on the configuration that you pick. On the other hand, the Outback is a two-row model that seats up to five. Naturally, you’ll want to go with the Ascent over the Outback if you plan on hauling more people and cargo since it is longer and wider.

The Ascent is one of the best in its class when it comes to available cargo space. This Subie offers up to 86.5 cubic feet of cargo space. The Outback offers 75.7 cubic feet of cargo room with its rear seats folded down, which is excellent for a wagon/midsize SUV.

Driving dynamics 

2020 Subaru Outback Off Roading
2020 Subaru Outback | Subaru

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The Outback and Ascent are both outstanding examples of the value Subaru provides. Both SUVs are standard with all-wheel-drive and 8.7 inches of ground clearance, making them solid options for off-road excursions. The Outback and Ascent also appeal to city folks thanks to the smooth and comfortable ride quality they provide.

2020 Subaru Ascent Limited in a snowy forest
2020 Subaru Ascent Limited | Subaru

The Ascent offers a single engine option, and that’s a potent, 260-hp turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder. This same turbo-four is available on the Outback’s top-level XT trims. If you stick with the Outback’s lower-level trims, you’ll get the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder that produces 182-hp. No matter which you choose, both the Ascent and Outback come with a continuously variable automatic transmission. 

Especially for models with AWD, the Outback and Ascent are worthy options if you value fuel economy. With the base engine, the current Outback has an EPA rating of up to 29 mpg overall. The Ascent has an EPA rating of a combined 23 mpg. 

Cabin comforts 

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In terms of available amenities, the Outback and Ascent present value too. Both 2020 versions come with cloth upholstery as well as with lots of tech. Standard infotainment features on these Subies include a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, and Android. Subaru’s EyeSight driver assist technology is also standard on both. The EyeSight safety suite includes features such as forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control. 


A blue Subaru Ascent on display at an auto show
A Subaru Ascent on display | Kevork Djansezian

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If you’re interested, there are still 2020 Subaru Outbacks and Ascents models available, depending on your local dealership’s inventory. The Ascent begins at $31,995. A new Outback starts at $26,645.