The Subaru Ascent Is a Worthy Alternative to the Jeep Grand Cherokee

In many ways, the 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee is in a league of its own. The Grand Cherokee is an exceptional off-roader, and it’s comfortable too. Even so, you have other adventurous options besides this Jeep. If you are in the market for a family-friendly SUV that can also hit the trails, the 2020 Subaru Ascent is a worthy option. In fact, there are few reasons why you should consider the Ascent over the Grand Cherokee.

The Subaru Ascent comes standard with all-wheel-drive 

2020 Subaru Ascent driving down road
2020 Subaru Ascent | Subraru

Subaru presents great value, and the Ascent is a prime example of this. The Ascent competes in the mid-size SUV class against models, including the Grand Cherokee and the Toyota Highlander. One clear advantage the Ascent has over other base models in its class is that it comes standard with all-wheel-drive. 

The 2020 Ascent starts at $31,995. A new 2020 Grand Cherokee begins at $32,150. Depending on the trim level you pick, It will cost you about $2,000 to $3,000 to add AWD to the Grand Cherokee.

The Ascent’s 8.7 inches of ground clearance and its AWD system plus hill descent control makes it an excellent choice for mild off-roading adventures. Critics like U.S. News favor the Ascent because it’s a mid-size SUV that drives like a smaller one. The Ascent also has a slight advantage over the Grand Cherokee when it comes to overall ride quality. 

In its 2020 road test, Consumer Reports gave the Ascent a five out of five rating for ride quality; the Grand Cherokee got a four. CR’s rating for the Ascent reflects how well it absorbs road imperfections. And while the Ascent doesn’t have a variety of engine options like the Grand Cherokee does, it still offers plenty of power for everyday driving situations. Each Ascent features a 260-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a continuously variable automatic.

The Ascent has more interior space

Bright, open Subaru Ascent Interior featuring white upholstery
Subaru Ascent Interior

The 2021 Subaru Ascent and All Its Cupholders Is More Expensive This Year

The Grand Cherokee has a roomy cabin, but it only seats five. It’s also below average when it comes to cargo space, as U.S. News highlights. So if you want more seats and cargo room, the Ascent has an advantage here too. 

The Ascent can seat up to eight people across its three rows. Plus, its third-row offers more space compared to class rivals. Cloth upholstery is standard on this Subie, and you have the option to upgrade with stain-resistant cloth upholstery or leather. And like the Grand Cherokee, the Ascent comes with a user-friendly infotainment system that includes a touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. 

It has better predicted reliability scores too 

Jeep has an impressive lineup of capable SUVs, but Subaru has a better reputation regarding overall reliability. Kelley Blue Book has recognized Subaru as the Most Trust Brand for six years. Additionally, Subaru says 97% of its vehicles sold in the last 10 years are still on the road today. Jeep hasn’t earned the same dependability awards that Jeep has.