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There’s a lot to like in Subaru’s largest SUV. The 2023 Subaru Ascent is a practical, well-equipped family crossover that offers Subaru’s all-wheel drive capabilities. But a newcomer to the family crossover segment offers a challenge to the Subaru Ascent. The Toyota Grand Highlander is new for the 2024 model year – and it has some compelling advantages over the Subaru Ascent. 

1. Grand Highlander has more cargo space than the biggest Subaru SUV

Close up view of the redesigned headlamp of a 2023 Subaru Ascent.
2023 Subaru Ascent | Subaru of North American, Inc.

The 2024 Grand Highlander simply carries more stuff than the 2023 Subaru Ascent. In a segment dedicated primarily to practicality, that’s a big win. 

It’s not a knock against the Ascent. On the contrary, Subaru’s family hauler has a respectable cargo capacity. Fold its rear seats down, and you can get a maximum cargo capacity of 86.5 cubic feet, according to MotorTrend. But it falls short compared to the Grand Highlander. 

Toyota’s newly announced SUV has a large rear cargo area. Per MotorTrend, the Grand Highlander offers no less than 98 cubic feet of space with the second and third rows folded down. It’s more than both the 2023 Toyota Highlander and 2023 Subaru Ascent. 

2. Subaru Ascent has less power than the 2024 Grand Highlander 

Subaru saw fit to equip its largest SUV with one of its most powerful engines. The turbocharged 2.4-liter Boxer engine provides a stout 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, per MotorTrend’s reporting. But even that comes short of Toyota’s option. 

The new Grand Highlander is good for no less than 362 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque when equipped with its available Hybrid Max powertrain. According to MotorTrend, the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine and electric system work together to offer a 5,000-pound towing capacity. There’s also another hybrid powertrain available that can deliver better fuel efficiency. 

3. Toyota’s infotainment display is bigger

Among the updates, Subaru brought to the 2023 Ascent, its new infotainment was one of the most notable. According to MotorTrend, the large crossover moved up from an 8.0-inch screen to an 11.6-inch screen. It’s offered with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

While the Subaru’s system is sound, the Grand Highlander’s is even more impressive. Toyota claims the Grand Highlander will have a 12.3-inch infotainment display. 

Is the Grand Highlander available in 2023?

Toyota has unveiled images and features for the 2024 Grand Highlander. However, it hasn’t hit the road yet. According to MotorTrend, the new Grand Highlander will likely be unavailable until late 2023. Meanwhile, the 2023 Subaru Ascent is ready to drive.


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