Which is bigger: Ascent or Outback?

Size is a major differentiator between the Ascent and Outback. The Ascent is the biggest Subaru vehicle we’ve ever built — a full-size, 3-row SUV that can seat up to eight passengers. Bigger in every dimension than the Outback, the Ascent is 196.8 inches long, almost 5 inches longer than the Outback, 76 inches wide, and 71.6 inches tall (with roof rails). As a midsize SUV, the Outback is designed to carry up to five passengers and measures up to 191.9 inches in length, 74.6 inches in width, and 66.9 inches in height (including roof rails). 

If you need to carry more than five passengers, then the Ascent is an easy choice as it seats up to eight. But if you don't need the extra passenger seats, the Outback, with its lower center of gravity and lighter weight, could feel a little more agile and responsive at highway speeds and is easier to fit into tight parking spaces on city streets.

2024 Subaru Ascent Dimensions

Length:

196.8 inches

Width:

76.0 inches

Height:

71.6 inches*

Wheelbase:

113.8 inches

Base Curb Weight:

4,421 - 4,590 pounds

*With roof rails (standard on all trims)

2024 Subaru Outback Dimensions

Length:

Up to 191.9 inches

Width:

Up to 74.6 inches

Height:

Up to 66.9 inches

Wheelbase:

108.1 inches

Base Curb Weight:

3,641 - 3,946 pounds

Which has a more powerful engine and greater towing capacity: Ascent or Outback?

The Ascent and Outback are both equipped with the time- and trail-tested SUBARU BOXER® engine to power their Standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive systems. Every SUBARU BOXER engine is built with a unique horizontal layout, giving both vehicles a lower center of gravity and a finely tuned balance between power and fuel efficiency. 

The Ascent is equipped with a 2.4-liter turbocharged SUBARU BOXER engine capable of 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. The Outback features a standard 2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine that delivers 182 horsepower and 176 pound-feet of torque and an available 2.4-liter turbocharged SUBARU BOXER engine that delivers 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. With the available turbocharged engine, the Outback matches the Ascent's pure power. But when you consider towing, differences emerge: The Outback can tow up to 3,500 pounds, and the Ascent offers a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. While the Outback lets you haul all kinds of equipment for your adventures, if you need to tow truly heavy cargo, the Ascent should be at the top of your list.

2024 Subaru Ascent

Engine:

2.4-liter turbocharged SUBARU BOXER engine

Horsepower:

260 hp at 5,600 rpm

Towing Capacity:

5,000 pounds

2,000 pounds (Base trim)

2024 Subaru Outback

Engine:

2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine

(Available 2.4-liter Turbocharged SUBARU

BOXER engine)

Horsepower:

182 hp at 5,800 rpm (2.5-liter SUBARU BOXER engine)

260 hp at 5,600 rpm (2.4-liter Turbocharged SUBARU BOXER engine)

 

Towing Capacity:

2,700 to 3,500 pounds

Which has more ground clearance: Ascent or Outback?

For standard ground clearance, the Ascent and Outback are an even match. Both Ascent and Outback feature 8.7 inches of ground clearance for increased capability on rough terrain and in snowy conditions. Those who want to venture far off-road should consider the Outback Wilderness trim, which offers the most ground clearance of any Subaru vehicle at 9.5 inches and features a standard front skid plate to help protect the vehicle in rugged territory.

2024 Subaru Ascent

Ground Clearance:

8.7 inches

2024 Subaru Outback

Ground Clearance:

8.7 inches

Wilderness Ground Clearance:

9.5 inches

Which has more passenger and cargo space: Ascent or Outback?

Interior space is another area where the Outback and Ascent diverge, especially when it comes to passenger seating. The 3-row Ascent gives you a choice between fitting seven passengers with second-row captain’s chairs or eight passengers with second-row bench seating, while the Outback seats up to five passengers. The Ascent interior gives you up to 153.2 cubic feet of passenger room (on trims without a moonroof). That’s about 44 more cubic feet of space than the Outback at 109 cubic feet (on trims without a moonroof). But when it comes to maximum cargo space, the two SUVs are an even match with up to 75.6 cubic feet with their standard 60/40-split flat-folding rear seatbacks folded down to create an extended cargo area behind the front seats.

2024 Subaru Ascent

Passengers:

Seating for up to 8 (second-row bench seat)

Seating for up to 7 (second-row captain's chairs)

Maximum Cargo Space:

Up to 75.6 cubic feet

Interior Passenger Room:

150.2 cubic feet (Onyx Edition 7-Passenger, Onyx Edition Limited 7-Passenger, Touring 7-Passenger, Limited 7-Passenger, and Limited 8-Passenger trims with moonroof)

153.2 cubic feet (Base 8-Passenger, Premium 8-Passenger, Premium 7-Passenger, Limited 7-Passenger, and Limited 8-Passenger trims without moonroof)

 

Passenger Legroom:

42.2 inches (front)

38.6 inches (middle)

31.7 inches (rear)

Passenger Headroom:

Up to 41.2 inches (front)

Up to 40.0 inches (middle)

36.2 inches (rear)

2024 Subaru Outback

Passengers:

Seating for up to 5

Maximum Cargo Space:

75.6 cubic feet

Interior Passenger Room:

107.5 cubic feet (Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, Touring, Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, Wilderness, and Touring XT trims with moonroof)
109 cubic feet (Base, Premium, Limited, and Wilderness trims without moonroof)

Passenger Legroom:

42.8 inches (front)

39.5 inches (rear)

Passenger Headroom:

Up to 40.1 inches (front)

39.1 inches (rear)

Build and Price

Now you’ve explored some of the major differences in specs and features between the Subaru Ascent and Outback, but online research can only take you so far. Each vehicle has its own unique personality, driving feel, and customization options. You can start by building your own Ascent and Outback with our online tools and try them out in a test drive at your local retailer to find the Subaru SUV that’s perfect for you.

2024 Subaru Ascent

MSRP:

$34,395 - $48,695*

MPG:

Up to 26/20 MPG highway/city**

2024 Subaru Outback

MSRP:

$28,895 - $42,795*

MPG:

Up to 32/26 MPG highway/city**

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

2024 Subaru Ascent Exterior Color Options

Autumn Green Metallic

Cosmic Blue Pearl

Crimson Red Pearl

Crystal Black Silica

Crystal White Pearl

Dark Mahogany Pearl

Ice Silver Metallic

Magnetite Gray Metallic

2024 Subaru Outback Exterior Color Options

Autumn Green Metallic

Brilliant Bronze Metallic

Cosmic Blue Pearl

Crimson Red Pearl

Crystal Black Silica

Crystal White Pearl

Dark Mahogany Pearl

Geyser Blue

Ice Silver Metallic

Magnetite Gray Metallic

2024 Subaru Ascent Available Trims

Base 8-Passenger

Premium 8‑Passenger

Premium 7‑Passenger

Onyx Edition 7‑Passenger

Limited 8‑Passenger

Limited 7‑Passenger

Onyx Edition Limited 7‑Passenger

Touring 7‑Passenger

2024 Subaru Outback Available Trims

Base

Premium

Onyx Edition

Limited

Touring

Onyx Edition XT

Wilderness

Limited XT

Touring XT

Safety is an area where the Ascent and Outback are very similar. Both are engineered to protect the people you love using trusted Subaru safety features like the Subaru Global Platform. The Ascent and Outback are both built on this protective architecture, which uses high-strength steel to provide durable crash protection and rigidity. They are also both equipped with industry-leading active safety systems like standard EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology, which gives you an extra set of eyes on the road and, if need be, an extra foot on the brake when you drive. EyeSight also features driver assistance technologies like Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering, which can take some of the stress out of driving by helping with steering, braking, and throttle control – both in daily traffic and on long road trips. The Subaru DriverFocus® Distraction Mitigation System is also available on select trims for both vehicles and acts as an attentive co-pilot along for the ride, ready to give a helpful alert if you become distracted or drowsy.

 

The Ascent and Outback both feature standard Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive across every trim for outstanding capability. The balanced design of Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive creates uniform stability and delivers an optimal distribution of power for maximum traction in virtually any weather or road condition. It delivers better handling, improved efficiency, and a quicker response to road conditions than competitors’ optional systems. 

X-MODE®, also standard on both vehicles, works in conjunction with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive to optimize your traction on slippery surfaces and includes Hill Descent Control, which helps you descend difficult grades. Select Ascent and Outback trims offer a dual-function X-MODE that lets you choose settings for specific conditions like deep snow, dirt, and mud.

The Ascent and Outback both use the Subaru Lineartronic® Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The CVT system features two pulleys that can vary in width connected by a steel chain. By changing this width, the CVT can create an infinite “gearing” across its range, which lets it continuously and smoothly adapt to performance demand by keeping the engine in its most efficient operating range. Both vehicles also offer available manual modes, which allow you to move through these “gears” using paddle shifters and give you more precise engine control.

2024 Subaru Ascent Transmission

  • Lineartronic® CVT with Adaptive Control and 8-speed manual mode (Standard on all trims)

2024 Subaru Outback Transmission

  • Lineartronic® CVT with Adaptive Control and 8-speed manual mode with paddle shifters (Standard on all trims)

Like every new Subaru, the Ascent and Outback feature two standard warranties. The Subaru Limited Factory Warranty provides limited bumper-to-bumper coverage for three years or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first, and the Powertrain Warranty covers the engine, transmission, and all-wheel drive and lasts for five years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. 

You can also purchase extended coverage for both vehicles through the Subaru Added Security Program, which offers two different plans. The Classic Plan covers major parts, including the engine, all-wheel drive (AWD), and transmission (as well as towing and car rental), while the Gold Plus Plan adds coverage to air conditioning, electrical, steering, front suspension, brakes, and other systems.

2024 Subaru Ascent Multimedia Touchscreens

  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia Plus with 11.6-inch touchscreen (Standard on Base 8‑Passenger, Premium 8‑Passenger, Premium 7‑Passenger, Onyx Edition 7‑Passenger, Limited 8‑Passenger, and Limited 7‑Passenger trims)
  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia Navigation with 11.6-inch touchscreen (Standard on Onyx Edition Limited 7‑Passenger and Touring 7‑Passenger trims. Optional on Limited 8‑Passenger and Limited 7‑Passenger trims)

2024 Subaru Outback Multimedia Touchscreens

  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia with dual 7-inch touchscreens (Standard on Base trim)
  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia Plus with 11.6-inch touchscreen (Standard on Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, Onyx Edition XT, and Wilderness trims)
  • SUBARU STARLINK® Multimedia Navigation with 11.6-inch touchscreen (Standard on Touring, Limited XT, and Touring XT trims. Optional on Premium, Limited, and Wilderness trims)

Since the Ascent is a full-size SUV compared to the midsize Outback, fuel economy differs between the two vehicles. Although they both use fuel-efficient SUBARU BOXER engines for competitive mileage in their respective classes, the larger size and heavier weight of the Ascent gives it 26/20 MPG** highway/city compared to the Outback Base and Premium trims at 32/26 MPG** highway/city. The Outback Wilderness trim, designed for rugged off-road adventure, has a lower fuel economy than the other Outback trims at 26/21 MPG** highway/city.

2024 Subaru Ascent Miles Per Gallon**

  • 26/20 MPG highway/city (Base 8-Passenger, Premium 8-Passenger, and Premium 7-Passenger trims)
  • 25/19 MPG highway/city (Onyx Edition 7-Passenger, Limited 8-Passenger, Limited 7-Passenger, Onyx Edition 7-Passenger, and Touring 7-Passenger trims)

2024 Subaru Outback Miles Per Gallon**

  • 32/26 MPG highway/city (Base, Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, and Touring trims)
  • 29/22 MPG highway/city (Onyx Edition XT, Limited XT, and Touring XT trims)
  • 26/21 MPG highway/city (Wilderness)

 

As the larger of the two vehicles, the Ascent can fit a slightly bigger gas tank for a higher fuel capacity at 19.3 gallons compared to the Outback fuel capacity of 18.5 gallons. But while the Ascent, with its fuel economy of up to 26 highway and 20 city MPG**, can reach more than 500 miles of highway driving range, the lighter weight of the Outback, with a fuel economy of up to 32 highway and 26 city MPG**, can reach more than 590 miles.

2024 Subaru Ascent

Fuel Capacity:

19.3 gallons

Driving Range:

Over 500 miles

 

2024 Subaru Outback

Fuel Capacity:

18.5 gallons

Driving Range:

Over 590 miles