2021 Subaru Ascent vs. 2021 Honda Pilot


Looking to upgrade to a new midsize SUV? Midsize SUVs are great for passenger capacity and cargo capacity. They also don't skimp on safety and technology features. You get a lot of capability with this type of vehicle. 

Below, we are going to take a closer look at two popular midsize SUV options: the 2021 Subaru Ascent and the 2021 Honda Pilot. Both of these vehicles have a lot to offer you, but we will compare their performance, exterior, interior, technology, and safety. Check it out below. 

Performance and Engine Options

First, let's look at the performance of these two vehicles. The 2021 Subaru Ascent comes standard with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. This turbocharged engine provides you with 260-horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive comes standard in your Subaru Ascent. This SUV can tow up to 5,000 pounds when it is properly equipped. This vehicle offers you smooth and capable driving with an estimated 21 city and 27 highway miles per gallon in terms of efficiency. You can also do some light off-roading in the Subaru Ascent with features like the 8.7-inches of ground clearance, Subaru's X-Mode system, and hill descent control that this vehicle offers you. 

Under the hood of the 2021 Honda Pilot, you can find a 3.5-liter V6 engine. This engine produces 260-horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, and the engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle offers you standard front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available. You have a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds when this vehicle is properly equipped. This vehicle gives you plenty of power and a smooth driving experience. In terms of fuel efficiency, you can expect to get around 20 city and 27 highway miles per gallon. 

These vehicles offer you similar horsepower, fuel efficiency, and towing capacity, but the 2021 Subaru Ascent has the advantage of standard all-wheel drive and off-road features that make it a bit more capable than the Honda Pilot. 


Next, let's look at the exterior of these vehicles. The Subaru Ascent is 16.4 feet long, and it has a curb weight that ranges from 4,400 pounds to 4,600 pounds. This vehicle gives you exterior features that are both stylish and functional, like an available panoramic moonroof, 20-inch alloy wheels, 8.7 inches of ground clearance, LED lighting, side mirrors with integrated turn signals, raised roof rails, and more. 

The 2021 Pilot measures 16.4 feet long, and has a curb weight that can range from around 3,900 to 4,300 pounds. In the Pilot, you also get features like 18-inch alloy wheels, a power moonroof, LED lighting, and an available hands-free power liftgate. 

Interior and Technology

On the inside of the Subaru Ascent, you can find seating for seven or eight people. The base model offers you seating for eight with second and third row bench seats, but you can upgrade your vehicle to get second row captain's chairs. This vehicle comes with standard cloth upholstery, but you have the option of upgrading for features like heated seats, a heated steering wheel, ventilated seats, and leather upholstery. 

The 2021 Ascent also has some good cargo space for you. This vehicle gives you 17.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row of seating, 47.5 cubic feet behind the second row of seating, and up to 86.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row of seating.

In terms of technology, this SUV gives you some good standard features, you get an infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and four USB ports standard. You can upgrade to get more available features like a larger 8-inch touchscreen, a Wi-Fi hotspot, a navigation system, more USB ports, and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. 

There is seating for up to eight people in the Honda Pilot. This vehicle comes standard with seating for eight and two rear bench seats, but you have the option to upgrade to second-row captain's chairs to give you seating for seven people. This vehicle gives you standard cloth upholstery, but there are interior upgrades like leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, ventilated front seats, and heated second-row seats. 

In terms of cargo capacity, this vehicle gives you 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row of seating, 55.9 cubic feet of space behind the second row of seating, and you can get up to 109.2 cubic feet of cargo space with both the second and third rows folded down. 

Standard technology features in the 2021 Pilot include a 5-inch infotainment display, Bluetooth, and two USB ports. You do have to upgrade to higher trim levels to get features like the available 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless device charging, a rear-seat entertainment system, and a 10-speaker stereo. 

When you compare these interiors, the Subaru Ascent has more standard technology features than the Honda Pilot, but the Pilot does offer you slightly more cargo space. Below, we are going to take a closer look at the safety of these vehicles. 


Safety is something both of these vehicles take seriously. They both offer you a lot of standard safety technologies. The 2021 Ascent offers you standard forward automatic emergency braking, a rearview camera, a rear seat reminder, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and automatic high-beam headlights. You can upgrade for additional safety features including blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and LED fog lights. 

The Honda Pilot does offer you a good number of safety features standard. This vehicle gives you a rearview camera, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, forward automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlights standard. You have to upgrade to get additional safety features like rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and LED fog lights. 

As you can see, both of these vehicles have a lot to offer you. The Subaru Ascent does seem to offer you a slightly more capable performance and more standard technology features, so it has the edge over the Honda Pilot. If you have any further questions about these two SUV options, you can reach out to us at Granite Subaru.