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2021 Subaru Ascent vs Kia Telluride

2021 Subaru Ascent vs Kia Telluride

2021 Ascent vs Telluride - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

Are you in the market for a three-row SUV? Look no further! The 2021 Subaru Ascent and Kia Telluride are two of mostsought after vehicles. Though relatively new, they have already proven to be well worth the investment due their capability, modern features, convenient amenities and comprehensive safety packages - so much that it can sometimes make one's decision difficult. Therefore this guide is here to cover all differences between these two powerhouses in order for potential customers to decide which model would best fit them strategically.

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The Powertrain

The Subaru Ascent and Kia Telluride offer drivers only one powertrain option, but interestingly enough their specifications differ quite drastically. Despite the larger 3.8-liter V6 engine in the Telluride providing a slightly more powerful 291 horsepower compared to 260 of its counterpart, it falls short when considering torque with 277 pound feet for the 2.4 liter four cylinder found in the Ascent verses 262 pounds per foot offered by its rival - making this an intriguing comparison between two popular vehicles on today's market.

With Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive and X-Mode, tackling the toughest of terrains won't be a problem. Plus, with Hill Descent Control on board to minimize any speed gained while cruising down steep slopes, your Ascent will have you always feeling in control! While most trims can tow up 5,000 pounds worth of cargo easily - even base models are able to manage an impressive 2k. Take charge no matter what gear needs hauling; the power is there for drivers who choose it.

With Kia's Telluride, every trip can be an exciting one. Boasting optional all-wheel drive with a Snow Mode for tough conditions and standard paddle shifters across trim levels that enable manual control of the 8-speed automatic transmission - this car doesn't just get you there; it gives you full command to make your journey more thrilling! Sensors analyze traction needs on the fly, so power is always routed where needed most while drivers have the option to lock AWD in place if necessary.

Kia's powertrain warranty is really generous. It's good for 10 years or 100,000 miles, so this should give shoppers a lot of peace of mind as they prepare to make an investment in a new vehicle. Subarus have proven to be reliable, so people can feel good about purchasing an Ascent as well. The powertrain warranty on the Ascent is good for five years or 60,000 miles.


For those looking for a large SUV that handles just as well as its smaller counterparts, the Ascent and Telluride are suitable options. Despite both measuring in at over 195 inches long with 76 inch widths, they boast impressive ground clearances of 8.7 (Ascent) and 8 (Telluride), making them great off-road vehicles while providing an easy drive around town.

Considering that they're so similar in their exterior dimensions, it would make sense that their interior dimensions are in the same general range. Leg room in the Subaru Ascent is 42.2, 38.6, and 31.7 inches in each of the three rows. This is comparable to the 41.4, 42.4, and 31.4 inches of leg room in the first, second, and third rows of the Telluride. The second row in the Telluride is definitely more spacious than that of the Ascent, and both models have smaller third rows that would be ideal for children.

The Ascent and Telluride can either have captain's chairs or bench seats in their second rows. With bench seats, these SUVs would have eight total seats. If captain's chairs are selected, then total seating capacity would go down to seven. The benefit of captain's chairs is that the cabin feels more open and people can have a bit more room to move around. It is especially helpful in giving passengers easier access to the third row.

Cargo room is going to be another important factor to commander when getting a three-row SUV. In the Ascent, maximum cargo capacity is 86.5 cubic feet when all the rear seats are lowered. When they're all in place, the cargo area in the back has about 17.5 cubic feet of room. The Telluride has 21 cubic feet of volume behind its third row of seats, so this may be more practical for many drivers. Its maximum cargo capacity is 87 cubic feet.

The Ascent is the perfect blend of technology and convenience. From its 6.5-inch touchscreen with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and SiriusXM in base models to eight-inch touchscreens plus built-in Wi-Fi capability on all other trims; not forgetting an integrated navigation system coupled with a superior 14 speaker Harman Kardon sound system for Touring level luxury - these infotainment systems will transform your journey into pure bliss.

The touchscreens in the Telluride trims are larger than those in the Ascent. The first two trims of the Telluride have eight-inch touchscreens, and the top two are enhanced with 10.25-inch touchscreens. All models have smartphone compatibility and Bluetooth. Like what's seen with the Ascent, wireless charging and navigation, along with a Harman Kardon audio system with 10 speakers, can be found in the higher trims.

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With the Subaru Ascent, every trim has the EyeSight Driver Assist Technology package as well as automatic high beams. The driver-assist systems include pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane centering. These features can reduce the chances of frontal collisions and accidents resulting from drivers drifting out of their lanes. Most trims have blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and the the top half of the lineup has reverse automatic braking.

Adaptive cruise control is also found in every Telluride model. This program can be utilized on open stretches of highway. In addition to being able to maintain a set speed, the program can adjust the speed of the SUV if the leading vehicle slows down or speeds up.

Further, the Telluride comes standard with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, and lane departure warning. Notably, blind spot collision-avoidance assist and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist are standard in every Telluride model. Not only can the Telluride warn drivers about problems related to rear cross traffic or vehicles in blind spots, but the SUV can also help people avoid hitting other vehicles. It can do so by correcting steering or braking. Two additional features that are standard in the Telluride are parking distance warning and driver attention warning. However, automatic high beams are only included with the top-level trim.

Which Has the Best Value?

The new Subaru Ascent and Kia Telluride both offer four trims for customers to choose from. Budget-conscious buyers can find value in the entry-level models, with prices starting at $32,295 for the Ascent LX and $32,190 for the Telluride LX. Those looking to splurge on higher end options will pay more - between $34,795-$45,445 (Ascent) or $34,590-$42490 (Telluride). Whether you are a savvy shopper searching out great deals or want top of the linefeatures , these two vehicles have something that could fit your needs.

The first two models of the Telluride are very comparable to those of the Ascent in terms of pricing. The Ascent has standard LED steering responsive headlights and roof rails, but the Telluride's base model doesn't come standard with either. In fact, LED headlights are only standard in the Telluride's top model. Inside the cabin, the Telluride seems to offer more, with its standard synthetic leather seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Ascent has cloth seats in its lower trims, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel isn't found in its base model.

If you're looking for a luxurious SUV experience, the Telluride and Ascent have top-end trims that guarantee comfort. The Telluride's technology package is comprehensive while also offering great value; heated/ventilated front seats, leather seating and power sunroofs come standard as well as optional features like a smart power lift gate. For those wishing to further indulge in luxury amenities there's always the Ascent which provides all of these plus Second Row Heating & Steering Wheel Heating.

Which is Better?

The two models have almost identical specs and dimensions, making them close rivals in the marketplace. One offers more horsepower while the other has a higher torque rating - however, when it comes to features such as safety technology and interior amenities, there's no comparison. With superior components than its competitor plus an expanded touchscreen display for maximum convenience, the Telluride takes this matchup hands-down.

So far, it seems like the Telluride would be the better purchase. It certainly has a modern vibe and great benefits, but it can't be forgotten that the Ascent comes standard with all-wheel drive and is made by a company known for its reliability. The Ascent will do well partly based on name-recognition alone, and its practical and durable nature will give it a lot of appeal to some customers.

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