I first heard about the Ascent when we purchased a Subaru Forester last July. The salesman mentioned the new subaru to me when he noticed we were driving a '16 Pilot. He told us then that he would very much like to be given a chance to trade us into the new Ascent when they become available & I've been watching the news releases on them very closely. As for those stating the cheap plastics in the Subaru brand, they may be correct when talking about the older models, but I can assure you that the quality, aesthetics and the fitment on our Forester Touring is every bit as good as on our Pilot Touring.
We test drove a '15 model CR-V EX-L and a '17 CR-V EX-L with the 2.0 turbo when we decided to add another vehicle to our stable last July, because after owning our Pilot, we were pretty sure we wanted our 2nd vehicle to be a CR-V. We were both blown away by how underwhelmed we were with the Pilot's little brother. The engines were noisy under acceleration and both felt very under powered. At an idle both engines made the vehicles shudder & vibrate. The road noise was much louder than the Pilot and although the new CR-V was better than the 2 year old model, we weren't impressed with the comfort and visibility of the little Hondas. The Adaptive Cruise Control on the new CR-V was similar to the Pilot, which is far from exceptional. We walked out feeling let down & frustrated. We then drove down to the Subaru dealership and test drove a couple of new & used Foresters. Everything that we disliked about the Honda, we loved about the Forester. We bought one on the spot. We've put nearly 8,000 miles on the little Subi now and have only put around 2,000 miles on our Pilot.
I say all this to let you know that we are impressed enough with the Subaru brand , that we may very well trade off our 2 year old Pilot for a new Ascent in the next year or two. The only 2 things that will make me hesitate are the new engine, a 260 HP, 277 Ft lb. of torque, 2.4 L turbocharged 4 cylinder boxer, coupled to a new "high torque" version of their Lineartronic CVT. Subaru's "Eyesight" setup in our Forrester is IMHO, far superior to the Honda setup... Time will tell whether the new engine & CVT will work out well in the Ascent and whether it will achieve the great fuel economy, "usable" power, and just plain fun that the Honda 3.5L and 9 speed tranny deliver. I've been saying for 2 years that our Pilot is the finest vehicle I've owned over the past 49 years. The little Forester may be making me rethink those words...
I will say that IMO you can't go wrong with a new Pilot, but I would wait & at least take the new Ascent for a test drive when they come available. Their appearance alone makes me drool. I think we're going to be amazed at the quality and value of the big Subi.