All good points, but be careful about "cargo volume". That's measured up to the roof, and that's not how I typically load my SUV. Roof height and slope of the rear hatch glass make a big difference in the cargo volume measurement. For instance, specs for our 3rd-gen MDX are 38 ft^3 behind 2nd row, 68 behind 1st row. 3rd-gen Pilot claims 47 ft^3 behind 2nd row, 84 behind 1st row. But cargo area floor area and cargo volume up to the bottom of the rear windows are nearly identical.
Sure, sometimes it's nice to have the extra volume, or extra height for bulky items, and if Pilot weren't such a good road-trip vehicle it wouldn't be in my stable, but for typical use that total cargo volume can be misleading. When I shop for a road-trip vehicle these days I show up at a dealer with my biggest luggage. That's a measure I trust.
Ask me about the rental Hyundai Santa Fe Sport we ended up with for a trip to Yosemite, having reserved a "Toyota 4Runner or similar". That thing got loaded to the roof, and every cubic inch. :frown:
As for the AWD system, you're preaching to the choir, but Pilot has an open diff at the front. Pilot does have electronically controlled "limited slip" capability at the rear. Some manufacturers are going toward open diffs with brake-based traction control, including some reputable German manufacturers. The devil is in the details. The electronic control system can make or break any of these modern AWD systems.
What qualifies as "Symmetrical All-wheel Drive" or "quattro" or whatever is subject to the whims of the respective manufacturers these days, and it takes some deep digging to get real specs. Apparently, most drivers don't care. Viscous couplings are old-school; they suck power and fuel, and their performance degrades over time. It will be interesting to see more detail about the AWD system in the Ascent.