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We're not anywhere near ready to trade our Pilot off yet, but when we are we will definitely be looking at both the Pilot & the Ascent. We've really been impressed with our '15 Forester. It's been virtually trouble free with over 50,000 on it now. We love our Pilot also, but it definitely hasn't been trouble free... I will add that Honda has taken care of the problems we have had at no expense to us other than down time and (2) 140 mile round trips to the dealership with 2 vehicles every time we have an issue. Our Subie dealer is 1/4 mile down the road from our Honda dealership and assured us they would provide us with a loaner vehicle any time we need service or any kind of work done to it. We've never had to take them up on their offer...


Not trying to start any arguments here, but cintocrunch, you may want to do a little research on the Subaru head gasket issue. From everything I've read and heard, the issue was resolved around the mid to late '14 models and they haven't had problems since. This coming from quite a bit of online research and speaking with several Subaru techs before purchasing our Forester.
 

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Not trying to start any arguments here, but cintocrunch, you may want to do a little research on the Subaru head gasket issue. From everything I've read and heard, the issue was resolved around the mid to late '14 models and they haven't had problems since. This coming from quite a bit of online research and speaking with several Subaru techs before purchasing our Forester.
No argument needed... I'm simply making the point that while Honda has taken car of the VCM issue since 2012 there are still people having issues (at what percentage compared to earlier years, much much smaller but they pop up on the forum)... Subaru has had the same with their head gasket issues, the high failure rate years are well past but there are some out there still having the problem just like Honda with the VCM issues.

I'm in no way saying they make a bad product, just that both manufacturers have had their issues over the years and I wouldn't necessarily use one or the other to decide which one to get. Honestly from what I understand most of the 3 row midsize vehicles have their "glitch" but are otherwise pretty reliable. Waveplates in the Traverse, CVT vibrations in the Pathfinder, Explorer's with exhaust gas issues, etc.
 

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I agree. Anything mechanical is going to occasionally have issues. I just don't want people to get he idea that the Subie head gasket issue is still a prevalent problem...
 

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3rd Row Comparison

We have 3 teenage boys and I'm struggling with which vehicle has the most space in the 3rd row. Ultimately that will decide which SUV we go for. The Pilot has more headroom but I'm mostly concerned with legroom. Looking at the dimensions online they appear to be about the same but when I test drove both the Pilot just seemed to have more space. What have you all found to be true?
 

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We have 3 teenage boys and I'm struggling with which vehicle has the most space in the 3rd row. Ultimately that will decide which SUV we go for. The Pilot has more headroom but I'm mostly concerned with legroom.
Bring all three boys to the dealer and let them sit in the vehicles. Maybe their opinions will help you decide.
Also include the latest version of the Chevy Traverse on your shopping list.
 

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I brought my tallest son (6'2") to ride in the Ascent tonight and he couldn't fit in the 3rd row- his head hit the ceiling. He did fit in the third row of the Pilot. I'd like to try the traverse but we had a bad Chevy experience and just can't consider another one.
 

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We have 3 teenage boys and I'm struggling with which vehicle has the most space in the 3rd row. Ultimately that will decide which SUV we go for. The Pilot has more headroom but I'm mostly concerned with legroom. Looking at the dimensions online they appear to be about the same but when I test drove both the Pilot just seemed to have more space. What have you all found to be true?
We took our daughter's family to the UP 2 years ago and our then 12 and 14 year old grandsons were in the back seat for over 2,000 miles. They were 6'4" & 6'2" at the time and had plenty of leg & head room. I'm not so sure they would be as comfortable now at 6'7" and 6'6"...
 

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I brought my tallest son (6'2") to ride in the Ascent tonight and he couldn't fit in the 3rd row- his head hit the ceiling. He did fit in the third row of the Pilot. I'd like to try the traverse but we had a bad Chevy experience and just can't consider another one.
Unless you can wait for the Hyundai Palisade it sounds like your choice is made!

Or go for an Expedition Max or Suburban!
 

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Go on their website, it's officially released now... I can tell you that I like the looks better than the current Pilot (and most others in this class), I would struggle with owning a CVT again, and the initial reviews I've been reading make it sound as roomy as the top of the class.

Also, you won't find a better AWD setup than a Subaru. Pilot's (especially new ones) have a great system but they aren't good for prolonged use like the Subaru.

If we are looking again in a couple years, we would strongly consider this vehicle.
I shared the same thoughts too initially. We've always known Subaru to be synonymous with AWD. But I was taken aback to learn that Subaru chose to use the cheap route for their Ascent. My observations and findings indicate the AWD system in the Honda Pilot 2019 is actually better than the one available in the Ascent 2019. Subaru used the brake torque vectoring for it's AWD system. Honda used a much better system and will transfer 70% of the torque to either rear wheel while Subaru does at most 50%. 100% of the 70% transferred can be moved to the wheel that needs it. An extensive review and comparison was recently done and you can view the video here: YouTube

The Ascent is a 2.4L Turbo charged V6 and yields less power than the 3.5L Aspirated V6 Pilot. For me, that was a deal breaker.

Disclaimer: I am not adding this information to start a debate. My only motive for sharing this information is to help anyone make a well informed decision in making a choice. Many times, I have observed preconceived notions and biases tend to cloud opinions. Subaru is legendary with AWD but it does not mean they are always on top of the competition.
 

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I shared the same thoughts too initially. We've always known Subaru to be synonymous with AWD. But I was taken aback to learn that Subaru chose to use the cheap route for their Ascent. My observations and findings indicate the AWD system in the Honda Pilot 2019 is actually better than the one available in the Ascent 2019. Subaru used the brake torque vectoring for it's AWD system. Honda used a much better system and will transfer 70% of the torque to either rear wheel while Subaru does at most 50%. 100% of the 70% transferred can be moved to the wheel that needs it. An extensive review and comparison was recently done and you can view the video here: YouTube

The Ascent is a 2.4L Turbo charged V6 and yields less power than the 3.5L Aspirated V6 Pilot. For me, that was a deal breaker.

Disclaimer: I am not adding this information to start a debate. My only motive for sharing this information is to help anyone make a well informed decision in making a choice. Many times, I have observed preconceived notions and biases tend to cloud opinions. Subaru is legendary with AWD but it does not mean they are always on top of the competition.
Well that's too bad to hear for the Ascent, great news for Pilot owners though.

The only other thing I can think of that may give Subaru the edge (in one category albeit) is that their systems traditionally have been more robust, better able to handle torque distribution to just the rear or just the front for longer periods where many other AWD vehicles produce overheating messages from the rear diff. I'm not sure the fluid capacity on the new Pilots but the gen 2 holds almost twice the fluid our Traverse's rear diff holds, that makes me thing the Pilot is much better suited for extensive AWD use where the Traverse is not going to hold up as well. So maybe this isn't an issue for the Pilot?
 

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We stopped in to our Subaru dealer last week & I got my first official closeup look at one. I must say I think it's a gorgeous vehicle. That's where the love affair ended. I sat in all 3 positions. The driver's position was very nice, although I'm not sure the seat would be as comfortable after a 500 mile as the Pilot's is. The center row seats were difficult to get my old, 6'4", 250 pound body into and the seat was not nearly as comfy as the Pilot middle row seat. The headroom was cramped and the leg room with the driver's seat all the way back was non existent. I attempted to crawl into the rear seat and nearly gave up. It was very difficult for this old grandpa to get back there. I finally made it, but my head was hitting the roof and I had no feet or leg room at all. The salesmen were all busy, so at least after extricating myself from the vehicle I didn't have to badmouth the new Ascent. It may work for small or average sized folks, but if you're an Amazon like me, you might as well stick with a Pilot or Highlander. It's too bad, I really wanted to like the Ascent...
 

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Yoda that's too bad to hear... perfect example of the spec sheet numbers (which look very comparable to the Pilot) not working out to real life.

I think it is quite a handsome thing from the front and side but the taillights don't look right to me. Never cared much for Subarus interior style but at least they wised up a couple years ago and put temp gauges back in the vehicles.
 

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Lots of engine noise in that 2.4T until you get to about 35mph.
The Ascent seemed to hunt for the proper gear a lot.
But its very well done. Instrumentation layout is nice and intuitive like the Pilot. Ride quality is very nice. Plenty of power. Lots of gadgets and features for the $.
Give it 3 years and they will sell every one that makes it on to a lot.
We still have the Pilot at the top of our list.
 

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The Ascent seemed to hunt for the proper gear a lot.
So since this is a CVT with no gears it sounds like the fake gear "steps" they put in are poorly tuned... interesting.

Honestly I'm more interested in the Hyundai Palisade/Kia Telluride than the Ascent at this point.
 

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Interesting about that being a cvt. I know it wasn't the turbo. But I definitely felt "shifts" and "slight downshift" at times.
Thanks for the info.
 

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We are strongly considering a Pilot EX and are also considering the Highlander (and possibly even the Odyssey w/o the 9 speed transmission). I have recently started hearing more about the new Subaru Ascent with all the news coming out of the LA International Auto Show. Does anyone have thoughts on how this vehicle will compare with the Pilot - pros and cons? So far, the initial information sounds positive - reliable AWD system, solid safety features and good reliability. Thanks!
It is interesting your preference notably excludes the 9 speed transmission. You may still be feeding off of the complaints associated with the Pilot's 9 speed transmission but significant improvements in the 2019 may very well make that an issue of the past. The Ascent is a 2.4L Turbo that delivers 260 hp - I have just not been sold on a 2.4L for power even if it is turbo-charged. The Pilot delivers more power using a legit 3.5L V6 with 280 horses. I also will choose the Pilot's true AWD with torque vectoring over that of the Subaru's continuous variable AWD. I know Subaru has a house-hold name with AWD but Honda's SH-AWD or i-VTM4 that you have in the Pilot is comparatively better than what you get in the Ascent (you can watch the video for yourself: YouTube). I also personally prefer the safety system in the Honda relative to that of the Ascent. The Ascent does not have a radar sensor like the Pilot has behind the Honda logo but instead relies on a set of double cameras on the windshield. The Pilot uses a single camera on the windshield to view objects in combination with proximity settings on the radar sensor. That makes the safety technology on the Ascent cheaper to install and maintain but when it comes to safety, I personally don't mind paying extra for it. If you can't see the obstacle in front of you in the Ascent, neither can the vehicle. The radar sensor in the Pilot is another set of eyes that may see or sense (especially in foggy or wintry weather) what I can't see through the windshield.

Space was what made the Pilot a no-brainer for me when I compared it with the Highlander. It was complicated getting into the 3rd row and I could barely fit in there. I also did not like the fact that even on the upscale trim, everything in front is not fully LED. Optics matter for me.

At the end of the day, you will need to do your own extensive research. The upcoming Ford Explorer 2020 is what seems to beat the competition in my opinion right now but you never know what Honda is going to release next year as well.
 

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actually, its a 2.4 flat 4 turbo, not a v6. Subaru doesnt make a V6.
You're right - my bad. Didn't even realize I wrote that. I was actually trying to contrast their 2.4L engine with that of Honda's V6. However, Subaru makes 6 cylinder engines too.
 

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We are strongly considering a Pilot EX and are also considering the Highlander (and possibly even the Odyssey w/o the 9 speed transmission). I have recently started hearing more about the new Subaru Ascent with all the news coming out of the LA International Auto Show. Does anyone have thoughts on how this vehicle will compare with the Pilot - pros and cons? So far, the initial information sounds positive - reliable AWD system, solid safety features and good reliability. Thanks!

I just purchased a 19 Elite. I had test drove the Subaru Ascent Limited beforehand and strongly considered it but after having owned a Subaru in the past and dealing with all its quirks (Subaru Legacy) I couldn't bring myself to purchasing another and realized I'd be much happier in the long term with the Honda
 
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