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I am currently divided in making a choice between Honda Pilot AWD (2018 and onwards EX-L or Touring trims) or Subaru Ascent (2020/21 Limited trim) as an 8 Passenger SUV. Trying to keep the two cars at par when it comes to the active safety feature set for a better comparison.

I live in midwest and we get extended months with snow here so keeping that in consideration as well when it comes to car handling and performance in snow/ice conditions on the roads.

Appreciate your comments and suggestions in helping me make the choice.
 

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I would say if anything, the Pilot has a superior AWD system due to excellent torque vectoring on the 3rd gen and stout programming.

If you are putting car seats in the vehicle, the 8 passenger Ascent has some issues with overlapping and 3rd row access that some of our friends have complained about.

Also, and this is strictly my personal opinion... I don't like the way boxer engines sound or feel (poor NVH will develop over time like every Subaru 4 cylinder) and I personally don't find a turbo 4 an appropriate engine to power a large 3 row crossover reliably for a long period of time.

I do think the Ascent is a good looking vehicle though, IMO better looking than a 3rd gen Pilot. Muscular without looking bloated, which I think the 3rd gen Pilot struggles with.
 

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we just bought a 2021 Pilot 2wd EX-L. I had started looking at Subaru Forrester Sport for myself, but wife got evolved and we got the Honda instead. if I were you I would be sure to locate either a Subaru Dealer or Garage near me that will work on Subaru's because not all mechanics really understand boxer engines. Dave
 

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Is this where I mention how my sister's 3 year old Outback needed an engine out repair 3 months and 2,000 miles after the warranty was up? Subaru goodwilled everything but the rental (which they chose not to do since she's home with a newborn anyway and they can share the Wrangler) but that could have been REAL ugly.
 
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Do you want a third row just to have or will you actually be using it?
9/10 the Accent will be fine if you don’t use the third row regularly.
If you intend to use it a lot then get the Pilot.
I always thought Subarus were reliable but I’m not familiar with them at all.
 

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I was looking at the Ascent for a friend. Shocking lack of attention to detail. Plastic external trim e.g. wheel arches etc weren't color matched on one side but were on the other

No sense on reliability. It wasn't for her being too big.
 

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The Subaru seems so bland compared to the Pilot. If you want 19 cupholders then go ahead with the Subaru but in terms of everything else, I'd go team Pilot. You should definitely go with the 2019 or up Pilot since there was a big refresh which added a lot of tech.
 

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When you say "a lot of tech", does that include a cassette tape and CD player?
The Pilot does come with a CD player fortunately😁. Maybe the Pilot is a modern classic car. It should be kept in a museum🤔.
 

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I heard all the Subarus have a questionable CVT transmission
Not a big fan of CVTs but when they work as designed they can be impressive. Had some negative experience with CVTs from Nissan and Subaru. Both CVT brands provided impressive peppiness from 4 cyl motors but each had some issues. The Nissan CVT @34K had intermittent issues pulling forward into a parking spot but tested perfectly at CarMax for consideration. The Subaru CVT @99K caused an engine stalling issue when braking at intersections similar to stalling a manual transmission vehicle. Subaru never issued a safety recall as stalling at intersections is never safe but quietly released a TSB to have these CVTs repaired. The TSB covered CVT/torque converter replacement for owners with mileage up to 100K so any higher mileage owners might be screwed. The Subaru @139K is running well but doesn't inspire confidence. It's possible the newer CVTs will be better but I'm going to wait on the sidelines a bit longer.
 

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I've never been a fan of subaru due to the head gasket issues in their car line up.

Might be worth checking out the Ascent forums, a quick Google search and there are posts that discuss the two.

My 0.02 cents...
A lot of money to spend on a 5k+ lb vehicle with a 4 cylinder turbo and a CVT.

That turbo has got to be singing to get that performance out of it. One late oil change and I can already see the puke show.

Hopefully you don't need to tow anything?

I'd actually be interested to hear how it drives if you test drive it.

Good luck.
 

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I am currently divided in making a choice between Honda Pilot AWD (2018 and onwards EX-L or Touring trims) or Subaru Ascent (2020/21 Limited trim) as an 8 Passenger SUV. Trying to keep the two cars at par when it comes to the active safety feature set for a better comparison.

I live in midwest and we get extended months with snow here so keeping that in consideration as well when it comes to car handling and performance in snow/ice conditions on the roads.

Appreciate your comments and suggestions in helping me make the choice.
I personally like the styling inside and outside of the Ascent and it was a tough decision for me. What turned me off was the suspension, it was too soft for my liking. I have owned two Subaru Outbacks before...

Both Honda and Subaru have issues with their cars from reliability perspective. Do check Consumer reports, I hear Subaru had a ton of quality issues with either 2020 or 2021.

Honda had a lot of issues prior to 2019 refresh. I have 2019 Pilot Touring and so far so good (23k miles). I would recommend getting a Pilot 2019 or newer.

It seems that both brands struggle with reliability so either consider extended warranty or buy from a dealership that offers one for free.

While Pilot's AWD is superior, I never had trouble with snow in my Outbacks. Subaru does offer a better clearance at 8.7 inched vs 7.25 for Pilot. So if you get a ton of snow, keep that in mind.
 
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