2020 Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent


If you’re looking for a 3-row SUV to help you cruise through the Lowell, Dracut, and Tewksbury, MA, areas, then you may be considering models like the 2020 Toyota Highlander and Subaru Ascent. At Ira Toyota of Tewksbury, we’re big fans of both.

However, you can only pick one, so which one will you choose?

To help you decide which one you want to drive, we compared the Highlander vs. Ascent. Check it out now and then contact us to schedule your test drive!

Toyota Highalnder Engine Specs

2020 Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent Engine Specs

Since both SUVs are well-known for their adventurous natures, it felt only right to start our comparison under the hood. What we found is that the Highlander and Ascent live up to their reputations, especially when equipped with their available all-wheel drive (AWD) systems.

The AWD systems maximize traction control whether you’re taking it off-road or simply commuting to work during a slick New England winter. Plus, when armored with AWD, both vehicles can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.

One thing we noticed, however, is that their engine specs differ quite a bit:


2020 Toyota Highlander

2020 Subaru Ascent


3.5L V6

2.4L I-4


295 horsepower

260 horsepower

With a V6 engine and more horsepower than the Subaru Ascent, the Toyota Highlander may prove to be a bit more energetic when you take it out on the open road.

2020 Toyota Highlander Technology

Smart Safety Technology: Highlander vs Ascent

If you’re like many drivers in the Tewksbury, MA, area, then you take safety seriously when you’re choosing your next set of wheels. So do Toyota and Subaru! They even equip the Highlander and Ascent with several standard smart safety features that can help improve driver awareness, including:

  • Smart cruise control
  • Forward collision warning
  • Lane keeping

They also both offer automatic high beams. These automatically turn your high beams on and off when they sense oncoming cars or taillights. One difference, however, is that the Toyota Highlander makes this feature standard, while the Subaru Ascent requires a trim level upgrade before it’s available.

Also, while both SUVs have a forward collision warning system, only the Highlander includes Cyclist Detection to help keep everyone on the roads as safe as possible. Unfortunately, the Ascent doesn’t have a similar feature.

2020 Toyota Highlander Interior

Inside the Cabin

Finally, let’s compare the cabins of the Highlander and Ascent. At first, we see many similarities. For example, both are 3-row SUVs with 7-passenger and 8-passenger seating options.

They also both have an 8-inch touchscreen display in the center stack that’s compatible with Bluetooth®, Apple CarPlay®, and Android Auto™. These features maximize entertainment and connectivity by allowing you to take hands-free phone calls or stream audio from your phone.

The Toyota Highlander comes standard with the 8-inch touchscreen display, while the Subaru Ascent comes standard with just a 6.5-inch touchscreen. A trim level upgrade is required before the Ascent offers the same kind of surface area as the standard infotainment system in the Highlander.

Toyota Highlander vs Subaru Ascent: Which Will You Drive?

When the team at Ira Toyota of Tewksbury compared the Toyota Highlander vs. Subaru Ascent, we found a lot to like about what the Highlander brings to the Lowell, Dracut, and Tewksbury, Massachusetts, areas. Do you want to give it a try for yourself? We can help with that!

Simply contact us to test drive the Toyota Highlander today!


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Ira Toyota of Tewksbury

468 Main St Tewksbury, MA

Phone: (978) 863-9009



Phone: (978) 569-1850

468 Main St Tewksbury, MA


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468 Main St Tewksbury, MA


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Ira Toyota of Tewksbury 42.620488, -71.255655.