2020 Kia Telluride vs 2020 Subaru Ascent – Freefold, NJ

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  • 2020 Kia Telluride

    A black 2020 Kia Telluride is facing left.

    Starting at


    2020 Subaru Ascent

    A grey 2020 Subaru Ascent is facing right.

    Starting at


    291 hpMax Horsepower260 hp
    87 cu. ft.Interior Cargo Space86 cu. ft.
    5,000 lbsTowing Capacity5,000 lbs

    Car shopping, and we include SUVs here, can be difficult. There are so many options and models out there that by the time you finish looking at everything available on just one vehicle, you can feel exhausted. It helps to break things down and look at just one or two models at a time, comparing what they have to offer and using that to inform your decision. For example, consider the 2020 Kia Telluride vs 2020 Subaru Ascent to see which would be better for you.

    Both of these SUVs are about the same size, with three rows of passenger seating available. The starting trims of both of them have seating for 8 people, thanks to a second-row bench seat, though higher trims have seating for 7 people due to a second-row pair of captain’s chairs instead. Even though they are about the same size, the Kia Telluride offers 25 cu.ft. of passenger space more than the Subaru Ascent. That means more leg room for second and third-row passengers without sacrificing front seat space and comfort.

    The 2020 Kia Telluride and the 2020 Subaru Ascent both offer up to 5,000 lbs of maximum towing capacity and have comparable fuel economy. Both of these SUVs have great features and options inside and out and come with fantastic available safety features to protect you and your loved ones on the road. Where the Telluride really sets itself apart, however, is with its standard safety features, which put the Ascent to shame. If you would like to know more about the 2020 Telluride or any other vehicle in the Kia lineup, then come visit us at Raceway Kia today.

  • Engines and Performance

    A green 2020 Kia Telluride, which wins when comparing the 2020 Kia Telluride vs 2020 Subaru Ascent, is driving on a road in the desert.

    Although engine power and performance might not be the first thing you look for in a midsize SUV, it is certainly not something you should ignore. Sure, a powerful engine is more important in a sports car or heavy-duty pickup truck, but engine power still impacts how your vehicle will feel when you drive it. So you should look for a vehicle with an engine that is powerful enough to be fun when you are behind the wheel.

    With that in mind, the 2020 Kia Telluride has an impressive 3.8L Lambda DOHC V6 engine that offers up to 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. This is paired with an electronically controlled 8-speed automatic transmission and a Sportmatic Sports shifter that makes it truly fun to drive no matter where you are or what conditions you find yourself in. The engine gives you plenty of power for a midsize SUV and gets an estimated 20/26 mpg in the city and on the highway for great overall fuel economy.

    By comparison, the 2020 Subaru Ascent comes with a 2.4L DOHC turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that provides up to 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. While that is a bit more torque than the Kia’s engine, it is substantially less horsepower. The Subaru comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission and gets an estimated 21/27mpg in the city and on the highway. It is worth mentioning that both the Subaru and the 2020 Kia Telluride can get up to 5,000 lbs of towing capacity when properly equipped.

  • Interior

    The front white leather interior of a 2020 Kia Telluride is shown with a 10.25” touchscreen display.

    While both the 2020 Kia Telluride and the 2020 Subaru Ascent are essentially the same size on the outside, the Telluride offers you substantially more passenger space inside. The exterior dimensions of the Telluride are about 197 inches long, 78 inches wide, and 69 inches tall with the roof rails. By comparison, the Ascent measures about 197 inches long, 76 inches wide, and over 71 inches tall with its roof rails. Pretty close, and yet the Telluride from Kia gives you more room inside.

    The 2020 Subaru Ascent offers a total of 153.5 cu.ft. of interior passenger space, while the 2020 Kia Telluride offers 178.1 cu.ft. of passenger space. That is a significant difference that really adds up as you look at individual dimensions for just how much room you and your passengers get. For example, the Telluride gives your middle-row passengers 42.4 inches of legroom, while the Ascent has just 38.6 inches of legroom for the middle row. Anyone with long legs knows that 4 inches of legroom can make a huge difference.

    Both the 2020 Kia Telluride and the 2020 Subaru Ascent has excellent interior tech and luxury features, as you would expect from a modern vehicle. In both cases, what you get depends a lot on which trim level you look at and then what available or extra features you choose. To keep things simple, let us consider what you get with the highest trim of each of these SUVs.

    The 2020 Kia Telluride SX, which is its highest trim, comes with a 10-inch Infotainment touchscreen display, a 10-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system with a subwoofer, and a head-up display. It also includes a 12-way power adjustable driver’s seat, 8-way power adjustable front passenger seat, and dual-zone automatic temperature control. The Telluride SX features heated front and second-row seats, a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seat trim, and a 7-inch color display in the driver’s cluster.

    By comparison, the 2020 Subaru Ascent Touring, which is its highest trim, features an 8-inch multimedia display, a Harman Kardon surround sound audio system, but no head-up display. The Ascent Touring also features a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat and 4-way power adjustable front passenger seat, along with heated front and second-row seating. It has a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-trimmed upholstery, and analog instruments with an LCD display. As you can see, the multimedia display in the Touring is substantially smaller than in the Telluride SX, and it lacks a head-up display, while starting at nearly $4,000 more than the Kia.

  • Safety Features

    A silver 2020 Kia Telluride is driving through a small river near Freehold, NJ.

    Nothing is more important when looking at a vehicle than the safety features it has to offer. In general, you should consider what comes standard and what is available for extra, not only at the highest trim but also on the starting model. In this respect, the 2020 Kia Telluride is far superior to the 2020 Subaru Ascent, as it has much better standard and available safety features.

    The starting Kia Telluride, without any extra packages, includes numerous airbags, hill start assist, and vehicle stability management. What is really impressive, however, are the active safety features included with the starting trim of the Telluride. These include blind-spot collision avoidance, a driver attention warning, and forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection. Other standard safety features include a forward collision warning, a lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and rear cross traffic collision-avoidance assist.

    By comparison, the safety features on the starting model of the 2020 Subaru Ascent are pretty meager. Although it includes numerous airbags and vehicle dynamics control, it lacks some other important options. Fortunately, some active features are standard, including pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. However, safety features such as blind spot detection with lane change assist, reverse automatic braking, and rear cross-traffic alert are not standard.

    In fact, those safety features are not even available as an option on the starting trim of the 2020 Subaru Ascent. The Ascent Premium and higher trims include blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert, but they are not options for the starting trim. Considering how important such safety features are, this seems like a real oversight, and demonstrates how the Kia Telluride keeps you safer with even the standard options.

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