If you're trying to choose an outdoorsy SUV to drive around Doylestown, Philadelphia, and Warminster, then you may have come across popular models such as the 2020 Subaru Ascent and the Ford Explorer. While either would be a great choice for a local driver like you, we want to help you find the ideal option for your lifestyle.

So, the team at Fred Beans Subaru put together this 2020 Ascent vs. Explorer comparison to show you how these two SUVs measure up. Check it out, and then contact us to test drive your favorite!

2020 Subaru Ascent

2020 Ford Explorer




EPA-Estimated MPG

21 city /27 highway MPG

18 city /24 highway MPG

Seating Capacity

8 passengers

7 passengers

Cargo Volume (behind 2nd row)

47+ cubic feet

47+ cubic feet

Passenger Volume

153.5 cubic feet

152.7 cubic feet

Subaru Ascent vs Ford Explorer Handling Capabilities

When you're considering models such as the 2020 Subaru Ascent and Ford Explorer, you're probably looking for an SUV that's always ready to hit the road for your next great adventure. That's why we appreciate that both the Ascent and the Explorer give you the capability you need to get going.

Looking at their standard engines, we see that both vehicles generate well over 250 horsepower. They also both come with an all-wheel drive (AWD) or a 4-wheel drive (4WD) system that can help you tackle off-road obstacles and inclement weather with confidence.

One difference, however, is that the Subaru Ascent SUV makes its Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system standard, while the Ford Explorer makes their AWD available as an upgrade.

So, if you want an SUV that's off-road ready right out of the gate, you may prefer the Ascent.

2020 Ascent vs Explorer MPG

We've also noticed a difference in their fuel economy numbers.

With the standard engine and AWD, the Subaru Ascent gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 21 city/27 highway MPG. With the same options, the Ford Explorer gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 18 city/24 highway MPG.

If you're trying to limit stops along the way, you may get farther per tank in the Subaru Ascent.

This may be due to the transmission. The Ascent comes with a Lineartronic® HCVT (High-Torque Continuously Variable Transmission) with an 8-speed manual mode. The CVT does away with the set shift points you often find in an automatic transmission. This allows for nearly infinite shifts between the upper and lower limits to provide a smooth, powerful, and efficient drive.

Interior Specs

When you enter inside the cabin of either the Subaru Ascent or the Ford Explorer, you'll find a spacious 3-row SUV. They both provide passengers with a comparable amount of space:

  • Subaru Ascent passenger volume: 153.5 cubic feet
  • Ford Explorer passenger volume: 152.7 cubic feet

One difference, however, is that you may be able to bring along more friends inside the Ascent.

This capability is because the Ascent has an available 8-passenger seating option, while the Ford Explorer can only seat up to seven passengers.

Otherwise, they offer a similar amount of cargo volume with more than 47 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row and a total cargo volume of more than 86 cubic feet.

Will You Drive the 2020 Subaru Ascent or the Ford Explorer?

When our team at Fred Beans Subaru compared the 2020 Subaru Ascent vs. Ford Explorer, we found a lot to like about what the Ascent offers drivers in the Philadelphia, Doylestown, and Warminster areas. If you want to give it a try for yourself, come by our Subaru dealership, and we'll help you experience the Ascent firsthand.

Contact us to test drive the Subaru Ascent today!

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Fred Beans Subaru

854 N. Easton Road
Directions Doylestown, PA 18902

  • Sales: 8556172987
  • Service: 215-340-7959
  • Parts: 215-340-7959


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