2019 Subaru Ascent vs. Chevrolet Traverse Comparison

The upcoming, all-new 2019 Subaru Ascent takes on the Chevrolet Traverse

Set to arrive in the summer of 2018, Subaru is adding onto the lineup with the all-new 2019 Subaru Ascent. At JK Subaru we have no doubts that this 3rd row SUV (with an ability to seat up to 8) is going to be a popular choice for families who're starting to feel like their current Outback is a little snug.

Even though we know the Ascent is going to pull at the hearts of Subaru-lovers, there are many people who drive over brands and we want them to see how special this new model is! The 2018 Chevy Traverse is an SUV in the 3rd row segment that the Ascent will be going up against. Let's see how the two compare.

Safety & All-Wheel Drive

Drivers these days are really tuned into a vehicle's safety offerings. For many years Subaru has been a leader in the industry when it comes to advanced safety technology and with how their cars are engineered to provide optimal protection during a crash.

The 2019 Subaru Ascent will come standard- yes, standard- with the legendary Subaru EyeSight® System. This package of Driver Assist Technology includes: Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keep Assist and Sway Warning, Pre-Collision Braking, and Pre-Collision Throttle Management. Also standard on all Ascent's is a rearview camera for additional visibility. As you move up the trims, drivers can find additional features like Blind-Spot Detection, Rear Traffic Alert, Reverse Automatic Braking, or the Subaru StarLink ™ service that, among other things, sends out an automatic alert if the vehicle is in a collision.

And, in case you didn't know, like most Subaru models the Ascent has a standard AWD system.

The 2018 Chevy Traverse also has a slew of safety features: Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Low-Speed Forward & Forward Automatic Braking, Lane  Keep with Departure Warning, Rear Vision Camera, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change with Blind Zone Alert, Rear Park Assist, Rear Camera Mirror, Adaptive Cruise Control, Intellibeam® (aka: automatic) high beams, Rear Seat Reminder, and the Teen Driver Package. Whew! So, what's the caveat? Aside from a backup camera, Teen Driver Package, and Rear Seat Reminder, you aren't going to get a standard set of advanced safety features until you move up several trims. You'll also need to pay extra for AWD.

Specs & Dimensions

The Ascent is going to be shorter in length than the Traverse. It comes in a 198.9 inches compared to the competitors 204.3 inches. That does help the Traverse win the trophy when it comes to maximum cargo space. In fact, it leads the class with 98.2 cubic feet (compared to the Ascent's 72.6 cubic feet). It's a simple fact that the Traverse is made for carrying a lot of gear in the segment and few can compete. That said, having a cargo box on the top of your Subaru is a badge of honor, so if you need extra space that can be easily arranged and there is storage thoughtfully designed under the seat and in the center console.

The engines also vary. The Ascent has a SUBARU BOXER® that delivers 240hp. Though fuel ratings haven't been released yet, we have a feeling they'll be more appealing than the Traverse's, due to its 3.5L V6.

Both the Ascent the Traverse can tow up to 5,000 pounds, so if you want to bring along more gear it's possible. A point for Subaru is that towing is standard on all the trims, whereas it's only an available option on the Chevy.


This is where the two jockey for wins. Both have Apple CarPlay™ or Android Auto™ as a standard feature starting at the base trim. The Traverse has a larger touch screen at the base (7.1 inches vs 6.5), but the Ascent moves up to a 8.0-inch screen on the second trim; it's not until the 3rd trim that the Traverse catches up. A 4G LTE hotspot is available on most Ascent trims, whereas it's available on all. In previous years we think that hotspot was a nice touch, but with unlimited data plans being so popular, we don't think it's a crucial as the past. 

The 2019 Subaru Ascent has its work cut out for it in this 3rd-row segment. It may not have the cargo capacity of the Traverse, but when it comes to standard and available safety features and AWD we think it comes out on top. What we think will be the deciding factor for our shoppers is comfort, design, and technology.

To see that in action, you'll want to visit us at our dealership, located in Nederland, TX. The 2019 Subaru Ascent SUV will be available at JK Subaru soon.


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