2020 Chrysler Pacifica vs. 2020 Subaru Ascent

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Chrysler Pacifica are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Subaru Ascent doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The Pacifica (except Hybrid Touring) offers an optional Surround View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Ascent only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Pacifica and the Ascent have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes and lane departure warning systems.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

There are almost 4 times as many Chrysler dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pacifica’s warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Pacifica has a standard 730-amp battery. The Ascent’s 530-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The Pacifica’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 27 more horsepower (287 vs. 260) than the Ascent’s 2.4 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Motor Trend the Chrysler Pacifica V6 is faster than the Subaru Ascent:

Pacifica

Ascent

Zero to 60 MPH

6.7 sec

7.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.4 MPH

88.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

On the EPA test cycle the Pacifica Hybrid running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Ascent Base/Premium (87 city/76 hwy MPGe vs. 21 city/27 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Pacifica Hybrid running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Ascent Base/Premium (29 city/30 hwy vs. 21 city/27 hwy).

The Pacifica Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 32 miles. The Ascent must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the Pacifica Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Ascent doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Pacifica’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Ascent doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Pacifica has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Ascent doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Chrysler Pacifica higher (7 out of 10) than the Subaru Ascent (3). This means the Pacifica produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Ascent every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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The Pacifica stops much shorter than the Ascent:

Pacifica

Ascent

70 to 0 MPH

164 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

122 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Pacifica has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Ascent doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Pacifica’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Ascent doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Pacifica’s wheelbase is 7.8 inches longer than on the Ascent (121.6 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Pacifica is 3.8 inches wider in the front and 4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Ascent.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Pacifica uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Ascent doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Pacifica uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Ascent doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Pacifica has 11.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Ascent (165.1 vs. 153.5).

The Pacifica has 1.3 inches more front hip room, 2.7 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear legroom, 7.3 inches more rear hip room, 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.4 inches more third row headroom, 4.8 inches more third row legroom, 3.6 inches more third row hip room and 4 inches more third row shoulder room than the Ascent.

The front step up height for the Pacifica is 1.4 inches lower than the Ascent (16.3” vs. 17.7”).

Cargo Capacity

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The Pacifica’s cargo area provides more volume than the Ascent.

Pacifica

Ascent

Behind Third Seat

32.3 cubic feet

17.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

87.5 cubic feet

47.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

140.5 cubic feet

86.5 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Pacifica easier. The Pacifica’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 24.3 inches, while the Ascent’s liftover is 32 inches.

The Pacifica’s cargo area is larger than the Ascent’s in almost every dimension:

Pacifica

Ascent

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

23.2”/57.5”/92.5”

19.9”/47.6”/82.5”

Max Width

49.3”

50.5”

Min Width

48.8”

45.9”

Height

47.6”

33.9”

The Pacifica has standard Stow ‘n Go™ second and third row seats (except Hybrid for the second row), which fold flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Ascent doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Pacifica’s optional third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Ascent doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Pacifica’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Ascent doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The Pacifica’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Ascent’s (3600 vs. 2000 pounds).

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

The Pacifica Limited non-Hybrid’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Ascent doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Pacifica’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Ascent does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Pacifica and the Ascent have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Pacifica is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Ascent prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Pacifica Touring-L Plus/Limited’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Ascent’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Pacifica’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Ascent Premium/Limited/Touring.

When the Pacifica Limited is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Ascent’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The Pacifica Limited has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Ascent offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Pacifica (except Hybrid Touring)’s optional ParkSense Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, steering and operating the brakes. The Ascent doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Pacifica is less expensive to operate than the Ascent because it costs $564 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Pacifica than the Ascent, including $124 less for a water pump, $118 less for a starter, $37 less for fuel injection and $238 less for front struts.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/16

Motor Trend performed a comparison test in its May 2018 issue and they ranked the Chrysler Pacifica Limited first. They ranked the Subaru Ascent Touring third.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Pacifica second among minivans in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Ascent isn’t in the top three.

The Pacifica was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 3 years. The Ascent has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The Chrysler Pacifica outsold the Subaru Ascent by over three to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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