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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Telluride are reminded to check the back seat when a sensor determines the back seat is occupied. The Ascent doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
The Telluride SX has a standard Surround View Monitor 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.
The Telluride’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Ascent doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Telluride 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, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.
The Telluride comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Ascent’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.
Kia’s powertrain warranty covers the Telluride 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Subaru covers the Ascent. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Ascent ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
There are over 22 percent more Kia dealers than there are Subaru dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Telluride’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Kia vehicles are better in initial quality than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia second in initial quality, above the industry average. With 43 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Kia vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Kia 10th in reliability, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.
The Telluride’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 31 more horsepower (291 vs. 260) than the Ascent’s 2.4 turbo 4 cyl.
For better stopping power the Telluride’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Ascent:
The Telluride has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Ascent doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Telluride is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Ascent.
The Kia Telluride may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 300 pounds less than the Subaru Ascent.
The Telluride has 24.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Ascent (178.1 vs. 153.5).
The Telluride has 1.9 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more front hip room, .5 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 3.8 inches more rear legroom, .5 inches more rear hip room, .9 inches more rear shoulder room and 1.8 inches more third row headroom than the Ascent.
The Telluride’s cargo area provides more volume than the Ascent.
Behind Third Seat
21 cubic feet
17.8 cubic feet
Second Seat Folded
87 cubic feet
86.5 cubic feet
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Telluride’s second row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Ascent doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Telluride’s liftgate, 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.
The Telluride’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Ascent’s (5000 vs. 2000 pounds).
The Telluride offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Ascent doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The Telluride’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.
When the Telluride SX 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 Telluride EX/SX has standard front air-conditioned seats and the Telluride SX offers them optionally in the second row. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Ascent doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.
The Telluride is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Ascent doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
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