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2018 Honda Pilot in Covington, LA: Is the Subaru Ascent Worth Waiting For?

The 2018 Honda Pilot in Covington, LA holds a special status in the world of three-row SUVs thanks to its versatility, athleticism, and safety. The arrival of the all-new 2019 Subaru Ascent, however, signals a major shift in the way we view crossovers, bringing strong competition to the Honda Pilot.



The three-row 2019 Ascent is the largest vehicle ever designed by Subaru, and it offers all the premium-tier features and massive comfort you'd expect from a car of this size. Don't be fooled by its looks, however- the 2019 Subaru Ascent drives like an agile sedan, serves up innovative safety features, and offers powerful engines. If you're choosing between this model and the 2018 Honda Pilot, the 2019 Subaru Ascent is the better buy.

Safety Comparison

The 2019 Ascent and the 2018 Pilot share a lot of active safety features, such as electronic stability systems, standard airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, and rearview cameras. However, the Ascent is equipped with vital safety features that are difficult, or downright impossible, to find on the Pilot.

For instance, Subaru has installed standard Whiplash Reducing Front Seats on the 2019 Ascent to prevent spine and neck injuries in the event of a rear-end collision, something that's not offered on the 2018 Pilot. There are also no backup collision prevention brakes on this Honda SUV, while the Ascent Limited/Touring models have standard Reverse Automatic Braking that will automatically apply brakes if the driver fails to react immediately to objects behind the vehicle.

Sadly, the Pilot doesn't have Hill Descent Control that allows you to descend steep, off-road slopes with better control. Together with the 2019 Ascent's highly-valued standard All-Wheel Drive (you need to pay extra for this on the Pilot), the 2019 Subaru Ascent gives you so much more protection on the road.

Passenger Space Comparison

Three-row SUVs like the Ascent and the Pilot are often built with large families in mind, so every seating position should offer excellent comfort and space. You get exactly that with the 2019 Ascent's 153.5 cubic feet of interior passenger volume, which is larger than what rivals like the Pilot offer. Side by side, the Ascent has 1.3 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more third-row hip room, and .2 inches more rear hip room than the Pilot.

You can also get the Ascent in seven- or eight-passenger configurations and Subaru allows you to choose your layout for absolutely free on all trim levels. Depending on the model, the cozy interior can be spruced up with an 8.0-inch screen, built-in WiFi hotspot, climate control, seat heating/cooling, and available 14-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system, and you'll have happy and comfortable passengers mile after mile.

Reliability Comparison

A hardened steel chain drives the camshafts in the 2019 Subaru Ascent's engine, and they require zero maintenance. Unfortunately, the Pilot's camshafts are driven by a rubber belt, and you need to go for a periodic replacement. Fail to do this, and the Pilot's engine can sustain serious damage should the cam drive belt break and the pistons hit the valves.

Engine Comparison

Finally, the Pilot's 3.5 SOHC V6 engine produces less torque than the Ascent's 2.4 turbo 4-Cyl engine that delivers 277 lbs.-ft. Paired with the Ascent's 260 horsepower, the Ascent can handle smooth urban streets or twisty back roads with ease. The Subaru Boxer engine configuration also gives the Ascent a lower center of gravity for better handling. The boxer engine configuration is not available on the Pilot.

The 2019 Ascent is a dream when it comes to everyday driving, but it becomes a beast when taken off-road. Subaru built this giant with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, and the X-Mode for the AWD plus the Hill Descent Control lets you scamper over challenging terrain while maintaining fantastic control.

The 2018 Honda Pilot in Covington, LA is a perfectly capable SUV, but it pales in comparison to the 2019 Subaru Ascent. For three-row SUV buyers, the 2019 Subaru Ascent gives the most bang for your buck.