Explorer

Explorer ST

Explorer ST opt.

Ascent

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.6 inches

14.3 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

12.8 inches

13.8 inches

13 inches

Tires and Wheels

? 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 2019/10/10

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the Ascent (255/65R18 vs. 245/60R18). The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Ascent (275/45R21 vs. 245/60R18).

The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Ascent Limited/Touring’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer ST/Platinum offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Ascent’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Having a flat tire is dangerous, inconvenient and expensive. The self-sealing tires available on the Explorer can automatically seal most punctures up to 3/16 of an inch, effectively preventing most flat tires. The Ascent doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Explorer 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 Explorer’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 Explorer’s wheelbase is 5.3 inches longer than on the Ascent (119.1 inches vs. 113.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than on the Ascent.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Explorer (except 3.3 V6 non-Hybrid) 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 Explorer Hybrid 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 Explorer has .8 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more front hip room, .7 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom, 1.6 inches more rear hip room, 1.6 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.6 inches more third row headroom and .5 inches more third row legroom than the Ascent.

Cargo Capacity

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

Explorer

Ascent

Behind Third Seat

18.2 cubic feet

17.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

47.9 cubic feet

47.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

87.8 cubic feet

86.5 cubic feet

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

Explorer

Ascent

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

20.8”/49.8”/83.9”

19.9”/47.6”/82.5”

Max Width

59”

50.5”

Min Width

48.1”

45.9”

Height

33.7”

33.9”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Explorer’s second and third 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, the Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum’s 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 Explorer’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Ascent’s (3000 vs. 2000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Subaru Ascent is only 5000 pounds. The Explorer offers up to a 5600 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 power windows standard on both the Explorer and the Ascent have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Explorer 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.

On a hot day the Explorer’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Ascent can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Explorer’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Ascent’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Explorer’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.

The Explorer ST/Platinum 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Ford Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Ascent doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Explorer ST/Platinum’s Active Park Assist 2.0 can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Ascent doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

? 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 2019/10/10

The Explorer is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Ascent doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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 2019/10/10

The Ford Explorer outsold the Subaru Ascent by over seven to one during 2018.

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

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