The Kia Telluride 2022 and the Subaru Ascent are among the top contenders in the Mid-sized SUV category for families and car enthusiasts. Both are legacy lines and have produced truly impressive cars over the years. The Kia Telluride and Subaru Ascent 2022 are the latest refreshes of their iconic cars. Which SUV offers you the best value?

The Exterior

Although both the Kia Telluride 2022 and the Subaru Ascent are three-row SUVs, they appeal to very different crowds visually. The Telluride, on all trims, has a robust form factor, with a large tiger-nose grill, scores of silver accents, and distinct rectangular LED headlights baked in with some other interesting visual functionalities.

The Subaru Ascent has a safer design. It looks like a bigger, bolder Outback, with slightly bolder chassis styling.  It has that iconic boxy grille design, lower air intake, and downward arching dual LEDs. The design won’t win any awards, but it might be what you’re looking for if you’re in the market for a nice incognito family 8-seater.

Contrary to what their bold styling choices might suggest, the Subaru Ascent has the higher ground clearance and is the heavier car. It weighs about 4430 lb. to the 4211 lb of the Kia Telluride and has 8.7 inches of ground clearance. The Telluride comes in nearly an inch short with just 8.0 inches. The Ascent is also taller and longer. It measures 71.1″ tall and 186.8″ long, while the Telluride is 68.9″ tall and 198.8″ long.

The Interior

The competition between these mid-sized SUVs grows even stiffer when you move on to their interior.  Both the Ascent and Telluride offer similar levels of quality in their upholstery and seats, opting to use leatherettes. You have climate control for passengers up to the second rows, high-quality trims, faux leather covering, heated seats, and that’s not getting into the number of alternative storage each car has. The Telluride offers more nifty pockets and USBs, while the Ascent has more cup holders.

The Infotainment systems are also wonderful. The Kia Telluride takes a slight lead, having a 10” to the Ascent’s 8.0”, but they both support Apple auto and Apple Carplay and cruise control and automatic emergency braking.

Cabin and Cargo space

The cabin space and the seat positioning are where the Telluride starts to dominate this comparison. While they have a similar head, shoulder, and legroom in the front and middle row seats, the Ascent rear row is a bit snug at 38.6 “, barely enough to fit in a full-grown adult. The Telluride, in contrast, has 42.4” in legroom. It’s also easier to get into the third row of the Telluride, with passengers only needing to slide the seatback. You’d have to push two buttons to achieve the same effects on the Ascent.

The Ascent falls a couple of inches short again in the rear cargo space. The Telluride has 21 cb-ft from the rear to the third seat while the Ascent has 17.8  CB-ft. When your roll backs the third and second or seats, you can get up to 80 cu-ft in either car.


The Kia Telluride and Subaru Ascent have single engines on all trims of their 2022 cars, so you can expect a similar performance regardless of what trim level you settle for. The Telluride comes with a beastly 3.8L V6 engine with 291 hp and 262 ft-lb of torque. The Subaru Ascent uses a tame 2.4 L 4 Cylinder 260 hp engine with 277 ft-lbs of torque.

Like all Subarus, the Ascent is All Wheel Drive, while the Telluride comes with both Front-Wheel and All Wheel Drive, depending on your trim level. The Subaru Ascent runs on one of the better CVTs on the market and handles bends and corners beautifully. The Telluride runs on an 8-speed automatic and was not as responsive as the Ascent.

Fuel Economy

The Fuel Economy is not the best on either car, though the Ascent does have marginally better fuel efficiency and a slightly larger fuel tank.  It is rated for 21 in cities and 27 on highways, while the Telluride is rated for 20 MPG in the city, and 26 on highways.


The Telluride and Ascent fall squarely in the same price bracket, starting at nearly identical MSRP prices. Both cost around $33,000, with the Telluride being closer to that starting price.

Both cars offer four trims. The Telluride has the LX, S, EX, and SX, which costs $43,915. The Subaru Ascent offers Base, Premium, Limited, and Tour options. The Touring costs $46,650.


The Telluride has the better warranty offer. It provides a Limited Warranty that covers five years or 60,000 miles and one of the longest warranty coverages in the business (10 years or 100,000 miles.) The Subaru Ascent 2022 looks average in comparison. It offers the standard Limited warranty for 3 years 6r 60,000 miles and the powertrain warranty, which covers five years or 60,000 miles.


It’s a tough choice between both cars, but judging from value alone, the Kia Telluride provides a better experience, but that doesn’t mean the Ascent is not impressive in its own right. It has a more rounded design, a responsive and engaging CVT, and higher ground clearance.

Whatever car you choose, you’re sure to get your money’s worth, so let your decision be guided by taste as well as specifications. Do you prefer a more grounded design or the iconic Telluride Tiger nose grille? Find out before you buy.


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Pavlo Prannyk
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