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Detailed Comparison May build 2022 Model Y LR7 vs 2019 Subaru Ascent 7 seat premium pkg

We have a 2019 Ascent Premium 7 seat. We took delivery of a Tesla Model Y Long Range 7 seat a bit over a month ago. Here are my impressions so far.

Build Quality:

Tesla: The fit and finish of the Ascent is miles better than the Tesla. The rear hatch of our Tesla is misaligned as received from the factory. You can see the rear hatch seams are tighter on one side than the other side. The Tesla steering wheel is off center and the front end has a balance issue at 66-67 mph. Other than that the current model Teslas seem to be built far better than they were in the past.

Ascent: The Ascent is put together far better. That being stated, there's been a bunch of recalls - Rear Parking Gate controller, CVT, etc. Dead battery issue. Apple Car Play can be wonky. Head unit will freeze on occasion or mutes itself. But the Ascent has never left me stranded and so long as the battery has had a charge, it's always started right up.

Verdict; TIE


Performance:

Tesla: Short wheel base and dual electric motors means this thing goes like a scalded cat. Ours is not the performance model and the acceleration is MORE than enough. When I hit the throttle the thing LEAPS forward and claws its way up to speed. The relative low center of gravity means it barely leans in turns and handles like a sports coupe instead of a SUV. And should I want more acceleration, Tesla offers "Acceleration Boost" which for $2k, is software that can be downloaded over the air, and drops 0-60 times from 4.4 sec to about 40.-4.1 sec. That's seriously fast and about what it takes for my Porsche 997.2 Carrera GTS to do 0-60.

Ascent: The turbo 4 has a lot more thrust than one would think. It's not fast per se, but it's definitely more than adequate. Even loaded up with our 3 boys, my wife, dawg, and rooftop box, the Ascent happily cruises at 80 mph all day long. However it L E A N S a lot in corners which ultimately really limits its performance on the road. The oem tires are crap for handling. When I swapped them out with Falken AT Trails, the handling greatly improved and I can not take corners faster than with the oem Falkens. Still, this is not a performance car by any means.

Verdict: Tesla by many car lengths

Ride Quality:

Tesla: This is the Model Y's weakest point. Even though we have the standard 19" Gemini wheels and not the super low aspect ratio 20" Induction wheels, the ride is harsh and bouncy. This is to be somewhat expected with a short wheelbase vehicle. However Tesla's engineers haven't a clue how to design a suspension that absorbs impacts without harshness. It feels like the springs need a progressive rate and the shocks are valved too aggressively. I'm not a suspension engineer, but the noise, bounciness and harshness of this vehicle is more like my Porsche than a family suv. Tesla should be able to do a lot better.

Ascent: The Ascent is a dream ride compared to the Tesla, especially after I replaced the oem tires with the Falken Wildpeak AT Trails. Being a much taller vehicle with 8.9" of ground clearance, the Ascent flat out rides a ton better. It's not a BMW 7 series carpet ride, but it's way way nicer than that of the Tesla.

Verdict: Ascent wins this easily.

Overall space:

Tesla: For being a rather compact SUV, the Model Y actually holds a lot. Even with 3 rows up, the rear cargo area is very usable because there's a huge sub-trunk. And then there's the frunk (front trunk). When we take long trips in the Ascent, we have to put up the rooftop cargo box. We put about 5 duffle bags in the rooftop box. In the Tesla we should be able to put 3 of those duffle bags in the rear subtrunk and the other 2 bags in the frunk. The remaining cargo area in the rear is about equivalent between the two vehicles, except the Ascent has more vertical room due to the upright design of it's rear gate. Passenger room on the Tesla is kind of tight. The 3rd row is for short trips only and headroom and legroom are very limited.

Ascent: The Ascent feels much roomier than the Tesla. The 7 seat Ascent has an open center aisle in the second row, which means my kids never have to put the 2nd row seat down to access the 3rd row. We can easily fit my in-laws and the 3 kids in there with plenty of room for all. Every time my kids get into the Ascent they tell me how much more room they have. There are many many more cupholders in the Ascent. However, to carry the same amount of luggage as the Tesla, we would have to have the rooftop carrier box on the Ascent.

Verdict: Tie - Tesla technically has more cargo room, but Ascent has more passenger room.

Comfort:

Tesla: This is not that comfortable of a vehicle. The vegan seats get hot in the summer. The glass roof, while being insulated for heat rejection, still lets through more than a bit of the hot summer sun. I had to install a solar screen roof barrier to cut down on the heat coming through the glass roof. The bouncy and somewhat harsh ride gets tiresome on less than perfect roads.

Ascent: I love the cloth seats! In our area it gets above 110° during the summer and the cloth seats mean no burned buttocks and thighs when first sitting down. In the winter the cloth doesn't get cold, and the seat heaters work quickly to warm things up if needed. The Ascent ride is so much better. The overall comfort makes the Ascent much easier to drive on a very long trip.

Winner: Ascent

Ease of Use:

Tesla: Almost all the controls are software icons on the center screen. This is not easy to use when you're driving, as you have to look away from the road and sometimes dig through menus. Adaptive cruise on the Tesla is terrible - simply this is the worst feature of the car. It's not reliable and there are numerous reports of phantom braking. The rear hatch is sloped so the view of the rear through the rearview mirror is not that great.

Ascent: Simply put.....knobs and buttons are vastly superior to software touch icons on a screen. While I do not like the low placement of the poorly marked on/off/sych hvac controls on the Ascent, the other major controls are all much much easier to use on the Ascent. I've driven all over the western USA and western Canada and do not recall even a single instance where Eyesight has phantom braked me. Ingress/Egress on the Ascent is much better. The Ascent is an easy vehicle to drive.

Winner: Ascent

Fuel Economy:

Tesla: Our Tesla has averaged 287 Wh/mi (watt hours per mile). That's on the high side but I suppose it's mainly due to the fact that it's been so abysmally hot here lately. We've seen consumption as high as 390 Wh/mi. Based on 287 Wh/mi, the total available range of the 75 kWh battery would be 261 miles. That's a far cry from the manufacturer's rating. Because it's so hot where we live, we are on PG&E's time of use (TOU) plan. TOU means we'd be paying $0.56 kWh during the hours of 3-9pm, which would be very expensive even though we have 4.2 kW of solar on the roof. As it is, we are on the tiered rate system with 1000 kWh at the Tier 1 rate of $0.31 and Tier 2 being at $0.39 kWh. So if we charge at home, basically we're paying $0.39 kWh. If we charge off peak at superchargers it's $0.46 kWh.

Tesla recommends we keep the state of charge (SOC) between 20-80% so that means we typically charge up using about 45 kWh. At $0.46 that comes out to $21 for 157 miles of usage. That comes out to about $0.138 per mile.

Ascent: On the oem tires we were getting about 27 mpg on the freeway. After swapping out the oem tires for the Falken Wildpeak AT Trails, we've been getting about 23 mpg on the freeway. 157 miles @ 23 mpg would use 6.83 gallons of gas @ $4.80/gal = $33. The cost for the Ascent comes out to $0.21 per mile.

So the Tesla costs about 2/3 to run per mile as compared to the Ascent. Also the Tesla won't require oil changes, timing belt changes, etc., so that further reduces the running cots. The higher cost of insurance for the Tesla does offset some of the Tesla's advantage however.

Verdict: Tesla but not by as much one might think (if you're in California)

Overall Winner: TIE - the Tesla will be our main run around vehicle around town. It costs less to run and requires less maintenance, especially if we charge at home. It's a far sportier vehicle, but as a family hauler, that's not a big deal. For our long summer cross country trips, we will likely take the Subaru Ascent, as it is way more comfortable on long trips, is roomier inside even with people in the 3rd row, has adaptive cruise that doesn't phantom brake us, and is generally easier to operate. Also the all-terrain 3PMSF tires on the Ascent means we can take it just about anywhere in any conditions.
 
Nice comparison, but couldn’t disagree more 😄

The jerky fake shifting cvt, multitude of buttons we never even used and top heavy design make the ascent feel super archaic. Ours was at the dealer all the time. We were subaru fanatics and were overjoyed when it was announced, now we know better. Subaru is a scrappy manufacturer that I appreciate but the ascent was out of their wheelhouse. I hope subaru sticks to making the WRX
 
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Reactions: mdsco and Ciaopec
Ride Quality:

Tesla: This is the Model Y's weakest point. Even though we have the standard 19" Gemini wheels and not the super low aspect ratio 20" Induction wheels, the ride is harsh and bouncy. This is to be somewhat expected with a short wheelbase vehicle. However Tesla's engineers haven't a clue how to design a suspension that absorbs impacts without harshness. It feels like the springs need a progressive rate and the shocks are valved too aggressively. I'm not a suspension engineer, but the noise, bounciness and harshness of this vehicle is more like my Porsche than a family suv. Tesla should be able to do a lot better.

Ascent: The Ascent is a dream ride compared to the Tesla, especially after I replaced the oem tires with the Falken Wildpeak AT Trails. Being a much taller vehicle with 8.9" of ground clearance, the Ascent flat out rides a ton better. It's not a BMW 7 series carpet ride, but it's way way nicer than that of the Tesla.

Verdict: Ascent wins this easily.
What if I told you the Model Y and Ascent had identical wheelbases:

E463F2A8-A84C-4DBD-AEFC-AAA6CEAE1D0F.jpeg
D211CDB0-939E-4721-8F50-05D60B438A0C.jpeg
 
What if I told you the Model Y and Ascent had identical wheelbases:

View attachment 857497 View attachment 857498
Wow, I never knew that! Length is different though. MY = 187" and Ascent = 196.8". Tesla is heavier. MY LR = 4555 lbs and Ascent premium = 4437.

Tesla's mass is all down low = better handling

Ascent's mass is up high and has more ground clearance = better for mild off-road terrain
 
Nice comparison, but couldn’t disagree more 😄

The jerky fake shifting cvt, multitude of buttons we never even used and top heavy design make the ascent feel super archaic. Ours was at the dealer all the time. We were subaru fanatics and were overjoyed when it was announced, now we know better. Subaru is a scrappy manufacturer that I appreciate but the ascent was out of their wheelhouse. I hope subaru sticks to making the WRX
I don't like the fake shifts either. I do like the buttons. I know where they all are for the most part and can hit one without even looking. I guess I'm looking for functionality above all else. Sadly I think Subaru is no longer making the hottest version of the WRX.
 

thesmokingman

Active Member
Jun 21, 2021
3,131
8,238
Socal
Wow, I never knew that! Length is different though. MY = 187" and Ascent = 196.8". Tesla is heavier. MY LR = 4555 lbs and Ascent premium = 4437.

Tesla's mass is all down low = better handling

Ascent's mass is up high and has more ground clearance = better for mild off-road terrain
That's not correct on the curb weight. The curb weight is 4400lbs + change and obviously they are two very different vehicles.
 

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