Compare The Sizes Of Subaru SUVs

November 14th, 2023 by

Subaru Forester with Bicycles on its Roof Rack Driving Beside a Lake Side View

You have a choice of five different Subaru Crossover SUVs at Ewing Subaru of Plano. They all feature standard all-wheel drive and provide a desirable combination of on-road comfort and off-road capability. Unlike some competing brands with crossovers ranging from tiny to enormous, Subaru’s five modes are all within three size categories. It can lead to questions about hierarchy, which model is larger than which, and which is best suited for what purpose. To help, here is a quick comparison of essential size statistics for all five models:



Seating Capacity Cargo Space Seats Up

 (cu. ft.)

Cargo Space Seats Down 

(cu. ft.)

Passenger Volume

(cu. ft.)

2024 Ascent 113.8 8 17.8/43.5 75.6 153.2
2024 Outback 108.1 5 32.6 75.6 107.5
2024 Forester 105.1 5 26.9 74.2 107.6
2024 Solterra 112.2 5 23.8 63.5 95.7
2024 Crosstrek 105.1 5 19.9 54.7 100.5


The Ascent is considered a mid-size 3-row crossover. The Outback is either an AWD wagon or a mid-size 2-row crossover. The Forester is a tweener, sitting between the compact and mid-size class, while the CrossTrek and Solterra EV are in the compact category. But as can be seen, there is a fair amount of overlap. 



Subaru Ascent Driving on a Rural Highway Front 3/4 View



Ascent For Carrying People in Quantity

The Ascent is the largest and stands out because it can carry 8 in its cabin instead of 5 for all the other models. One misconception of 3-row SUVs is that they are for families with four or six kids. While the Ascent is superb for that, it is also perfect for a family of four when two grandparents visit, or there is an outing, and each child wants to bring a friend. And if you become involved with your kid’s activities, be it sports, performing arts, scouting, or even French club, you will find yourself filling the seats often.

On paper, the Ascent and Outback have identical maximum cargo space figures. However, cargo space is generally measured up to the level of the seatbacks, where you can still see what is behind you through the rearview mirror. Few of us stopped there when we had plenty more to load. In that case, the Ascent will have more practical cargo space with a taller floor-to-ceiling height.


Two Subaru Outbacks Parked in a Desert




Outback and Forester

The two vehicles that seem the closest statistically are the Outback and Forester. With a 3-inch longer wheelbase and 8.4 more inches in length, the Outback will feel like the larger car. And that length allows the Outback to have noticeably more cargo space with all the seats up. However, the vehicles are effectively identical regarding maximum cargo space and passenger volume. The proportions are very different, however. If you prefer the higher ride height of an SUV, the Forester will appeal to you, while the Outback has a more car-like seating position, a longer wheelbase for a more relaxed highway ride, and more room for cargo when the rear seats are occupied.



Subaru Crosstrek Driving on a Scenic Mountain Road Front 3/4 View


Forester vs. Crosstrek

Though they share a 105.1-inch wheelbase, the Crosstrek is a category size down from the Forester in passenger and cargo space. With more 2nd-row legroom and headroom plus greater width, the Forester is the likely better choice if you frequently carry adults in the 2nd-row seats. The Crosstrek is a fine choice for small families, but once kids start becoming adult-size, the larger Subaru models will be more accommodating. 



Subaru Solterra Driving Through a Puddle Front 3/4 View

And Then There Is the Solterra

Being an EV, consideration of the Solterra will likely have more to do with how an electric drivetrain fits your life than dimension stats. The Solterra is an excellent choice for the daily commute if you can arrange to charge at home. It will have the lowest operating cost by far, and of course, it is completely emission-free. The frequent ups and downs of gas prices, not to mention gas stations as a whole, rest in your past. The electric drivetrain also enables the Solterra to have a very long wheelbase for a relaxed highway ride free of engine noise and vibration. Plus, its electric drivetrain is essentially maintenance-free.


The bottom line is that Subaru has you covered when it comes to mid-size and compact crossovers. The chart above may already tell you which works best for you, but the best way to choose is to visit Ewing Subaru of Plano and compare your top choices side-by-side. Whichever model you choose, it will be from the brand with the industry’s highest customer loyalty, highest resale value, and more IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ awards than any other brand in the past ten years.