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Squares Square Off: 2020 Kia Telluride vs. 2019 Subaru Ascent Back-2-Back Test

Rondakay

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I'm not sure why they picked the Subaru when the Telluride is quicker, has shorter braking distance, has more features, has more interior room, has better warranty, is cheaper, has traditional 8-speed automatic, and has a V6 as opposed to a stressed out 4-cylinder turbo.

Only thing the Subaru has better is its AWD system and slightly better off-road quality.

I'd take the Telluride/Palisade over any of its competitors any day.
Wow you summed that up quite succinctly!
 

regaphysics

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I'm not sure why they picked the Subaru when the Telluride is quicker, has shorter braking distance, has more features, has more interior room, has better warranty, is cheaper, has traditional 8-speed automatic, and has a V6 as opposed to a stressed out 4-cylinder turbo.

Only thing the Subaru has better is its AWD system and slightly better off-road quality.

I'd take the Telluride/Palisade over any of its competitors any day.
The turbo is nice if you don't want to have to rev the engine for power; in everyday driving, the ascent is a bit quicker unless you really step on the telluride and rev it high - which most people don't do. Turbo is also much nicer for higher altitudes. Subaru also has excellent reliability and resale value historically. A few other plus points for the ascent are the AWD, ground clearance, and family-friendly thoughts (wider door openings, more thoughtful rear seatbelts for children, front mirror for watching children, rear cup holder placement and size, etc.). I'm not saying one is better than another - but there are reasons why people go for the ascent. Living at higher altitude alone might be a reason to nix the telluride.
 

mrmac

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For whatever it is worth:

Consumer reports lists the Ascent with a score of 96 and The Telluride at 90. While the Road test for the Telluride was 97 and the Ascent at 93.

The only reasons the Telluride didn't place above the Ascent are based on CR's predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction being lower for the Kia. Hogwash, I say, but only time will prove who is right.
 
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SorentoSXL

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The turbo is nice if you don't want to have to rev the engine for power; in everyday driving, the ascent is a bit quicker unless you really step on the telluride and rev it high - which most people don't do. Turbo is also much nicer for higher altitudes. Subaru also has excellent reliability and resale value historically. A few other plus points for the ascent are the AWD, ground clearance, and family-friendly thoughts (wider door openings, more thoughtful rear seatbelts for children, front mirror for watching children, rear cup holder placement and size, etc.). I'm not saying one is better than another - but there are reasons why people go for the ascent. Living at higher altitude alone might be a reason to nix the telluride.
I can agree with all those points. Turbos have their strengths. I can't remember revving mine past 4.5k rpm unless it was done intentionally. The Subaru is probably the practical choice over the Telluride which is likely more an emotional one. The Ascent to me stirs zero emotion, it's merely an appliance to get the job done. That's fine for many ppl, but not me.
 

chowfun27

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you need to go all the way up to the EX just to get real leather. my wife's middle of the road SE w/tech and r-line package, which we got for only 33k had leatherette and a ton of options. it rides just as smooth as my telluride and is peppy AF. i don't agree with your opinions at all, but to each their own. her car is pretty much as nice as mine, for almost 7 grand less.
The prices on the Atlas keeps dropping each month too. VW is getting very aggressive with their discounts and without having secured a Telluride yet, it keeps getting more and more tempting.
 

ReLoaDeD BuLLiTT

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The prices on the Atlas keeps dropping each month too. VW is getting very aggressive with their discounts and without having secured a Telluride yet, it keeps getting more and more tempting.
if i had it to do again, and i got the same 8-9k off msrp i did for my wife's atlas, i may have gone that route as well. LOVE my telluride tho. i get compliments/looks on the daily, but at the end of the day, there's better bang for the buck out there.
 

mrmac

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The market isn't thinking highly regarding the VW Atlas. Hence, the massive discounts/incentives.

The 2018 VW Atlas 1st year actual drop in Value: MSRP - Auction (wholesale) Value is 35%. This equates to a 1 year Residual value of 65% of MSRP. That is about the same as the 3 year residual value contract for a Telluride.
 

np86

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The market isn't thinking highly regarding the VW Atlas. Hence, the massive discounts/incentives.

The 2018 VW Atlas 1st year actual drop in Value: MSRP - Auction (wholesale) Value is 35%. This equates to a 1 year Residual value of 65% of MSRP. That is about the same as the 3 year residual value contract for a Telluride.
Just curious, how are you coming to that conclusion for the Telluride? I'm wondering because it's a new model and I would assume there isn't that type of information available yet.
 

mrmac

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Just curious, how are you coming to that conclusion for the Telluride? I'm wondering because it's a new model and I would assume there isn't that type of information available yet.
Because I've seen the guaranteed residual values which lenders are using for leases and balloon loans.

When a lender enters into a lease/balloon, they are guaranteeing to take the vehicle back at that price providing you didn't abuse it....

Determining the Residual Value is an actuarial science, similar to life insurance longevity calculations.

Do leasing companies sometimes make mistakes on first-year new vehicles? Yes, however, they are almost always on the conservative side. They hate to lose money!

Interesting to me, is that since the Telluride launched, residual values have improved slightly. This phenomenon is reflected in the decreased manufacturer incentives offered beginning July 9th on leases and balloon loans. For instance, through July 8th, the 3 year balloon incentive from KMF was $2,000. It is now $1,400, or a 30% decrease.

This is important, and relatively unheard of, because normally as a model begins to age, the incentives for leasing tend to increase. I interpret this reality to indicate the market is placing a higher initial and residual value on the Telluride than what the MSRP suggested. Simply put, Kia either intentionally or unintentionally under-priced the Telluride. I lean toward unintentionally because they are pulling back on incentives.
 

np86

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Because I've seen the guaranteed residual values which lenders are using for leases and balloon loans.

When a lender enters into a lease/balloon, they are guaranteeing to take the vehicle back at that price providing you didn't abuse it....

Determining the Residual Value is an actuarial science, similar to life insurance longevity calculations.

Do leasing companies sometimes make mistakes on first-year new vehicles? Yes, however, they are almost always on the conservative side. They hate to lose money!

Interesting to me, is that since the Telluride launched, residual values have improved slightly. This phenomenon is reflected in the decreased manufacturer incentives offered beginning July 9th on leases and balloon loans. For instance, through July 8th, the 3 year balloon incentive from KMF was $2,000. It is now $1,400, or a 30% decrease.

This is important, and relatively unheard of, because normally as a model begins to age, the incentives for leasing tend to increase. I interpret this reality to indicate the market is placing a higher initial and residual value on the Telluride than what the MSRP suggested. Simply put, Kia either intentionally or unintentionally under-priced the Telluride. I lean toward unintentionally because they are pulling back on incentives.
That makes a lot of sense and the residual value change is quite interesting. Thanks for the clarification!
 

regaphysics

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Yeah, discounts on the atlas make sense given the competition. The drivetrain needs work. But if you aren't planning on keeping the Atlas beyond the warranty period, you can definitely get a lot of value out of one. The discounts are huge, and so is the vehicle. I think the telluride/Palisade will force Subaru dealers to be a bit more flexible on the Ascent pricing - which has been stubborn due to high demand.
 
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