The Subaru Ascent is powered by a brand-new engine, a 2.4L turbocharged flat 4-cylinder “boxer”. The new engine makes 260 horsepower, sending power to all four wheels via a CVT variable ratio transmission. The resulting powertrain cuts a good balance between acceleration and fuel economy, while allowing the Ascent to tow up to 5,000 lbs. Subaru estimates that the base level Ascent will get around 27 mpg on the highway.
Four different trim levels are offered for the Ascent including base, Premium, Limited and Touring. Base models come standard with 3-zone climate control, a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities, four USB ports, automatic door locks and mirrors, roof rails, 18-inch wheels and 19 cup and bottle holders. Subaru’s EyeSight Safety Assist system is also standard, which includes emergency braking, and lane keep assist systems.
Premium trim adds a power driver’s seat, unique cloth upholstery, an 8-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi connectivity, body-colored side mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear seat climate controls, heated mirrors and front seats and unique 18-inch wheels. Also included on the Premium trim are blind spot detection indicators and a rear cross-traffic alert system.
Limited trim includes everything on the Premium trim plus leather upholstery, LED fog lights and headlights, a High Beam Assist system, 20-inch aluminum wheels, exterior chrome brightwork, integrated mirror mounted turn signals, push-button start, a power rear liftgate and two additional USB ports.
The top-of-the-line Touring model gets even more exterior chrome, some additional underbody armor for off-roading, java brown leather seating surfaces, wood grain trim, vented front seats, a navigation system, a harman/kardon sound system with 14 speakers, a panoramic moonroof, two more USB ports (bringing the total to eight) and a 180-degree front view camera.
The Ascent is a brand-new vehicle, marking the first time Subaru has built a dedicated 3-row passenger SUV. While the Forester and the Outback proved that Subaru could compete in the small and mid-sized SUV segments, the Ascent takes Subaru’s formula to its natural conclusion with a 7-passenger SUV. With the debut of the Ascent, the Subaru lineup grows to include a vehicle in just about every segment for 2019.
Comfortable interior; room for up to eight people; standard all-wheel drive; car-like driving experience; versatile storage options; almost 9 inches of ground clearance
Subaru has been extremely successful with the Outback and the Forester, and much of that success can be attributed to how those cars drive. Contrary to expectations, both provide an easy, car-like driving experience for their owners. The Ascent attempts to continue that tradition with a full-sized 3-row SUV. They’ve succeeded making the Ascent physically smaller than the interior might feel. The interior is massive and yet, the exterior dimensions reveal a vehicle that isn’t particularly huge by today’s standards. The result is a vehicle that offers comfortable driving dynamics even in the city but offering class-leading cargo capacity. Prices start at just below $32,000.