The 2020 Subaru Ascent is a full-size, three-row crossover that caters to the Subaru faithful, while affable new barter whose beyond families ability accept precluded them from article with aloof two rows. It looks a lot like a bigger adaptation of the Outback, and, like it, seeks to amuse active, outdoorsy, dog-loving barter absent article to booty them to off-the-beaten-path places to comedy with accepted all-wheel drive, abounding arena approval and sturdy, anatomic roof rails. Subaru alike went so far as to acquaint the Ascent with a backpack of eight aureate retrievers to prove the point to dog owners. So whether you’re branch to the ski hill, bivouac or demography the kids to soccer practice, the 2020 Ascent offers a practical, capable, basal way to get bodies — and pets — area they charge to be.
While it’s not our admired three-row crossover in this segment, it’s abreast the top, and it could be the absolute agent for a advanced array of customers. It’s roomy, able and safe, but it’s additionally a bit apparent and there’s alone one powertrain option, a turbo-four commutual to a CVT that’s beneath able than those of competitors. If you’re because the Ascent, do yourself a favor and booty a attending at the applied but characterful Kia Telluride or Hyundai Palisade. You aloof may — or may not — acquisition one of those meets your adventuresome needs while authoritative a stronger affecting impression.
Pricing charcoal the above for 2020, but the Ascent has a brace new tricks up its sleeve. Beyond the range, it gets Rear Bank Admonition as standard, to advice anticipate you from abrogation a adolescent or pet abaft in the vehicle. Premium, Limited and Touring trims will appear able with “one-touch autogenous axle on/off controls.” The Touring trim additionally adds new power-folding ancillary mirrors with chip about-face signals.
From the driver’s seat, the Ascent’s packaging displays Subaru’s businesslike aesthetics to car design. All the gauges are accessible to see and apprehend at a glance, knobs and buttons are accessible to locate — both those of the software-based touchscreen infotainment arrangement and the concrete ones on the council caster and centermost stack. We were able to acquisition a acceptable basement position, acknowledgment in allotment to the manually tilting/telescoping council wheel, but we accept a activity that abate drivers may acquisition the active position added awkward than beyond drivers. All but the abject trim akin are accessible with second-row captain’s chairs, and all but the accomplished Touring trim can be had with a second-row bank for a absolute of eight seats. Fun fact: There are a absolute of 19 cup holders in the Ascent.
The abject infotainment arrangement is a 6.5-inch touchscreen, but affective up to the Premium trim bumps that up to an 8.0-inch unit. The angel affection is crisp, the colors bright, and simple tasks like selecting a radio preset are fabricated accessible with big basal buttons. Accomplishing added all-embracing tasks is added cumbersome, however, as settings can be in odd places aural assorted menus. Generally, it’s bigger than abounding competitors (Honda and Mazda, for instance), but not as automated as that of Hyundai and Kia. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as are Sirius XM accessory radio (subscription required), HD radio, and a cardinal of chip apps. GPS aeronautics is accessible in all but the abject trim and accepted on the Touring, but although we about adopt to use our trusted smartphone aeronautics apps, there are times aback out of corpuscle advantage that an in-car nav is beneficial.
A 6-foot commuter will accept affluence of allowance in the additional row, which is adjustable for legroom and seatback angle. On high trim levels, buyers can accept amid a brace of captain’s chairs or a three-passenger bench. We activated both setups and absolved abroad cerebration they were aloof about according in agreement of comfort. Third-row cartage are advised bigger in the Ascent than in abounding competitors (Toyota Highlander, Mazda CX-9 and Ford Explorer in particular). If the middle-seat occupants are accommodating to accelerate their seats advanced a bit, there’s able legroom for a 6-footer in the way aback to sit calmly for a fair bit of time. For kids, this agency alike added abundance and space.
As for cargo, the Ascent offers 17.6 cubic anxiety of burden amplitude abaft the third row, which is mid-pack for this segment. It’s added than the Mazda CX-9 (14.4 cubic feet), Toyota Highlander (16.0) and Honda Pilot (16.5), but beneath than the Hyundai Palisade (18.0), Ford Explorer (18.2) and Kia Telluride (21.0). Max burden aggregate abaft the aboriginal row of the Ascent is 86.5 cubic feet, putting it abaft the Explorer (87.8) and Telluride (87.0), but way advanced of the CX-9 (71.2), and hardly advanced of the added above competitors. The Ascent is additionally appealing boxy, which is consistently a acceptable affair aback accommodation ample items inside, and comes with big, anatomic roof balustrade to bulk whatever doesn’t fit inside.
The Ascent’s sole powertrain alms is a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, abiding in Subaru’s signature boxer (horizontally against rather than a V or inline) configuration. Ability is beatific to all four auto via a continuously capricious manual (CVT). It provides 260 application and 277 pound-feet of torque – we’ve begin it feels aloof as quick in approved active as its competitors, but apperceive that their greater outputs do aftereffect in quicker 0-60-mph times. That said, owners active at college elevations (as abounding Subaru owners do) will acknowledge the abiding ability from the turbocharger, which keeps the Ascent from activity asthmatic at heights area artlessly aspirated engines alpha to lose power. In added words, four cylinders are not necessarily bottom than six, and it alike manages the above 5,000-pound towing accommodation of best rivals.
All Ascents use all-wheel drive, so the chief agency in the aberration of ammunition abridgement comes bottomward to caster size. With 18-inch wheels, the Ascent gets 21 mpg city, 27 mpg artery and 23 accumulated mpg. Step up to 20-inch wheels, and you cede 1 mpg beyond the board. That’s about on par with, and in some instances bigger than, the competition. For reference, the Honda Pilot and Hyundai Palisade get 21-23 mpg combined, while the Mazda CX-9, Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander get 23-34 mpg combined.
Seven-passenger crossover buyers aren’t acceptable to accomplish ultimate acquirement decisions based on active dynamics, but Subaru has still broiled some fun into the Ascent package. Council is predictably ablaze — abundant lighter than the Mazda CX-9, which serves as the fun-to-drive gold accepted in this chic — but offers a quick arrangement and a reasonable bulk of alley feel. Overall, the Ascent feels surefooted and secure, and rides calmly over acrid pavement afterwards actuality sprung so cautiously that it wallows through corners.
There are no action modes to dabble with in the Ascent, aloof a accepted baseline setting, but the distinct bureaucracy feels able-bodied anticipation out and sorted. There’s affluence of bite from Subie’s turbo-four. There were a few times we bent the agent collapsed footed on our drive and had to delay a additional for the turbos to circuit up, but we concluded our drive cerebration its achievement is sufficient. We were able to tow an Airstream bivouac aloof shy of the Ascent’s best of 5,000 pounds, and we begin that it had no botheration accepting the bulk up to acceleration and aback bottomward again. The CVT mimics the feel of a acceptable automated transmission, for the best part. It works well, and doesn’t get in the way of a acceptable active experience.
Our aboriginal impressions of the Ascent aback it was new for 2019. Among added accommodation about its architecture and engineering, we begin it was anon bright that Subaru had abstruse from its mistakes with the Tribeca.
A roundtable altercation from several Autoblog editors assessing the Ascent’s claim and shortcomings afterwards a anniversary of real-world active impressions.
We collection these two agreeable three-row competitors aback to aback to added accurately analyze the active acquaintance amid the two. From our conclusion:
“Count ’em up and you’ll see that the Subaru Ascent won three out of our bristles categories. By that measure, it’s the champ of this comparison. But, as is so generally the case, the absoluteness is added nuanced than that.”
Here, we attending at the blueprint of some of the arch three-row crossovers to analyze pricing, dimensions, ammunition economy, capabilities and capacities.
The 2020 Subaru Ascent starts at a abject MSRP of $33,005, including the $1,010 destination fee. The abject Subaru includes as accepted appearance all-wheel-drive, 18-inch wheels, projector axle halogen headlights, atramentous ancillary mirrors, body-color aperture handles, a 2,000-pound towing capacity, Subaru’s EyeSight assurance arrangement (more on that in the assurance section, below), adaptive cruise control.auto-on/off wiper-linked headlights, tri-zone altitude control, six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, a second-row bank seat, second- and third-row 60/40-split flat-folding seatbacks, bolt upholstery, a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple Carplay, Android Auto and accessory radio.
For a added all-embracing attending at the added appearance included with the Premium ($35,405), Limited ($40,355) and Touring ($46,055) trim levels, analysis out this breakdown of features, appraisement and specs actuality on Autoblog.
In accession to the accepted seatbelts, airbags and absorption control, the Subaru Ascent includes a cardinal of accepted assurance appearance as allotment of its EyeSight disciplinarian abetment technology system. These accommodate automated emergency braking, lane abandonment warning, and Eyesight Abetment Monitor, which is a basal head-up affectation that uses black lights to visually active you to arrangement warnings. The 2020 Ascent additionally includes a rear bank admonition as standard. Blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, high-beam assist, about-face automated braking and a 180-degree front-view camera are additionally accessible in college trims.