Subaru Ascent

Subaru Ascent

Model Years Produced: 2019 to Current

Summary

The Subaru Ascent is a perfect summary of Subaru as a whole. It’s pleasant to drive, if not an emotional experience. It has a comfortable cabin, if not luxurious. It has a great assortment of features, if not cutting edge. It’s mildly quirky, if not wholly unique. It looks like a generic crossover – not particualrly attractive, but also not ugly. Overall, it’s an extremely solid and well-executed large crossover, which is why Motor Trend has it listed as “#1” in their list of 3-row SUVs and Consumer Reports gave it a 93/100 on their road test. Sadly, the Ascent’s first couple model years were marred by some reliability issues, though things seem to be improving and time will tell if that continues to be the case.

Subaru announced a mid-cycle refresh for model year 2023. Included is a facelift that makes it uglier, plus the addition of “Automatic Emergency Steering” on Premium and above trim levels. The 2023 Ascent will also include the same infotainment system found on the Outback.


Verdict

Pros

  • Great standard safety features
  • Comfortable ride
  • Standard AWD
  • Despite being a crossover lacking a proper 4WD system, it has decent off-road capabilities

Cons

  • Consumer Reports reported poor reliability for 2019 and 2020 model years based on their annual surveys, although the 2021 model year seems to have scored average in comparison; Motor Trend’s long-term test of a 2019 model also had some reliability issues
  • Poor throttle response due to combination of CVT and turbo lag
  • Infotainment on 2023+ models is very laggy

Reviews

Consumer Reports

Other Outlets


Specifications

All figures are as of 2022 model year.

  • Transmission: Subaru CVT
  • Drivetrain: AWD standard
    • 2-speed transfer case not available
    • Electronically locking center differential not available
    • Electronically locking rear differential not available
  • Base curb weight: 4430 lbs
  • Max cargo capacity: 86.5 cu ft
  • Seating: 3 rows
  • Rear leg room: 38.6 in
  • Towing capacity: 5000 lbs

Engines

Subaru FA24F - 2.4L H4 Turbocharged

Power Figures

  • 260 hp
  • 277 lb-ft

Fuel Economy

  • 23mpg combined
  • 21mpg city
  • 27mpg highway