The Ascent starts from $37,910 for the Convenience trim and moves up to $51,910 for the Premier package (Submitted).

2019 Subaru Ascent strikes the right cord

While the Subaru Ascent still bears resemblance to other vehicles in the Subaru fleet, it creates strides of its own with a powerful large stance and bold edges

The largest Subaru to debut is the all-new 2019 Subaru Ascent, designed to make a strong impression for those in the market for a mid-size SUVs with a three-row seating. Subaru first made the foray into a three-row SUV with the unpopular Tribeca in 2006, which did poorly in sales until 2014 when it was removed from the market. This time around, Subaru isn’t taking any chances and therefore the Ascent was developed to provide a comfortable, predictable road manners with tons of features that consumers want these days. Subaru as a whole is hitting records each month in sales, and so it is pretty safe to say that this decision was a well-thought out one. With a consistent and reliable product, the “ascent” of this vehicle in the marketplace filled with Toyota Highlanders and Honda Pilots is sure to be steady.

Design

While the Subaru Ascent still bears resemblance to other vehicles in the Subaru fleet, it creates strides of its own with a powerful large stance and bold edges, though generally speaking the Ascent is still somewhat generic looking. The ascent is the largest vehicle Subaru has ever created (although it is average for other vehicles in its class), and it boasts seven or eight passenger seating arrangements.

Despite looking somewhat bland in terms of the exterior, the interior is absolutely first class – thanks to combination of rich materials, trims and components. In the top trim level, the Ascent’s interior won’t look out of place in a $100K German luxury SUVs. The visibility is excellent with large windows and the vehicle feels “airy” and “open” with lots of space to stretch out. The only thing to keep in mind is that the third row seat – like in most other SUVs in the market – is tight for adults though fine for younger or smaller teens and tweens.

The interior boasts 498 litres of space behind the third row, and increases all the way to 2,435 litres with both seat rows folded down. Towing capacity is also good at nearly 5,000 pounds for the top model.

Every trim level offers power driver’s seat, heated front seats, automatic climate control for three zones, extended roof rails and Subaru EyeSight driving assistance. For those who wish for a more luxurious environment, moving up the trim levels will get you added features such as panoramic sunroof, heated second-row seats, heated steering wheel, power liftgate, auto-dimming mirrors, and a navigation system. On the top Premier package, even more options are available: Apply CarPlay, Android Auto and a mobile hotspot on a 6.5-inch touchscreen.

Performance

Built on the new Subaru Global Platform (SGP) which is also found on models such as the Impreza and the Crosstrek, the Ascent is a Subaru through-and-through. Under the hood is a 4-cylinder, 2.4L Direct Injection Turbocharged Subaru Boxer engine that provides 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. Paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), the Subaru Ascent consumes less fuel in comparison with a regular automatic transmission equipped cars. The caveat to this is that the engine noise can be noticeable during acceleration but other than that, the ride is extraordinarily smooth and enjoyable.

Subaru “built-in” a feeling of transmission shifting (CVT does not shift due to its design) so that the car will feels more normal, if such a statement makes any sense. In other words, CVT equipped cars normally feel od,d since there is no shifting per se and instead just the change in sound and feel as the car goes faster. Subaru is simply trying to make the Ascent feel more like normal transmission cars by making the car express shifting feel as it goes faster – which works well actually.

The Ascent is as refined as a Lexus costing much more, but the handling is light and somewhat numb. The Mazda CX-9 is a benchmark in this regard, as it boasts a Porsche-like handling and road feel that is absent in every other competitor. The Ascent feels smoother than the Honda Pilot and more upscale than the current Toyota Highlander (which by the way is changing completely for 2020). With so many new models arriving this year, however, the Ascent is going to face still competition indeed.

To handle more rugged terrain, the Ascent has decent ground clearance and offers an “X-MODE” driving mode.

Official posted numbers for fuel economy for city, highway and combined are 11.6 L/100 km, 9.0 L/100 km and 10.4 L/100km, respectively. Further, even with a turbo engine, premium gasoline is not required which is a great economical bonus for buyers.

The Subaru Ascent has earned a Top Safety Pick + from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Summary

The Ascent starts from $37,910 for the Convenience trim and moves up to $51,910 for the Premier package. The competitors for the Subaru Ascent include the Mazda CX-9, Volkswagen Atlas, Chevrolet Traverse, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot and a few others. In this saturated market, the Subaru Ascent has taken the conservative approach and focused on being competitive in important areas like ride and smoothness – but because of this, the Ascent does not stand-out in any one particular measure. Subaru’s approach to emphasize elegant design, good road dynamics, good fuel economy, ample space and a comfortable interior is obviously working as it can’t keep up with the demand for the Ascent. It looks like the consumers – who already have lots of choices to choose from – have spoken and picked the Ascent as one of their all-time favourites.

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today!

– written by David Chao

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. NDP leader John Horgan and B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau. (Black Press Media)
OPINION: Examining preliminary results from the 2020 BC Election

Some thoughts to ponder as British Columbia awaits the final results from mail-in ballots

Your Columbia River Revelstoke candidates; Nicole Cherlet (NDP); Samson Boyer (Green) and Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal). The polls are closed and ballots being counted. (File photo)
BC VOTES: Clovechok preliminary winner with 52 per cent of the vote

35 of 77 polls have reported and The Canadian Press is calling Clovechok winner

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Most Read