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

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

 

2019 Subaru Ascent strikes the right cord

2019 Subaru Ascent strikes the right cord

2019 Subaru Ascent strikes the right cord

Just Posted

Artist’s image of the tower proposed for 10761 King George Boulevard, looking from the northeast. (Chris Dikeakos Architects Inc., surrey.ca)
Surrey council approves 54-storey residential tower for city centre

The tower’s 479 residential units are expected to be ready for occupancy by early 2026

metro creative stock
Surrey approves new rules, fines for drug and alcohol recovery homes

Report before Surrey council Monday, April 12 called on politicians to amend city’s business license bylaw

The Round Up Cafe has operated for more than six decades at 10449 King George Boulevard, Surrey. (File photo)
Surrey’s Round Up Cafe is set to close for good, after 60 years of feeding people

Cooking school might open in the Whalley space, manager says, but no firm plan yet

Surrey RCMP are seeking the public's help to locate three puppies stolen from a South Surrey home on April 10. (Surrey RCMP photos)
Puppies stolen during weekend break-and-enter in South Surrey

Surrey RCMP seeking public’s assistance in locating three American Bulldog puppies

(File photo)
Surrey’s OCC fielded calls from 305,000 people in 2020, an ‘unusual’ year of fewer such calls

The numbers were released Monday in recognition of Public Safety Telecommunicators Week

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

Guinevere, lovingly referred to by Jackee Sullivan and her family as Gwenny, is in need of a gynecological surgery. The family is raising money to help offset the cost of the procedure. (Jackee Sullivan/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley lizard’s owners raise funds for gynecological surgery

The young reptile is scheduled for operation on Tuesday

—Image: contributed
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Part of the massive mess left behind in a Spallumcheen rental home owned by Wes Burden, whose tenants bolted from the property in the middle of the night. Burden is now facing a hefty cleaning and repair bill as a result. (Photo submitted)
Tenants disappear in the night leaving Okanagan home trashed with junk, feces

Spallumcheen rental rooms filled with junk, human and animal feces; landlord scared to rent again

Most Read