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

Last year, the Sharing the Christmas Spirit Hamper Program operated at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital site. File photo
Christmas hamper program finds space in Courtenay

An annual Christmas hamper program in the Comox Valley has found a… Continue reading

During a public hearing in November, a Comox resident proposed the idea of a roundabout at the intersection of Lerwick and McDonald Roads. Google Maps photo
Comox development get the green light

The development - at 2309 McDonald Rd. - received third reading at the most recent council meeting

CSWM is being asked to reconsider statutory holiday closures for solid waste delivery to the regional landfill. Record file photo
Cumberland also asks for landfill stat closure reconsideration

Council follows Comox’s lead in asking waste board to rethink decision

A youth has been arrested in response to yesterday’s threat directed at Lake Trail Middle School. File photo
Youth arrested in connection with threat directed at Courtenay school

A youth has been arrested after the Comox Valley RCMP and School… Continue reading

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

West Vancouver Island’s Ehattesaht First Nation continues lock down after 9 active cases were reported today after a visitor tested positive last week. (Ehattesaht First Nation/Facebook)
Ehattesaht First Nation’s COVID-19 nightmare: nine active cases, a storm and a power outage

The Vancouver Island First Nation in a lockdown since the first case was reported last week

The Blackberry Lane Children’s Centre outgrown its space in the back of the Denman Island Community Hall. Photo supplied
Denman Island to have new preschool with metal roof

Thanks to a local government grant and community support, the Denman Island… Continue reading

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Most Read