We drove a $46,000 Subaru Ascent SUV that will take on Toyota, Honda, and Ford — here are its best features

Business Insider/Jessica TylerOur 2019 Subaru Ascent Touring test car.
  • The 2019 Subaru Ascent is one of the newest contenders in the mid-size family SUV market.
  • Recently, Business Insider spent a week with a new Subaru Ascent Touring in Magnetite Grey Metallic.
  • The Ascent impressed up with its well-designed cabin, peppy driving dynamics, strong infotainment, and a solid suite of standard safety features.
  • The base 2019 Subaru Ascent starts at $US31,995, while our top-of-the-line Ascent Touring starts at $US44,695. With fees, our test car carried an as-test price of $US45,670.

In 2018, more than 2.5 million new mid-size crossovers and SUVs rolled out of American dealerships accounting for 14.7% of US auto sales for the year.

Subaru’s Outback off-road wagon has long been a big seller in the segment. But it has been years since the brand had a true three-row family SUV to take on the likes of the Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, and Honda Pilot.

Subaru tried to crack the mid-size SUV market in 2005 with the B9 Tribeca. The Tribeca’s odd styling, diminutive size, and tepid performance prevented it from gaining traction in the market. Even a 2008 facelift and the addition of a more powerful engine couldn’t save the Tribeca, which soldiered on for nearly a decade before Subaru pulled the plug on the SUV in 2014.

For 2019, Subie is back with the all-new Indiana-built Ascent.

The Ascent will slot in above the Outback wagon in Subaru’s lineup and will be its most expensive offering.

Recently, Business Insider had the chance to spend a week with a new Magnetite Grey Metallic Subaru Ascent Touring.

Read more: We drove a $US46,000 Subaru Ascent SUV to see if it’s ready to challenge Honda, Toyota, and Ford – here’s the verdict.

The base 2019 Subaru Ascent starts at $US31,995, while our top-of-the-line Ascent Touring starts at $US44,695. With fees, our test car carried an as-test price of $US45,670.

The Subaru Ascent is available with an impressive array of standard and optional tech, safety, and luxury features.

Here’s a look at the coolest of the bunch:


1. All versions of the Ascent are powered by a brand new 2.4-litre turbocharged, flat-four-cylinder engine. The motor produces a stout 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. The new engine felt strong and robust with a solid punch off the line.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

2. A well-designed interior. The cabin is traditional Subaru — very conservative but effective and easy to use. Ergonomics are terrific, with no oddly placed buttons or knobs to report. The interior feels solidly put together with good-quality materials. The leather upholstery is soft to the touch, and the plastics look and feel robust.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

3. The Subaru Ascent can be configured to hold up to eight people. Our Touring test car came with the optional second-row captain’s chairs.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

4. Rear cabin climate controls, heated seats, and power plugs.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

5. Our test car came with an optional 8-inch high-definition touchscreen running the latest variant of Subaru’s Starlink infotainment system. The Ascent comes standard with a 6.5-inch unit.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Subaru’s Starlink system is simple and intuitive. It features a solid array of app content as well as 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and built-in navigation.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

There’s also Apple CarPlay integration.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

6. Atop the dash, there’s a really helpful secondary infotainment screen. Using a set of buttons located on the dash, you can scroll through a variety of information including navigation, …

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

…The trip computer, and…

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

…The weather.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

7. There’s a front-facing camera. While back up cameras are becoming commonplace now, front-facing cameras are still quite rare. The Ascent is available with such a camera displayed on its secondary infotainment screen.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

8. Subaru’s Eyesight safety system is standard on all Ascents.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

Eyesight is a suite of driver-assistance features that include adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, lane-departure warning, and pre-collision throttle control.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

9. Rear view mirror display. The Subaru Ascent is equipped with a rearview mirror with a built-in digital display connected to a camera located in the back of the vehicle.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

10. There’s an available panoramic glass roof.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

11. The Ascent comes standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical all-wheel-drive.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

12. The Ascent also comes with X-Mode which is a system that optimises engine power, torque split, and braking to help guide the car through poor driving conditions.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

13. The Ascent comes with a power lift gate.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

14. Cargo room: There are 17.5 cubic feet of cargo room behind the third row. With the third row folded, cargo capacity increase to 47 cubic feet. The maximum cargo capacity behind the first row is 86 cubic feet.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

15. There are 19 cupholders.

Business Insider/Jessica Tyler

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