Remember the Subaru Tribeca? That was the brand’s previous attempt at a 3-row crossover but dimensionally speaking, Americans needed more.
Cue the all-new 2019 Ascent: the largest Subaru ever with the choice of 7- or 8-passenger configurations. Available with bench seating or captain’s chairs in the 2nd row, the Ascent has a longer wheelbase and more passenger volume than the Honda Pilot but takes a more conservative approach to total cargo room, more akin to the space found in the Forester.
6-cylinder power has been supplanted by an all-new 2.4-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged BOXER engine producing 260 horsepower and a readily available 277 pound-feet of torque. Gas mileage has yet to be released but Subaru says the Ascent will have a driving range greater than 500 miles on a single tank.
A continuously variable transmission with an 8-speed manual mode and paddle shifters routes power to a torque vectoring all-wheel drive system that aids in steering the Ascent through turns. Nearly 9” of ground clearance allows owners to the put the 4-wheel traction to the test in conjunction with a driver selectable X-Mode that spreads the torque distribution evenly front to rear and hill descent control that provides the freedom to concentrate on steering while the vehicle maintains a slow, set speed. The new Trailer Stability Assist helps to maintain vehicle stability while towing where there’s a maximum of 5,000 pounds.
When the Ascent hits showrooms this summer, four trim levels will be offered with pricing starting in the low 30s. Subaru’s advanced EyeSight Driver Assist Technology is standard across the board and other features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Wi-Fi, remote engine start, reverse automatic braking and rear view camera mirror are offered.