2021 Subaru Ascent

MSRP $32,295 - $45,445

Ranked #9 in Suv

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2021 Subaru Ascent Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 5, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


Outback was already popular with American families but for many, there was a need for more interior space and practicality which was fulfilled when Subaru introduced its biggest SUV which has the third row in the year 2019. It is built on a high-strength steel frame and has a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs which is unmatched by many SUVs in the same segment.

More from 2021 Subaru Ascent

2021 Subaru Ascent Exclusive Interior and Exterior Pictures | View latest Pictures

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Pros

High level of safety

Good quality interior material

Spacious cabin

Low fuel consumption

Cons

Noisy engine

Cramped third row

Low power figures

What's New?

LED Steering Responsive Headlights

Second and third-row seat belt alert

Addition of advanced adaptive cruise control with lane-centering in EyeSight Driver Assist Technology suite


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$32295

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

8

top speed

130 mph

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

displacement

146 cu.in.

horsepower

260 hp @ 5500 rpm

torque

277 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm

transmission

CVT

chassis

suspension front

Independent strut suspension

suspension rear

Double wishbone suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

13.1/13 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

113.8 in.

length

196.8 in.

width

76 in.

height

71.6 in.

curb weight

4477 lbs.

ground clearance

8.7 in.

capacity

passenger volume

153.5 cu ft.

cargo volume

86.5 cu ft.

towing capacity

2000 lbs.

payload capacity

1570 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7 sec.

zero to 100 mph

19.4 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.5 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

178 ft.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$32,295 onwards

Premium$34,795 onwards

Limited$39,595 onwards

Touring$45,445 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Subaru Ascent in Crystal White Metallic color
Crystal White Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

8.5

Engine and Performance

8.1

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

9.0

Exterior

7.5

Safety

9.9

Competition

8.0

8.3

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.3

Overall Rating


There are four trims available on the Subaru Ascent lineup. The base price starts with $32,295 and can go as high as $45,445. A 2.4 Liter turbocharged engine that puts out 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque has a CVT pairing throughout the trim range. The 2021 Subaru Ascent is up against Undertakers like Kia Telluride and Ford Explorer while it also faces competition from Batista like Honda Pilot.

2021 Subaru Ascent SUV front view
2021 Subaru Ascent SUV rear view

8.1/10
Engine and Performance

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

9.0/10
Interior

7.5/10
Exterior

9.9/10
Safety

8.0/10
Competition


2021 Subaru Ascent Features

2021 Subaru Ascent offers four trim levels. The base trim has all the necessary features and comes at a starting price of $32,295. The Premium and Limited trims add upgraded tech and interior for a better experience. The top of the line Touring trim has a starting price tag of $45,445. The 2.4L turbo flat-4 engine is common on all trim. As Subaru has a standard setup to transfer power to all wheels, you don’t have an option to choose FWD or RWD on the Ascent.

The base trims add enough features to make your life comfortable. It has standard features such as 18-in alloy wheels, cloth upholstery, manually adjustable front seats, manual tilt, and telescopic steering wheels, raised roof rails, 6.5-inch touchscreen, 6-speaker sound system, second and third-row seat belt reminder, second-row bench seats, LED steering responsive headlights, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, X mode with hill descent control, keyless entry, push-button start, lane departure warning, and sway control.

Model

2021 Subaru Ascent Base

2021 Subaru Ascent Premium

2021 Subaru Ascent Limited

2021 Subaru Ascent Touring

MSRP (AWD)

$32,295

$34,795

$39,595

$45,445

Features

2.4L Turbo Flat-4 engine

Adds or upgrades to ‘Base’

Adds or upgrades to ‘Premium’

Adds or upgrades to ‘Limited’

 

18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels

Windshield wiper de-icer

20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels

Power tilt and sliding panoramic glass moonroof

 

Raised roof rails

Heated front seats

Leather upholstery

Ventilated front seats

 

Reclining second-row 60/40 seat

Stain-resistant cloth upholstery

Heated second-row seats

Heated steering wheel

 

Cloth upholstery

Keyless entry

14-speakers Harman Kardon Quantum Surround Sound audio system

Smart auto-dimming rearview compass mirror

 

paddle shifters

Second-row climate controls

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert

Navigation

 

Tri-zone climate control

8-inch touchscreen

Blind-spot monitoring

180-Degree Front-View Monitor

 

6.5-inch touchscreen

Reverse Automatic Braking

Pre-collision throttle management 

 
 

6-speaker sound system

Lane Change Assist

   
 

Pre-collision braking

Seat belt reminder

   
 

Lane departure and sway warning

     
 

Adaptive cruise control

     

All trims on the Ascent have a seating capacity of 8 while you can get a second-row captain’s chair as an option on all trims except the base. 

We Recommend:

We would recommend the Premium trim as your best pick and there are clear reasons behind it. It is not only affordable as compared to pricey Limited or Touring trim but also comes with all the features or base trim along with the optional upgrades such as an 8-inch touchscreen, navigation, blind-spot monitoring, 20-inch alloy wheels, and power rear gate. It also has a towing capacity of 3000 lbs more than the base trim.

2021 Subaru Ascent Engine and Performance

8.1/10

Just like the majority of rivals, the 2021 Subaru Ascent has a single-engine configuration under the hood. A naturally aspirated 2.4 Liter turbocharged flat-4 engine that is mated to a continuous variable transmission and has an AWD drivetrain as standard. It churns out 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. These figures are the lowest in the competition.

2021 Subaru Ascent SUV engine bay

The time required for the 2021 Ascent to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, making it the thirst fastest SUV list in the competition. On the other hand, it takes 15.5 seconds to cross the quarter-mile distance. That said, the fastest SUV in the segment is the Honda Pilot which completes the 0 to 60 mph limit is 0.7 seconds less than the Subaru Ascent.

Model

2021 Subaru Ascent Base

2021 Ford Explorer Base

2021 Kia Telluride LX

2021 Honda Pilot LX

MSRP

$32,295

$36,685

$34,190

$34,250

Engine

2.4 Liter Turbo Flat-4

2.3 Liter Turbo Inline-4

3.8 Liter V6

3.5 Liter V6

Drivetrain

AWD

4WD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

CVT

10-speed automatic 

8-speed automatic 

9-speed automatic 

Power (hp @ rpm)

260 hp @ 5600 rpm

300 hp @ 5500 rpm

291 hp @ 6000 rpm

280 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

277 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

310 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm

262 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm

262 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm

0-60 MPH

6.9 sec

6.8 sec

7.1 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

15.5 sec

15.3 sec

15.4 sec

14.8 sec

Top Speed

130 MPH

NA

141 MPH

113 MPH

Even though Ascent has the turbochargers, the engine capacity is the lowest after the Explorer in the competition that results in less horsepower and torque as compared to the rivals. However, Explorer produces 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque which is higher than any SUV’s output in the segment. That said, despite having a 3.8 Liter V6 engine that puts out 291 hp, Telluride is the slowest of all as it takes 0.9 seconds more to reach 60 mph from the standstill as compared to the Pilot.

2021 Subaru Ascent Ride and Handling:

The overall riding experience on the Ascent is comfortable. It does not offer as sporty drive as you would expect but it is decent enough to haul on roads every day. The acceleration and throttle response is not very smooth at a lower speed and CVT, which is generally in good sync with the engine, can be noisy sometimes. 

2021 Subaru Ascent SUV ride and handling

The steering wheel is easy to maneuver and there is no major blind spot that could hinder your visibility. The cabin is noisy as you can hear a lot of road noise. On the bright side, Ascent has the X-mode with hill descent control which is a great help when you are driving over slippery, muddy, and even surfaces or you are descending over steep hills. 

2021 Subaru Ascent Braking:

With a weight of over four tons, it could become difficult to stop such a heavy SUV but Ascent manages itself just fine. It has the second biggest front brake rotor while the rear brake rotor is the biggest one which is also the same for the Telluride. The brake pedal has a good response and the Active Torque Vectoring coupled with vehicle dynamic control, allows effective braking at each wheel to stay on the road. It also distributes more torque to the outside wheel that makes turning easy. 

Model

2021 Subaru Ascent Base

2021 Ford Explorer Base

2021 Kia Telluride LX

2021 Honda Pilot LX

Brake Rotors Front (in.)

13.1

12.8

13.4

12.6

Brake Rotors Rear (in.)

13.0

12.8

12.0

13.0

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,430

4,345

4,354

4,158

60-0 MPH (ft.)

117

121

118

116

The Honda Pilot has the smallest set of front brakes but it has the least stopping distance in the competition. The Explorer comes with the same pair of front and rear rotors but with 121 feet of stopping distance, puts low grades in its report card. The Telluride comes with the biggest front brake rotors and has a stopping distance of 118 feet.

2021 Subaru Ascent Fuel Economy

8.0/10

Only one set of fuel economy figures is available for the 2021 Subaru Ascent since the only drivetrain available on it is AWD just like other Subaru cars. As per the EPA estimates, the 2021 Subaru Ascent’s 2.4 turbos flat-4 engine returns a fuel economy of 21 mpg in the city, 27 mpg on highways, and 23 mpg combined. It has the second-biggest fuel tank in the competition which has just 0.2 gallons less fuel capacity than the Pilot. 

Model

2021 Subaru Ascent Base

2021 Ford Explorer Base

2021 Kia Telluride LX

2021 Honda Pilot LX

MPG (City)

21

20

19

19

MPG (Highway)

27

27

24

26

MPG (Combined)

23

23

21

22

Fuel Tank

19.3

17.9

18.8

19.5

Range (City/Highway/ Combined)

405/521/444

358/483/412

358/483/395

371/507/429

The Telluride is the thirstiest one in the bunch as it has the least fuel economy in all three categories. The Pilot has slightly higher fuel economy figures than the Telluride but due to its biggest fuel tank, the range for the Pilot is much better than Explorer which has the second most fuel-efficient SUV which has the smallest fuel tank. That said, Ascent reigns over all rivals as the least fuel-consuming SUV.

2021 Subaru Ascent Interior

9.0/10

There are no huge differences in the interior as compared to last year’s model. You get a black interior on the base trim while the higher trims have more interior options to choose from. The door panels have perforated leather in the middle, ivory carbon fiber trim to add a nice touch, and a leather armrest that has contrast stitching. The dash has a soft-touch material with contrast stitching and ivory carbon fiber trim. The cloth upholstery is standard on base trim but ivory leather upholstery is available on the higher trims. The 2021 Subaru is the biggest SUV from Subaru as it offers a standard 8-passenger capacity which gets reduced to 7 if you choose the higher time which comes with the second-row captain seats.

2021 Subaru Ascent SUV cockpit area

The headroom and legroom in the first two rows are enough for adults but the third row is better left aside for the children. On base trim, the driver seat has a 6-way manual adjustment while the passenger seat comes with 4-way manual adjustability. You can get power adjustment and power lumbar support on the higher trims. You get reclining second-row seats which have a 40/60 folding pattern which is also shared by the third-row seat. You don’t get the heated front seats or leather-wrapped heated steering wheel on the base trim. Some standard features offered on the base trim are Tri-zone climate control, AC vents for all rows, 19 cupholders, rearview camera, seat belt warning, cargo underfloor storage tray, 3 spoke steering wheel with paddle shifter, and manual tilt and telescopic steering wheel.

Model

2021 Subaru Ascent Base

2021 Ford Explorer Base

2021 Kia Telluride LX

2021 Honda Pilot LX

Passenger Capacity

8

7

8

8

Front (Head/ Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

41.3/61.1/42.2

40.7/61.8/43.0

40.9/61.6/41.4

40.1/62.0/40.9

Rear (Head/ Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

40.0/60.3/38.6

40.5/61.9/39.0

40.2/61.2/42.4

40.2/62.0/38.4

Third Row (Head/ Shoulder/Leg) (in.)

36.3/57.2/31.7

38.9/54.6/32.2

38.1/55.3/31.4

38.9/57.6/31.9

Cargo Capacity ft3

17.8

18.2

21.0

16.5

Every SUV in the competition has an 8-seating capacity except Ford which is the reason why it has the least airy interior. However, it does have a leading front and third-row legroom. Telluride is leading with a passenger volume of 157.1 cu-ft and it also has the biggest trunk of all. Meanwhile, Honda has the most spacious third row but it has the least cargo capacity in the segment. That said, Subaru lacks 3.9 cu-ft of passenger volume to tie with the Telluride but it has a slightly better cabin than the other two. Key highlights of the interior features are:

  • Second and third-row seat belt reminder
  • Cloth upholstery with silver stitching
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • Day-Night Rearview Mirror
  • 40/60 reclining split-folding second and third-row seat
  • Three-spoke steering wheel with paddle shifters
  • Smart auto-dimming rearview compass mirror (optional)
  • Homelink (optional)
  • Cargo area cover (optional)

2021 Subaru Ascent Infotainment System:

The Subaru STARLINK infotainment system on the 2021 Ascent might not be the best in class but it still offers a decent number of features. 2021 Ascent has a standard 6.5-inch touchscreen which has good response and is easy to understand. You can upgrade the 6.5-inch touchscreen to 8.0-inch with navigation on the higher trims. 

2021 Subaru Ascent SUV infotainment screen

You get a 6-speaker sound system as standard on the base trim but as you jump up in the trim range a 14-speaker Harman Kardon Quantum surround sound audio system is also available for you to give ear orgasm. Some other standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wifi, Bluetooth connectivity, two USB, auxiliary media jack, AM/FM/CD Player, and SiriusXM. Key highlights of the infotainment unit are:

  • 6.5-inch touchscreen
  • 8.0-inch touchscreen with navigation (optional)
  • 6-speaker sound system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • SiriusXM satellite radio

2021 Subaru Ascent Exterior

7.5/10

The exterior design and overall appearance are the same as last year’s model. It has a beefy look which exerts a powerful presence on the road. At the front, Ascent has a little squared-off grille with grey finish slots and a silver or chrome surround. You do get LED headlights as standard which has chrome inside the housing as well but fog lights are reserved for the Limited and Touring trims. There is flat black at the front in the lower portion which is also present over fender treatment. The chrome trim can be found on the side windows to make the side profile more attractive. 

2021 Subaru Ascent SUV 

On the backside, you have a roof spoiler, an optional power gate, a chrome trim connecting the taillights, and two exhaust outlets to add a sporty appeal. The 2021 Ascent runs on the standard 18-inch silver finish aluminum-alloy wheels but you have optional gray 18-inch machined-finish or dark grey 20-inch with machined-finish wheels on higher trims. Dual speed windshield wiper and raised roof rails with black finish are standard on base trim but sadly you can only get the power tilt/sliding panoramic glass moonroof on higher trims. 

Model

2021 Subaru Ascent Base

2021 Ford Explorer Base

2021 Kia Telluride LX

2021 Honda Pilot LX

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,430

4,345

4,354

4,158

Length (in.)

196.8

198.8

196.9

196.5

Width (in.)

76.0

78.9

78.3

78.6

Height (in.)

71.6

69.9

68.9

70.6

Ground Clearance (in.)

8.7

7.9

8.0

7.3

Wheelbase (in.)

113.8

119.1

114.2

111.0

If we compare the Ascent with the rivals, the Pilot is the one with the least curb weight, ground clearance, and the shortest wheelbase which will translate into better performance, stability, and agility. However, Explorer comes with the largest wheelbase and length that would make parking it a little more difficult than other SUVs in the segment. Telluride seems to be doing fine as it fits in between the Pilot and Explorer. That said, Ascent has the least height but offers the highest ground clearance which makes the ride on bumpy roads much easier. Key highlights of the exterior features are:

  • 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  • Raised roof 
  • LED Steering Responsive Headlights
  • LED fog lights (optional)
  • Power rear gate with memory function
  • power-folding side mirrors with turn signal indicators (optional)
  • Windshield wiper de-icer (optional)
  • Power tilt and sliding panoramic glass moonroof (optional)

2021 Subaru Ascent Safety

9.9/10

Subaru is known for the high safety standard in its vehicles and the 2021 Ascent’s safety ratings prove this fact. Ascent has received an overall 5-star rating from the NHTSA. If we break it down, it has gained a 5-star rating in every test conducted by the NHTSA except the rollover test which has a 4-star rating. Similarly, IIHS has assigned ‘Good’ ratings in the crashworthiness test and ‘Superior ratings in the crash prevention tests. 

These high ratings from IIHS made 201 Ascent earn the ‘Top Safety Pick+’ award. The Subaru Ascent has an EyeSight Driver Assist Technology suite which adds a number of safety features and driver assistance functions. It also has STARLINK Safety and Security suite which provides automatic collision notification, monthly health reports, and maintenance notifications. Key highlights of the safety features are: 

  • Pre-collision braking system
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane centering
  • Pre-collision throttle management
  • Blind-spot monitoring (optional)
  • Rear cross-traffic alert (optional)
  • Reverse Automatic Braking (optional)
  • 180-Degree Front-View Monitor (optional)

2021 Subaru Ascent Competition

8.0/10

2021 Subaru Ascent Vs Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer is the toughest rival of the Ascent in terms of safety. However, Ascent wins the competition with better headlight ratings than Explorer as per IIHS. That said, Explorer produces more power than Ascent even after having an engine with slightly less capacity. On the other hand, Ascent counters its low engine output with a less braking distance of just 117 feet.

Ford Explorer

2021 Subaru Ascent Vs Kia Telluride

There is a reason the Kia Telluride is very popular among the masses. It has an airy interior, a big V6 engine, and a number of features. However, it is less fuel-efficient, has less ground clearance, and is slightly slower as compared to the Ascent.

Kia Telluride

2021 Subaru Ascent Vs Honda Pilot

Compared to the Ascent, the Honda Pilot performs better in terms of performance while Ascent punches back with the better fuel economy, interior space, ground clearance, cargo capacity, and higher safety ratings. If we compare the braking distance, Honda does slightly better than the Ascent.

Honda Pilot

 

2021 Subaru Ascent Final Verdict

It is a difficult job to pick an SUV against the Subaru Ascent. It has the best fuel economy, spacious cabin, beefy exterior look, and class-leading safety ratings. However, rivals increase the competition with their own advantages like more interior space or better acceleration. However, if you want an overall package that caters to your every need and you are not bothered by slightly low power figures then the 2021 Subaru is an ideal choice for you.

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