2019 Subaru Ascent

MSRP $31,995 - $44,695

Ranked #8 in Suv

8.3

Overall Rating

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2019 Subaru Ascent Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 28, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


As if we needed another high riding family hauler in the market, Subaru has gone ahead and put their foot back in the Crossover game by introducing the 2019 Subaru Ascent.

See detailed review »

Pros

Balanced Ride and Handling

Impressive Interior Packaging

Generous Standard Safety Kit

Praise Worthy 5000 Pounds Towing Capacity

Cons

Regular Convenience Reserved for Higher Trims

Uninspiring CVT Transmission

Disappointing NVH Under Load

What's New?

Since this is the debut year for the biggest Subaru on the block, we expect nothing less than perfection from Subaru

It has managed to impress us with various products in the past and we wouldn’t be surprised if the Ascent is a smashing hit.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$31995

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

8

top speed

130 mph

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

displacement

146 cu.in.

horsepower

260 hp @ 5600 rpm

torque

277 lb.-ft. @ 2000 rpm

transmission

continuously variable speed automatic

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

113.8 in.

length

196.8 in.

width

76 in.

height

71.6 in.

curb weight

4430 lbs.

ground clearance

8.7 in.

capacity

passenger volume

153.5 cu ft.

cargo volume

86.5 cu ft.

towing capacity

2000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.2 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.8 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

21/23/27 mpg

highway range

445.2 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr./ 60,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

8-Passenger$31,995 onwards

Premium 8-Passenger$34,195 onwards

Premium 7-Passenger$35,655 onwards

Limited 7-Passenger$38,995 onwards

Limited 8-Passenger$38,995 onwards

Touring$44,695 onwards

Colors and Styles

2019 Subaru Ascent in Crystal Black Silica color
Crystal Black Silica

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

8.3

Exterior

7.5

Safety

9.9

Competition

8.0

8.3

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.3

Overall Rating


You see, it would be foolish for a manufacturer to not grab a piece of this bottomless margarita as the market for Crossovers just seems to be growing endlessly. With their forgettable effort with the Tribeca, Subaru has a lot riding on the Ascent, and with their rich history of being practical as well as fun, we have even higher hopes for it! 


8.1/10
Engine and Performance

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.3/10
Interior

7.5/10
Exterior

9.9/10
Safety

8.0/10
Competition


2019 Subaru Ascent Features

The Ascent can be had in a total of 4 trim levels that are generously spaced out. The 4 trims, namely; Base, Premium, Limited and Touring start at $31,995 and max out at a reasonable $ 44,695. Since all of the trims comes with the same powertrain under the hood, it is for the consumer to decide, how much cash they want to splash on bells and whistles!

Trim

Ascent (Base)

Ascent Premium

Ascent Limited

Ascent Touring

MSRP

$31,995

$34,195

$38,995

$44,695

Key Features

6.5-inch multimedia with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto

Includes Ascent's features and adds -

Includes Ascent Premium's features and adds -

Includes Ascent Limited's features and adds -

 

Cloth upholstery

Spill-resistant cloth upholstery

Leather upholstery

Upgraded leather upholstery

 

Automatic Headlights

Rear-seat climate controls

Adaptive LED headlights with automatic high-beams

14-speaker Harman-Kardon premium audio

 

Tri-zone automatic climate control

Leather steering

LED foglights

Chrome exterior accents

 

Rearview camera

Heated front seats

Heated outboard second-row seats

Automatic wipers

 

Six-Speaker audio with satellite radio

Power-adjustable driver's seat

Power-adjustable front passenger seat

Ambient interior lighting

 

Height-adjustable driver's seat

8.0-inch infotainment with voice controls and 4G LTE WiFi hotspot

Powered liftgate with height memory

Navigation system

Which Trim should you buy?

When looking at the entire spread for the 2019 Ascent, it becomes pretty evident that Subaru has stuffed generous kit in each and every variant which therefore makes it tougher for the end consumer to decide which variant to go for. Although, all the price jumps between the trims are very well justified, we do believe that the Premium trim offers just the right balance of features and sensibility. With a host of added conveniences over the base model, the Premium only commands a mere $2,000 premium for features such as Push Button Start, Second Row Captain Seats, Powered Liftgate amongst the most notable. 

2019 Subaru Ascent Engine and Performance

8.1/10

In typical Subaru fashion, the 2019 Subaru Ascent is powered by a 2.4 L Turbo Boxer 4 Pot which produces a justifiable 260 bhp and 277 lb-ft of torque. Although the engine can appear to be a little crude when under load, it still is one of the better offerings in the segment. The standard AWD system on the Ascent draws from all of Subaru’s strengths and learnings thereby being one of the more sophisticated systems in the segment.

The CVT Transmission that the Ascent comes equipped with might just be the only sore point of an otherwise robust powertrain since it lacks the oomph that one might want from a Subaru. Yes, the transmission isn’t bad per se as it is smooth and predictable, but the lack of control and the annoying rubber band effect could be a tad irritating.

The powertrain in its entirety certainly impresses with oodles of torque and power on tap, while, the 5000 pounds tow capacity coupled with the AWD system means that the weekend Overlanding trip wouldn’t even break a sweat.

Models

2019 Subaru Ascent

2019 Honda Pilot

2019 Ford Explorer

2019 Toyota Highlander

MSRP

$31,995

$31,450

$32,365

$31,330

Engine

2.4-liter turbocharged Subaru Boxer 4-cylinder

3.5-liter V6

3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6

2.7-liter 4-cylinder

Transmission

CVT

6-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Automatic

Horsepower (hp @ rpm))

260 @ 5600

280 @ 6000

288 @ 6500

185 @ 5800

Torque (ft-lbs @ rpm)

277 @ 2000

262 @ 4700

254 @ 4000

184 @ 4200

0-60 MPH

6.9 seconds

6.2 seconds

8.2 seconds

7.2 seconds

Quarter mile

15.5 seconds

14.8 seconds

16.3 seconds

15.5 seconds

Top Speed 

164 MPH

156 MPH

130 MPH

155 MPH

The Honda Pilot might be the quickest to reach 60 and also crush the rest of the competition when it comes to quarter-mile times, but in this segment low-end power and useability trumps straight-line acceleration figures, which is why we do believe that the Ascent should be the pick of the lot as it’s turbo boxer develops great grunt down low which is very apparent when puttering about in the city.

How well does the 2019 Subaru Ascent handle?

For a vehicle of its size and caliber, the Subaru Ascent is mighty impressive when it comes to being one of the occupants. Even with its substantial 20-inch Alloy wheels, the Subaru manages to iron out most of the undulation on the road with ease while keeping vertical movement to a minimum. The behind-the-wheel experience is also praiseworthy as the progressive steering and agile nature of the Ascent makes you forget that it is a three-row family hauler after all.

The wind and road noise that creeps into the cabin could be a sore spot as it does meddle with an otherwise brilliant cabin experience but for the otherwise plush ride comfort, we wouldn’t mind granting the Ascent a pass. 

Braking Performance

Sporting some of the largest rotors in the cabin that are mated to an extremely linear feeling pedal, the Ascent does offer some of the best brakes in the segment. Yes, due to the high riding nature of this Subaru there is some expected nose-dive under panic braking but the Ascent does come to a halt with definitive confidence.

Modulating the brakes is also an extremely easy affair no matter if you are creeping in city traffic or ripping it open out on the highway.

Model

2019 Subaru Ascent

2019 Honda Pilot

2019 Ford Explorer

2019 Toyota Highlander

Brake Front (in.)

13.1

12.6

12.8

12.9

Brake Rear (in.)

13

13

12.8

12.2

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4430

4036

4458

4134

60-0 MPH (ft.)

119

117 

108 (With optional tires)

126 

The Explorer manages to trump all of its rivals when it comes to braking capabilities but we do have to mention that it does do so with the optional stickier tires. When viewed in isolation, all of the vehicles offer great stopping power and enough control to keep the driver calm even under emergency braking. 

The 126 feet stopping distance could be improved a little bit under all applications, the difference wouldn’t even be noticeable for the driver.

2019 Subaru Ascent Fuel Economy

8.0/10

It is tough for vehicles of the Ascent’s caliber to be frugal for the most part as they do have an AWD system that sap some numbers and the heavier curb weights don’t help either. The CVT transmission on the Ascent though helps negate some of these stated effects and bump up the EPA numbers to a respectable figure. With a claimed 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg out on the highway, we are more than impressed with what the Ascent achieves as it does outperform most of its rivals when it comes to economy figures.

Model

2019 Subaru Ascent

2019 Honda Pilot

2019 Ford Explorer

2019 Toyota Highlander

MPG (city)

21 

19 

17

20

MPG (highway)

27 

27 

24

24

MPG (combined)

23

22

20

22

Fuel Tank Capacity (gallons)

19.3

19.5

18.6

19.2

Range (city/highway/combined; in miles)

405/521/443

370/526/429

316/446/372

384/460/422

With the best EPA estimates and one of the larger fuel tanks on offer, the Ascent offers the best range amongst its peers with the Pilot trailing in a close second. If you are planning on taking your next vehicle on frequent road/overlanding trips, the Ascent should definitely be on top of your shopping list.

2019 Subaru Ascent Interior

8.3/10

The cabin of the 2019 Subaru Ascent is definitely recognizable as a Subaru since it does borrow heavily from the Forester. Although the interior is no match for the level of luxury and quality that is offered by European counterparts, it does have a sense of simplicity around it which could be charming to some. The use of low-rent hard plastics is more obvious in the lower trims, but as we move up the hierarchal ladder, we do see the quality improve significantly. The clean dashboard layout and sorted ergonomics mean that being behind the wheel is a joyous experience.

The front seats prove to be adequately comfortable with just enough bolstering so as to not feel intrusive if you are a little on the chubbier end. The second-row captain seats that are available from the Premium trim and up are also worthy of praise and should be accommodating of most body types even on longer journeys. The third row could do with a tad more room, but Subaru has still managed to pack the third row well enough to be useful and not just increase the capacity on paper.

Model

2019 Subaru Ascent

2019 Honda Pilot

2019 Ford Explorer

2019 Toyota Highlander

Passenger capacity

8

8

7

8

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

41.3/61.1/42.2

40.1/ 62/40.9

41.4/61.5/42.9

40.7/59.3/44.2

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

40.0/60.3/ 38.6

40.2/62/38.4

40.6/61/39.5

39.9/59.6/38.4

Third (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

36.3/57.2/31.7

38.9/57.6/31.9

37.8/50.8/32

35.9/55.0/27.7

Cargo Volume (cu-ft.)

17.8

16.5

21

13.8

The Explorer definitely has an edge when it comes to hauling cargo but it does lose out on the ability to accommodate an additional passenger. The more spacious dimensions of the Explorer also add bonus points to an otherwise lukewarm interior design wherein the Subaru might just be the victor.

What’s there to keep you entertained?

Both the 6.5-inch Infotainment System that comes in as standard and the 8 Inch System available on higher trims fails to be as impressive as the rest of the cabin which is a bummer. Although both units come equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with the latter also sporting Subaru StarLink functionality, the overall user experience is genuinely subpar. The childish graphics and abrupt lag do leave a sour taste in your mouth even though the phone connectivity services work rather well.

The standard 6 speaker is up to the task for the most part but the optional 14 Speaker Harmon Kardon system is something that we would like to add into the options list if we were speccing one out.

Some of the more notable infotainment features are mentioned below:

  • 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment 
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • WiFi hotspot and Navigation
  • 6 Speakers/14-speaker Harman-Kardon audio
  • Four USB ports
  • Subaru StarLink

2019 Subaru Ascent Exterior

7.5/10

The 2019 Subaru Ascent is definitely conservative when it comes to its exterior styling as it can appear to be a little too generic. It does sport some recognizably Subaru bits and pieces, but the overall design lacks any sort of flair. One can easily spot the similarities between the Ascent and the Outback with certain features of the Forester as well. The fact that Ascent lacks any real identity could put off some customers but most buyers in the segment care more about features and comfort than just simply looking good.

Model

2019 Subaru Ascent

2019 Honda Pilot

2019 Ford Explorer

2019 Toyota Highlander

Curb weight (lbs.)

4430

4036

4458

4134

Length(in)

196.8

196.5

198.3

192.5

Width(in)

76

78.6

78.9

75.8

Height(in)

71.6

70.6

70

68.1

Ground clearance (in)

8.7

7.3

7.8

8.0

Wheelbase (in)

113.8

111

112.8

109.8

With a higher ground clearance than all of its peers and a more sophisticated AWD, the Subaru would take you places, where its competition, might struggle. Yes, it can appear to be a tad too generic in front of the Pilot or the Highlander, but when it comes to capability we would choose the Subaru any day of the week.

Some of the other exterior features that make the Subaru Ascent stand out are as follows:

  • 20 Inch Alloy Wheels
  • LED Headlights 
  • LED Tailights
  • LED Fog Lamps
  • Roof Rails
  • Chrome Accents

2019 Subaru Ascent Safety

9.9/10

With a 5-star rating from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick + award from the IIHS, Subaru’s emphasis on safety while engineering the Ascent seems to have been thoroughly rewarded and we are mighty impressed. The fact that Ascent offers such a list of active features as standard on the Ascent is worthy of applause and for any consumer that has safety as their top priority, the Ascent is the way to go!

Some of the more notable active safety features on the Subaru Ascent are as follows:

  • Automated Emergency Braking with Reverse Automated Braking
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Alerts
  • Subaru StarLink Connected Services (Except the Base)

2019 Subaru Ascent Competition

8.0/10

2019 Subaru Ascent vs 2019 Honda Pilot

Although the Pilot comes with a V6 under the hood as standard and Honda is well established in the space, the Ascent still manages to trump the Honda with a better low-end grunt as well as higher hauling capacity. Not only that, when it comes to taking the road less traveled, the Ascent offers higher ground clearance, better articulation, a more sophisticated AWD system, and somehow also better fuel economy!

It is therefore not even a competition between the two as the Ascent takes a clean sweep victory. 

2019 Subaru Ascent vs 2019 Ford Explorer

With a more powerful engine on offer and a tad bit better brakes, the Explorer can definitely appeal to the child inside of you, but when it comes to the overall package, we do feel that the Subaru offers more value for money as it is not just more frugal but also packs in better safety.

2019 Subaru Ascent vs 2019 Toyota Highlander

The tried and tested Highlander fails to feel appealing in front of the newly introduced Ascent that is a breath of fresh air. On the capability front, both the vehicles can feel identical, but when it comes to the in-cabin experience and above all, value for money, it is the Ascent that takes the cake!

2019 Subaru Ascent Final Verdict

The 2019 Subaru Ascent is every bit of a Subaru inside and out period. The practical and spacious cabin, decent fuel economy, praise-worthy motor, and high-end safety features make the Ascent a formidable contender in its space. If one is looking for a dependable and capable family hauler that is easy on the pocket but doesn’t compromise on comfort and features, the Subaru Redemption Card i.e. the Ascent is the vehicle for you!

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