LOS ANGELES, California—The 2019 Subaru Ascent is the biggest Subie ever built—so big it has 19 cupholders.
Unveiled on the eve of the 2017 Los Angeles auto show and driven on stage by a Golden Retriever (no lie,) Subaru’s new three-row SUV can seat 7 or 8-passengers or hounds depending on the seating configuration.
It’s built on an extended version of the Subaru Global Platform and was designed for active families who love to consume beverages.
An all-new turbocharged 2.4-liter Boxer four resides under its hood, offering 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque to all-four wheels.
The new mill is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with an 8-speed manual mode for paddle shifter fans.
There’s also X-Mode with Hill Decent Control and the Ascent can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Outside, the Ascent gets a hexagonal grille, C-shaped headlights, big wheel arches, narrow high strength steel A-pillars, steep C-pillar angles, and standard roof rails.
It rolls on 18-inch wheels with a four-wheel independent suspension and offers 8.7-inches of ground clearance—which is very kid, senior, and older dog friendly. Subaru’s new SUV has a 113.8-inch wheelbase and measures 196.8 x 76.0 x 71.6 inches (L x W x H.)
There’s 153.5 cubic feet of passenger volume and two-rows of 60/40 split flat-folding seats that offer up to 72.6 cubic feet of cargo space for gear.
Ascent offers Wi-Fi and an updated Starlink infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen that’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay friendly.
Standard tech goodies include EyeSight driver assist that offers automatic pre-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure and sway warning, pre-collision throttle management, and heads-up display system warnings on the windshield.
Also standard is auto vehicle hold “which keeps the vehicle in position at a stop so the driver does not need to continuously depress the brake pedal,” says Subaru.
Subaru’s Ascent is available in four trim levels: base, Premium, Limited, and Touring. Premium trim adds blind-spot detection with lane change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert, a power driver seat, spill-repellent cloth upholstery in either black or ivory, an 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen, leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear seat climate controls, and gray 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.
Premium trim gets more options including second-row captain’s chairs; reverse automatic braking, 20-inch dark gray wheels, and a panoramic moonroof.
The Ascent Limited gets all of the Premium doodads plus leather-trimmed upholstery, LED steering responsive headlights with high beam assist, LED fog lights, lower door cladding with chrome accents, and a push-button start.
The top of the line Touring model adds satin silver side mirrors, a chrome front under guard, and a rear bumper protector.
Inside, it gets Java Brown leather seats and upholstery; upgraded leather steering wheel, wood grain matte finish accent trim, and a Harman Kardon sound system with 14 speakers.
The third row is actually quite roomy for a 6 foot tall passenger and there’s even a tray and six cup holders for all of your beverages.
“No longer is the third row a penalty box for passengers,” Peter Tan, Subaru Product Planning Expert, tells us. “Everybody in the vehicle gets the same level of comfort.”
So true. Even your dog will love it.
Pricing will be announced in the next month or so and the Ascent is expected to rise in the low $30,000 range. EPA-estimated fuel economy figures are not available, but Subaru says the Ascent offers over 500-miles of range from its 19.3-gallon tank.
The all-new Subaru Ascent will be built in Lafayette, Indiana and should go on sale in the early summer.