Subaru's first attempt at a three-row crossover, the B9 Tribeca wasn't a great success due to its awkward styling along with other issues. But Subaru is giving it another chance with the introduction of the Ascent crossover on the eve of the LA Auto Show.
It seems our guess on the Ascent being a bigger Forester in terms of the design was right on the money - the Ascent is about 15 inches longer. It features the same boxy profile and large glass area as the smaller Forester. Front end styling borrows heavily from the Outback with a large hexagonal grille and headlights.
The Ascent's interior can seat up to eight people thanks to a standard second-row bench seat. Higher trims get the option of no-cost captain chairs. Cargo space appears to be about average for the class with 19.6 cubic feet behind the third row, 44.2 cubic feet behind the second row, and 72.6 cubic feet behind the front seats. The list of standard equipment reads like a wishlist for a family vehicle with 8 USB ports, 19 cupholders, 120-volt outlet, and on-board Wi-Fi capability. A 6.5-inch Starlink infotainment system is standard, while an 8-inch version is optional. Both systems feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
Power comes from turbocharged 2.4L boxer-four with 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a CVT transmission and all-wheel drive. No mention of fuel economy, but Subaru claims a max tow rating of 5,000 pounds. A revised version of Subaru's Global Platform underpins the Ascent that features stiffened joints for lower NVH levels.
Subaru's EyeSight suite of active safety features including adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking is standard. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert are optional.
Production of the 2019 Ascent will kick off at Subaru's Lafayette, IN plant next summer.
Press Release is on Page 2
SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. PRESENTS ALL-NEW 2019 ASCENT 3-ROW SUV
- Largest Subaru ever with choice of seven- or eight- passenger configurations
- Family-sized SUV built for versatility, comfort and safety
- Designed for excellent interior comfort, passenger access and cargo capacity
- All-new turbocharged 260-hp BOXER® engine
- Standard EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology
- 5,000 lb. maximum towing capacity
- New 4G LTE Wi-Fi
- Standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
- Ascent to be built in Lafayette, IN
Subaru of America Inc., building on nine consecutive years of sales growth, today debuted the all-new 2019 Ascent. The highly anticipated three-row SUV is the biggest Subaru ever built and is designed for active families on-the-go. Expanding on renowned Subaru strengths, the Ascent delivers an unparalleled driving experience with a spacious interior, comfortable and flexible seating options and a host of new safety, driver assist and in-vehicle technologies.
The Ascent is an all-new model and comes with three rows of seating, with available bench or captain’s chairs in the second row. The SUV is built on a strengthened and extended version of the Subaru Global Platform with extensive use of high-strength steel. With a focus on durability, rigidity and vibration resistance, the Ascent platform is designed to provide a quiet interior and excellent driving feel. Powered by an all-new 2.4-liter BOXER engine, the Ascent comes standard with a new version of Subaru’s high-torque Lineartronic® CVT (continuously variable transmission) and legendary Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system– all wrapped in a stylish and rugged design with a commanding presence. The new U.S.-built Ascent will be available in base, Premium, Limited and Touring trim lines when it arrives in Subaru retailers in early summer.
The Family-focused SUV
The all-new Ascent, with a 113.8-in. wheelbase, is the largest Subaru ever built and is the mobile headquarters for the entire family. With 153.5 cubic feet of passenger volume, plus ample cargo space, the Ascent provides room for every passenger and their gear. Rear doors open 75 degrees for improved access to the third row. Eight USB charging ports are available throughout the cabin and a 120-volt power outlet based in the rear of the center console allow charging for multiple electronic devices. With 19 standard cup and bottle holders, every passenger’s beverage is secure and close at hand.
Standard three- zone automatic climate control ensures all passengers stay comfortable, with large air vents for all three rows. Second row reading lights are standard on all models with third row lights standard on Premium, Limited and Touring. Ambient and footwell lighting is also available throughout the cabin.
The Ascent features available power adjustable front seats with lumbar support and a length adjustment function for the driver seat cushion. Front and second row heated seats are available as part of the All-Weather Package for Premium models, while Limited and Touring trims add a heated steering wheel. Also standard on Touring models are ventilated driver and front passenger seats.
The new Subaru Global Platform integrates new framework with optimized cross sections and highly stiffened joints between structures to significantly enhance straight-line stability, agility, and ride comfort while suppressing noise, vibration and harshness to a degree not seen before in the mid-size SUV class. The Ascent provides a refined, quiet ride thanks to comprehensive soundproofing measures, including an acoustic windshield and front door glass.
Styling and Versatility
The Ascent’s exterior builds on Subaru’s “Dynamic x Solid” design philosophy to create an SUV with a commanding presence. The all-new SUV incorporates the brand’s signature hexagonal grille and C-shaped headlights that are reminiscent of pistons moving inside a BOXER engine. Prominent wheel arches emphasize Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and flow into a horizontal character line and are also mirrored in the flared lower sills for a solid and powerful look. Lower side and wheel arch cladding provide a rugged and capable appearance. The dramatic new look carries into the cabin and starts from the central zone and flows outward to create a rich and spacious feel.
The Ascent is the most versatile Subaru ever with up to nine unique seating configurations and two rows of 60/40 split flat-folding seats offering up to 72.6 cubic feet of cargo space. The Ascent comes standard with a second row bench seat, providing room for up to 8 passengers. Premium and above trim levels offer second row captain’s chairs as a no-cost option and provide occupants with easier access to the third-row. Wide rear door openings, steep C-pillar angles and low entrance point allow easy access for both second and third row passengers. The standard roof rails allow for a number of accessories for carrying items such as bicycles and kayaks.
Performance and Capability
The 2019 Ascent offers the optimal blend of SUV capability and car-like ride and handling with standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, 18- inch wheels and four-wheel independent suspension. The 8.7 inches of ground clearance for all models is greater than many SUVs, yet the Ascent maintains a comfortably low step-in height for both front and rear passenger entry. Active Torque Vectoring, first introduced on the WRX ® and WRX STI® performance models, is also standard.
The three-row SUV is powered by an all-new 2.4-liter BOXER engine that uses a combination of direct fuel injection, high compression (10.6:1), Subaru Dual Active Valve Control System (DAVCS), a twin-scroll turbocharger and an intercooler to achieve outstanding performance and high efficiency. The engine produces 260 horsepower at 5,600 rpm, accompanied by a broad torque curve that peaks at 277 lb.ft. over a 2,000-4,800-rpm engine speed range. All trim levels are paired with a high-torque Lineartronic CVT featuring an 8-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters as well as X-Mode® with Hill Descent Control. This powertrain allows up to 5,000-lb. towing capacity, the most of any Subaru in history. Trailer Stability Assist helps to maintain vehicle stability while towing. The TSA system utilizes yaw sensors to monitor trailer sway and then can brake individual wheels to stabilize the vehicle and trailer. The Ascent is not only powerful but also efficient with exemplary fuel economy that provides more than a 500-mile range on a single tank.
SUBARU STARLINK™ In-Vehicle Technology
The Ascent offers the latest STARLINK multimedia systems with a multi-touch high-resolution display screen that features smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay™ and Android® Auto, Aha™and Pandora®, as well as Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, rear vision camera and SiriusXM ® services. Ascent comes standard with 6.5” Multimedia System and higher trim levels feature 8” Multimedia Plus and 8” Multimedia Navigation systems.
For the first time, available in-car Wi-Fi connectivity provides smooth internet access via high-speed LTE™ communications, broadening the range of entertainment options available to second and third row occupants using smart devices.
SUBARU STARLINK Connected Services now offers remote engine start (on models with push-button start); concierge service; anti-theft vehicle immobilizer with flashing vehicle security lights; child safety functions including geofencing, speed alert and curfew; and firmware updates over the air.
Also available is the Safety Plus package that offers SOS emergency assistance, enhanced roadside assistance, automatic collision notification, maintenance notifications, monthly vehicle health report, and diagnostic alerts. The Safety Plus & Security Plus upgrade package adds stolen vehicle recovery service, vehicle security alarm notification, remote lock/unlock, remote horn and lights and remote vehicle locator.
Advanced Safety Features
The 2019 Ascent comes standard with EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology that includes Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, and new EyeSight Assist Monitor (EAM) which provides a heads-up display of the EyeSight system warnings as well as system status information on the windshield of the vehicle. Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert are also available. Steering Responsive Headlights are standard on Limited and Touring models. High Beam Assist automatically activates and deactivates the high beams when the system detects a vehicle ahead or oncoming vehicle. The 2019 Ascent also offers available Reverse Automatic Braking that apply the vehicle’s brakes if an obstacle is detected while reversing.
Standard on the top-level Touring trim is the new Front View Monitor that displays a 180-degree view of the front of the vehicle on the multi-function display by using a camera located in the front grille. Additional new driver assist technology standard on Touring is the Smart Rear View Mirror which displays a view from behind the vehicle from a camera mounted above the rear gate glass, when activated. This feature benefits the driver in poor visibility to the rear of the vehicle due to passengers or cargo blocking the view.
A Rain Sensing Windshield Wiper system that automatically operates and monitors the wiper speed based on the amount of rainfall is standard on Touring.
The Ascent’s new platform integrates the latest version of the Subaru ring-shaped reinforcement frame design, proven over nearly two decades to provide excellent occupant collision protection. Front-end structural details help bolster safety for pedestrians.
Inside, the Ascent fills out its safety roster with the Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, standard front side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags that offer front and rear outboard seat coverage. In emergency braking, Brake Assist immediately applies pressure up to the ABS limit to help increase braking effectiveness. The Brake Override System ensures that the engine power will be cut when the brake pedal and accelerator are pressed simultaneously.
Four Trim Levels
The 2019 Subaru Ascent will be offered in four trim levels: base, Premium, Limited and Touring. The base starts with an extensive roster of standard features that includes EyeSight with automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist; a 6.5-inch multimedia touchscreen; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; four USB ports; three zone automatic climate control; automatic power door locks and power side mirrors; raised roof rails; second-row bench seat (8 passengers); 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with silver finish: 19 cup and bottle holders; multi-function display; and security system with engine immobilizer. Standard on all models 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. For the first time in a Subaru, a convex cabin-view mirror that allows the driver and front passenger to view occupants in the second and third row is standard equipment. The Premium trim adds Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert; towing capability up to 5,000 lb.; power driver seat; unique spill-repellent cloth upholstery in either black or ivory; 8.0-inch multimedia touchscreen; Wi-Fi connectivity; body-color side mirrors; privacy glass; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever handle; rear seat climate controls; 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels in gray with machine finish; and the All-Weather Package with heated exterior mirrors, 3-mode heated front seats and windshield wiper de-icer. Stepping up to the Premium trim allows wider option availability, including second-row captain’s chairs; Reverse Automatic Braking; 20-inch dark gray with machine finish wheels; and a panoramic moonroof. Also available is a power rear gate with height memory; Keyless Access with Push-Button Start; 8.0-inch Multimedia Navigation system; auto dimming rear view mirror; and a tonneau cover to conceal cargo.
The Limited includes all the Premium trim features and adds leather-trimmed upholstery, LED Steering Responsive Headlights with High Beam Assist, LED fog lights and new second-row retractable sunshades. Also standard is a set of 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels in dark gray with machine finish mounted on 245/50 R20 all season tires. Lower door cladding with chrome accents and body-color side mirrors with integrated turn signals; driver’s seat adjustable thigh support; Reverse Automatic Braking; power rear gate with height memory; and Keyless Access with Push-Button Start are also standard equipment on the Limited. Two additional USB ports are added to Limited, to bring the total number to six.
The top of the line Touring model is distinguished by satin silver side mirrors with integrated turn signals, chrome door handles, chrome front under guard and rear bumper protector. The unique interior features Java Brown leather seats and upholstery; upgraded leather steering wheel and woodgrain-pattern matte finish accent trim. Standard three-mode ventilated driver and front passenger seats enhance the comfort in the Touring model. A total of eight UBS ports and 120-volt power outlet for charging tablets, phones and laptops is standard. The Touring includes all standard features from the Limited and adds the SUBARU STARLINK 8.0-inch Multimedia Navigation system, Harman Kardon® premium audio system with 14 speakers, panoramic power moonroof and rain-sensing wipers. To improve the driver’s view, a unique Smart Rear-View Mirror and a 180-degree front-view camera complete Touring’s comprehensive list of features.
The all-new Ascent will be built in Subaru’s plant in Indiana along with the Outback, Legacy and Impreza.