- It’s the biggest Subaru — ever!
A 2.4-liter, turbocharged, flat-four engine will make
The Ascent will take on the likes of VW’s new Atlas
Subaru finally answered its biggest question. The 2019 Subaru
Ascent crossover made its debut in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the
largest vehicle ever built by the automaker and the first
family-focused SUV since the Tribeca was retired four years ago.
That burning question: “What do I drive to the river when my
canoe fits more than four?”
The Ascent ushers in a slew of family-friendly features,
including active safety systems, and a new engine for the
automaker that’s likely to reappear in several places over the
next few years.
That engine, a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-4, will make 260
horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque to motivate the three-row
Ascent’s likely prodigious mass. It’s teamed exclusively to a
continuously variable transmission (CVT) in the Ascent and
all-wheel drive, a near-prerequisite to wear the Subaru stars on
its exterior. The engine hasn’t yet been rated for fuel economy,
but Subaru says the busy turbo-4 can tug up to 5,000 pounds when
equipped with a tow package.
The Ascent will sport 8.7 inches of ground clearance and more
cladding around its wheel wells for off-roadability.
The Ascent rides atop Subaru’s new global platform that will
eventually underpin all of its cars and crossovers, and in the
Ascent, Subaru stretched out its platform’s wheelbase to its
likely limit: 113.8 inches. That’s a couple ticks short of some
of the Ascent’s rivals, which include the Chevy Traverse and
Volkswagen Atlas, but its interior space is roughly on par with
most in its class. The Ascent sports 31.7 inches or rear seat leg
room and 19.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in
place for children and their requisite 50 pounds of gear needed
to cross the street.
From the outside, the Ascent is instantly recognizable as a
Subaru; think of an Outback in a house coat. From the side, the
Ascent borrows much of its looks from the smaller Outback, but
the Ascent’s face and shoulders are all its own. The nose is
taller and larger, with a bigger grille opening and more
pronounced fenders to wrap around standard 18-inch wheels, or
20-inchers on tonier trims.
Inside, the Subaru borrows the automaker’s standard 6.5-inch
touchscreen, upgradeable to an 8.0-inch version, and will be shod
with durable cloth in base and Premium trim levels. Opt for
Limited or Touring and the fabric gets swapped out for leather, a
bigger touchscreen, an available premium sound system, and up to
eight USB ports with 19 cupholders. On the Touring trim level,
Subaru will equip a camera-based rearview mirror (a la Cadillac)
for better outward vision.
Beneath the features, the Ascent will feature Subaru’s suite of
active safety hardware, called EyeSight. Embedded within a nerve
farm behind the windshield, Subaru’s camera-based system will
offer forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking,
active lane control, and a head-up display on all trim levels.
Blind-spot monitors are available on upper trims.
The Ascent will go on sale in the summer. Subaru hasn’t yet