Soccer moms and dads of North America will be delighted with the 2019 Subaru Ascent, which was revealed during an odd event at the LA Auto Show. First impression is it looks like an oversized Outback. I guess that means nobody will mistake it for a Toyota, but the concept was so much more muscular. Oh well.
It’s the largest Subaru ever made, stretching to over 113 inches for the wheelbase and boasting over 153 cubic feet for passenger space with the option of up to eight seats, far outclassing the Tribeca.
Of course, the three-row SUV market is hot, and it has big profit margins. Subaru was letting sales slip on by, as people upgraded from the Outback to something like the Highlander. The Ascent, which rides on the Subaru Global Platform, should eliminate that problem. It’s supposed to be every bit as safe and fun to drive as other modern Subies, and packs some new goodies.
First off, a new 2.4-liter boxer engine sits under the hood, making 260 horsepower plus 277 lb.-ft. of torque, and is mated up with an updated LIneartronic CVT. Symmetrical all-wheel drive comes standard, along with active torque vectoring.
This thing is crammed full of safety equipment, including EyeSight Driver Assist standard. You also get all kinds of clever interior features, like grab handles on the top of the second-row captain’s chairs to help you climb into the third row, a ton of cupholders and USB ports, plus all kinds of storage.
Subaru should make a ton of money off the Ascent, and this thing will be queued up outside schools at pickup time in droves.