Reviews, Sedan, Subaru, Truck
Mar21

2019 Subaru Ascent Premier Review – In a Big Country

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Steph Willems/TTAC

2019 Subaru Ascent Premier

Turbocharged 2.four-liter horizontally opposed inline-4 (260 hp @ 5600 rpm; 277 lb-ft @ 2000-4800 rpm)

Constantly-variable transmission, all-wheel drive

22 metropolis / 26 freeway / 20 mixed (EPA Score, MPG)

eleven.6 metropolis / 9.zero freeway / 10.four mixed (NRCan Score, L/100km)

15.7 (noticed mileage, MPG)

Base Worth: $forty five,670 US / $fifty one,895 CAD

As Examined: $forty five,670 USD / $fifty one,895 CAD

Costs embrace $975 vacation spot cost in the USA and $1,900 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, due to cross-border gear variations, can’t be instantly in contrast.

Approaching my Ascent tester behind a not-so-native supplier, I felt a presence. Like a pre-struggle financial institution, this factor was strong, monolithic, immovable, looming over all of humanity and granting entry to solely a selection few. Given the revenue Subaru’s going to make off this stuff, it’s not an inaccurate comparability.

The final Subaru I drove was an Impreza. Not a WRX or its hotter sister, however a inventory Impreza sedan. You don’t see lots of them. Earlier than that, it was a Crosstrek. Or was it a Forester? Regardless of, actually. Earlier than that, it was a pal’s brief-lived SVX, some sixteen or so years in the past.

In comparison with these compact rides, the midsize Ascent crossover is just like the HMS Dreadnought moored alongside a torpedo boat, and that’s precisely what People — or what Subaru thinks People — need. Fortunately, having discovered myself behind the wheel of a nice variety of crossovers of late, the Ascent a minimum of held some quirks to set itself aside.

I do know, I do know, Matthew Man coated a lot of this similar floor not way back in his Ascent review, however two observations are higher than one. Bear with me!

Steph Willems/TTAC

Easing the Ascent’s bulk out onto a disgustingly slush-crammed February road, the crossover’s agency and supportive seats positively oozed Subaru; it’s a consolation I’ve come to anticipate from the model, and it’s one I recognize. House owners gained’t need for coddling. It helps that this was a prime-flight Premier (the equal of a Touring trim within the U.S.) decked out with each final bell and whistle; wealthy brown leather-based masking the seven chairs (bigger broods can order eight), EyeSight driver help features up the wazoo, and, in fact, the sense of invulnerability afforded by a excessive-driving perch.

In excessive-velocity freeway driving, the Ascent’s steering felt … easy. A bit too easy. Looking in useless for a sport mode button or knob to agency issues up, I noticed this vehicle’s mission. It isn’t meant to thrill mothers and dads on the nights the youngsters are at their grandparents, and even impress the much less aged coworkers at their workplace. It isn’t meant to get the youthful crowd scorching underneath the collar on the concept of shopping for a crossover. The pretense of sportiness seen with so many different automobiles on this class? Absent. No, the Ascent is simply a lot of rolling area. Succesful, properly buttoned-up area that’s straightforward for anybody to drive, no matter arm power.

Principally, Job One for any crossover. It’s straightforward to overlook that Subaru’s a beginner to the midsize phase.

Steph Willems/TTAC

In a burst of fairness, Subaru provides however one powertrain within the Ascent, no matter trim, and it’s an uncommon one — a turbocharged 2.four-liter boxer 4, good for 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque, mated to a constantly variable transmission. In a pretty homogeneous subject, Subaru provided one thing totally different underneath the hood.

And there’s nothing fallacious with that, apart from the truth that the engine’s pretty noisy, and solely in a great way after the factor actually warms up. It was frigid the week I had the Ascent, and taking off after a chilly startup prompted the identical intrusive CVT whine Mr. Man complained about. On one notably vortex-plagued morning, the tranny acted like a typical autobox that couldn’t get out of first gear.

Would the revs ever drop? I waited with baited breath.

On hotter days, the boxer’s truck-like rumble stirred one thing primal on this driver’s psyche, although consumers of automobiles with a comparable price tag would in all probability demand a little extra sound-deadening insulation with their experience.

Steph Willems/TTAC

It snowed that week, too. Oh God, did it snow, and it was on this inclimate climate that point spent behind the Ascent’s wheel entered the realm of “enjoyable.” Subaru’s ever-current symmetrical full-time all-wheel drive (was there ever an automotive time period burned so deeply into the general public consciousness?) ensured that its largest mannequin is simply as adept at tackling the white stuff as another of the model’s choices, blasting by way of snow like a report producer and never afraid to get a little tail completely satisfied when urged. Flappy paddles — the one nod to efficiency in sight — got here in useful on the wintry backroads, by means of I wasn’t capable of finding any inclines steep sufficient to offer drivetrain-nannying X-Mode (with Hill Descent) a whirl.

Whereas there’s no probability of coronary heart palpitations throughout acceleration and passing maneuvers, your common Ascent proprietor possible gained’t discover its energy missing, nor will they discover a lot to gripe about on tough roads. As all the time, taller sidewalls would have helped soften the blow of city cracks and crevasses, however alas, loaded press fleet crossovers name for 20-inchers — even in winter.

Additional proof of this vehicle’s true objective might be discovered within the reality the Ascent, no matter trim, has not 4, not eight, not 12, however 19 cupholders. America! The Beverage King Ascent clearly doesn’t want to see occupants develop dehydrated throughout lengthy street journeys. Leisure gained’t be a problem, both — at the least, not on this excessive-zoot trim degree, the place each occupant has entry to a USB port. There’s sufficient connection factors of varied varieties within the Ascent’s cabin to maintain an FBI surveillance workforce buzzing away for hours.

Steph Willems/TTAC

It’s good that Subaru went with a pretty stodgy profile for its massive man, in any other case I’d have grazed my scalp whereas sitting within the again row. Didn’t occur right here. I used to be happy to seek out local weather vents again there, too, as third-row occupants needn’t undertake the position of steering-class passengers in a coming-to-America movie.

Whereas Subaru’s two-display middle stack presents a acquainted sight within the Ascent, one other quirk shortly made itself recognized. On an undulating freeway, the crossover’s mild steering (it begins to tighten up over forty mph, however not sufficient for my liking) left me feeling uneasy. Time to bolster the defences. Sadly, a cursory scan of the steering wheel and sprint confirmed no hint of a lane-maintain change in all the standard hangouts. It was solely after I exited the freeway and stopped at a mild did I uncover the little scamp hiding above my head, close to the sun shades holder.

Subaru does a good job creating a wealthy-feeling, semi-premium cabin, and the mannequin’s functionality in dangerous climate and backcountry shouldn’t be a matter of doubt. I solely want I had a probability to test it in summer time, if solely to gauge its fuel financial system. Regardless of its 4-cylinder powerplant, the chilly climate, gentle winter rubber, and extreme idling (defrosting can take time) all conspired to return a mixed determine of 15.7 mpg for the week. The EPA charges it at 22 mpg mixed.

The decision? A strong effort from Subaru — it’s a vehicle that will get the fundamentals proper, minor quibbles apart. Nevertheless, for those who can stay with out a panoramic sunroof, 20-inch wheels, stereo improve, and extremely-luxurious seats, you may discover the acquisition of a decrease-trim Ascent simpler to rationalize.

Steph Willems/TTAC

[Images: Steph Willems/TTAC]

– 2019 Subaru Ascent Premier Review – In a Big Country –

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