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2019 Subaru Ascent Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2019 Subaru Ascent Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Base vs Premium vs Limited & Touring
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

What 2019 Subaru Ascent Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The 2019 Subaru Ascent is an SUV that was built to carry large groups of people. All models of the Ascent can comfortably seat seven or eight average-sized adults. You have the choice of a second-row bench seat or two captain's chairs. The bench seat gives you enough room for eight people. The dual-chair configuration has a seating capacity of seven. All of the available seats are comfortable with plenty of headroom and legroom.

This is the largest vehicle produced by Subaru. All of that space inside of the Ascent isn't just for your passengers. There's plenty of space for your cargo in this SUV too. You get around 17.8 cubic-feet of space with all of the seats in use. With the rear seats properly configured, this number is increased up to 86.5 cubic feet. This makes the Subaru Ascent a fantastic vehicle for larger families.

In addition to providing massive amounts of interior space, the Subaru Ascent offers great performance as well. There are four different trim levels for the 2019 Ascent. Subaru has named these the Base model, Premium, Limited and Touring. All four come equipped with the same 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder engine. The Direct-Injection Turbocharged Subaru Boxer Engine produces 260 horsepower and 277 pounds-feet of torque. All models of the Ascent come standard with an 8-speed, continuously-variable transmission system. This automatic-transmission system features overdrive and an auto-manual setting.

The Subaru Boxer is built with a special design called an horizontally-opposed engine. Instead of cylinders arranged in a line or in a V shape, the Boxer has pistons facing away from each other in a symmetrical pattern. This helps to balance out the engine vibrations and makes for a smooth and efficient motor. It's also possible to mount a Boxer engine lower in the vehicle. This creates a vehicle with balanced weight and a lower center of gravity.

You can expect good fuel economy from any model of the Subaru Ascent. The EPA gives the Ascent a combined fuel-economy rating of 27 miles-per-gallon. The fuel tank holds around 19.3 gallons of gasoline. It may not be the fuel-economy rating of a compact car, but those numbers are fantastic for an SUV of this size and weight. The numbers compare well with the competition in this class of vehicles.

The 2019 Subaru Ascent offers symmetrical all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is a feature that Subaru loves to include for all of their vehicles. The symmetrical design gives this SUV excellent stability. Subaru's X-MODE is standard on all trim levels as well. This mode works alongside of the all-wheel drive and 8.7-inch ground clearance. The combination of these features makes the Ascent a capable driver over slick or rough terrain.

Subaru's Ascent is built like a tank with features that were designed to make the vehicle safer. A high-strength, steel-body structure keeps you and your passengers protected. The frame and body design elements also work to mitigate vibrations and road noise. Along with the low-vibration engine, this makes the Ascent interior a quiet place to be. The strong frame also aids with the vehicle's towing capacity. The Premium, Limited and Touring trims can all tow up to 5,000 pounds.

With the same engine and basic performance specs for every trim, you may be wondering what the differences are. The main differences lie in the comfort, convenience and safety features. We will take a close look at each trim level for the 2019 Subaru Ascent. We will compare the features each package has to offer with the next and previous trim levels. Armed with this information, it should be easier to decide which trim level best meets your needs.

Compare the 2019 Subaru Ascent Base vs Premium Trims. What is the difference?

The first difference between the Base model and the Premium trim is in the available body colors. The Base Ascent gives you four choices. These are Crystal Black Silica, Crystal White Pearl, Ice Silver Metallic and Magnetite Gray Metallic. The Premium trim gives you four additional options for a total of eight colors. The extras include Tungsten Metallic, Abyss Blue Pearl, Cinnamon Brown Pearl and Crimson Red Pearl.

Both trims come with 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. There's a silver finish on the Base-model wheels and a gray, machined finish on the Premium trim. Both trims come equipped with all-season tires. You also get ventilated, 4-wheel disc brakes on the front and rear of both models. Electronic power-assisted steering is standard for all four trims.

For the exterior, the Base and Premium trims have projector-beam halogen headlights. The exterior mirrors are black on the Base Ascent and body-paint colored for the Premium trim. They each get two-speed windshield wipers and a wiper for the rear. The Premium trim adds on a rear de-icer. The two trims also have raised roof rails. You can opt for a power moon-roof on the Premium trim.

Moving on to the interior, both trims have cloth upholstery for the seats. The Premium model gets upgraded, stain-resistant upholstery. The Base provides a 6-way, manually adjustable driver's seat. The Premium has a, 8-way, power-adjustable driver's seat. Both front seats are heated for the Premium trim. The Premium trim also gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. On the instrument cluster, everything is analog for both models.

We've already established that every trim level gets a lot of cargo space. Subaru has included a ton of small-space storage compartments as well. There are 19 cup and bottle holders located throughout both trims. A storage tray is also located underneath the cargo-area floor. The steering wheel has integrated controls to keep your hands safely where they should be. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel allow you to manually cycle through the gears if you need to.

Tri-zone climate control is standard for all four trim packages. The Premium model offers controls for your second-row passengers. These are absent from the Base package. Both trims come with the Subaru STARLINK Multimedia System. There's a 6.5-inch screen for the Base model and an 8-inch screen for the Premium trim. You can add on an additional navigation system for the Premium. Both models have a 6-speaker sound system.

The safety features for the Base and Premium models are largely the same. The features all start with Subaru's Eye Sight Driver Assist Technology. This is a suite of features such as lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and pre-collision braking. There's also a warning to let you know if your Ascent is veering out of your lane or swaying too much. The Premium model also offers blind-spot detection, lane-change assist and a rear cross-traffic alert.

Both trims have a tire-pressure monitor and a rear-vision camera. They also come equipped with daytime running lights to increase the vehicle's visibility. Front and side airbags are standard for all models. You also get rear child-safety locks as well as tethers and anchors for child seats. An anti-theft security system is included for all trim levels. The Premium model gives you Subaru's STARLINK Safety and Security package which is not included with the Base trim.

STARLINK Safety and Security is a whole host of features for dealing with accidents and breakdowns. SOS Emergency Assistance and Auto Collision Notification contact help even when you can't. Enhanced Roadside Assistance gives you some needed help when your vehicle is stranded. This system also gives you warnings when your vehicle is in need of maintenance. A full diagnostics report on your vehicle's health is generated once per month.

Compare the 2019 Ascent Premium vs Limited Trims. What is the difference?

The Ascent Premium and Limited models both come with the same eight body-color choices. The Limited model gives you bigger 20-inch wheels. They're still made of an aluminum alloy but are now a darker gray color. You still get all-season tires. Fog lights are added on for the Limited. The headlights are upgraded to LED models that are steering responsive. The side mirrors now come with integrated turn signals. The rest of the exterior features and options remain the same for the Limited trim.

While the Premium received an 8-way, power-adjustable seat for the driver, the Limited offers this for both front seats. The Limited has heated front seats and adds in this feature for the second row as well. The steering wheel is also heated for this trim package. The upholstery gets upgraded to leather-trimmed cloth, and there are ivory-colored leather accents on the doors and dashboard.

The Limited trim has upgraded instruments on the main cluster. They are now electro-luminescent and much easier to read at a glance. You get a push-button starter and a power rear gate for the Limited. These features were previously available as an option for the Premium trim. Both vehicles offer 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability. The Limited gives you a few more USB ports to connect your devices to. It even has USB ports for your middle- and rear-seat passengers.

The climate-control system, audio and infotainment systems all remain unchanged when you upgrade to the Limited. You can, however, upgrade the audio to a surround-sound system by Harman Kardon as an option. The safety features and security system from the Premium trim are all present on the Limited. The only additions here are a high-beam assist and reverse, automatic braking.

Compare the Ascent Limited vs Touring Trims. What is the difference?

The Subaru Ascent Touring model comes with all of the features of the previous trims except where an upgrade has been made. The only loss here is in your choices for body-paint color. The Touring trim actually loses the option for Ice Silver Metallic and Tungsten Metallic, leaving you with the remaining six colors to pick from. The additional features, however, more than make up for the lack of these two color choices.

The exterior of the Touring trim gets the chrome treatment. The side mirrors and door handles are finished with a satin chrome. A moon-roof is added on for this trim package too. This was previously available as an option, but now comes standard for this trim. On the inside, the rear-view mirror now has an auto-dimming feature. It also has a display for your rear-view camera.

On the inside of the Touring trim, everything screams quality and luxury. The fit and finish of all materials is second-to-none. This is the Subaru Ascent for those with discerning taste. The upholstery is upgraded for all seats. A wood-grain pattern of trim is added throughout the cabin.

A 120-volt outlet is added in for the Touring model. The navigation system that was previously just an option now comes standard. Choosing the Touring trim also gets you the top level audio system by Harman Kardon. A 180-degree front-view camera is tacked on as well for this version of the Ascent. All of the safety and security features are identical for the Limited and Touring models.

Final Thoughts

Most drivers would never be disappointed with any of these trim levels. The engine, transmission system and performance specs are all the same with these four versions of the Subaru Ascent. The one notable exception is that the Base model has a lower towing capacity than the three higher trim levels. Even the safety features are mostly the same, with the higher trims adding in a few driver-assist systems. For the most part, a decision should be made based on the comfort and convenience features that are priorities for you.

Between the first three trim packages, there is only a small increase in cost when you go up the list. Only when you move up to the Touring trim is there a somewhat significant price jump. The Premium model adds in a good amount of features for such a small cost increase that it would be hard to recommend staying with the Base trim. For most buyers, the Limited trim will be your best option.

The Limited trim package for the 2019 Subaru Ascent represents an excellent value. You get nearly all of the best features, and it's not much more expensive than the Base and Premium models. Many of the additions to the Touring are cosmetic and style flourishes. If there are one or two features of the Touring that you love, these can be added on to the Limited for a small cost increase. The Limited comes with more exterior color choices too. Out of all four options, the Limited will usually be the best choice.

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