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2019 Subaru Ascent Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2019 Subaru Ascent?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2019 Subaru Ascent? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

The Subaru Ascent is a dual threat as both a family friendly mid size SUV and a versatile all purpose vehicle. The Ascent is a new offering for 2019, but sticks to the Subaru brand blueprint offering safety and versatility as standard features. The Subaru Ascent is as comfortable on sand, gravel and snow as it is passing vehicles and handling corners with good acceleration. It also offers standard all wheel drive and 5,000 pounds of towing capacity. The Ascent offers the whole family an enjoyable ride with seating for seven or eight, a sweet infotainment system and many premium features.

What’s New for 2019

2019 marks the flagship year for the Subaru Ascent. It is a completely new vehicle in the midsize SUV category. It is a larger Subaru vehicle and has a brand new turbocharged boxer engine. It is packed with all the best Subaru has to offer, and it doesn't miss the mark as a modernized version SUV for 2019.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2019 Subaru Ascent – The Pros

1. Standard all wheel drive

The Ascent features standard symmetrical all wheel drive for 2019. No other leading midsize SUV can match the value of this detail. Most alternative midsize SUV's don't even offer AWD as an upgrade for their base model. Buyers will have to upgrade trim levels just to get access to this feature. The Ascent's AWD system is very capable of safe travels in rain, snow or whatever else life has to offer. It also features Subaru's X-Mode, which maximizes traction when things get more treacherous.

2. Two seating configurations

The Subaru Ascent offers optional captain's chair seating for second row passengers. This option makes the interior even more comfortable in the second row. It also features enlarged second row access for comfort entering and exiting the vehicle. The standard configuration features seating for eight people with bench seats in both the second and third row.

3. Infotainment options

The Ascent has a standard 6.5 inch touchscreen and Starlink infotainment system. Also standard is Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio and Bluetooth. The Starlink infotainment system pairs your mobile device to the vehicle and allows hands free operation of the system. It also features access to podcasts, music and navigation. The Ascent can be upgraded to an eight inch touchscreen with navigation.

4. Capable and sporty engine

The 2019 Subaru Ascent features an all new engine. The turbocharged Subaru Boxer engine cranks out 260 horsepower and gets 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. It is the only available engine for the Subaru Ascent, but it offers plenty of acceleration. The turbocharged four cylinder also provides the Ascent with a 5,000 lb. towing capacity. Properly equipped the Ascent can tow smaller boats and trailers.

5. Automated safety features

Subaru offers EyeSight safety management features for the 2019 Subaru Ascent. It includes adjustable adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and forward collision braking. These features come standard with each trim level of the Ascent. The Ascent also offers optional blind spot monitoring, reverse automatic braking, rear cross traffic alert and a surround view camera.

6. Great standard features

The Subaru Ascent comes loaded with features at the base trim level. Aside from the standard AWD, turbocharged engine and automated safety features, buyers will also get tri-zone automatic climate control, rearview camera and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Subaru Ascent also comes standard with a 6.5 inch touchscreen infotainment system featuring Starlink.

7. Fun to drive

The Subaru Ascent sets itself apart from other midsize SUVs with a powerful base engine and AWD. The powerful engine makes driving fun with plenty of acceleration. It is also off road capable. It features 8.7 inches of ground clearance to better handle rough terrain. It also handles well on windy roads, offering the driver confidence when driving.

8. Many available upgrades

The 2019 Subaru Ascent offers four trim levels with plenty of upgrade options. From the base model, buyers can move up to the Subaru Ascent Premium which includes WiFi hotspot, an upgraded eight inch touchscreen, power liftgate and keyless entry. The Subaru Ascent Limited includes leather upholstery, heated second row seating and steering wheel, and automatic high beams. Finally there is the Subaru Ascent Touring trim level, which has ventilated front seats, 14 speaker Audio system and a surround view camera.

9. Advanced headlight technology

The 2019 Subaru Ascent features optional intelligent LED headlights that pivot when the vehicle is turning. This feature offers the driver a better view of what is coming compared to standard headlights. The Ascent also features optional automatic high and low beams so the driver doesn't have to worry about blinding oncoming drivers. The base models come standard with projector beam halogen headlights.

10. Optional exterior equipment

The 2019 Subaru Ascent offers some quality exterior upgrades as well. Buyers can opt for the LED fog lights, folding side mirrors with integrated turn signals, a windshield wiper de-icer and raised roof rails. The Ascent can also be upgraded to include 20 inch aluminum alloy wheels.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2019 Subaru Ascent – The Cons

1. Limited seating configurations

While third row seating is a big detail for some buyers, the lack of a two row seating option in the 2019 Subaru Ascent may be sticking point for others. Some competitors offer two row seating as an option. This option trades the additional third row of seating for more cargo space. The Ascent does offer 47 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row with the third row folded down.

2. Lackluster warranty

The 2019 Subaru Ascent comes with a three year or 36,000 mile limited warranty and a five year or 60,000 mile powertrain warranty. This is an average warranty for a midsize SUV. There are better warranties available in this category.

3. Pedestrian interior

As a new vehicle for 2019, the Ascent doesn't really offer a modern or refined interior. While the seats are comfortable, and the interior is centered around a standard 6.5 inch touchscreen display, the Ascent doesn't offer the luxurious interior details and materials that are included with some other SUVs.

4. Cramped third row seating

As is the case with many vehicles in the midsize SUV category, the third row seat is fairly uncomfortable. The optional second row captain's chairs make a difference adding more room, but the third row is best left for kids and short rides. Buyers looking for truly comfortable seating for seven are better off looking at a larger vehicle.

How it stacks up to the competition:

The 2019 Subaru Ascent has a leg up on the competition. It offers standard AWD at an average base model price. While it isn't the cheapest midsize SUV on the market, the standard features offer great value. The 2019 Kia Sorento has a base price that is several thousand dollars lower than the Ascent and also offers a luxurious interior and comfortable ride. Compared to the Sorento, the Ascent offers more versatility with its base model. The Ascent offers towing capacity, a much more powerful standard engine and off road capability. The Ascent also competes with the Ford Explorer and the Chevy Traverse in this category. The Explorer and the Traverse have much similar price tags compared to the Ascent and offer more powerful engine options. The Ascent offers better fuel efficiency. Buyers will have to dig deeper into the standard features and options to determine which of these vehicles are right for them.


The 2019 Subaru Ascent makes a very impressive entry into the midsize SUV category in 2019. The Ascent is a new model for Subaru and offers great versatility. It is capable of towing 5,000 lbs, has ample cargo space and makes a good off road driver. The Subaru Ascent also features a powerful engine that still manages to get better than average fuel economy. Buyers will also be impressed with its standard safety features. The Ascent also makes a great family SUV with seating for seven or eight with optional second row captain’s chairs. The Ascent also offers standard AWD capabilities which make it a great value. The premium features are plentiful and with four trim levels, buyers will be able to get exactly what they want in a new SUV. The Ascent has a lot to offer as both a family SUV and a versatile vehicle.

Used 2019 Subaru Ascent: