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2022 Subaru Ascent Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 Subaru Ascent Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Base vs Premium, Onyx Edition vs Limited and Touring

What 2022 Subaru Ascent Trim Should You Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The Ascent is Subaru's largest SUV. With three rows and room for up to eight people, it appeals to those who need all of that interior space. When the rear seats are lowered, it has a maximum cargo volume of 86.5 cubic feet, and this means that people can load all kinds of gear in the back. The 2022 Subaru Ascent is a fairly strong vehicle as well with a turbocharged engine under its hood, and it should please many drivers with its comfortable cabin, advanced technology, and comprehensive safety package.

Subaru makes five trims of the Ascent. The base trim is competitively priced, as is the next one in the lineup, which is called the Premium. The Onyx Edition is brand new for 2022, and the Limited and Touring have notable upgrades. Each move from trim to trim is associated with a relatively modest price increase, though the transition from the Limited to the Touring comes along with a fairly significant price jump.

This guide should provide useful information to prospective buyers who are trying to figure out which type of 2022 Subaru Ascent would be best for them.


Compare the 2022 Subaru Ascent Base Trim vs Premium. What is the difference?

There are several things that help the base trim stand out in a crowded market. First, it has an affordable price tag, which should make it attract attention from those concerned with their budgets. Then, it comes standard with symmetrical all-wheel drive that gives it excellent traction, and it has a 2.4-liter turbocharged engine. That type of engine is found in every trim in the lineup, and it provides the Ascent with 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque.

While the base trim and the Premium have the same basic mechanical components, the Premium is capable of towing more weight. It can tow up to 5,000 pounds, while the base trim can only haul 2,000 pounds. Both trims do have X-MODE, a program that gives the Ascent even more stability in tough conditions. They also have traction control, active torque vectoring, and hill descent control. These can all assist with various types of challenging conditions.

On the exterior of the two trims, there are minor differences. The Premium has a windshield wiper de-icer that can come in handy in the winter, and it has body-color side mirrors instead of the standard black ones. Plus, its wheels are gray with a machine finish rather than having a silver finish. Both trims have 18-inch wheels, though the Premium has optional 20-inch wheels.

More differences are found in the cabin. In the winter, people will definitely appreciate the Premium's heated front seats. In addition, it has a power-adjustable driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and leather-wrapped gear shifter. It has stain-resistant cloth upholstery and second-row climate controls, too.

Perhaps the most noticeable change is that the Premium gets to have an eight-inch touchscreen as well as Wi-Fi capability. The base trim's touchscreen only measures 6.5 inches and doesn't have the ability to act as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Because of how much people stream these days, that Wi-Fi connection could be important. Regardless of its size, the touchscreen comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and a CD player.

A few more upgrades are included with the Premium's safety suite. While the base trim has automatic high beams, pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control with lane centering, it does not have blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The Premium and all of the higher trims have those extra driver-assist technologies that can really increase people's awareness of where other vehicles may be.

One final element seen in the Premium but not the base trim is STARLINK technology. It allows drivers to do a variety of things, including call for assistance in case of emergencies, receive monthly vehicle health reports, and use apps on their smartphones to remotely start their engines and lock or unlock their doors. Given the growing dependence on smartphones and an increasing expectation that information should be easily accessed, STARLINK should be an attractive component to a prospective buyer.

Compare the 2022 Subaru Ascent Premium vs Onyx Edition. What is the difference?

Subaru introduced the Onyx Edition as part of the 2022 model year lineup. Its enhancements are primarily aesthetic. It has a bold look that some people may prefer. Subarus aren't exactly known for being that flashy, so with the Onyx Edition, the company may be successful in reaching a broader audience.

The Onyx Edition has black exterior accents that can stand out. It's the only trim to have black 20-inch wheels, a black grille, and Crystal Black Silica side mirrors with integrated turn signals. Also, the Onyx Edition has LED fog lights and an optional panoramic moonroof.

Inside the cabin of the Onyx Edition, there are several features that are similar to those found in the Premium. For example, it has heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver's seat, just like the Premium does. However, the Onyx Edition comes with even more components. They include a heated steering wheel, StarTex water-repellent upholstery on its seats, and silver carbon-fiber accents on its dash and doors.

The Onyx Edition is one of two Ascent trims that comes standard with captain's chairs in its second row. The Premium has this option, but someone would have to pay extra for it. Captain's chairs are preferred by some customers because it gives the passengers a little more room to stretch out, and it can make it easier to get in and out of the third row.

In terms of technology, the Onyx Edition has more advanced elements. It gives customers the convenience of keyless access, push-button start, pin-code vehicle access, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with a compass and the HomeLink system. That rearview mirror is a "smart" model, meaning that it can show a live feed of what's behind the SUV. This would be necessary if the cabin is filled with cargo or tall passengers that are blocking the view. Everything just mentioned, other than the live video feed capability on the rearview mirror, is optional on the Premium.

Both of the trims have the same type of infotainment system, but the Onyx Edition has more USB ports. It comes with two ports in each of the three rows. In contrast, the Premium and base trim only have a pair of USB ports in their first two rows. Also, the Onyx Edition does come with the option to upgrade to a system with integrated navigation.

On the safety front, the one thing that the Onyx Edition has that the Premium doesn't is reverse automatic braking. If the SUV is backing up and is about to hit an object, reverse automatic braking can engage and prevent a collision from occurring.

Compare the 2022 Subaru Ascent Onyx Edition vs Limited Trim Levels. What is the difference?

At the Limited level, there's a change in how the interior looks, and that's largely thanks to the leather seats. More leather is found on the dash and doors. In addition to the front seats being heated, the second-row outboard seats are heated. That way, passengers can stay cozy, too. Both the driver's seat and front passenger's seat are power adjustable, making it easier to find an ideal position.

The Limited is one of the trims that has available second-row captain's chairs. If that option is not taken, then the standard configuration would be to have a bench seat. Note that the Onyx Edition is only available with captain's chairs in that middle row.

The technology and safety suites are the same in the two trims. The one exception is that the Limited has an available premium sound system. For an additional cost, it could come with a 792-watt GreenEdge amplifier and 14 speakers. In comparison, the standard sound system has six speakers.

One other thing is that the smart rearview mirror, which can display the video feed provided by the rear-facing camera, is not offered with the Limited like it is with the Onyx Edition.

Stylistically, the Limited is a little less aggressive than the Onyx Edition is. Its 20-inch wheels dark gray instead of being black. Rather than having black side mirrors, it has body-color ones.

Compare the 2022 Subaru Ascent Limited vs Touring Trims. What is the difference?

Like the Limited, the Touring has 20-inch dark gray wheels. The Limited does get some more exterior features, including chrome door handles and satin chrome side mirrors that have a power-folding function. These chrome accents are definitely noticeable and add a touch of luxury to this model.

A big factor working in the Touring's favor is that it comes standard with a power moonroof. It's actually a panoramic moonroof that's pretty wide, and it gives the cabin a greater feeling of openness. It can be tilted up or slid open, depending on how much light and fresh air one wants to let in.

The front seats of the Touring are heated and ventilated; ventilation is only found on this top-of-the-line trim. In contrast to the Limited, the Touring has second-row captain's chairs. It doesn't even have an option to get a bench seat in the middle row. This brings its seating capacity down to seven, but for some, the trade-off is worth it. Further, the Touring is the only trim to have sophisticated woodgrain accents in its cabin.

Subaru brings back the smart auto-dimming rearview mirror with the Touring trim, and it has given this trim a 120-volt AC power outlet in case people need access to a source of electricity when on the road.

The Touring has an eight-inch touchscreen like the others do, but this touchscreen has navigation built into it. Having navigation can be very useful when finding one's way through new territories. It can also be helpful when driving familiar roads, as it has SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link. This program can provide updates about any traffic congestion to stay away from.

Plus, the Touring has the premium sound system that was previously mentioned as an available feature on the Limited. Remember that it takes the number of speakers up from six to 14, so the improvement in audio quality is significant.

For the most part, the safety package on the Touring is the same as the one found on Limited as well as the Onyx Edition. The major difference is that it has a 180-degree front-view monitor. This monitor can come in handy when parking, as it lets the driver figure out exactly how far the SUV is from another object. Guesswork is taken out of parking, and instead, drivers can be more precise.

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Trim to Choose?

Because Subaru equips each trim with the same type of engine and symmetrical all-wheel drive, the question of which trim to choose doesn't really have to do with performance. The only thing to keep in mind is that the base trim has a lower towing capacity.

The Premium would be a reasonable choice for many buyers because of a number of reasons. It offers heated front seats, which can go a long way in keeping people warm in the colder months, and it has blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. It also has an eight-inch touchscreen instead of a 6.5-inch one, and it gives customers the option of choosing either a second-row bench seat or captain's chairs.

However, if anyone is looking for something with more style and elegance, then the Limited would come out ahead. This is because it has leather seats, heated first and second-row seats, and power-adjustable front-row seats. It gives people the choice of whether to upgrade their vehicles with captain's chairs, navigation, the enhanced sound system, and a panoramic moonroof. It does all this without having the steep price tag of the Touring.

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