Introduced for the 2019 model year, the Ascent is the largest vehicle Subaru has ever produced. The three-row SUV offers plenty of cargo space, seating for seven to eight passengers (depending on the configuration), and a whopping 19 cupholders. A competitive player in its segment, the Ascent keeps more established rivals such as the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, and Toyota Highlander on their toes.
For 2022, the big Subaru gains an Onyx Edition.
The Ascent impresses with its powerful engine and smooth ride; this AWD SUV exhibits little body roll. When we drove it on an off-road course, it successfully navigated through ponds, a steep hill, a boulder patch, and other obstacles.
Even more important, the Ascent features a spacious interior. But as is typical in the segment, legroom in the third row will be tight for adults. The second-row seats easily slide forward and back, giving passengers options on how they want to configure the cabin. Helpful storage cubbies throughout the interior provide added utility.
Excellent safety scores and abundant standard driver assist features increase the Ascent's appeal. That said, we were disappointed that our year-long Ascent suffered some reliability issues, even if the experience is unlikely to be the norm.
The Ascent is capable on and off the beaten path, transporting passengers in comfort. Although it's not perfect, the new SUV has the Subaru magic we were hoping for.
For 2022, the Subaru Ascent continues using a 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer-four engine good for 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. Power is routed to all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission. An Ascent we tested ran from 0-60 mph in a respectable 6.9 seconds.
Fuel economy numbers on the 2022 Subaru Ascent should be similar to those on the 2021 model. The 2021 Ascent topped out at 21/27 mpg city/highway, with Limited and Touring models getting 20/26 mpg.
The Ascent Onyx Edition brings dark styling elements to the Ascent, including black badges and black 20-inch wheels. The seven-passenger SUV comes with abundant standard features including water-repellant seats, a hands-free power liftgate, keyless entry and push-button start, heated steering wheel, and reverse automatic braking. Prices start at more than $39,000.
The IIHS named the 2021 Subaru Ascent a 2021 Top Safety Pick+ for its high crash test ratings and safety technologies. Similarly, the SUV earned an overall five-star rating from NHTSA. This rating includes five stars in front and side crash tests, and four stars in the rollover test.
The 2022 Subaru Ascent comes standard with a wide array of safety features, including automatic emergency braking, lane departure and sway warning, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, and auto high beams. Blind-spot monitoring with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert is available.
Interior space in the 2022 Ascent compares favorably to the Toyota Highlander. As is typical in this segment, however, the third row feels tight.
Cargo volume (behind first/second/third rows):
2021 Ascent: 86.5/47.5/17.8 cubic feet
2021 Highlander: 84.3/48.4/16.0 cubic feet
Legroom (first/second/third rows):
2021 Ascent: 42.2/38.6/31.7 inches
2021 Highlander: 40.4/41.0/27.7 inches
A 6.5-inch touchscreen is standard, featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Buyers can upgrade to an 8.0-inch screen starting on the Premium trim. The SUV can be had with up to six USB ports, and top models get a 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system.
The 2022 Subaru Ascent is available in five trim levels. Starting prices range from around $33,400 for the base model to more than $46,000 for the top trim.
Base: EyeSight safety suite, steering responsive LED headlights with high beam assist, 6.5-inch central screen
Premium: 8-way power driver seat, second-row auto climate control, heated front seats, 8.0-inch central screen
Onyx Edition: Black exterior trim, 20-inch black wheels
Limited: Leather upholstery, heated second-row seats, six total USB ports
Touring: Built-in navigation, panoramic moonroof, 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system
Want to go in-depth on which Ascent trim is best? Check out our trim guide.
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