Subarus have a cult-like following like something out of a John Cusack movie from the eighties. There is something about these cars that lure people in and then keep them there. Subaru’s brand loyalty is peculiar and almost unsettling. We have yet to meet a Subaru owner that wasn’t pleased with their ride and almost obsessed with the brand. In fact most Subaru owners we know are on their second, third, forth or fifth Subaru. The company started out as a small offbeat brand that had a very unique and unconventional customer base. They somehow were able to convince millions of people that not only did they want a plastic car with extra ground clearing and all-wheel drive, but they were also about to convince them that they actually needed this car. This car was more than just a daily commute kind of car. They had a great marketing system in place and convinced owners everywhere that at some point, on some given day they were going to get the urge to load up their pups, and camping gear, in the ice and snow and take off on a camping adventure at the drop of the hat. We’re not sure anyone ever actually did that, but they had the peace of mind to know that they could if they wanted to. They convinced families that the Subaru was more than just a car; it was a way of life. It somehow afforded the owner something else that their neighbors didn’t have. This was the genius behind Subaru.
They’ve also come a long ways since the original Subarus came out that screamed love, peace and happiness with some dog hair and tree hugging mixed in there somewhere. These cars aren’t just for the tree hugging hippies anymore. They really do have something for everyone and the 2019 Subaru Ascent is going to really excite a lot of people. Historically when you were looking for a vehicle that could accommodate a decent number of people, the only options were mini-vans (yuck) or much, much larger SUV’s that were more like buses. Fear no more, the Subaru Ascent comes to the rescue and will put some of those other options to shame. The new Ascent is making its way to the very top of the list for three-row family SUV’s. We already know that the American car market is dominated by SUV’s and now they’ve got another strong contender. The nice thing about the Ascent is that it comes with the all-weather readiness that Subaru has become famous for and it can seat up to eight people. The third row is roomy and gives your passengers plenty of space instead of those other “third row” SUV’s that were built for no one larger than a small toddler. The seating is also flexible for your passengers and has several different configurations to ensure their ride is comfortable. The cabin on these SUV’s is roomy and comfortable and gives your passengers easy access to the third row seating. The interior is also nice with attention to small details and comes in either a soft leather interior or cloth in a variety of colors. Granted you aren’t going to feel like you are riding in a fancy Italian racecar, but few cars are really going to give you THAT kind of an experience. The Ascent gives you a nice middle ground where there are some cool features like being able to choose a second row bench or captains chairs. Both are spacious and flexible. The seats are all build on long tracks that allow them to be moved with ease and will allow you to pull them forward if you need easy or close access to something in the second seat (like a wedding cake you are trying to keep from tipping over, or a baby who needs assistance) the possibilities are endless. You can also push the seats way back to give your passengers more legroom if you’d like. The seats also slide and fold out of the way quickly and easily for easy access to the back third row. Granted the third row can fit two adults pretty easily, that third adult might be able to squeeze in as well, but hopefully you’re pretty close to the person you’re sharing the third row with, because you are going to feel a lot closer by the time the ride is over.
The inside of the cabin of the Ascent is pretty standard. Again, nothing is going to shoot the lights out in total coolness factor but it comes well equipped and gets the job done. It offers pretty much everything you’d expect it to offer, all the common options and the trim options are nice, but not luxury. The dashboard is pretty simple but some people prefer simple over ornate and again, you need to look at the target market for these cars. There are a couple of cool little features like the grab handles on the side of the optional captain’s chairs. The story goes, that they are inspired by the grab handles on Japan’s bullet trains, and they are also supposed to double as bag hooks. Whether or not that’s actually true, we’re not sure, but it’s a neat little tid-bit of info. There is also a Velcro lid on the under floor storage compartment that can be Velcro’d to the back seat so that it will stay open while you load an unload. That’s a nice little feature for anyone who’s ever been bashed in the back of the head by a lid falling down on them. That can cause quite the surprise if you’re not expecting it, and even worse if you are in the place where cursing is frowned upon when it happens. There is also an optional, removable cargo shade in the back as well that you can stuck in the storage compartment when you aren’t using it. What does one use a removable cargo shade for? Does anyone every actually use those?
One of the things about this car that people really seem to enjoy is the responsive powertrain and very competent handling. It’s a mid-size vehicle that can tow up to 5000 pounds and comes equip with safety measures like lane-keeping assist, emergency braking, and other active safety tech. There have been a few small complaints like lifeless steering, a slightly jumpy throttle and a little noisy at speed. Some people also aren’t in love with the way it looks, but if you love a Subaru, then you’ll love the Ascent. It’s got the Subaru look written all over it. As far the complaints are concerned, they seem menial and easy to over come.
Subaru hasn’t stopped with their genius marketing yet. Most people don’t actually need three-row SUV’s for their daily life. But Subaru has us all convinced that we need a three row seating SUV on the off chance that we want to pack up and head out on an adventure. The Ascent gives American families the chance to dream about the adventures they’ll take and where they’ll go should they ever decide to go. Most of these families would be better suited in a mini-van probably but again, no one really wants to be seen out cruising in a mini-van. There’s where the whole crossover SUV craze came from. Everyone is trying to get out of a minivan while still having a functional car that will fill their needs and into something sportier, that won’t cause them to hide with embarrassment if their friends see them drive up in it. That’s why the cross over SUV sales has totally killed the minivan sales in recent years.
Subaru is smart. They are not going to sit back and watch the other carmakers make a ton of money off of cross over SUV. Subaru is jumping in and is coming for their piece of the pie and their 2019 Ascent is going to make a splash and try to suck up as much of the market share as possible. Subaru has learned from the mistakes of a previous third row seating SUV that they offered from 2005 until 2014. It was called the Tribeca and it did not succeed. It was too weird looking, too expensive and too small. Subaru is hoping that the Ascent will be very middle of the crowd as far as three-row seating SUV’s are concerned. It won’t be the nicest and most expensive, but it also won’t be the cheapest and on the lower end either. It wants to be a good and reliable option besides a mini van that completes with the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Mazda CX-9. This car will range between $33,000-$45,000 depending on how fancy you want to make it will all of the available options. Subaru has been setting sales numbers in records almost every month in the United States. So it makes sense why they could keep the Ascent design not too far off from a Forester or Outback. The people that love these cars really love these cars. We think they could do much better on their design work, but again, we aren’t Subaru fanatics and apparently the numbers speak for themselves. They certainly are smart enough to know that you don’t fix what aint’ broke.
When you open the hood of the Subaru Ascent, you’ll see that it’s got the company’s modular Global Platform that has been very popular for Subaru and will eventually be used in most of their lineup. The Ascent is Subarus largest vehicle ever and their engineers had to get to work to stretch the platform to fit the Ascent but they are proud to say that they have. Even though it’s Subaru’s largest vehicle, it’s still very average in size for the class it’s in. It weighs in at 4600 lbs., is 76 inches wide, 71.6 inches tall, and 196.8 inches long. It’s got 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque and has a new turbocharged 2.4-liter flat four. Its goal is to prove that it’s not weak. Subaru’s have been known for being a little loud and a little unrefined, but this new version while still a little loud with the unmistakable Subaru rumble has been isolated to keep the noise at bay and it wont bother most people.
Subaru usually uses a continuously variable automatic transmission and it’s no different in this vehicle as well expect it’s been revised and comes standard. When you accelerate it simulates the shifting that so many people enjoy in more luxury cars. It does still deal with a jumpy throttle however, but that’s been consistent across all the Subarus and automatic transmissions so a ride that’s not always totally smooth is nothing new. The turbo spins nicely in the gearbox so that vehicle seems pretty powerful and responsive whenever you need to merge or pass another vehicle. It takes 6.9 seconds to go from 0-60. Taking corners in the Ascent is decent too. The vehicle controls itself well and the steering is light. The ride quality isn’t exactly luxury but it doesn’t suck either. It’s comfortable, sporty and taut. If you have a vehicle full of cargo or people then the ride will certainly settle down and feel a little less tense. They have large 20-inch wheels on them, which helps also to even out the ride but even still the road and tire noise is noticeable at highway speeds.
It’s not necessarily the bells and whistles on these cars that will get your attention. Buyers of these are usually struck by their EPA-estimated fuel economy which is near the top of their class and gets 22 or 23 mpg combined and can tow up to 5,000 lbs. It’s some of the other options that also grab attention like standard safety features, and some trims offer up to eight USB ports that are within optimal distance for back third road seating passengers. Android and Apple CarPlay are also standard features, which most drivers enjoy. While the cars to do not equip with built in rear seat entertainment, you do have the option of purchasing a pair of iPads with Bluetooth headphones and it will only set you back $970. It also comes with 19 cup-holders so everyone in your ride can easily keep their cups organized and in their proper place. All of these features added, give the Ascent a decent well-rounded package to offer their drivers and has helped them carve out a segment of the already so popular SUV craze. The Subaru is a no-nonsense car that will get you from point A to point B and hits all of it’s mission critical targets, in a decent price range and still maintains the Subaru brand that can go anywhere you want to go on the drop of a dime. This company isn’t going anywhere any time soon and they have clearly shown an ability and talent to convince large numbers of people that they have to have some thing they probably don’t even need. Our advice is to get yourself a pretty little Ascent, which comes in an array of colors, and choose your interior. This will be a decent little car to drive over time and you’ll probably soon find that you too are a brand loyalist towards Subarus. Maybe it’s something they pump through the fan or something, but either way, this company can take a completely ok car and make a cult classic out of it. No matter which one you decide to buy, as always, be sure you get a subaru ascent car cover for it to protect it from rain, sun, snow and ice. The last thing you want to do is buy a new car that gets it’s paint chipped and damaged because of the salt on the roads during all those snowstorms you’ll be braving to hop in the car and take the kids and dogs camping.
Subarus have been a cult classic car for years, and they know that the Crossover SUV is where the market is at currently, so they’ve come up with their over version that’s going to knock the socks off their competitors and give Subaru lovers a real reason to rejoice.