Under the skin is a brand-new engine in the Subaru lineup. It uses a turbocharged and intercooled 2.4-liter flat-four, and the turbo is a twin-scroll unit. It produces 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque, and will help the Ascent tug on up to 5,000 pounds of whatever you want to tow. The engine is mated to a CVT that can be shifted manually through eight preset ratios via steering-wheel paddles. Power goes to all four wheels, as is the Subaru way. All Ascents also come with the X-Mode off-road setting and hill descent control, as well as 8.7 inches of ground clearance.
In the cabin, Ascents can be had with seating for up to eight people. All models come standard with a second-row bench seat, while Premium trim and higher can be had with second-row captain's chairs at no extra cost. Passengers can take advantage of three-zone automatic climate control, with redundant controls for the second row. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard equipment along with a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system that can be optioned up to an 8-inch. As for cargo space, there's 19.6 cubic feet behind the third row, over 40 cubic feet behind the second row, and about 72 cubic feet with both rows folded. Drivers will also be able to take advantage of standard EyeSight with automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control.
The 2019 Ascent goes on sale next summer. Subaru has not yet announced pricing.