The 2020 Subaru Ascent is a full-size, three-row crossover that caters to the Subaru faithful, while welcoming new customers whose larger families might have precluded them from something with just two rows. It looks a lot like a bigger version of the Outback, and, like it, seeks to satisfy active, outdoorsy, dog-loving customers wanting something to take them to off-the-beaten-path places to play with standard all-wheel drive, ample ground clearance and sturdy, functional roof rails. Subaru even went so far as to introduce the Ascent with a pack of eight golden retrievers to prove the point to dog owners. So whether you’re heading to the ski hill, campground or taking the kids to soccer practice, the 2020 Ascent offers a practical, capable, no-frills way to get people — and pets — where they need to be. While it’s not our favorite three-row crossover in this segment, it’s near the top, and it could be the perfect vehicle for a wide variety of customers. It’s roomy, capable and safe, but it's also a bit plain and there’s only one powertrain option, a turbo-four paired to a CVT that's less powerful than those of competitors. If you’re considering the Ascent, do yourself a favor and take a look at the practical but characterful Kia Telluride or Hyundai Palisade. You just may — or may not — find one of those meets your adventurous needs while making a stronger emotional impression. What's new for 2020? Pricing remains the same for 2020, but the Ascent has a couple new tricks up its sleeve. Across the range, it gets Rear Seat Reminder as standard, to help prevent you from leaving a child or pet behind in the vehicle. Premium, Limited and Touring trims will come equipped with "one-touch interior illumination on/off controls." The Touring trim also adds new power-folding side mirrors with integrated turn signals. What are the Ascent's interior and in-car technology like? From the driver's seat, the Ascent's packaging displays Subaru's pragmatic philosophy to car design. All the gauges are easy to see and read at a glance, knobs and buttons are easy to locate — both those of the software-based touchscreen infotainment system and the physical ones on the steering wheel and center stack. We were able to find a good seating position, thanks in part to the manually tilting/telescoping steering wheel, but we have a feeling that smaller drivers may find the driving position more awkward than larger drivers. All but the base trim level are available with second-row captain’s chairs, and all but the highest Touring trim can be had with a second-row bench for a total of eight seats. Fun fact: There are a total of 19 cup holders in the Ascent. The base infotainment system is a 6.5-inch touchscreen, but moving up to the Premium trim bumps that up to an 8.0-inch unit. The image quality is crisp, the colors bright, and simple tasks like selecting a radio preset are made easy with big virtual buttons. Accomplishing more …
Hide Full Review
Smart Buy Price
|MPG||21 City / 27 Hwy|
|Transmission||8-spd CVT w/OD|
|Power||260 @ 5600 rpm|
Savings without having to haggle for it.
Switch to State Farm and save an average of $536* on your car insurance.