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2019 Subaru Ascent Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

A mid-size SUV with third-row seating, the Subaru Ascent is the newest addition to the Subaru lineup as well as its largest and most expensive vehicle. It features plenty of elbow room and advanced tech while retaining Subaru’s tradition of attaining the best safety scores. That said, there’s plenty of competition in the three-row SUV class and the Ascent is slightly more expensive than rivals.

2019 Subaru Ascent pricing

The manufacturer’s recommended price (MSRP) for the Ascent starts at $31,995, ascending to $44,695 for the Touring trim.

Model Trim Ascent Ascent Premium Ascent Limited Ascent Touring
MSRP $31,995 $34,195 $38,995 $44,695


You do not necessarily have to pay MSRP for a vehicle. Shop around and use industry guides such as a Kelley Blue Book or NADA guides to see what the fair market price is in your area.

What’s next? Once you pick out the car you want, getting a car loan is usually the next step. Potential lenders could include Subaru financing, your bank, credit union or online lender. You could also fill out an online form at LendingTree where you may be matched with up to five different loan offers from lenders based on your creditworthiness.

Car dealers can raise your APR, so be sure to apply for a loan outside of the dealership. It doesn’t hurt your credit to apply to multiple lenders any more than it does to apply to one if you do all your applications within the rate shopping period of generally 14 days — and some credit scoring methods may even allow you up to 45 days.

2019 Subaru Ascent safety

The 2019 Ascent is a 2019 Top Safety Pick+ according to the Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and it earned a five-star crash test safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, it is worth noting that there were 15 complaints filed as of this writing by consumers to the NHTSA, which is a relatively high amount for such a new car and has resulted in one recall.

Starlink. On all Ascent trims Premium and greater, this feature is standard. If in an accident, the car can alert a Starlink™ customer care advisor who can contact the driver/passengers and call 911 if appropriate. The service can immobilize the vehicle if it is stolen, respond to an SOS alert given by the driver, help with vehicle diagnostics, provide maintenance alerts and more.

Standard on all Ascents is Subaru EyeSight driver assistance. The safety technology suite includes:

  • Pre-Collision Braking. The car alerts the driver of a likely front-end collision and applies full braking force.
  • Pre-Collision Throttle Management. If the car detects an imminent collision, it will cut the throttle to reduce speed.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control. The car can adjust its speed to pace with a vehicle in front of it at your selected distance.
  • Lane Keep Assist and Sway Warning. The car can alert you if it strays out of the lane.

Other safety technology that is included on the Ascent Premium trim and up is:

  • Blind Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The car can alert the driver of another vehicle in its blind spot when the turn signal is on and of oncoming or passing rear traffic when the car is in reverse.

2019 Subaru Ascent trim comparison

The Ascent has four trims, from the base version to the Ascent Touring. Each trim level builds on the one(s) before it. Ergo the Ascent Limited has or improves upon everything the base Ascent and Ascent Premium have.

Ascent Ascent Premium Ascent Limited Ascent Touring
MSRP $31,995 $34,195 $38,995 $44,695
Standard Features AWD, EyeSight, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Raised Roof Rails Heated Front Seats, Rear Climate Control Panel, Wi-Fi Connectivity, 5,000 LBS Towing Capacity Leather-Trimmed Upholstery, Heated 1st and 2nd Row Seats, Keyless Access/Ignition, 20″ Wheels Leather Seating, Navigation, Premium Audio, Panoramic Power Moonroof


Eight-passenger seating is standard on the base Ascent and an option on the Premium and Limited trims. Seven-passenger seating is standard on the Touring trim thanks to second-row captain’s chairs.

2019 Subaru Ascent competitor comparison

Here are some of the Ascent’s highly-rated competitors if you aren’t committed to the Subaru brand and still want to take a look at the other fish in the sea or, rather, vehicles on the car lot. It’s worth noting that not all of these SUVs offer third-row seating.

Subaru Ascent Honda Pilot Nissan Murano Jeep Grand Cherokee Mazda CX-9
Base MSRP $31,995 $31,450 $31,270 $31,695 $32,280
Expert Scores 4.1 4.4 4.1 4.0 4
Standard Features AWD, Seating, EyeSight, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Raised Roof Rails, 3rd Row Seating Honda Sensing Safety and Driver Assist Suite, Push-Button Start, 5″ Color Screen, 3rd Row Seating Automatic Emergency Braking, 8″ Touch Screen; Apple CarPlay/Android Auto 7″ Touch Screen, V6 Engine, Parking Sensors, Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross Traffic Alert 7″ Touch Screen, 50/50 Split Folding 3rd Row Seats, Active Safety Features, Voice Command, 3rd Row Seating
Fuel Economy 23 MPG 22 MPG 23 MPG 21 MPG 24 MPG

*Chart data is for base 2019 models. Expert score averages Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds expert ratings. Standard technology refers to features included in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost (not an exhaustive list). Fuel economy is combined city / highway mileage as defined by the EPA.

Subaru model comparison

If you are loyal to the Subaru brand but the Ascent is too big or expensive for your needs or budget, here are other potential options in the lineup.

Model Ascent Outback Impreza Forester Crosstrek
MSRP $31,995 $26,345 $18,595 $24,295 $21,895
Expert Scores 4.1 4.1 4 3.9 3.8
Body Types Available Mid-Size Crossover SUV Mid-Size Crossover Compact Sedan and Hatchback Compact SUV Subcompact Crossover and Hybrid
Transmission Automatic Automatic Manual AutomaticG Manual
Combined Fuel Economy MPG 23 MPG 28 MPG 27 MPG 29 MPG 25 MPG
Standard Features AWD, Eyesight, Trailer Stability Control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 6.5″ Touch Screen AWD, EyeSight, 6.5″ Touch Screen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto AWD, 6.5″ Touch Screen. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Cruise Control AWD, Eyesight, Trailer Stability Control, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 6.5″ Touch Screen AWD, Bluetooth, 6.5″ Touch Screen. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto,

The bottom line on the 2019 Subaru Ascent

You might like it if you’re looking for an upscale, mid-size SUV with decent engine power and standard AWD. The back doors open up at a wide angle and there are 19 cup holders throughout the vehicle. Its third passenger row isn’t just designed to make do in a pinch — critics say it’s easy to access.

You might not like the Ascent if you don’t want to pay for AWD, both in up-front costs and fuel efficiency. With only a 4-cylinder available, the Ascent lacks the option of a more powerful engine or hybrid drivetrain.

MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.


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