Abundant space even for this segment; standard all-wheel drive and accident avoidance tech; lots of standard user-friendly infotainment features
Not exactly a looker; throttle response may be too abrupt for some; accident avoidance tech constantly beeps at you
The Subaru Ascent is an all-new model for 2019.
Although the base Ascent is very well-equipped, we think paying extra for the Premium trim is your best bet. For $2,200, you get key extras like a power driver seat, heated front seats, privacy glass and, crucially for parents, stain-resistant upholstery. You can also get it with no-cost second-row captain's chairs, which are popular but do reduce seat count and versatility.
The 2019 Ascent is a 3-row large crossover that can seat seven or eight passengers depending on whether you get the second-row bench seat or captain's chairs. There are four trim levels: base, Premium, Limited and Touring.
The base Ascent ($31,995) comes standard with all-wheel drive, 18-inch alloy wheels, the EyeSight Driver Assist package (forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-depature warning, adaptive cruise control), roof rails, automatic headlights, a backup camera, 3-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, cloth upholstery, four USB ports (two front row, two second row), the Subaru Starlink infotainment system (a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a variety of smartphone connection apps), and a 6-speaker sound system that includes a CD player, satellite and HD radios and a media player interface. The sliding and reclining 60/40-split second-row bench seat is mandatory on the base trim level.
The Premium ($34,195) adds rear privacy glass, dual tailpipes, blind spot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic warning system, increased towing capacity (5,000 pounds), the All-Weather package (heated front seats, heated mirrors and windshield wiper de-icer), rear climate controls, an 8-way power driver seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, stain-resistant cloth upholstery, an 8-in Starlink touchscreen, an auxiliary audio jack and in-car Wi-Fi. Second-row captain's chairs are a no-cost option. The Convenience package adds a power liftgate, proximity entry and push-button start, reverse automatic braking and an auto-dimming mirror. These items are also included in the Sporty package along with 20-in wheels, a panoramic sunroof, a cargo cover and integrated navigation.
A Rockford Fosgate audio system upgrade and two third-row USB ports are available as dealer-installed options on the base and Premium.
The Limited ($38,995) adds 20-in wheels, adaptive LED headlights, LED foglights, adjustable driver thigh support and lumbar, driver memory settings, a heated steering wheel, a 4-way power passenger seat, heated second-row seats, leather upholstery, leather dash and door trim, upgraded gauges, the Convenience package content, rear door sunshades, and two third-row USB ports. The second-row captain's chairs are a no-cost option. The Technology package adds the panoramic sunroof, a cargo cover, integrated navigation and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound audio system. The Rockford Fosgate audio upgrade is also a dealer-installed option.
The Touring (44,695) adds the Technology package content plus special exterior design elements, a front parking camera, an enhanced backup camera, automatic wipers, ventilated front seats, Java Brown leather upholstery and wood-look trim. The captain's chairs are mandatory.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
2018 Honda Pilot -- The Ascent is incredibly similar to the Pilot in terms of its interior packaging and space (the Subaru is a wee bit bigger), no-nonsense design and interior quality. Its infotainment system is harder to use than Subaru's.
2018 Mazda CX-9 -- If you're willing to sacrifice some utility for sharper styling and a more engaging, car-like driving experience, the CX-9 is a great choice. It's still plenty practical and its cabin is surprisingly luxurious.
2018 Toyota Highlander -- You'll be sacrificing some space with the Highlander, but for many, Toyota's 3-row crossover represents a just-right size for those who only need that third row in "emergency" situations when the neighbor's kid just has to come along. It's the only vehicle in the segment available as a hybrid.
Used Acura MDX -- Acura's dependable family work horse has long been the go-to choice for more practicality-minded shoppers who still want some luxury flair and pampering. A used or certified pre-owned model is a good bet given the MDX's solid reliability history.