Why has it taken Subaru so long to make a three-row crossover again? Because, as you recall, Subaru’s last 3-row crossover was the Tribeca. There are a number of different reasons, but one of the most important ones was that Subaru didn’t want to build another factory, especially when they knew that one of their factories would suddenly become a lot less occupied Toyota Motor Corporation owns a small portion of Subarus parent company and Toyota and Subaru have worked on joint ventures in the past, like the FRS, BRZ and, of course, certain hybrid projects, but one of the less known projects is that Subaru actually built tow to Camrys for Toyota. Now that agreement came to an end recently and Subaru was then able to take that factory capacity and make other products with it.
So if Subaru had introduced a 3-row crossover five years ago, then they would be suddenly left with excess plant capacity. If they’d built another plant to build through a crossover, so that’s one of the logical reasons that we now see the Subaru ascent. The side profile is instantly recognizable as a modern Subaru. We have this long hood up front, and then we have a relatively tall greenhouse in the back and that’s the overall proportion of windows to sheet metal that we find in the body.
This overall long hood design is a result of the drivetrain design that we find under the hoods in terms of overall length. The ascent comes in at 190, 6.8 inches long, so you can actually think of this as something of a tweener, because if you’re looking at the mid-size 3-row crossover category in America, we have smaller entries like the pilot, the Highlander and the Acadia, and we have larger Entries like the Explorer, the Pathfinder and the cx-9 and the ascent slots right between those two subcategories, the relatively conservative, looks continue out back where we find combination tail lamp modules. That means that we have LED lights and incandescent lights, both in these modules, so the parking lamps, which is what you see illuminated right now. Those are LEDs, as are the brake lights.
Then we have incandescent bulbs for the backup lights and the turn signals as well. We have dual exhaust tips on the bottom: well, integrated parking, sensors and behind this panel you can get an available tow, hitch. Receiver. Shoppers are telling manufacturers that active safety systems are more and more important, especially in family-focused segments like the 3-row crossover segment and that’s why Subaru has included their latest eyesight safety system standard on all trims.
That’s sort of like what we see in the today Highlander and in the Honda Pilot, but different than most of the competition which doesn’t offer these same safety systems standard. Now eyesight works a little bit differently than the competition because behind the windscreen we don’t find a radar sensor. Instead, we find a twin camera setup, so one camera over here on this side and then the other camera is over there. On the driver’s side, the stereo camera system gives the ascent depth perception.
Much like humans have and that’s how this car knows how far away that car in front of you is, even though the sensors are different, we get basically the same functionality that we find in the competitive, active safety systems, lane-keeping assistance, autonomous, braking, adaptive, cruise control, etc. Under the hood, we have kind of an interesting blend of things going on the overall thematic layout of this engine and transmission is sort of Porsche, meets modern outtie in an Audi A4, A5, A6. A7. A8.
We have a front differential and a transmission that are integrated into one case and that’s exactly what we see in modern Subaru models. That’s why the entire engine is pushed out in front of the front axle which is right about there in the vehicle. Very much like those modern outtie models, but this still has a longitudinal engine orientation north-south in the vehicle and a rear wheel, drive style transmission which is actually located somewhere around there in the vehicle not entirely under the hood, like we’d, find in a pilot or a Highlander also like some modern outtie models, but not all of them. This vehicle is going to try and send most of the engine power to the front wheels and then send power to the rear wheel when the front wheels slip.
That’s in order to help improve fuel economy. This particular engine is a new engine design for Subaru. It produces 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque out of 2.4 liters and a turbocharger. They put the intercooler right there on top.
That’s what you’re seeing there and this duct right here from the front of the vehicle, is what cools the intercooler. Is this leads to increased heat, soak versus designs where the intercooler was on the front of the vehicle and could be cooled by the engine fan while you’re idling? Theoretically, yes, but it’s not going to be too big of a difference in a crossover like this sending power to all four wheels is a standard continuously variable transmission. That’s what helps the ascent get 22 to 23 miles per gallon, combined, depending on which trim you’re driving the model that we’re driving right here is EPA rated for 22.
Towing comes in at 5,000 pounds in the ascent, that’s pretty comparable to other 300 crossovers in America, but very much like the Nissan Pathfinder and other crossovers that use a CVT instead of a stepped Automatic towing is going to be a little bit unusual in the ascent. The biggest difference is going to be when you start off, especially if you’re going to be starting off on an incline and then are going to hill climb. The initial starting ratio is not quite as aggressive as some of the competition, especially like the Honda Pilot, with it9-speeded automatic transmission.
Overall ground clearance
At 8.7 inches this is quite high off the ground for this segment. When talking about offer attraction or, more importantly, inclement weather traction, it’s very very critical to remember that tires play a huge role and the tires will have a much bigger impact than these slight variances between the off-road capability in terms of the all-wheel drive design between this And a Highlander and a pilot, etc when it comes to front seat comfort, I’m gon na give this model nine out of ten points. We have an extending thigh question, which is a touch that I really appreciate, but we don’t have a four-way adjustable lumbar support.
I find the overall design of these seats to be very comfortable overall, you really kind of sink into these seats and there’s a decent amount of back support, which I appreciate. Thanks to its overall size, we find a little bit more room on the inside than some of these smaller entries in this segment. But it is important to remember that the long hood design is not over as space-efficient as some of those other crossovers. We see and that’s why we actually find about the same kind of combined leg room, which is first row plus second row plus third row as the Kia Sorento.
Even though the overall package is quite a bit shorter on that Kia model, designing a new car is all about trying to define priorities and trying to balance them out. I think Subaru did a really good job when it comes to overall passenger capacity. We find 40 inches of second row Headroom, which is among the most generous in this segment. So, even though our model has the optional panoramic moonroof, I still have about an inch or so of headroom left legroom is also fairly generous with this front seat, all the way back in its tracks.
You can see. I still have a generous amount of legroom the floor. Stamping in the ascent is also very very flat, so we don’t have a hump in the middle, and that makes it a lot easier to put eight passengers inside if you need to like the Highlander and the pilot. This is available as a seven or an eight passenger crossover that actually makes us a little bit more flexible than some of those larger crossovers out there, because you won’t be able to stick eight passengers in something like a Dodge Durango or a Nissan Pathfinder.
When it comes to child seat accommodations, we had definitely enough room to put three of these great cool classic ride child seats across the second row. This particular vehicle does have the bench seat. Second row, not the captain’s chairs and a really nice touch back here is that we have three sets of latch anchors for the outboard and the center seat position, which is something that we don’t see in all of the competition now, rather, unfortunately, we don’t see a Flip and fold second row seat that can move with the child seat latched into place. All we get is one that slides forward and backward like that.
This overall design makes it a little bit more difficult for adults to get into the third row. If a child seat is in place in the second row, then something like a pathfinder or the Volkswagen Atlas which do allow the second row seat to collapse in a manner that gives us an awful lot more room to get into the third row. This top part of the seat back in an atlas would actually go right up there against the front seat, giving you a lot more room into the back. So if I try and get back here, I could squeeze in there if I needed to, but you can see it is definitely more of a squeeze.
If you don’t have a child seat in place, then moving the seat is a pretty standard affair. We just slide that forward right, like that hop back here, close the door, and then we could pull the second-row back into place when it comes to overall third-row scores. Remember that combined legroom is very, very important, especially in vehicles like this, where the second row slides forward and backward to help you apportion that space a little bit more equitably. So I could actually latch the second tropa seat into position, for instance right about there that have several inches of legroom left compared to something like a Highlander or a pilot.
We actually find about two inches more legroom in the ascent and only about one inch less legroom than in something like a Ford Explorer, which is really one of the larger and more accommodating crossovers. On the inside, like the other eight passenger 3-row crossover in America, Subaru is trying to stick three people across this third row, so this is going to be a lot less comfortable for adults and, of course, larger children as well. It’s also worth noting that the center seatbelt comes out of the ceiling, which is not my preference I’d. Rather have it come out of the seat back itself?
Subaru does give us a number of practical touches back here. However, we have a ton of cupholders. We have two on this side. Three, on the other side, one of them is a juice box holder.
We have some USB charge only ports over there on the side, speakers in the back and although the plastics are harder than we find in the second row. Third row pastors still get air vents right there in the ceiling. In our model, we find controls for the third climate control zone right there on the back of the center console for the rear seats, and then we have some USB charge only ports down there at the bottom, because our model does not have the built-in inverter. We just get a little blank over there on the left.
The rear, sunshades are another practical touch and our trim they’re well integrated they’re into the door. You don’t have to have any stick on ones. On the window. Behind the hatch, we find 17.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the third row that puts this again sort of in a tweener position behind something like the Ford Explorer, which has 21 cubic feet, but notably above something like a Kia Sorento with 11.3 cubic feet.
Like most through Euro crossover is the ascent is destined to spend most of its life with the third row folded. And if you do that, then in our bag score, we go from four bags on up to ten bags, because this cargo area is very very square and that’s exactly how we were able to get such a high roller bag score even behind that third row seat. Although the cargo area is a little bit smaller back here behind the third row than the Explorer or the Atlas, we were actually able to fit the same of 24-inch roller bags back here, just due to the overall shape of the area, not necessarily its size, as We see in most 3-row crossover is there’s some additional storage space right here under the cargo area load floor, but unlike most thorough crossovers, this contains a place for you to put the roller cover in the vehicle, and then we have the spare tire completely under this Area so it doesn’t take up any cargo area in the back. As we look around the interior, keep in mind that we are in the limited trim.
The last time I drove the ascent I actually spent most of my day in the touring trim, which is one step above this, despite not being the top-end model. We still have this large panoramic moonroof, which you can see, extends right over there just about above the second row, passengers heads from this vantage point. You can also see the air vents that are located right there in the ceiling for the third row. The second row right there and then of course, the center seat belt right there for the third row, which does come out of the ceiling.
As I said before, the driver and front passenger get height, adjustable shoulder belts, and then we have four-way adjustable headrests. These have a ratchet style design, so they ratchet forward like that, and then you Ratchet it all the way forward to release it again. The leather in this particular model is perforated. Although these seats are heated but not ventilated, the front seats offer some moderate bolstering there.
On the seat back and seat bottom cushion and then, as we move over to the front doors we find just about as much soft touch plastic as you’d expect in the segments. We have a soft touch upper section. Soft touch accents right here for this ivory insert and then the armrest and then most of the rest of the door is made from a hard plastic. As we look around the interior of this vehicle, it’s important to remember that the ascent starts less expensive than most of the competition, because all-wheel drive is standard in this vehicle and optional in the others.
With the ascent, Subaru really decided to dedicate themselves to interior parts. Quality and fit and finish that’s an area where Subaru has actually fallen behind some of the competition a little bit, although that is fairly logical in my mind, because remember that Subarus all come standard with all-wheel-drive and they have base prices that are similar to the competition’s Front-Wheel drive models so oftentimes you do have to pay for that, a little bit by having slightly less nice pieces inside, but the ascent really bucks that trend. So we have a injection molded upper section, the dashboard, with after stitching to give it a slightly snazzier appearance. There and then we have some actual pieces of material going on for this ivory insert in the dash with stitching there.
There’s a storage slot right there on the passenger side, where you could very easily put smartphones right there like that iPhone xmax. We find several LCDs in the dashboard this first one at the very top right. There has a center channel speaker in front of it in our model and is controlled via these buttons right over here that are closer to the driver. This allows us to cycle through screens like our weather right there, current location, apple, carplay, readouts trip, computer information like distance to empty.
We have a clock there, a button to access certain vehicle settings and then status of the vehicles active safety systems below that we have the touchscreen infotainment system. Our model has the up level model, which includes factory and navigation, in addition to the apple carplay and android, auto integration, the addition of carplay and android auto really puts us ahead of systems that we find in the pathfinder and in the highlander as well, because those Still don’t have that kind of smartphone integration we do have some built in apps in this generation as well: aha, Pandora, travel link, etc. And, of course, as I said, this particular model has the factory navigation. We have some direct access buttons on the bottom to apps.
Our map and, of course, the media and radio interface working our way down the dashboard. We have the controls for the three zone: automatic climate control system, as well as the heated seats. You can control the front zones with these two side knobs or we can hit this rear button right here and then use the knob to actually control the rear zone from the front as well, and you can sync all three zones together. If I move the shifter out of the way, this is where we find the X mode button.
The automatic brake hold button, two USB inputs that integrate with that StarLink system, auxilary input right there, and then we have a storage cubby right here. That is just about big enough to fit some of those larger smartphones back there. We also find a 12-volt power port. The shifter is a pretty traditional console.
Shifter drive us all the way back there. Mana mode is over to the left and then once in the manual mode, you use the paddles on the back of the steering wheel to actually control that mode. We have two large cup holders right here and then an electric parking brake between the front seats. We find a padded center armrest that opens to reveal a storage cubby with a removable divider and because of the overall drivetrain design.
The storage cubby is not quite as deep as something that we find in the toyota highlander, but it is fairly large. Overall, the instrument cluster features your typical analog gauges like speedometer tachometer and then a color multifunction display in the middle. This display mirrors some of the information that we saw there in the center console display and gives us some additional screens, like our tire pressure readout, but focus is primarily on fuel economy and a digital speedometer. The steering wheel is a three spoke design very similar to other Subaru steering wheels.
We have some small sport grips up top and it is leather wrapped. Well, some manufacturers have gone for button. Minimalism Subaru goes the other direction and we have a ton of buttons on the steering wheel. We have a heated steering wheel button over here on this side, the buttons that control the adaptive cruise control functionality – that’s brought to us by that eyesight system over here on the right, there’s also a lane-keeping button right here on this side, then on the Left.
We have the buttons for the infotainment system track forward backward volume, toggle source button voice command button. Then we have these three buttons right down here. These you use from behind the student will write like that and those control the multifunction display between the speedometer and tachometer. Then we have shift paddles on the back of the steering wheel.
We have down over here on the left and then up on the right in our acceleration tests. We ran from zero to sixty just under seven point one seconds in this model, that’s notably faster than when we drove this out in Oregon. At the first drive launch event, I think the reason for that is that Subaru seems to have tweaked the software versus those pre-production models that we were driving very early on in our 60 to zero braking test. This model stopped from highway speeds back to zero.
In 127, feet, that’s pretty much in the middle of things. For this particular segment, you will find some models with wider tires, especially stopping a little bit shorter tire. Size plays a role not just in braking but also in handling, and we do find wider tires in some of the competition. The overall handling nature of the ascent is fairly good, but the overall feel is actually a little bit below average.
I would say in this particular segment: we definitely get a lot of body roll, a lot of lean in this, because Subaru has decided to make this vehicle relatively softly, sprung and fairly high off the road we get a ground clearance figure. That is nearly nine inches. You can really see the difference in overall tuning, however, between this and something like a Mazda cx-9, which actually has about the same kind of ground clearance, because the cx-9, even though it’s high off the ground, does not have the same kind of body roll Orly, because Its suspension is an awful lot firmer than this, so the cx-9 is going to handle better out of the road. That really is noticeable, but it’s not gon na be quite as comfortable if the road starts to get rougher handling ability on rougher roads has long been a Subaru strong point and the relatively softer suspension we find in this vehicle definitely helps improve that.
So if you have this out on a rough road, you’re really pushing it in the corners. It’s not going to feel unsettled, like some of those firmer suspensions can on the downside, when the road is well paved like the one that we’re driving on right here. It’s not going to be as much fun. This reminds me a little bit of the Nissan Pathfinder in a way due to its overall feel out on the road.
The best way to describe the ascent overall out on the road is a little bit disconnected. It feels like it could be a little bit ponderous, but it actually ends up gripping the road about, as well as the average crossover in this segment. The overall field just lacks a little bit there. Although the softer suspension has an impact on the overall handling ability.
It definitely has a positive impact on the ride. This is one of the more comfortable vehicles in this particular segment, and I would say this is actually a little bit more comfortable than the Nissan Pathfinder, which has long been one of the best rides in this group. The ascent definitely soaks up large and small imperfections even out on refferal roads like we’re on here. This makes sense, of course, because one of the use cases for something like the Subaru ascent is for the ability to be driving on gravel roads like this.
For long distances and a lot of crossovers in this segment that are a little bit sporty or themed are going to be less comfortable. They’re gon na be more tiring for that kind of surface. But this is the kind of vehicle where you could drive 3040 miles out on a gravel road like this and not really notice, because so many of you have had questions about the Subaru gweal Drive system. Let’s address a few of these before we move on.
First off x-mode: if I press the X mode button, then we get hill descent control enabled by default, and the all-wheel drive system is going to target the software for more offroad, like situations than normal now X mode does not lock the center coupling in the ascent That is noticeable because if I were to floor this vehicle right here, we do get a little bit of wheel slip from the front tires, and then it takes a little bit for the traction to actually move to the rear. Now, unlike some of the competitive systems, this system is always trying to send some of the power to the rear and that’s why Subarus tend to feel a little bit more sure-footed in snow when they’re, just in the regular default drive mode, because some of the competitors Will send most of the power or all of the power to the front until they’re a slip? Then they’ll send it to the back and it’s a little bit different in the Subaru. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the Subaru is going to be as capable as something that can lock that Center coupling when the going gets really sticky.
The overall design of the system makes a lot of sense from Subaru standpoint, because it does help improve overall fuel economy by keeping most of the power to the front until it’s needed out back. You definitely improve your economy numbers and, of course, you’re gon na improve reliability, because making a lot of connections to the rear axle is gon na put a lot of extra stress on the system, and that would harm long-term reliability and dependability. So, that’s why we don’t see that kind of system in the Subaru. It would also add additional weight and weight is again the enemy of fuel economy in our cabin noise test at 50 miles an hour, we scored 71 and a half decibels which puts this right about average in this segment as well.
This is pretty similar to the mainline 3-row crossover. If you want something, that’s a little bit quieter, you will find that in something like the Buick Enclave, but you’ll have to pay a little bit more for it or, if you’re, looking at some of the less expensive options in this segment, they may actually be a Little bit louder out on the road than this one area, where the ascent really excels, is fuel economy and keep in mind that all-wheel drive is standard on all trims. According to the epa, you should be getting between 22 and 23 miles per gallon, combined, depending on the trim level of the ascent that you get and the model that we’re driving should be getting about. 22. However, we’ve actually been getting between 23 and 24 miles per gallon over a week of mixed driving.
Thanks to the continuously variable transmission and this new turbocharged engine, you could also likely thank the tire size that does have that negative impact on handling and braking ability for the high fuel economy. Subaru is a brand that doesn’t have higher efficiency, front-wheel drive models to compete and help improve their overall fuel efficiency scores, so instead they have really had to double down on trying to improve fuel economy in the all-wheel-drive models. That’s something that we definitely don’t see in all of the assents competitors, because most of the competition actually sells more of the two-wheel drive models than the four-wheel or all-wheel drive models.
How the combination of the turbo and the CVT work for this vehicle?
This actually has a very well sorted feel to it overall, because the turbocharged engine helps the CVT not need to rev the engine up so far, because we get all of that low-end torque that you wouldn’t find in a naturally aspirated engine. So if you dislike the way that some CVT is feel because they’re letting the engine really rev high, then you’re not gon na get that same sort of feeling in the ascent. It’s the same sort of thing that we’ve noticed in some of Honda’s turbocharged vehicles, the engines ability to produce a large amount of low-end torque, really reduces the need for the transmission to allow the engine to rev so high. So, instead, this engine spends most of its time, loafing around 2,000 or 2,500 rpm.
When it comes to value Subarus generally do well and the ascent is no different here. It starts a $ 31,995, which is in the same neighborhood that many of its competitors start. However, remember that we get that turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive standard, we also get their eyesight active safety system, which compares very well with the hood, a safety sense Plus package, as well as the Honda sensing system that we see in the Highlander and the pilot respectively. We get those 18-inch alloy wheels 245 with tires, auto brake, hold apple, carplay and android.
Auto support six-speaker audio the three zone automatic climate control system, as you work your way on up from there to the top-end touring trim, which ends up at around $ 45,000. You start adding some of the options that you saw in the model that we were driving. We were driving the limited trim this week with the optional panoramic moonroof the number of seats inside the ascent changes. As you move your way on up the scale, the base model is available only as an 8 passenger vehicle.
The top-end touring trim is available only as a seven passenger vehicle limited and premium, depending on the options you choose can be had as either seven or eight passengers. You’ll notice, on the limited side that these seven and eight passenger options are the same price but they’re a little bit different on the premium trim. That’s because, on the premium trim in order to get the seven passenger version, you do have to add a particular package that includes things like the powered lift gate. If you were to add that same package to the eight passenger version, they would actually be the same price.
Our first competitor is the 2019 toda Highlander, starting at 30, 1330. On the surface of things that looks like it’s a few hundred dollars less expense than the ascent, but keep in mind that all-wheel-drive is not standard on the highlander, nor is the v6 you actually get their older four-cylinder engine and the older transmission as well. If you wanted the v6, which would give you similar acceleration to the ascent and all-wheel drive, then you’ll actually end up several thousand dollars more expensive at thirty four thousand seven hundred forty, although the limited and touring trims of the ascent are not quite as good of A deal as the base trim, they still compare very well to the upper-end trims of the highlander first off they’re newer, so they definitely feel fresher on the inside than the toyota. They also get better fuel economy and I think they’re a little bit more comfortable.
All the way around, but especially in the third row, the ascent is more comfortable than the highlander. We also get a larger and more accommodating cargo area in the back. Next up we have the Honda Pilot, which was refreshed for 2019. 2019 was mainly a looks change for the pilot. It didn’t really change too much substantively for the pilot – that’s not too big of a deal because it was already one of the better handling mainstream options, thanks to the available torque vectoring rear axle.
Basically, Honda is using the Acura super handling all-wheel drive system in the pilot, but they’re calling it something different that active, torque vectoring system not only helps improve on-road handling ability. It also helps improve offer attraction, because the rear axle effectively functions as a limited slip or locking differential, depending on exactly the terrain. That you’re on value is a little bit better on the pilot than the Highlander, because the v6 is standard, as is the active safety package. But you have to get the controversial 9 speed automatic transmission.
The 9 speed is not as smooth as a six-speed, but it is a whole lot faster and if you get the base trims with a six-speed that actually is likely going to Be slower, 0 to 60 than the ascent a base all-wheel drive pilot is about $ 33,500, which is not too bad, but still more than the Subarus. The value proposition is still definitely there on the ascent. Next up we have the 2019 Kia Sorento, also lightly refreshed for the 2019 model year. The Sorento has been a longtime favorite here at Alix notice, because it packages a very spacious interior into a package overall, that’s easier to park, because it is a little smaller on the outside, even though on the inside, it has about the same room as the Highlander.
Due to its overall design, the Sorento handles better also feels a little bit better put together in terms of overall handling, then the Subaru ascent, but you definitely give up fuel economy. Although the EPA numbers in the sorento would indicate it’s similar to the ascent, it actually will get you lower fuel economy in real world driving. If you’re looking for one of the less expensive entries in this segment, one of the more reliable entries or one of the entries with the longest standard warranty, that would be the kia sorento, it actually starts at just under twenty six thousand dollars, which is notably less Than the subaru, but you have to remember, that’s not going to get you the same performance, the same kind of features that we find in a subaru you’ll actually be getting the older 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine. If you want the v6 and all-wheel drive, guess what you’re gon na end up right around the same price as the pilot or the highlander at 33,000?
Ninety, the Sorento is one of the few entries in this segment that offers a command able lock to its center. Coupling if you engage that lock in some situations with comparable tires, it will be more capable off-road than the subaru, because the subaru doesn’t have that ability, even with the ex mode function. But, as I said earlier, remember that tires play a huge role in this and, depending on the tires you have in the vehicle, one or the other could be more capable off-road in snow, etc. Last up, we have the crossover.
That’s been my top family pick for a while the all-new Volkswagen atlas. It was completely new for 2018 and for 2019 volkswagen has uncharacteristically gone back and tweaked a few things to help improve the value most notably them included. Some of their active safety features now standard for the 2019 model year and those were things that we’re lacking on the 2018 model year. You won’t find adaptive cruise control in the base model and you won’t find a v6 either, but we do find a 2-liter turbocharged engine blind, spot monitoring, automatic emergency, braking, rear traffic, alert, auto wipers and auto headlamps as well.
If you don’t need all-wheel-drive you’ll find all of that for just under $ 31,000, but if you do want all-wheel drive and the v6, then you’re gon na have to bump up to 34,000 ninety-five. The base all-wheel drive price tag is again, notably more than the base ascent, but we get a little bit more standard feature content in the Volkswagen and we get a much bigger vehicle. That is one of the big things to remember about the Atlas. It is quite a bit larger, the cargo area is larger and I think more practical than what we find in the ascent is one of those things you get for that rear area and we get a more practical, family-friendly interior.
The second row bench can have three child seats lashed into place and still tilt and slide forward to allow easy entry into the third row even for larger people or adults. That’s one of the big differences, as we mentioned earlier, as you work your way on up to the very top in trim, we do get a full LCD, dashboard and gadgets that feel a little bit more modern than what we see in the Subaru. But again it’s going to be a little bit more expensive. It’s also going to be a little thirstier, because the Subaru is definitely more efficient thanks to its new turbo engine and the continuously variable transmission.
My bottom line with the Subaru ascent is that it is an incredible deal in its base model if you’re shopping for one of the base entries in this segment, I would say definitely take a good long look at the ascent because you get all wheel drive and You get high fuel economy for less or the same amount that you’re gon na pay for any of its competitors and that’s a really really good deal. The only trouble with the ascent is that, as you work your way on up the trim levels, it’s not going to be as good of a deal as that base model. Now it’s still gon na get good performance. It’s still gon na have excellent fuel economy, but the value the features $ 4.00 is not going to be quite as good as that base model, because the value proposition tends to go down a little bit as you work your way on up the trim ladder.
I think it is a little bit easier to cross off some of the competitors and choose some of those competitors for different reasons, for instance the Volkswagen Atlas for its larger cargo area, the increased family friendliness. I think that would be a good alternative to those top trims of the ascent. If you were looking for a hybrid, then a hybrid version of the Highlander might be a good alternative again to those top and trims. If you’re looking for better handling, then a Honda Pilot again would be a good competitor in that instance.
Now I don’t think that there’s any reason to cross those upper end trims of the ascent off your shopping list. It’s just worth noting that, as you work your way on up to those upper end trims, the incredible value proposition that we find in the base model definitely becomes muted.