The mid-size 3-row family SUV started becoming a competitive landscape about 20 years ago and vehicles like the Ford Explorer, the Honda Pilot, the Toyota Highlander held a major stake in the market. In the 2010s, with the exponential spike in the demand for SUVs, literally, all automakers started to drive in SUVs and had customers spoilt for choice. Subaru however joined the party a little bit late and drove in its 3-row family SUV contender- the Ascent, only last year in 2019. Now, looking at the Ascent one can certainly say that Subaru took their time for good because they’ve done their homework right and built a decent product in the form of the Ascent. In this quick 2020 Subaru Ascent review, we shall find out how the SUV performs and stands against its competition.
What’s new for 2020?
Since Ascent made it to the market only last year, there aren’t any significant changes in the 2020 Ascent. The SUV now gets a new rear-seat reminder feature as standard to help prevent passengers from leaving their stuff on the back seats and the system beeps and shows a message on the instrument console if something has been left behind. Other new features that come along with the 2020 Ascent include one-touch control for interior lighting, a powered tailgate, and power-folding mirrors with built-in turn signals only with the top-of-the-line Touring trim level.
How does the 2020 Subaru Ascent perform?
There’s only one trim on offer with the Subaru Ascent which is a bit disappointing and we would like the Ascent to come with a more powerful engine as an option in the upcoming years. You get a 2.4-liter, turbocharged flat four-cylinder engine that makes 260 horses and delivers 277 lb-for of torque. The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and you have all-wheel drive as standard across all the trim levels. The 3-row family SUV goes from a standstill to the 60 mph mark in about 6.9 seconds and completes the quarter-mile distance in about 15.5 seconds which is pretty decent for a car of this size and this segment. A few trims of the Ascent are also rated with a towing capacity of 5000 lbs. which again is pretty impressive.
The driving dynamics of the Subaru are pretty decent and the car does handle well. The Ascent is a large car and you’ll notice a slight amount of body roll while taking a high-speed sharp corner. The suspension setup is a bit towards the softer side and absorbs bumps and potholes really well but feels a bit unstable while taking tight corners. The steering wheel feels a bit light and we would have liked it if it offered a bit more feedback. The standard all-wheel-drive system sends the right amount of torque to all the four wheels and ensures linear power delivery and that combined with a ground clearance of 8.7 inches, equips the Ascent with good off-roading abilities as well.
The Ascent ultimately is a family SUV and most buyers shopping in this category would be concerned about the fuel economy numbers. Thus we’ve got the numbers covered for you in this Subaru Ascent 2020 review. The Ascent goes for about 22 miles on a gallon of fuel in the city while it hauls up to 26 miles on the highway. It gets a combined EPA rating of 23 mpg which is good enough for a family SUV.
Trims and Features
The Ascent is offered across 4 trim levels with the base spec being priced at $31995. The base spec trim gets features like 18-inch alloy wheels, rear seat reminder, Subaru EYESIGHT driver assistance technology, three-row flexible seating for 8 passengers, and SUBARU STARLINK multimedia system with Apple Carplay & Android Auto.
The next trim, the Ascent Premium, is priced at $34395 and offers you the option of second-row bench seats and captain’s chair. You also get an all-weather package with heated front seats and rear climate control and 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability. The Premium trim is also rated with a towing capacity of 5000 lbs.
Things start getting a bit upscale with the Ascent Limited trim. Priced at about $39345, the Ascent Limited offers features like front and second-row heated seats, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and leather upholstery. You also get 20-inch alloy wheels, a powered tailgate and keyless access, and a push-button start-stop.
The top of the line trim, the Ascent Touring is priced at $45045. The Touring trim comes with features like exclusive Java Brown leather upholstery, second-row captain’s chairs, STARLINK navigation, 180-degree front camera monitor, powered panoramic moonroof & a massive 14 speaker, 792 watts Harman/Kardon Premium audio system. All these features push the Ascent a little bit in line with the other luxury SUVs in the market.
2020 Subaru Ascent safety features
This is a family SUV and most buyers will certainly have safety high on their minds while hunting for a vehicle to haul their family. Hence, we’ve got all the safety features of the Ascent covered for you in this Subaru Ascent 2020 review.
The Ascent gets a ‘5-star’ rating in almost all the crash tests conducted by the NHTSA and gets a ‘good’ rating in all the safety tests conducted by the IIHS and that already talks a lot about the safety features of the Subaru.
The Ascent comes with a Subaru EYESIGHT driver assistance & safety system as standard. Safety features offered with the Ascent include lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and sway warning, pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, and automatic emergency braking.
The basic warranty offered with the Ascent covers it for 3 years/36000 miles while the powertrain warranty is offered for 5 years/60000 miles.
Should you buy the 2020 Subaru Ascent?
The Subaru Ascent scores big in terms of practicality. The car can accommodate 8 passengers, offers good luggage storage space, and also has a good fuel economy on offer. Plus it gets an all-wheel drive as standard which might just come in handy if you go off-roading. The SUV is also priced pretty well and that just gives it an edge over its rivals. While there are SUVs in the market that sell like hotcakes, the Ascent offers a package like none other that’s exactly what helps it to stand out. If you happen to be in the market hunting for a family SUV, then you totally should consider the Ascent.
As said earlier in this Subaru Ascent 2020 review, Subaru has joined the SUV party a little bit late but they’ve sketched their product & strategy well and are ticking the boxes tight. The Subie Ascent is a great value for money and offers features and options that no other quite does. Subaru indeed has done a pretty good job of crafting the Ascent SUV. However, we would certainly love to see Ascent get a more powerful powertrain and more premium quality interiors in the coming model years.