UPDATE: You can now read our first review of the 2019 Subaru Ascent

Subaru has made no secret of its intent to bring a midsize 3-row sport utility vehicle to North America sometime next year. Last fall in Los Angeles, it offered a first take on it with the unveiling of the Subaru Viziv-7 Concept.  At the New York Auto Show, Subaru took one step closer to reality with the reveal of the Subaru Ascent SUV Concept. This rival to the Ford Explorer, GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot and Volkswagen Atlas will carry the name Ascent into production and be spun from a modified version of the Subaru Global Platform introduced last year when the wraps came off of the redesigned 2017 Impreza.

Although there are clear family ties between the Viziv-7 and Ascent Concepts, Subaru says this latest edition offers a more production-ready version of the exterior styling. Also reflecting Subaru’s current “Dynamic x Solid” design language, the Ascent’s bolder, SUV-flavored front fascia with a prominent grille set off by signature C-shaped “hawk-eye” headlamps leads back onto a more crisply defined profile punctuated by boldly flared fenders. The concept sports 21-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 275/50 all-season rubber. Despite a 117.0-inch wheelbase and 78.3-inch width that closely parallel the dimensions of the Viziv-7, the Ascent measures 198.8 inches nose to tail, making it roughly a half foot shorter.

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The Ascent SUV Concept’s cabin also broadly hints at what we can expect to see in production, starting with a clean, flowing dash, numerous premium details and the latest StarLink Multimedia infotainment system. To complement its two-tone perforated leather upholstery and panoramic sunroof, the show vehicle’s 7-seat configuration includes second-row Captain’s Chairs along with a rear mini console. Subaru has confirmed the Ascent SUV will be powered by an all-new turbocharged/direct-injected 2.4-liter boxer engine, no doubt teamed with the automaker’s Lineartronic CVT and some type of Symmetrical AWD. However, there’s no word yet on the engine’s output and whether a hybrid version is in the works. While its official launch isn't set, the new Ascent will be built at Subaru of Indiana in Lafayette and sold exclusively in North America.

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