12 Best Family Cars: 2019 Subaru Ascent
- Biggest Subaru ever, with seating for 7 or 8 people
- EyeSight Driver Assist advanced safety comes standard
- Sliding, adjustable second row eases third-row access
- Spacious, versatile interior
- Pricing starts at $32,790 | Price Yours
One of the latecomers to the midsize SUV segment is also one of the strongest entries. The 2019 Subaru Ascent, the company’s largest vehicle, has been designed to cater to big families. Considering Subaru’s longtime established reputation for safety and family, expanding that to a 3-row SUV was the logical next step. It is filled with everything people like about Subarus, but on a bigger scale: it’s loaded with safety features, has a comfortable interior, and comes with plenty of family-friendly features and thoughtful storage solutions. Not only does the Ascent appeal to current Subaru owners who need a 3-row vehicle, but it has the amenities and the chops to draw in buyers that may have been looking at strong competitors like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.
Room for Eight and Their Gear
Building from its family-oriented wagon history and learning from its earlier foray into the 3-row SUV segment, Subaru’s goal was to make the Ascent versatile, comfortable, and spacious enough for people and their gear. The cabin’s interior design is warm and welcoming, but is practical to the core. The 3-row seating arrangement comes standard, and access to the third row is made easier with the use of grab handles inspired by Japan’s bullet trains. The rear doors open 75 degrees, for a nice, wide entry point into the vehicle. When going to the rear bench, the second row slides, making it easy to get into the third row; while there is ample space in back, the second row can also be adjusted forward to accommodate taller passengers in the way back. The interior is offered with 19 cupholders, a number you appreciate more when you have to stow empty coffee cups, bottles, and cans between pit stops, and there are plenty of USB ports. The 2019 Subaru Ascent caters to comfort with available heated and cooled seats, and 3-zone climate control. All aboard will find it easy to stay connected, thanks to in-car Wi-Fi and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility.
Subaru paid special attention to storing cargo. When all seats are folded flat, the Subaru Ascent can hold nearly 90 cubic feet of gear. The interior can be configured nine different ways to accommodate passengers and their stuff. Once you open the tailgate with the push of a button on the remote and pull up the carpeted front board, you’ll find a hidden spot to secure small items, such as a first aid kit, flashlights, weather and emergency gear – or you can stow the cargo cover when it’s not in use.
Safety Features Abound
Subaru has established a strong reputation for all-season safety, which is why all-wheel drive comes standard on all but one vehicle in the Subaru lineup. The emphasis on safety is also reflected in the amount of the Ascent’s standard and optional features. For starters, the company’s EyeSight system comes standard. This includes lane departure and sway warning with lane-keep assist, pre-collision braking and throttle management, and adaptive cruise control. All Ascents also come with seven airbags, including one to protect the driver’s knees, and a rearview camera. In the event that your eyes aren’t on the road, EyeSight can alert you when the vehicle in front of you is moving. Safety options include blind-spot detection with lane-change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and a 180-degree front-view camera to show what’s directly ahead of the Ascent when parking. There’s also reverse automatic braking and a smart rear-view mirror that uses a camera to display what’s behind the Subaru even when the mirror is blocked. When the Ascent is equipped with steering-responsive headlights, it’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, and all Ascents earn NHTSA’s 5-star rating.
A Reliable Hauler
Subarus have been known for their reliability, and the Ascent is poised to help continue that trend. Subaru was our pick for the Best Brand for the 2019 5-Year Cost to Own Award. That comes due to an appealing mix of high resale value, impressive fuel economy, low insurance costs, and low cost of maintenance. The Ascent is reliable, safe, practical family transportation that is still infused with plenty of Subaru spirit.
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