The Subaru Ascent is not always handsome, but it certain is handy.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Subarus are seldom the best in their segment. Competing motor vehicles are inclined to glimpse nicer, offer more capabilities and have far better interiors. But damn if these functional Japanese vehicles and crossovers are not normally a bedrock-reliable option, uncomplicated suggestions thanks to conventional all-wheel push and exemplary crash-exam scores. For drivers in need of a practical 3-row SUV, the 2022 Ascent correctly epitomizes the Subaru manufacturer.


  • Regular all-wheel generate
  • Stellar protection rankings
  • Spunky acceleration

Do not Like

  • Spastic lane-preserving aid
  • Meh interior good quality
  • Not great to travel


The Onyx Version trim is new for 2022, falling ideal in the center of the Ascent’s five-trim lineup. Spicing points up, this variant will come with a selection of visible enhancements such as a blacked-out grille, black window trim, black badges and black mirror caps. The auto rolls on 20-inch wheels that are taken care of to — you guessed it — a black finish. Inside of, the carpeted flooring mats attribute particular logos and there are black interior accents.

Onyx Edition Ascents arrive common with LED head- and foglights, an vehicle-dimming rearview mirror, keyless entry with pushbutton commence, additionally a energy liftgate and heated steering wheel. They also element tri-zone weather handle and USB ports in all 3 rows. And if you’re seriously thirsty, 19 cup and bottle holders are bundled at no additional cost.

A no-frills affair

The Onyx Edition Ascent’s inside is genuine and utilitarian, but if you’re a frill-seeker you are going to want to look somewhere else. The dashboard style is rugged (if a bit hectic), and attractively textured tender plastics are liberally used throughout the cabin. Perforated products and distinction-colour stitching assistance preserve things from hunting way too dour.

But not anything is praiseworthy. Some of the components buttons for the infotainment program sense small lease and you can find a hodgepodge of chrome and painted-silver accents sprinkled all over. Arguably, though, the worst portion of the Onyx Edition’s interior is the black plastic trim on the dashboard and doors. Glossy and embossed with a mesh texture, it seems terrible and feels even worse, building a “zizz-zizz” audio when you run your fingernails back and forth across it. This Ascent also will come normal with StarTex artificial upholstery, which is h2o-repellent and dirt-resistant. It doesn’t sense everywhere close to as great as top quality leather, but it should be uncomplicated to cleanse and hold up to a long time of abuse, important things to consider in a household hauler.

Uncomplicated, genuine, healthful… these are 3 text that precisely describe the Ascent’s interior. 

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The entry-degree Ascent capabilities a 6.5-inch infotainment display screen, but all other variations occur with an 8-inch touchscreen. Subaru’s Starlink multimedia array will never acquire any natural beauty contests and it truly is absolutely not the greatest program available these days, but it can be pleasant to use and responsive adequate. Embedded navigation is optional in the Onyx Edition, though Apple CarPlay and Android Car are typical across the complete design assortment.

The Ascent will get high marks for passenger ease and comfort. The entrance bucket seats are ergonomically friendly and there is certainly plenty of space in the next-row captain’s chairs, which alter fore and aft and idea and slide for straightforward accessibility to the 3rd row. That aft-most bench is a tiny limited on headroom (while no worse than in rival motor vehicles), but it really is still decently relaxed because the base cushion is a good peak previously mentioned the flooring, so your knees usually are not at chin stage when sitting down back again there. I also adore the small grab handles on the best of the second-row seatbacks. They make accessing the third row just a little simpler.

The Onyx Version is available in a 7-passenger configuration, even though the Ascent can seat up to eight folks. When it truly is time to haul cargo, this vehicle serves up 17.8 cubic ft of room with the third-row seat up and 86.5 with both of those back again rows folded, figures that are in lockstep with competing versions.

Punching above its excess weight

Just a single drivetrain is offered in the Ascent. Supplying hustle is a 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer-4 that is both smooth and discreet. This engine cranks out a respectable if not astounding 260 horsepower and 277 pound-toes of torque. These figures are proper in line with the warmth other a few-row SUVs are packing these times. The Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, for occasion, both of those have a skosh additional horsepower, but this big, bad Subie is endowed with a little bit a lot more twist. Except you depend the Dodge DurangoFord’s Explorer is about the only rival with a obvious benefit, its obtainable 3.-liter twin-turbo V6 handily outmuscling the competitiveness, specially in ST trim.

This turbocharged boxer-four is smooth and incredibly strong. 

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The Ascent’s motor is matched exclusively to a repeatedly variable transmission, one particular that offers eight simulated gears when shifted manually. This device does an admirable job delivering powerful general performance and great gas economic system. Many thanks to considerable torque and favorable gearing, this SUV practically leaps off the line when you tap the accelerator. This gusto carries through to larger speeds, as well. No, the Ascent just isn’t sporting activities-auto quick, but its functionality is robust. I do wish, nevertheless, that the “gearbox” were a bit smoother. This is an odd grievance for a CVT due to the fact they you should not actually, you know, shift, but sometimes this transmission feels clunky, shuddering a little bit at lower speeds.

Rounding out the Ascent’s powertrain is standard all-wheel generate, which is completely clear, at minimum in dry, summer season problems. This technique would be a godsend in winter slop or on damp roadways, but it should really also help make this SUV a stable towing platform. All in, the Ascent is rated to drag up to 5,000 pounds, a figure that is suitable in line with the levels of competition.

General, the Ascent’s mechanicals need to get you 20 mpg in town driving and 26 mpg on the freeway. Merged, the Ascent is rated at 22 mpg, a figure I have managed to conquer without the need of a lot energy. In accordance to the vacation laptop, the Onyx Version model I’m tests is returning an impressive 23.5 mpg. Curiously, according to the EPA, decreased-trim Ascents are slightly extra successful than higher-close products.

You get course-competitive amounts of cargo room in this Subaru.

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Refined and responsive, the Ascent’s powertrain is a winner, but the vehicle’s other dynamics could be enhanced. My main criticism is the steering, which is unfastened and imprecise, much too mild on centre and overly boosted. I get it, no person buys a 3-row SUV for canyon carving, but competing cars offer far more precise steering and truly feel nimbler than the Ascent.

This SUV’s experience quality is refined, neither so stiff that it crashes over bumps nor too gentle that it wallows like a hog when hustled. The structure feels like it was carved out of a steel billet and is absolutely unyielding, with no quivering or shakes when pushed around damaged streets.

Basic safety valedictorian

That stable foundation helps deliver exceptional crash efficiency, a key thought of any family members-oriented car. This Subaru earns a Prime Safety Choose Furthermore rating from the Coverage Institute for Highway Protection, the optimum rating the smash-’em-up group fingers out. The car or truck been given “good” crash-test scores across the board, arrives with superb accident-avoidance technologies, has straightforward-to-use youngster-seat anchors and has brilliant LED headlights.”

The 2022 Subaru Ascent is a perfectly-rounded 3-row SUV.

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The automaker’s Eyesight suite of driver aids is typical throughout the Ascent range. This features objects like lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise manage and automated unexpected emergency braking. Lane centering is bundled, too, nevertheless it is really far from the greatest offered nowadays, continuously beeping when street markers conclude or if you switch earlier a selected point even though cornering. This function also tugs awkwardly at the wheel often, paradoxically producing it more challenging to travel. Fortunately, lane centering is uncomplicated to switch off. Automatic high beams are incorporated at no further demand and all types, conserve the foundation model, come with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-website traffic alert.

In the thick of it

This 2022 Subaru Ascent Onyx Version SUV checks out for an eminently sensible $41,320 like $1,125 in vacation spot charges, a complete that is ideal in line with the ordinary new-car or truck transaction price these days. That determine is padded by a $2,200 solutions bundle, which consists of a panoramic sunroof, cargo-space protect and adds embedded navigation to the Starlink infotainment procedure. Not only is the Ascent a roomy, cozy and amazingly risk-free 3-row SUV, it truly is also a robust worth.

Even even though I would instead have a Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride or Honda Pilot, which are additional upscale and greater to travel, I can’t fault everyone for getting a Subaru Ascent. This loved ones-hauler is an eminently reasonable preference, a person which is in the thick of the 3-row SUV section, competing on equal phrases with rivals like the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer and Chevy Traverse.