In a bid to increase its US market share, Subaru has developed a three-row SUV called the Ascent. After being teased as a concept last April, the production version has finally bowed in at the LA Auto Show. The largest Subaru ever made features all of the brand’s core technologies such as a horizontally-opposed Boxer engine, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, and EyeSight Driver Assist Technology wrapped in a generous body that seats 7 or 8 depending on the configuration.
Underpinned by the Subaru Global Platform (SGP), the Ascent has excellent body rigidity to suppress unwanted noise and vibration. In addition, SGP gives it good handling at low speed and excellent stability at high speeds. Active Torque Vectoring also allows for better turning performance and hazard avoidance capabilities. And as with any other Subaru, Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive comes as standard.
In order to give the Ascent some level of spirited performance, it’s powered by a newly-developed 2.4-liter turbocharged, direct-injection engine. Despite its smaller displacement, the FA24 engine offers performance similar to that of a large displacement V6 engine. It makes 260 horsepower and 377 Nm of torque at 2,000 to 4,800 rpm. Mated to the engine is a High-torque Lineartronic CVT with paddle shifters. Together with a large 73-liter tank, Subaru promises a class-leading cruising range. In some trims, the maximum towing capacity is at 2,267 kilograms (5,000 pounds)—the highest of any Subaru.
Comfort and convenience takes centerstage in the Ascent’s interior with a “comfortable experience in all seats, including seats in the third row.” The driver’s seat offers an adjustable cushion length while the remaining occupants will have the luxury of ventilated seats, a panoramic sunroof, independent rear climate control, and a new power tailgate mechanism that features a built-in drive unit to achieve maximum cargo space.
Aside from employing a highly rigid platform, the Subaru Ascent also has a comprehensive suite of safety equipment including 7 airbags, a front-view monitor, a smart rear-view monitor, reverse automatic braking, side and rear vehicle detection, steering responsive headlights, and high beam assist. Subaru’s newest EyeSight system is standard on all Ascent models.
When asked about the possibility of bringing the 2019 Subaru Ascent into the country, Motor Image Pilipinas, the exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in the country said that the Ascent is currently for the US market only. With it being assembled in just one plant in the world, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, representatives from Motor Image Pilipinas says that the full-year production of the Ascent in 2018 is exclusive to the US market only. That said, if Subaru Corporation does decide to open up the Ascent for export, then they will definitely study the possibility of bringing this model into the country.
Given the huge popularity of premium 7 or 8-seater SUVs in the country such as the Ford Explorer (they sell about 100 every month), Mazda CX-9, and Honda Pilot, Subaru should seriously consider bringing in the Ascent if they’re targeting to grow their market share in the Philippines.
2019 Subaru Ascent Major Specifications:
- Overall Length: 4,998 mm
- Overall Height: 1,819 mm
- Overall Width: 1,930 mm
- Wheelbase: 2,890 mm
- Minimum Ground Clearance: 220 mm
- Engine: 2.4-liter Horizontally-Opposed, DOHC, Direct-injection, Turbo (FA24)
- Displacement: 2,387 cc
- Bore x Stroke: 94 x 86 mm
- Maximum Output: 260 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
- Maximum Torque: 377 Nm @ 2,000-4,800 rpm
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 73 liters
- Fuel Type: 87 AKI (91 RON)
- Transmission: High-torque Lineartronic CVT
- Drivetrain: Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive
- Tire Size: 245/60 R 18 or 245/50 R 20
- Seating Capacity: 7 or 8