2022 Subaru Ascent review: Maestro of mainstream

Maria J. Danford

The Subaru Ascent just isn’t automatically handsome, but it guaranteed is useful.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Subarus are not often the greatest in their section. Competing automobiles are likely to look nicer, present far more options and have greater interiors. But damn if these simple Japanese autos and crossovers are not always a bedrock-good decision, straightforward tips many thanks to typical all-wheel drive and exemplary crash-take a look at scores. For drivers in require of a simple 3-row SUV, the 2022 Ascent correctly epitomizes the Subaru brand name.


  • Typical all-wheel drive
  • Stellar security scores
  • Spunky acceleration

Really don’t Like

  • Spastic lane-preserving aid
  • Meh interior top quality
  • Not great to drive


The Onyx Version trim is new for 2022, falling ideal in the middle of the Ascent’s five-trim lineup. Spicing matters up, this variant comes with a variety of visible enhancements such as a blacked-out grille, black window trim, black badges and black mirror caps. The vehicle rolls on 20-inch wheels that are taken care of to — you guessed it — a black finish. Inside of, the carpeted floor mats function specific logos and there are black interior accents.

Onyx Version Ascents arrive typical with LED head- and foglights, an vehicle-dimming rearview mirror, keyless entry with pushbutton commence, moreover a electrical power liftgate and heated steering wheel. They also function tri-zone weather control and USB ports in all 3 rows. And if you’re actually thirsty, 19 cup and bottle holders are provided at no excess price tag.

A no-frills affair

The Onyx Version Ascent’s interior is honest and utilitarian, but if you’re a frill-seeker you will want to look somewhere else. The dashboard design and style is rugged (if a little bit occupied), and attractively textured smooth plastics are liberally employed in the course of the cabin. Perforated components and distinction-colour stitching aid retain matters from on the lookout too dour.

But not every thing is praiseworthy. Some of the components buttons for the infotainment system really feel small rent and there is certainly a hodgepodge of chrome and painted-silver accents sprinkled in the course of. Arguably, nevertheless, 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 appears undesirable and feels worse, producing a “zizz-zizz” audio when you run your fingernails back and forth across it. This Ascent also comes typical with StarTex artificial upholstery, which is h2o-repellent and dust-resistant. It does not really feel anywhere close to as awesome as top quality leather-based, but it should really be straightforward to clean and hold up to years of abuse, important considerations in a household hauler.

Uncomplicated, honest, wholesome… these are 3 words and phrases that accurately explain the Ascent’s interior. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The entry-level Ascent options a six.5-inch infotainment display, but all other versions arrive with an eight-inch touchscreen. Subaru’s Starlink multimedia array will not win any attractiveness contests and it’s absolutely not the greatest system obtainable nowadays, but it’s welcoming to use and responsive plenty of. Embedded navigation is optional in the Onyx Version, though Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are typical across the entire design assortment.

The Ascent gets high marks for passenger ease and comfort. The front bucket seats are ergonomically welcoming and there is certainly lots of place in the second-row captain’s chairs, which change fore and aft and suggestion and slide for straightforward access to the 3rd row. That aft-most bench is a minimal limited on headroom (nevertheless no worse than in rival automobiles), but it’s nonetheless decently comfy due to the fact the bottom cushion is a superior top earlier mentioned the floor, so your knees are not at chin level when sitting down back there. I also appreciate the minimal seize handles on the top of the second-row seatbacks. They make accessing the 3rd row just a minimal much easier.

The Onyx Version is made available in a seven-passenger configuration, nevertheless the Ascent can seat up to 8 people. When it’s time to haul cargo, this vehicle serves up seventeen.eight cubic ft of place with the 3rd-row seat up and 86.5 with equally back rows folded, figures that are in lockstep with competing products.

Punching earlier mentioned its bodyweight

Just a person drivetrain is made available in the Ascent. Supplying hustle is a two.four-liter turbocharged boxer-4 that is equally sleek and discreet. This motor cranks out a respectable if not astounding 260 horsepower and 277 pound-ft of torque. These figures are ideal in line with the heat other 3-row SUVs are packing these days. The Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, for instance, equally have a skosh far more horsepower, but this big, undesirable Subie is endowed with a little bit far more twist. Unless of course you count the Dodge DurangoFord’s Explorer is about the only rival with a clear gain, its obtainable 3.-liter twin-turbo V6 handily outmuscling the competition, particularly in ST trim.

This turbocharged boxer-4 is sleek and amazingly potent. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Ascent’s motor is matched exclusively to a consistently variable transmission, a person that presents 8 simulated gears when shifted manually. This unit does an admirable task providing sturdy overall performance and superior gasoline financial state. Many thanks to plentiful torque and favorable gearing, this SUV virtually leaps off the line when you faucet the accelerator. This gusto carries through to higher speeds, too. No, the Ascent just isn’t sports activities-car or truck speedy, but its overall performance is sturdy. I do would like, nevertheless, that the “gearbox” were being a little bit smoother. This is an odd criticism for a CVT because they never actually, you know, change, but at times this transmission feels clunky, shuddering a bit at reduced speeds.

Rounding out the Ascent’s powertrain is typical all-wheel drive, which is totally transparent, at the very least in dry, summer months disorders. This system would be a godsend in winter slop or on moist roads, but it should really also aid make this SUV a steady towing system. All in, the Ascent is rated to drag up to 5,000 pounds, a determine that’s ideal in line with the competition.

Total, the Ascent’s mechanicals should really get you 20 mpg in metropolis driving and 26 mpg on the highway. Mixed, the Ascent is rated at 22 mpg, a determine I have managed to defeat without substantially hard work. In accordance to the trip computer system, the Onyx Version design I’m testing is returning an amazing 23.5 mpg. Curiously, in accordance to the EPA, reduced-trim Ascents are a bit far more productive than higher-finish products.

You get class-aggressive amounts of cargo space in this Subaru.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Refined and responsive, the Ascent’s powertrain is a winner, but the vehicle’s other dynamics could be improved. My chief criticism is the steering, which is loose and imprecise, too light on heart and extremely boosted. I get it, no one buys a 3-row SUV for canyon carving, but competing automobiles present far more precise steering and really feel nimbler than the Ascent.

This SUV’s journey top quality is refined, neither so stiff that it crashes over bumps nor too smooth that it wallows like a hog when hustled. The framework feels like it was carved out of a metal billet and is totally unyielding, with no quivering or shakes when pushed over broken roads.

Basic safety valedictorian

That good foundation assists supply great crash overall performance, a big thought of any household-oriented vehicle. This Subaru earns a Leading Basic safety Choose In addition rating from the Coverage Institute for Highway Basic safety, the highest rating the smash-’em-up organization hands out. The vehicle been given “superior” crash-take a look at scores across the board, comes with great accident-avoidance engineering, has straightforward-to-use little one-seat anchors and has brilliant LED headlights.”

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

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The automaker’s Eyesight suite of driver aids is typical across the Ascent assortment. This incorporates merchandise like lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and computerized emergency braking. Lane centering is bundled, too, nevertheless it’s considerably from the greatest obtainable nowadays, continually beeping when highway markers finish or if you flip past a certain stage while cornering. This function also tugs awkwardly at the wheel occasionally, paradoxically producing it more challenging to drive. Thankfully, lane centering is straightforward to swap off. Automatic high beams are provided at no excess demand and all products, conserve the base edition, arrive with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic inform.

In the thick of it

This 2022 Subaru Ascent Onyx Version SUV checks out for an eminently reasonable $forty one,320 such as $1,a hundred twenty five in vacation spot fees, a whole that’s ideal in line with the regular new-vehicle transaction price these days. That determine is padded by a $two,two hundred selections offer, which incorporates a panoramic sunroof, cargo-space cover and adds embedded navigation to the Starlink infotainment system. Not only is the Ascent a roomy, comfy and unbelievably protected 3-row SUV, it’s also a sturdy price.

Even nevertheless I’d somewhat have a Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride or Honda Pilot, which are far more upscale and greater to drive, I are not able to fault anybody for acquiring a Subaru Ascent. This household-hauler is an eminently rational decision, a person that’s in the thick of the 3-row SUV section, competing on equivalent terms with rivals like the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer and Chevy Traverse.

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