2022 Subaru Ascent review: Maestro of mainstream

The Subaru Ascent is not automatically handsome, but it guaranteed is helpful.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Subarus are rarely the best in their section. Competing vehicles are inclined to seem nicer, offer you more characteristics and have greater interiors. But damn if these useful Japanese autos and crossovers usually are not always a bedrock-good decision, simple suggestions many thanks to standard all-wheel travel and exemplary crash-take a look at scores. For drivers in need of a useful 3-row SUV, the 2022 Ascent completely epitomizes the Subaru brand name.


  • Common all-wheel travel
  • Stellar basic safety rankings
  • Spunky acceleration

Never Like

  • Spastic lane-preserving help
  • Meh inside high quality
  • Not good to travel


The Onyx Version trim is new for 2022, falling appropriate in the center of the Ascent’s 5-trim lineup. Spicing items up, this variant will come with a assortment of visible enhancements which include a blacked-out grille, black window trim, black badges and black mirror caps. The motor vehicle rolls on twenty-inch wheels that are treated to — you guessed it — a black finish. Inside, the carpeted floor mats attribute unique logos and there are black inside accents.

Onyx Version Ascents arrive standard with LED head- and foglights, an automobile-dimming rearview mirror, keyless entry with pushbutton start off, in addition a energy liftgate and heated steering wheel. They also attribute tri-zone climate regulate and USB ports in all 3 rows. And if you are seriously thirsty, 19 cup and bottle holders are integrated at no extra value.

A no-frills affair

The Onyx Version Ascent’s inside is sincere and utilitarian, but if you are a frill-seeker you may want to seem in other places. The dashboard structure is rugged (if a little bit active), and attractively textured gentle plastics are liberally utilized in the course of the cabin. Perforated products and distinction-shade stitching aid keep items from hunting far too dour.

But not everything is praiseworthy. Some of the hardware buttons for the infotainment process experience minimal rent and there is a hodgepodge of chrome and painted-silver accents sprinkled in the course of. Arguably, however, the worst section of the Onyx Edition’s inside is the black plastic trim on the dashboard and doorways. Shiny and embossed with a mesh texture, it seems to be lousy and feels worse, creating a “zizz-zizz” sound when you run your fingernails back and forth throughout it. This Ascent also will come standard with StarTex synthetic upholstery, which is drinking water-repellent and filth-resistant. It doesn’t experience any place around as pleasant as high quality leather, but it really should be simple to clean and hold up to a long time of abuse, essential considerations in a spouse and children hauler.

Basic, sincere, healthful… these are 3 phrases that correctly describe the Ascent’s inside. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The entry-amount Ascent characteristics a six.5-inch infotainment exhibit, but all other versions arrive with an eight-inch touchscreen. Subaru’s Starlink multimedia array will never gain any splendor contests and it truly is unquestionably not the best process offered nowadays, but it truly is welcoming to use and responsive plenty of. Embedded navigation is optional in the Onyx Version, though Apple CarPlay and Android Car are standard throughout the entire product assortment.

The Ascent receives significant marks for passenger consolation. The front bucket seats are ergonomically welcoming and there is lots of place in the next-row captain’s chairs, which change fore and aft and idea and slide for simple obtain to the 3rd row. That aft-most bench is a tiny limited on headroom (however no worse than in rival vehicles), but it truly is continue to decently relaxed due to the fact the bottom cushion is a very good peak over the floor, so your knees usually are not at chin amount when sitting back there. I also appreciate the tiny get handles on the leading of the next-row seatbacks. They make accessing the 3rd row just a tiny much easier.

The Onyx Version is presented in a 7-passenger configuration, however the Ascent can seat up to eight folks. When it truly is time to haul cargo, this motor vehicle serves up seventeen.eight cubic feet of place with the 3rd-row seat up and 86.5 with the two back rows folded, figures that are in lockstep with competing products.

Punching over its weight

Just one drivetrain is presented in the Ascent. Supplying hustle is a 2.four-liter turbocharged boxer-4 that is the two sleek and discreet. This motor cranks out a respectable if not astounding 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. These figures are appropriate in line with the warmth other 3-row SUVs are packing these days. The Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, for instance, the two have a skosh more horsepower, but this significant, lousy Subie is endowed with a little bit more twist. Unless you rely the Dodge DurangoFord’s Explorer is about the only rival with a distinct edge, its offered 3.-liter twin-turbo V6 handily outmuscling the competitiveness, specifically in ST trim.

This turbocharged boxer-4 is sleek and remarkably strong. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Ascent’s motor is matched completely to a continually variable transmission, one that delivers eight simulated gears when shifted manually. This device does an admirable work providing strong overall performance and very good gas financial state. Thanks to abundant torque and favorable gearing, this SUV pretty much leaps off the line when you faucet the accelerator. This gusto carries via to increased speeds, far too. No, the Ascent is not sporting activities-automobile fast, but its overall performance is strong. I do would like, however, that the “gearbox” have been a little bit smoother. This is an odd grievance for a CVT considering that they do not seriously, you know, change, but often this transmission feels clunky, shuddering marginally at reduced speeds.

Rounding out the Ascent’s powertrain is standard all-wheel travel, which is fully transparent, at the very least in dry, summer disorders. This process would be a godsend in winter slop or on moist streets, but it really should also aid make this SUV a secure towing system. All in, the Ascent is rated to drag up to 5,000 kilos, a figure that’s appropriate in line with the competitiveness.

In general, the Ascent’s mechanicals really should get you twenty mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway. Mixed, the Ascent is rated at 22 mpg, a figure I’ve managed to beat with no substantially energy. According to the vacation computer system, the Onyx Version product I am tests is returning an impressive 23.5 mpg. Curiously, in accordance to the EPA, reduced-trim Ascents are marginally more efficient than increased-finish products.

You get course-competitive quantities of cargo home in this Subaru.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Refined and responsive, the Ascent’s powertrain is a winner, but the vehicle’s other dynamics could be enhanced. My main grievance is the steering, which is loose and imprecise, far too light on middle and overly boosted. I get it, nobody buys a 3-row SUV for canyon carving, but competing vehicles offer you more precise steering and experience nimbler than the Ascent.

This SUV’s trip high quality is refined, neither so rigid that it crashes over bumps nor far too gentle that it wallows like a hog when hustled. The construction feels like it was carved out of a steel billet and is fully unyielding, with no quivering or shakes when driven over damaged streets.

Protection valedictorian

That good basis can help present superb crash overall performance, a main thought of any spouse and children-oriented motor vehicle. This Subaru earns a Prime Protection Select Additionally ranking from the Insurance policies Institute for Highway Protection, the maximum rating the smash-’em-up organization palms out. The motor vehicle been given “very good” crash-take a look at scores throughout the board, will come with superb accident-prevention technological know-how, has simple-to-use boy or girl-seat anchors and has brilliant LED headlights.”

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

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The automaker’s Vision suite of driver aids is standard throughout the Ascent assortment. This features items like lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise regulate and automated crisis braking. Lane centering is bundled, far too, however it truly is far from the best offered nowadays, frequently beeping when highway markers finish or if you flip past a certain point although cornering. This attribute also tugs awkwardly at the wheel in some cases, paradoxically creating it more durable to travel. Luckily, lane centering is simple to swap off. Automated significant beams are integrated at no extra charge and all products, help save the base edition, arrive with blind-location monitoring and rear cross-targeted traffic notify.

In the thick of it

This 2022 Subaru Ascent Onyx Version SUV checks out for an eminently sensible $41,320 which include $one,125 in place costs, a whole that’s appropriate in line with the regular new-motor vehicle transaction rate these days. That figure is padded by a $2,200 choices package deal, which features a panoramic sunroof, cargo-region address and provides embedded navigation to the Starlink infotainment process. Not only is the Ascent a roomy, relaxed and exceptionally protected 3-row SUV, it truly is also a strong benefit.

Even however I would instead have a Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride or Honda Pilot, which are more upscale and greater to travel, I are not able to fault anyone for purchasing a Subaru Ascent. This spouse and children-hauler is an eminently sensible decision, one that’s in the thick of the 3-row SUV section, competing on equivalent phrases with rivals like the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer and Chevy Traverse.

Rosa G. Rose

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