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2021 Subaru Ascent

5 min read
2021 Subaru Ascent

The 2021 Subaru Ascent will be built in the US.

Ascent History

A mid-sized crossover SUV the 2021 Ascent will mark Subaru’s reentry into the large SUV market. A crossover SUV is built on a unibody chassis that it shares with other vehicles built by the SUV’s manufacturer. As the designation implies the dimensions of a mid-sized SUV fall between the dimensions of a compact and full-size SUV.

When what would become the Ascent was unveiled at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show the vehicle was introduced as the VIZIV-7. I prefer Ascent to VIZIV-7 as the latter name has no meaning and is clumsy to pronounce.

After it was displayed at the New York Auto Show in 2017 the Ascent went into production at Subaru’s Lafayette, Indiana production facility the following year. The Impreza is also built at the Lafayette facility. The Ascent replaced the Tribeca, also a mid-sized SUV, which Subaru had discontinued four years earlier.

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Speculating About The 2021 Ascent

Having been on the market for four years places the Ascent is on the cusp of being due for a complete redesign. Online scuttlebutt is that the 2021 Ascent will not mark the birth of the next-gen Ascent. It appears likely the 2021 version will be a refreshed version of the 2020 Ascent. Based on speculation here is what the 2021 Ascent will have to offer.

Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel-Drive will be standard on the Ascent. Pioneered by Subaru Symmetrical AWD is the equivalent of full-time four-wheel-drive. Asymmetrical drive train configuration results in a more balanced and stable vehicle. Subaru states that the Ascent is built of sound dampening high-strength steel.

The Ascent’s 5,000-pound towing capacity will be part of the utility in SUV. Standard Eye Eight Driver Assist Technology, 360 Degree Visibility, and LED Steering Responsive Head Lights with High Beam Assist will be among the active safety systems on the 2021 Ascent. The available trim levels will be:

  • Ascent
  • Ascent Premium
  • Ascent Limited
  • Ascent Touring

The 2021 Ascent will be propelled by Subaru’s 260 hp Boxer Engine. The compact design of the Boxer Engine allows for a lower center of gravity enhancing vehicle stability and safety.

Ask The Person Who Owns One

Out of five stars owners gave the 2020 Ascent 4.2 stars. For comfort, reliability, and styling the average rating was 4.5 stars. For value and quality owners gave the Ascent a 4.4 and 4.6 rating respectively.

The category in which the Ascent scored lowest (4.2 stars)was performance. Multiple owners complained that the Ascent’s power plant is underpowered, sluggish, and too noisy.

Conversely, there were reports that at highway speeds the Ascent has ample get-up-and-go. Complaints about the engine were commonly accompanied by complaints about the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). One buyer reported having their transmission replaced after 30,000 miles.

It should be noted that several variables can shorten the life span of a transmission like not following the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. In general, respondents praised the Ascent’s smooth ride and interior space. Some of the most positive critiques came from repeat Subaru buyers.

Does brand loyalty jaundice someone’s opinion of a product or make them better qualified to judge the product? There were first time Subaru buyers who declared that the Ascent has made them a Subaru customer for life. Satisfaction with the Ascent’s safety features was a common theme of many of the reviews.

2021 Subaru Ascent Internet Rumors

The possible addition of more standard features may be the sole distinction between the 2020 and 2021 Ascent. One source opined that any changes for 2021 will not be glaringly obvious. It is expected that the 2021 Ascent will receive a mid-model year freshening up. The sheet metal aesthetics are expected to remain unchanged.

Ascent vs Other Midsized SUVs

2021 Honda Pilot: The Ascent produces 15 more horses than the Pilot. The mileage ratings are 19 mpg/city 26 mpg/highway for the Honda and 21 mpg/city 27 mpg/highway for the Subaru. The Pilot’s sticker price is $15,306 higher than the Ascent’s sticker price. Between the two vehicles, the Ascent has greater passenger and cargo volume. The Ascent seats eight passengers and the Pilot seats 7.

2021 Chevrolet Traverse: The base MSRP for the Traverse is over $2,000 cheaper than the MSRP for Ascent. The top-of-the-line Ascent is over $8,000 cheaper than the top of the line Traverse. In the city and on the highway the traverse goes three miles further than the Ascent on a gallon of gas.

The difference in mileage between the high-end versions of the two vehicles is negligible. The maximum seating capacity for both vehicles is eight. While the Subaru has more front-seat room second-row passengers will be more comfortable in the Chevrolet. Both vehicles have an overall safety rating of five stars.

2021 Nissan Murano: On the low end the Subaru costs $225 more than the Nissan. On the high end, the Ascent is $185 less than the Murano. Both vehicles get the same mileage in the city. On the highway, the Murano gets a 1-2 mpg more than the Ascent.

The Ascent is more comfortable for the driver and front-seat passenger and seats three more than the Murano. A five-star safety rating was awarded to both vehicles. Despite both SUVs having nearly equal horsepower rating, the Ascent is the better choice for towing.

2021 Ascent Safety, Engine and Milage

The 2019 and 2020 Subaru Ascent received the highest possible safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It doesn’t appear that there will be any optional engines offered for the 2021 Subaru Ascent.

All Ascents will come with a turbocharged 2.4-liter Boxer Engine. The Boxer Engine should burn a gallon of gas every 21 miles in the city and every 27 miles on the highway. With three rows of seats, the Ascent accommodates 7-8 passengers.

Seating for one is lost it the buyer opts for second-row captain’s seats. The interior features holders for 19 travel mugs, water bottles, or a combination thereof. The Ascent’s total passenger volume is 153.5 cubic feet. With all three rows of seats up there is 17.8 cu-ft of storage. Collapsing the second and third-row seats creates room for 86 cu-ft of stuff.

2021 Subaru Ascent Projected Price & Release Date

The best available information sets the summer of 2020 as the release date for the 2021 Ascent. The retail price for the 2021 model will be 31,955-$45,000 depending on the trim package.

Does being built in the US make the Ascent more appealing to you?

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