Equipped with standard all-wheel-drive and carry up to eight passengers, the 2020 Subaru Ascent ensures that your big family safely reaches the destination in any weather conditions. Every Ascent offers a flexible cabin with three rows that feels more like a minivan than an SUV. Subaru also equips its largest vehicles with the latest driver-assistance technology such as automated emergency braking and lane-keeping assists. But its large size large and noisy powertrain is a downside, but the Ascent on the other side provides a smooth ride and fast acceleration. Despite a swarm of competitive three-row SUVs, the 2020 Ascent stands out for its appealing package and of course Subaru’s heritage.
- Adds a standard rear-seat reminder alert system
- Adds power-folding side mirrors
The 2020 Subaru Ascent has an interior that is warm and welcoming, yet highly practical with seating for seven or eight passengers. Controls are a mix of easy-to-reach buttons and knobs. Niceties include 3-zone climate control, seat heaters and a panoramic moonroof. Seat materials are either cloth, spill-repellent cloth, or leather. A very handy multifunction display is smartly placed to deliver useful information with at a quick glance.
The front seats are roomy and supportive, but the leather upholstery can be somewhat stifling. They’re ventilated in the top trim, keeping occupants just cool enough at the highest fan speed. The second-row captain’s chairs are similarly shaped and benefit from adjustable armrests. There’s ample headroom directly above the seats, but the headliner just above the windows drops down, making it feel a bit confining. The space between these seats is wide enough, and there are handles atop the seatbacks to allow adults access to the third row with minimal fuss. Those rearmost seats have just enough space for smaller adults and should be adequate for the little ones.
The infotainment system is easy to operate thanks to intuitive menus and sharp graphics. Besides the usual inputs for mobile devices, several internet-streaming apps are built into the system, bolstered by a Wi-Fi hotspot. A pair of optional 32GB iPads with wireless headphones is also available to keep those passengers occupied.
The Touring trim makes use of better materials than supporting models, exceeding expectations for a Subaru. The faux wood trim is believable enough, but overall the Mazda CX-9 Signature edition cabin is more luxurious.
The 2020 Subaru Ascent has an average amount of space for cargo, with 17.6 cubic feet behind the third row and up to 86 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded. That’s more volume than in the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Ford Explorer, but a bit shy of the new Kia Telluride. The third-row seats have to be folded from the back, and the second row must be done from the rear passenger doors. The resulting load floor isn’t perfectly flat but should be sufficient in most cases. There are a lot of places for small items up front, but few are generous in size.
Most Ascent models provide 5,000 pounds of maximum towing weight. The standard Trailer Stability Assist helps minimize excess trailer sway. Towing requires the addition of an optional trailer hitch assembly that includes a wiring harness, which can be covered by a panel when not in use.
The 2020 Subaru Ascent offers the optimal blend of SUV capability and car-like ride and handling with standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Active Torque Vectoring, 18-inch wheels and four-wheel independent suspension. The 8.7 inches of ground clearance for all models are greater than that of many SUVs, yet the Ascent maintains a comfortably low step-in height for both front and rear passenger entry.
The 2020 Subaru Ascent is powered by a 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER engine that produces 260 horsepower at 5,600 rpm, accompanied by a broad torque curve that peaks at 277 lb.ft. over a 2,000-4,800-rpm engine speed range. All Ascents are paired with a high-torque Lineartronic CVT featuring an 8-speed manual mode function with steering wheel paddle shifters as well as X-Mode with Hill Descent Control. This powertrain allows up to 5,000-lb. towing capacity and offers Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) to help maintain vehicle stability while towing. The TSA system utilizes yaw sensors to monitor trailer sway and then can brake individual wheels to stabilize the vehicle and trailer.
2.4-liter turbocharged flat-4
260 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
277 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/27 mpg, 20/26 mpg (Limited/Touring)
Test Results (LIMITED)
Zero to 60 mph: 6.9 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 19.4 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.8 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.9 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 15.5 sec @ 91 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 130 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 178 ft
The 2020 Subaru Ascent comes standard with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology that includes Automatic Pre-Collision Braking, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure and Sway Warning, Pre-Collision Throttle Management, and EyeSight Assist Monitor which provides a heads-up display of EyeSight system warnings on the windshield. Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, High Beam Assist and Reverse Automatic Braking are also available.
New for 2020, all Ascent trims are equipped with a Rear Seat Reminder system that is designed to assist the driver in preventing child and/or pet entrapment in the vehicle by reminding the driver to check the rear seat area before exiting the vehicle. While the system cannot physically sense the presence of children or pets in the rear seat area, it will turn on if one of the following conditions is met: the vehicle is started within 30 minutes after a rear side door is opened and closed, a rear side door is opened and closed when the vehicle is running and stationary, the vehicle is turned off and back on again within 30 minutes, and the rear side doors remained closed. The system will alert the driver with an audible sound after the vehicle is turned off and will display a warning message in the Combination Meter Display, reminding the driver to check the rear seat area.
The 2020 Ascent fills out its safety roster with the Subaru Advanced Frontal Airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, standard front side pelvis/torso airbags and side curtain airbags that offer front and rear outboard seat coverage. In emergency braking, Brake Assist immediately applies pressure up to the ABS limit to help increase braking effectiveness. The Brake Override System ensures that the engine power will be cut when the brake pedal and accelerator are pressed simultaneously.
TRIM LEVELS & PRICING
The 2020 Subaru Ascent is offered in four trim levels: base, Premium, Limited and Touring.
The $31,995 base trim starts with an extensive list of standard features that includes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and X-Mode, EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, SUBARU STARLINK 6.5-inch Multimedia system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, four USB ports, three zone automatic climate control, automatic power door locks and power side mirrors, raised roof rails, second-row bench seat, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with silver finish: 19 cupholders, multi-function display, and security system with engine immobilizer. Standard on all models is Auto Vehicle Hold which keeps the vehicle in position at a stop so the driver does not need to continuously depress the brake pedal.
Priced from $34,395, the Ascent Premium trim adds Blind-Spot Detection with Lane Change Assist and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, towing capability up to 5,000 lbs., power driver seat, unique spill-repellent cloth upholstery, SUBARU STARLINK 8.0-inch Multimedia Plus system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Wi-Fi connectivity, body-color side mirrors, privacy glass, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift lever handle, rear seat climate controls, 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels in gray with machine finish, and the All-Weather Package with heated exterior mirrors, 3-mode heated front seats and windshield wiper de-icer. New for 2020, Premium trim and above offer one touch interior illumination on/off controls.
Stepping up to the Premium trim also allows wider option availability, including second-row captain chairs, RAB, 20-inch wheels in dark gray with machine finish, and a power rear gate with height memory. Also available are Keyless Access with Push-Button Start, auto dimming rear view compass mirror with HomeLink, panoramic moonroof, SUBARU STARLINK 8.0-inch Multimedia Navigation system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a stowable cargo cover.
The well-equipped $39,345 Ascent Limited includes all Premium trim features and adds leather-trimmed upholstery as well as second-row captain chairs or bench seating at no additional charge. Limited trims receive LED Steering Responsive Headlights with High Beam Assist, LED fog lights, 20-inch aluminum-alloy wheels in dark gray with machine finish and second-row retractable sunshades. Additionally, lower door cladding with chrome accents and body-color side mirrors with integrated turn signals, driver’s seat adjustable thigh support, RAB, power rear gate with height memory, and Keyless Access with Push-Button Start are included. Two additional USB ports are added to Limited, to bring the total number to six.
The 2020 Subaru Ascent Touring model receives chrome door handles, front underguard and rear bumper protector, and new power-folding exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals. The unique interior features luxurious Java Brown leather seats and upholstery, leather heated steering wheel and woodgrain-pattern matte finish accent trim. Standard three-mode ventilated driver and front passenger seats enhance the comfort in the Touring model. A 120-volt power outlet and up to eight USB ports are available for charging tablets, phones and laptops. The Touring adds the 8.0-inch Multimedia Navigation system, Harman Kardon QuantumLogic surround sound system with 14 speakers, panoramic power moonroof and rain-sensing wipers. A unique Smart Rear-View Mirror and a 180-degree front-view camera complete the Touring’s comprehensive list of features. The Subaru Ascent Touring is priced at $45,045.
MSRP + destination and delivery
Ascent Premium 8 passenger
Ascent Premium 8-p
Ascent Premium 8-p
Ascent Premium 7 passenger
Ascent Premium 7-p
Ascent Limited 8 passenger
Ascent Limited 8-p
Ascent Limited 7 passenger
Ascent Limited 7-p
Ascent Touring 7 passenger
2020 Subaru Ascent Option Packages
Power Rear Gate (PRG) + Keyless Access w/ Push-Button Start (KAS)+ Auto-Dim Mirror w/Compass & Homelink (ADM)+ Reverse Automatic Braking (RAB)
(PRG)+(KAS) +(ADM) +(RAB) + 20-inch wheels +Panoramic Moonroof + 8-in Multimedia Audio Navigation System + Cargo Cover
Harman Kardon Audio w/Quantum Logic Surround Sound + Panoramic Moonroof + 8-inches Multimedia Audio Navigation System + Cargo Cover