Subaru Ascent Concept First Look | Edmunds

Subaru Ascent Concept First Look

Going Big for the U.S. Market


Subaru has pulled the cover off the Ascent, the company's first three-row SUV since the departure of the ill-fated Tribeca in 2014. The Ascent is a large crossover SUV previewed by the Viziv-7 concept at last year's Los Angeles Auto Show. The Ascent you see here is also a concept, but it's a step closer to reality. After all, the production version of the Ascent reaches dealers in early 2018.

Given that the production version is just around the corner, it is surprising that the Ascent Concept we see here is in some ways even more aggressive than the Vizi-7. The Ascent Concept's door skins have more voluptuous surface development, and while some of the Viziv-7's fanciful exterior details have been deleted, the differences are minor. The takeaway is that Subaru is intent on retaining as much of this concept's flavor as possible for the production Ascent and wants it to be more butch than the Tribeca ever dreamt it could be.

The Ascent Concept is also a big son of a gun, even by seven-seat SUV standards. In fact, it eclipses the Volkswagen Atlas in every dimension, and its 117-inch wheelbase is more than 4 inches longer than that of a Ford Explorer. The production Ascent will be underpinned by the same chassis that the 2017 Impreza rides on and is intended for sale in North America only, a logical decision given our predilection for vehicles of such girth.

Subaru Ascent Concept

Its cabin smacks of concept car fantasy, with overtly cockpitlike front seating and touch-sensitive window controls. Even still, we expect the production Ascent to have an interior that has a more premium vibe than that of any Subaru to date. Subaru tells us that the production Ascent will be powered by an all-new turbocharged 2.4-liter flat-four engine. We expect to see the final production version later this year.

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