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Used 2019 Subaru Ascent Premium SUV Review

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2019 Subaru Ascent Premium SUV.

5 star(40%)
4 star(10%)
3 star(30%)
2 star(0%)
1 star(20%)
3.5 out of 5 stars
10 reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

4 out of 5 stars
Transmission issues
2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 7-Passenger w/OP 14 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)
We preordered our Ascent (3rd generation) Subaru owners for our expanding family. We maxed out of ‘16 Forester and needed a bigger family vehicle. We have ‘11 legacy that we love and have had no issues. The Ascent started making noises that we now realize is a skipping chain around 3000 miles. We brought it in once it continued and was annoying around 5700 for the oil change. Since then, … the vehicle has been in 3 more times (2 times the dash lights came on and was stuck in low gear). Our dealership is working with us through the problems. They contacted Subaru of America and we’re getting a new transmission. Until then, we have a loaner Ascent for the next week or 2. I’m hopeful that this will resolve the problem.
1 out of 5 stars
Do Not Buy The ASCENT!!!!!
2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 4dr SUV AWD w/7-Passenger Sporty Pkg (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)
I have now owned the nascent for 52 weeks. It has had to go back to the dealer 25 times. Which means on average I have to take it in every other week. This is the worst vehicle I’ve ever owned. Please save yourselves the trouble and get something else.
1 out of 5 stars
I hate my Subaru Ascent
Nicole P.,05/02/2019
2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 7-Passenger w/OP 14 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)
The CVT is terrible. It has been in and out of the shop for months now. I tried to sell it back to the dealership. They offered me $24,000. I bought it 4 months ago for $45,000.... I have never regretted a vehicle purchase more in my life.
3 out of 5 stars
Failing Battery; Subaru Won't Replace
2019 Subaru Ascent Premium 7-Passenger w/OP 14 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)
We own multiple Subarus. Unfortunately, our Ascent's battery has failed multiple times within the first few months of ownership and Subaru will not replace it because their equipment does not say that the battery has failed. However, any third-party charger indicates that the battery has failed. Buyer beware... Subaru knows this is a problem and isn't doing anything to fix it.

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2019 Subaru Ascent Premium SUV

What’s new

  • The Ascent is an all-new three-row SUV
  • Part of the first Ascent generation introduced for 2019

Pros & Cons

  • Seats up to eight passengers
  • Cargo room and third-row space are near top of the class
  • Generous set of standard driver safety aids
  • Can tow up to 5,000 pounds
  • Some more common driver aids are restricted to upper trims
  • Subaru CVT automatic not too impressive in other models

Which Ascent does Edmunds recommend?

The base-model Ascent comes with a satisfying list of standard features, but for not much more the Premium delivers a better overall package. A power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, and an upgraded infotainment system with a larger display are just a few of the features that make it worth the extra money.

Full Edmunds Review: 2019 Subaru Ascent SUV

What’s new

The 2019 Subaru Ascent is an all-new SUV.

Vehicle overview

Subaru is back in the big SUV game. One of the last major mainstream automakers lacking a three-row SUV comes out swinging with the brawny 2019 Subaru Ascent. This isn't Subaru's first three-row SUV effort, the generally unloved Tribeca. It quietly slipped out the door five years ago after eight years of unremarkable sales, not helped any by the car's small third row and large thirst for fuel.

The Ascent is an altogether different SUV. With standard seating for eight passengers, or seven if specified with optional captain's chairs in the second row, the Ascent offers nearly 32 inches of third-row legroom, about the same as its Honda Pilot rival. Its 86.5 cubic feet of maximum cargo space means you'll rarely run out of room for gear and luggage, while a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine not only returns 23 mpg combined, but can also tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Subaru equips the Ascent with standard all-wheel drive, a Subaru signature feature that drivers in wet weather areas will appreciate. And with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the Ascent should also prove capable of getting far off the highway when the mood strikes.

Overall, the 2019 Subaru Ascent looks to be an ideal pick for a three-row SUV, but we'll know more for sure once we conduct a full test in the coming months.

Notably, we picked the 2019 Ascent as one of Edmunds' Best Midsize SUVs and Best Gas Mileage SUVs for this year.

2019 Subaru Ascent models

The 2019 Subaru Ascent is available in base, Premium, Limited and Touring trim levels. Base models offer good value, especially with driver assistance features, but the Premium adds more of today's desirable features, such as heated seats and a Wi-Fi hotspot. The Limited classes things up with leather upholstery, while the Touring maxes out the Ascent's luxury, convenience and safety features.

All use a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (260 horsepower, 277 pound-feet of torque) paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). All-wheel drive comes standard across the lineup.

Base models start with 18-inch wheels, roof rails, automatic headlights, 60/40-split folding second- and third-row seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver's seat, a rearview camera, four USB ports (two in front, two in the second row), a 6.5-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio.

Also included is Subaru's EyeSight driver assist technology, which bundles forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning.

The Premium trim adds heated side mirrors, a windshield wiper de-icer, a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, rear-seat climate controls, spill-resistant cloth upholstery, and an upgraded multimedia system with an 8-inch touchscreen, voice controls, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The Premium trim also includes blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, as well as towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds.

Subaru offers a couple of optional packages for the Premium. The OP 12 package bundles a power liftgate with preferred height memory, keyless access and ignition, a panoramic sunroof, an auto-dimming mirror, and reverse automatic braking, which applies the brakes to avoid a collision while in reverse. An OP 14 version has those features plus 20-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, a navigation system and a cargo area cover. When you pick one of these packages, second-row captain's chairs (seven-passenger max capacity) also become available.

The Limited is also available in a seven- or eight-passenger seating configuration and adds on to the Premium with the contents of the OP 12 package, 20-inch wheels, adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, LED foglights, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable front passenger seat, additional driver-seat adjustments, heated outboard second-row seats, rear door sunshades, dual third-row USB ports, and additional leather cabin accents.

An optional package for the Limited trim gets you the panoramic sunroof, navigation system, cargo, cover and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system.

The Touring trim bundles all of the Limited's features and options, then adds chrome exterior accents, automatic wipers, ambient cabin lighting, upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a 120-volt household-style power outlet, a total of eight USB ports, a front-view camera display, and a rearview mirror with a rearview camera image, which lets you see out back even if your normal view is blocked by passengers or cargo.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Subaru Ascent Limited (turbo 2.5-liter flat-4 | CVT automatic | AWD).


The Ascent's turbocharged engine cranks out an impressive amount of power, and acceleration is quicker than average. But it takes a smooth right foot to achieve harmony with the overactive transmission. Ground clearance and other off-road attributes are among the strongest in the segment. The brakes are also a highlight.


For the most part, the Ascent's seats are comfortable and inviting. The climate control works well to keep the cabin environment pleasant, but the noise and vibration created by the tires detract from an otherwise nice experience.


Get the seven-seater Ascent for full-size adults or eight-seater for cargo and/or kids. The Ascent is an approachable and easy-to-use crossover and fits drivers both big and small. Everything is clearly labeled, but there are a few controls that may require you to crack open the instruction manual.


The Ascent is pretty efficient with its space, but others in the class do small storage better and have larger cargo holds. Folding the third row isn't as convenient either. Installing car seats is a straightforward process, though.


Subaru's Starlink system features a crisp and responsive touchscreen and multiple ways to integrate your smartphone. It is easy to use and requires minimal setup time. A smattering of USB ports helps keep your passengers charged, but there isn't a 12-volt outlet for the second row.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2019 Subaru Ascent in Virginia is:

$61.75 per month*