2022 Subaru Ascent review: Maestro of mainstream

Nancy J. Delong

The Subaru Ascent is just not necessarily handsome, but it positive is useful.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Subarus are almost never the ideal in their phase. Competing motor vehicles are likely to glance nicer, present far more features and have much better interiors. But damn if these useful Japanese autos and crossovers usually are not always a bedrock-good option, effortless suggestions many thanks to standard all-wheel drive and exemplary crash-check scores. For motorists in need to have of a useful 3-row SUV, the 2022 Ascent correctly epitomizes the Subaru model.


  • Normal all-wheel drive
  • Stellar protection ratings
  • Spunky acceleration

Don’t Like

  • Spastic lane-retaining assist
  • Meh inside top quality
  • Not excellent to drive


The Onyx Version trim is new for 2022, falling ideal in the middle of the Ascent’s five-trim lineup. Spicing matters up, this variant will come with a wide range of visual enhancements like a blacked-out grille, black window trim, black badges and black mirror caps. The auto rolls on twenty-inch wheels that are addressed to — you guessed it — a black end. Inside, the carpeted floor mats function exclusive logos and there are black inside accents.

Onyx Version Ascents occur standard with LED head- and foglights, an vehicle-dimming rearview mirror, keyless entry with pushbutton start, as well as a electrical power liftgate and heated steering wheel. They also function tri-zone climate manage and USB ports in all 3 rows. And if you might be genuinely thirsty, 19 cup and bottle holders are bundled at no additional expense.

A no-frills affair

The Onyx Version Ascent’s inside is genuine and utilitarian, but if you might be a frill-seeker you can want to glance elsewhere. The dashboard design and style is rugged (if a bit fast paced), and attractively textured delicate plastics are liberally used through the cabin. Perforated elements and contrast-colour stitching help preserve matters from hunting also dour.

But not every thing is praiseworthy. Some of the components buttons for the infotainment system really feel low lease and there is a hodgepodge of chrome and painted-silver accents sprinkled through. Arguably, even though, the worst component of the Onyx Edition’s inside is the black plastic trim on the dashboard and doorways. Glossy and embossed with a mesh texture, it looks lousy and feels even worse, producing a “zizz-zizz” sound when you operate your fingernails back and forth throughout it. This Ascent also will come standard with StarTex synthetic upholstery, which is drinking water-repellent and grime-resistant. It will not really feel wherever near as pleasant as top quality leather-based, but it really should be effortless to clear and maintain up to decades of abuse, crucial concerns in a household hauler.

Easy, genuine, healthful… these are 3 phrases that precisely explain the Ascent’s inside. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The entry-degree Ascent features a six.5-inch infotainment exhibit, but all other versions occur with an eight-inch touchscreen. Subaru’s Starlink multimedia array will not gain any splendor contests and it truly is surely not the ideal system readily available these days, but it truly is welcoming to use and responsive adequate. Embedded navigation is optional in the Onyx Version, though Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are standard throughout the full design selection.

The Ascent will get substantial marks for passenger consolation. The front bucket seats are ergonomically welcoming and there is plenty of area in the 2nd-row captain’s chairs, which alter fore and aft and idea and slide for effortless access to the 3rd row. That aft-most bench is a very little limited on headroom (even though no even worse than in rival motor vehicles), but it truly is nonetheless decently at ease mainly because the bottom cushion is a good peak previously mentioned the floor, so your knees usually are not at chin degree when sitting back there. I also enjoy the very little seize handles on the top rated of the 2nd-row seatbacks. They make accessing the 3rd row just a very little simpler.

The Onyx Version is available in a 7-passenger configuration, even though the Ascent can seat up to 8 individuals. When it truly is time to haul cargo, this auto serves up seventeen.eight cubic ft of area with the 3rd-row seat up and 86.5 with both back rows folded, figures that are in lockstep with competing types.

Punching previously mentioned its body weight

Just a single drivetrain is available in the Ascent. Furnishing hustle is a two.four-liter turbocharged boxer-four that is both smooth and discreet. This engine cranks out a respectable if not astounding 260 horsepower and 277 pound-ft of torque. These figures are ideal in line with the heat other 3-row SUVs are packing these times. The Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, for occasion, both have a skosh far more horsepower, but this huge, lousy Subie is endowed with a bit far more twist. Until you count the Dodge DurangoFord’s Explorer is about the only rival with a very clear advantage, its readily available three.-liter twin-turbo V6 handily outmuscling the opposition, specifically in ST trim.

This turbocharged boxer-four is smooth and astonishingly strong. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Ascent’s engine is matched completely to a consistently variable transmission, a single that provides 8 simulated gears when shifted manually. This device does an admirable task supplying powerful effectiveness and good gasoline financial state. Many thanks to considerable torque and favorable gearing, this SUV virtually leaps off the line when you tap the accelerator. This gusto carries as a result of to larger speeds, also. No, the Ascent is just not sports activities-car quick, but its effectiveness is powerful. I do wish, even though, that the “gearbox” had been a bit smoother. This is an odd criticism for a CVT considering the fact that they don’t genuinely, you know, shift, but occasionally this transmission feels clunky, shuddering somewhat at decreased speeds.

Rounding out the Ascent’s powertrain is standard all-wheel drive, which is fully transparent, at the very least in dry, summer months conditions. This system would be a godsend in winter slop or on moist roads, but it really should also help make this SUV a stable towing platform. All in, the Ascent is rated to drag up to 5,000 pounds, a determine which is ideal in line with the opposition.

General, the Ascent’s mechanicals really should get you twenty mpg in metropolis driving and 26 mpg on the highway. Combined, the Ascent is rated at 22 mpg, a determine I have managed to beat without a great deal effort. In accordance to the trip computer system, the Onyx Version design I am tests is returning an amazing 23.5 mpg. Curiously, according to the EPA, decreased-trim Ascents are somewhat far more productive than larger-stop types.

You get class-competitive amounts of cargo room 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 chief criticism is the steering, which is free and imprecise, also light on centre and extremely boosted. I get it, no one buys a 3-row SUV for canyon carving, but competing motor vehicles present far more precise steering and really feel nimbler than the Ascent.

This SUV’s trip top quality is refined, neither so rigid that it crashes above bumps nor also delicate that it wallows like a hog when hustled. The construction feels like it was carved out of a metal billet and is fully unyielding, with no quivering or shakes when driven above damaged roads.

Protection valedictorian

That good basis can help offer exceptional crash effectiveness, a big thing to consider of any household-oriented auto. This Subaru earns a Top Protection Select Plus rating from the Insurance policies Institute for Freeway Protection, the optimum score the smash-’em-up firm arms out. The auto gained “good” crash-check scores throughout the board, will come with exceptional accident-prevention engineering, has effortless-to-use kid-seat anchors and has vibrant LED headlights.”

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

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The automaker’s Eyesight suite of driver aids is standard throughout the Ascent selection. This contains items like lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise manage and automated crisis braking. Lane centering is bundled, also, even though it truly is far from the ideal readily available these days, regularly beeping when road markers stop or if you transform past a selected issue while cornering. This function also tugs awkwardly at the wheel often, paradoxically producing it tougher to drive. The good thing is, lane centering is effortless to switch off. Automatic substantial beams are bundled at no additional demand and all types, help save the foundation version, occur with blind-spot checking and rear cross-targeted visitors notify.

In the thick of it

This 2022 Subaru Ascent Onyx Version SUV checks out for an eminently realistic $forty one,320 like $one,a hundred twenty five in destination expenses, a overall which is ideal in line with the ordinary new-auto transaction selling price these times. That determine is padded by a $two,200 alternatives bundle, which contains a panoramic sunroof, cargo-space cover and adds embedded navigation to the Starlink infotainment system. Not only is the Ascent a roomy, at ease and incredibly safe 3-row SUV, it truly is also a powerful value.

Even even though I’d rather have a Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride or Honda Pilot, which are far more upscale and much better to drive, I cannot fault everyone for acquiring a Subaru Ascent. This household-hauler is an eminently logical option, a single which is in the thick of the 3-row SUV phase, competing on equivalent conditions with rivals like the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer and Chevy Traverse.

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