2022 Subaru Ascent review: Maestro of mainstream

The Subaru Ascent is just not automatically handsome, but it certain is useful.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Subarus are rarely the very best in their section. Competing motor vehicles are likely to look nicer, supply a lot more functions and have improved interiors. But damn if these realistic Japanese cars and trucks and crossovers usually are not normally a bedrock-reliable selection, uncomplicated suggestions thanks to conventional all-wheel push and exemplary crash-take a look at scores. For motorists in require of a realistic a few-row SUV, the 2022 Ascent completely epitomizes the Subaru brand name.


  • Normal all-wheel push
  • Stellar security rankings
  • Spunky acceleration

Don’t Like

  • Spastic lane-trying to keep support
  • Meh inside good quality
  • Not wonderful to push


The Onyx Version trim is new for 2022, falling proper in the middle of the Ascent’s five-trim lineup. Spicing points up, this variant comes with a range of visible enhancements such as a blacked-out grille, black window trim, black badges and black mirror caps. The car rolls on twenty-inch wheels that are handled to — you guessed it — a black end. Within, the carpeted floor mats element exclusive logos and there are black inside accents.

Onyx Version Ascents appear conventional with LED head- and foglights, an car-dimming rearview mirror, keyless entry with pushbutton start out, plus a power liftgate and heated steering wheel. They also element tri-zone weather management and USB ports in all a few rows. And if you happen to be truly thirsty, 19 cup and bottle holders are incorporated at no excess expense.

A no-frills affair

The Onyx Version Ascent’s inside is truthful and utilitarian, but if you happen to be a frill-seeker you’ll want to look somewhere else. The dashboard layout is rugged (if a little bit fast paced), and attractively textured comfortable plastics are liberally utilized during the cabin. Perforated materials and contrast-coloration stitching help maintain points from searching too dour.

But not all the things is praiseworthy. Some of the hardware buttons for the infotainment method truly feel low hire and there is a hodgepodge of chrome and painted-silver accents sprinkled during. Arguably, although, the worst element of the Onyx Edition’s inside is the black plastic trim on the dashboard and doorways. Shiny and embossed with a mesh texture, it appears to be terrible and feels worse, building a “zizz-zizz” sound when you operate your fingernails back again and forth across it. This Ascent also comes conventional with StarTex artificial upholstery, which is h2o-repellent and grime-resistant. It does not truly feel wherever close to as pleasant as good quality leather, but it ought to be uncomplicated to clean and maintain up to years of abuse, vital factors in a loved ones hauler.

Straightforward, truthful, wholesome… these are a few words and phrases that correctly explain the Ascent’s inside. 

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The entry-degree Ascent functions a 6.five-inch infotainment show, but all other variations appear with an 8-inch touchscreen. Subaru’s Starlink multimedia array will never win any magnificence contests and it is really surely not the very best method available today, but it is really welcoming to use and responsive sufficient. Embedded navigation is optional in the Onyx Version, though Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile are conventional across the overall model selection.

The Ascent gets high marks for passenger convenience. The front bucket seats are ergonomically welcoming and there is plenty of room in the 2nd-row captain’s chairs, which change fore and aft and suggestion and slide for uncomplicated entry to the third row. That aft-most bench is a minor tight on headroom (although no worse than in rival motor vehicles), but it is really even now decently cozy because the bottom cushion is a excellent top higher than the floor, so your knees usually are not at chin degree when sitting down back again there. I also like the minor get handles on the leading of the 2nd-row seatbacks. They make accessing the third row just a minor easier.

The Onyx Version is presented in a seven-passenger configuration, although the Ascent can seat up to 8 individuals. When it is really time to haul cargo, this car serves up 17.8 cubic feet of room with the third-row seat up and 86.five with both of those back again rows folded, figures that are in lockstep with competing types.

Punching higher than its pounds

Just one particular drivetrain is presented in the Ascent. Offering hustle is a 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer-four that is both of those easy and discreet. This engine cranks out a respectable if not astounding 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. These figures are proper in line with the warmth other a few-row SUVs are packing these days. The Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, for occasion, both of those have a skosh a lot more horsepower, but this major, terrible Subie is endowed with a little bit a lot more twist. Except you depend the Dodge DurangoFord’s Explorer is about the only rival with a crystal clear advantage, its available three.-liter twin-turbo V6 handily outmuscling the opposition, specifically in ST trim.

This turbocharged boxer-four is easy and surprisingly strong. 

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The Ascent’s engine is matched solely to a consistently variable transmission, one particular that provides 8 simulated gears when shifted manually. This unit does an admirable career furnishing potent effectiveness and excellent gasoline financial state. Many thanks to plentiful torque and favorable gearing, this SUV practically leaps off the line when you faucet the accelerator. This gusto carries via to larger speeds, too. No, the Ascent is just not sporting activities-automobile rapid, but its effectiveness is potent. I do would like, although, that the “gearbox” ended up a little bit smoother. This is an odd complaint for a CVT because they will not truly, you know, change, but at times this transmission feels clunky, shuddering a bit at reduced speeds.

Rounding out the Ascent’s powertrain is conventional all-wheel push, which is totally clear, at least in dry, summer time ailments. This method would be a godsend in winter slop or on moist roadways, but it ought to also help make this SUV a secure towing system. All in, the Ascent is rated to drag up to five,000 lbs ., a figure which is proper in line with the opposition.

In general, the Ascent’s mechanicals ought to get you twenty mpg in city driving and 26 mpg on the highway. Blended, the Ascent is rated at 22 mpg, a figure I’ve managed to defeat devoid of much effort. In accordance to the vacation computer system, the Onyx Version model I’m testing is returning an outstanding 23.five mpg. Curiously, according to the EPA, reduced-trim Ascents are a bit a lot more efficient than larger-close types.

You get course-aggressive quantities of cargo place in this Subaru.

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Refined and responsive, the Ascent’s powertrain is a winner, but the vehicle’s other dynamics could be improved. My chief complaint is the steering, which is free and imprecise, too gentle on middle and overly boosted. I get it, no one buys a a few-row SUV for canyon carving, but competing motor vehicles supply a lot more specific steering and truly feel nimbler than the Ascent.

This SUV’s trip good quality is refined, neither so stiff that it crashes about bumps nor too comfortable that it wallows like a hog when hustled. The structure feels like it was carved out of a metal billet and is totally unyielding, with no quivering or shakes when pushed about damaged roadways.

Protection valedictorian

That reliable basis aids provide fantastic crash effectiveness, a significant thought of any loved ones-oriented car. This Subaru earns a Major Protection Decide Additionally ranking from the Insurance policies Institute for Freeway Protection, the maximum score the smash-’em-up corporation arms out. The car gained “excellent” crash-take a look at scores across the board, comes with fantastic accident-avoidance technological innovation, has uncomplicated-to-use boy or girl-seat anchors and has vibrant LED headlights.”

The 2022 Subaru Ascent is a very well-rounded a few-row SUV.

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The automaker’s Vision suite of driver aids is conventional across the Ascent selection. This features items like lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise management and automatic crisis braking. Lane centering is bundled, too, although it is really significantly from the very best available today, continually beeping when highway markers close or if you change earlier a specified issue when cornering. This element also tugs awkwardly at the wheel sometimes, paradoxically building it more durable to push. Thankfully, lane centering is uncomplicated to switch off. Automated high beams are incorporated at no excess demand and all types, conserve the foundation version, appear with blind-spot checking and rear cross-site visitors alert.

In the thick of it

This 2022 Subaru Ascent Onyx Version SUV checks out for an eminently acceptable $41,320 such as $1,one hundred twenty five in place service fees, a whole which is proper in line with the normal new-car transaction selling price these days. That figure is padded by a $2,200 alternatives package deal, which features a panoramic sunroof, cargo-location protect and adds embedded navigation to the Starlink infotainment method. Not only is the Ascent a roomy, cozy and exceptionally safe and sound a few-row SUV, it is really also a potent worth.

Even although I would relatively have a Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride or Honda Pilot, which are a lot more upscale and improved to push, I can not fault any individual for shopping for a Subaru Ascent. This loved ones-hauler is an eminently logical selection, one particular which is in the thick of the a few-row SUV section, competing on equal conditions with rivals like the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer and Chevy Traverse.