2022 Subaru Ascent review: Maestro of mainstream

Victoria D. Doty

The Subaru Ascent is just not necessarily handsome, but it confident is helpful.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Subarus are seldom the best in their section. Competing motor vehicles tend to appear nicer, give far more options and have far better interiors. But damn if these simple Japanese cars and crossovers are not generally a bedrock-reliable decision, effortless suggestions many thanks to common all-wheel drive and exemplary crash-take a look at scores. For drivers in require of a simple three-row SUV, the 2022 Ascent properly epitomizes the Subaru brand.


  • Conventional all-wheel drive
  • Stellar security ratings
  • Spunky acceleration

Never Like

  • Spastic lane-preserving support
  • Meh interior excellent
  • Not fantastic to drive


The Onyx Edition trim is new for 2022, slipping correct in the middle of the Ascent’s 5-trim lineup. Spicing things up, this variant arrives with a range of visible enhancements which includes a blacked-out grille, black window trim, black badges and black mirror caps. The motor vehicle rolls on 20-inch wheels that are treated to — you guessed it — a black end. Inside of, the carpeted floor mats attribute specific logos and there are black interior accents.

Onyx Edition Ascents occur common with LED head- and foglights, an automobile-dimming rearview mirror, keyless entry with pushbutton commence, in addition a electricity liftgate and heated steering wheel. They also attribute tri-zone weather command and USB ports in all three rows. And if you happen to be actually thirsty, 19 cup and bottle holders are incorporated at no further cost.

A no-frills affair

The Onyx Edition Ascent’s interior is sincere and utilitarian, but if you happen to be a frill-seeker you can want to appear somewhere else. The dashboard style is rugged (if a little bit fast paced), and attractively textured delicate plastics are liberally utilized through the cabin. Perforated resources and contrast-coloration stitching assistance preserve things from wanting too dour.

But not anything is praiseworthy. Some of the components buttons for the infotainment process come to feel lower rent and you will find a hodgepodge of chrome and painted-silver accents sprinkled through. Arguably, though, the worst component of the Onyx Edition’s interior is the black plastic trim on the dashboard and doorways. Glossy and embossed with a mesh texture, it appears to be like negative and feels even worse, generating a “zizz-zizz” sound when you run your fingernails back again and forth across it. This Ascent also arrives common with StarTex artificial upholstery, which is drinking water-repellent and filth-resistant. It doesn’t come to feel everywhere close to as nice as excellent leather, but it ought to be effortless to clean and maintain up to decades of abuse, vital things to consider in a household hauler.

Straightforward, sincere, wholesome… these are three phrases that correctly explain the Ascent’s interior. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The entry-stage Ascent options a 6.five-inch infotainment display, but all other variations occur with an eight-inch touchscreen. Subaru’s Starlink multimedia array will never acquire any attractiveness contests and it is really certainly not the best process available today, but it is really welcoming to use and responsive ample. Embedded navigation is optional in the Onyx Edition, though Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are common across the entire model assortment.

The Ascent receives high marks for passenger comfort and ease. The entrance bucket seats are ergonomically welcoming and you will find plenty of area in the second-row captain’s chairs, which regulate fore and aft and suggestion and slide for effortless accessibility to the 3rd row. That aft-most bench is a small restricted on headroom (though no even worse than in rival motor vehicles), but it is really even now decently comfortable because the bottom cushion is a very good height earlier mentioned the floor, so your knees are not at chin stage when sitting down back again there. I also like the small get handles on the best of the second-row seatbacks. They make accessing the 3rd row just a small a lot easier.

The Onyx Edition is offered in a seven-passenger configuration, though the Ascent can seat up to eight people. When it is really time to haul cargo, this motor vehicle serves up 17.eight cubic toes of area with the 3rd-row seat up and 86.five with both equally back again rows folded, figures that are in lockstep with competing designs.

Punching earlier mentioned its fat

Just just one drivetrain is offered in the Ascent. Offering hustle is a 2.4-liter turbocharged boxer-4 that is both equally easy and discreet. This engine cranks out a respectable if not astounding 260 horsepower and 277 pound-toes of torque. These figures are correct in line with the heat other three-row SUVs are packing these days. The Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, for occasion, both equally have a skosh far more horsepower, but this huge, negative Subie is endowed with a little bit far more twist. Except if 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 competitiveness, especially in ST trim.

This turbocharged boxer-4 is easy and surprisingly powerful. 

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Ascent’s engine is matched solely to a repeatedly variable transmission, just one that delivers eight simulated gears when shifted manually. This device does an admirable task offering potent effectiveness and very good gasoline economic system. Many thanks to considerable torque and favorable gearing, this SUV pretty much leaps off the line when you tap the accelerator. This gusto carries through to bigger speeds, too. No, the Ascent is just not sports-vehicle swift, but its effectiveness is potent. I do would like, though, that the “gearbox” ended up a little bit smoother. This is an odd complaint for a CVT considering that they don’t actually, you know, shift, but once in a while this transmission feels clunky, shuddering marginally at lessen speeds.

Rounding out the Ascent’s powertrain is common all-wheel drive, which is entirely clear, at the very least in dry, summertime conditions. This process would be a godsend in winter season slop or on moist streets, but it ought to also assistance make this SUV a stable towing system. All in, the Ascent is rated to drag up to five,000 kilos, a determine that’s correct in line with the competitiveness.

In general, the Ascent’s mechanicals ought to get you 20 mpg in town driving and 26 mpg on the freeway. Merged, the Ascent is rated at 22 mpg, a determine I have managed to conquer without having a great deal effort and hard work. In accordance to the trip pc, the Onyx Edition model I am screening is returning an remarkable 23.five mpg. Curiously, in accordance to the EPA, lessen-trim Ascents are marginally far more economical than bigger-finish designs.

You get course-aggressive quantities of cargo area 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 main complaint is the steering, which is free and imprecise, too light on centre and extremely boosted. I get it, no person buys a three-row SUV for canyon carving, but competing motor vehicles give far more exact steering and come to feel nimbler than the Ascent.

This SUV’s experience excellent is refined, neither so rigid that it crashes more than bumps nor too delicate that it wallows like a hog when hustled. The construction feels like it was carved out of a steel billet and is entirely unyielding, with no quivering or shakes when driven more than damaged streets.

Protection valedictorian

That reliable foundation helps offer exceptional crash effectiveness, a main thing to consider of any household-oriented motor vehicle. This Subaru earns a Top rated Protection Pick In addition rating from the Insurance plan Institute for Highway Protection, the highest rating the smash-’em-up corporation palms out. The motor vehicle been given “very good” crash-take a look at scores across the board, arrives with exceptional incident-avoidance technology, has effortless-to-use child-seat anchors and has shiny LED headlights.”

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

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The automaker’s Eyesight suite of driver aids is common across the Ascent assortment. This incorporates products like lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise command and automatic crisis braking. Lane centering is bundled, too, though it is really much from the best available today, constantly beeping when road markers finish or if you convert earlier a selected position when cornering. This attribute also tugs awkwardly at the wheel in some cases, paradoxically generating it more durable to drive. The good thing is, lane centering is effortless to switch off. Automated high beams are incorporated at no further charge and all designs, conserve the base version, occur with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-website traffic notify.

In the thick of it

This 2022 Subaru Ascent Onyx Edition SUV checks out for an eminently affordable $41,320 which includes $1,one hundred twenty five in destination costs, a whole that’s correct in line with the typical new-motor vehicle transaction rate these days. That determine is padded by a $2,two hundred possibilities deal, which incorporates a panoramic sunroof, cargo-region cover and adds embedded navigation to the Starlink infotainment process. Not only is the Ascent a roomy, comfortable and extremely risk-free three-row SUV, it is really also a potent value.

Even though I’d rather have a Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride or Honda Pilot, which are far more upscale and far better to drive, I are unable to fault any one for acquiring a Subaru Ascent. This household-hauler is an eminently sensible decision, just one that’s in the thick of the three-row SUV section, competing on equal terms with rivals like the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer and Chevy Traverse.

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