2019 Subaru Ascent Interior Review
The 2019 Subaru Ascent Interior, It’s been almost five years since Subaru got out of the mid-sized SUV game. But that’s all changed with this the 2019 Subaru Ascent Interior. Question is, was the wait worth 2019 Subaru Ascent Interior?
When the Ascent goes on sale this summer, it’ll compete against the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Ford Explorer. These are all really great mid-size SUVs with three rows, so the pressure is on 2019 Subaru Ascent. One thing counting against it at least right off the bat for me– is the power train. It has a 2.4 liter turbocharged four cylinder that puts out 260 horsepower.
That’s not a whole lot for the segment. On top of that, it’s made it to a continuously variable transmission, and CVTs have a tendency to be a little lethargic and unresponsive. When it does go on sale, it’s going to start around $32,000 for the base model. Included in that, though, is Subaru’s advanced safety suite called Eyesight. Now, you’re going to get adaptive cruise control, frontal collision warning with automatic braking, as well as lane departure warning and assist.
Higher trim models are going to have a blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alerts, as well. It’s easy to drive. It’s easy to maneuver, for a mid-size SUV. And one thing I really like, too, is this virtual mirror. Now, right now it’s set to be just the regular reflective mirror. But if you flip it up, well, it’s projecting an image from a camera in the rear window.
So that means if you have everything piled up to the roof you can still see what’s behind you. The ride quality in general– it’s compliant enough. We’re feeling every bump and rut. But there’s not a lot of hard jostling or harsh impacts that you’d normally feel from a car that could handle this well. Right off the line there it’s more than adequate.
And it actually simulated some of the shifts you’d feel in a normal automatic that you wouldn’t in a CVT. And that gives you the impression that there’s nothing really all that different about this car. And it eliminates a lot of that terrible CVT drone where the engine is just at a constant speed, kind of mooing like a wounded cow. As far as handling goes, it’s confident for a tall-riding mid-size SUV like this. I’m not going to go bombing into corners. But you have that assurance that if something jumps out in the middle of the road, you’ll be able to swerve around it, get back on your intended line without too much drama.
The Ascent drives pretty much exactly how you want a mid-size SUV to drive. You do get a little more road noise than some of the other cars I’ve driven in this class. But it’s not intrusive. You can turn the radio up just a little bit to drown it out. It’s not a problem. It’s got a nice ride over some of the choppy bits, as well as the larger undulations. And it instills confidence at the same time.
Overall, I’d say Subaru did a good job with this. As far as the cabin goes, I like the overall design. It’s functional. And it’s not trying too hard to be fashionable. Material’s quality is decent for the class. Everywhere you’re coming in contact with it, it’s well-padded. The infotainment screen is mounted kind of midway up the center stack here. And a lot of other manufacturers are putting them right on top of the dash to put them right in the driver’s sight line. But there is a secondary readout on top of the dash. And you can actually get a bunch of different views, from navigation to infotainment.
The Eyesight system from Subaru has gotten some pretty positive reviews. It’s not overly sensitive, like some of the Honda systems. It will give you some subtle beeps here and there if you’re crossing over the line. It also– like right there. There we go. And also it has one feature that might be helpful in dense traffic where, when the car in front of you starts moving, it’ll give you a nice little subtle beep to let you know that you should probably start paying attention again.
The seat comfort’s pretty good, as well. It’s somewhat warm in this car right now. But it does have ventilated seats, as well as heated seats and a heated steering wheel. From the back seat, I’m getting the impression that I’m riding quite a bit higher than the front seats. And that’s probably true, because I’m getting a good view forward. Another thing I’m noticing, though, is this headliner here is a little bit close to my head.
We do have a panoramic sunroof. But even with the cars without the panoramic sunroof, it’s still just about as restricting. The seats back here are pretty much as comfortable as the front seats. Obviously, you’re not going to have the same amount of adjustments. But it does recline pretty far back. And you have this nice adjustable armrest, as well.
This top-of-the-line touring trim, like some of the supporting trims, have this rear side sunshade. But they’re not the easiest to get into because the anchor points are right at the edges and not closer in to the center. That means it’s going to wobble back and forth a little. But just the fact that it has it is a nice feature. Also on this trim we have separate climate controls for the back.
All of the Ascents, whether it’s the base model or the top touring trim, have tri-zone automatic climate control. The top trims, however, have this secondary control unit just for the rear passengers. And I am getting a good amount of air from these top vents. Also down here, two USB ports and a household power outlet. Subaru made a big deal about the Ascent having 19 cup holders.
Obviously, you’re not going to need them all for drinks. But this bottom one here that can fit three drinks has cutaways so that you can actually fit in an iPad Pro. Rather than having a built-in rear entertainment system, at the dealership you can get the option for entertainment systems based off of two iPads and wireless headphones.
From the very rear seats, the third row, I have actually a decent amount of room. I wouldn’t say I’m going to be comfortable back here for a long road trip. But my hair’s just barely brushing the headliner. The seat cushions are what you’d expect– a little short, a little low. So in general, you’re going to be putting smaller passengers back here anyway. But it’s not nearly as much of a penalty as they are in some of the other third-row seats. Also back here in the top trim, two USB ports, a bunch more cup holders.
One thing that’s also nice is if you look at these grab handles here, well, it helps you get in and out. But it also gives you a little place to hang purses, bags, or whatever else you want off of a hook. One thing Subaru was keen to point out, too, is they conducted their own crash test to ensure that the third-row passengers are well-protected.
As far as cargo capacity goes, the Ascent does well. It has 17.8 cubic feet of capacity behind the third row of seats. That’s on the high end among other cars in this class. Fold down all of the seats, though, and you get 86.5 cubic feet of storage. And among all of its primary competitors, that is as big as it gets. You do have underfloor storage, which really isn’t all that unusual. But cleverly, they made it so you can keep it open with these pull straps that also serve to fold the seats down. You also have a storage place for your cargo cover. And the cargo cover goes all the way from the back of the second row seats.
Smart idea that means you don’t have to leave this in your garage and forget it when you really need it. After spending some time with the all new 2019 Subaru Ascent, I can positively say, yes, it was worth the wait. It’s comfortable. It has a good ride quality. It has a ton of features. And the price is right, too. Any concerns I had about the power train can be ignored. Honestly, if they didn’t tell me it had a CVT, I probably wouldn’t know.