2021 Subaru Ascent

absolutely AUTO REVIEW  |  By Steve Kursar –

The 2021 Subaru Ascent has a spacious three-row interior with flexible seating options and a long roster of safety, driver assist and in-vehicle technologies. If you’re a Subaru fan but want something larger for your growing family, the Ascent is designed to accommodate you.  This crossover is roomy, has a peppy drivetrain and an appealing exterior.  There is nothing quirky about the Ascent, and yet it’s still very much a Subaru.

The Subaru brand has a very loyal fan base that appreciates the build quality of the cars.  If you venture to rugged and remote areas of the US, you’ll notice the greater percentage of Subarus on the road.  They’re built from the ground up to last and take a beating.  In the past, however, their exterior designs were a little off-beat and, as a result, their cars never were sales leaders.  Recently, however, Subaru designers have gone mainstream and sales have skyrocketed.

The exterior design of the 2021 Ascent is broadly appealing.  But, it’s what’s under the sheet metal that is the real attraction.  A base Ascent, with an MSRP of $32,295, is powered by a 260 hp, 2.4 liter turbocharged Boxer engine which is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy is pretty good, with EPA estimated ratings of 21 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.

All trim levels of the Ascent come standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive and X-MODE with Hill Descent Control giving the Ascent exceptional all-weather and trail-driving capability. You may never take the Ascent off-road, but the built-in engineering quality will give you a car that will last for a long time.

Subaru is also well known for integrating state-of-the-art safety technology into its vehicles, and the Ascent is no exception. New for the 2021 model year, the Ascent adds Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering and Lane Keep Assist to its standard EyeSight Driver Assist Technology.  This feature is designed to assist with centering the vehicle within the travel lane. This feature is quite handy in all sorts of weather situations. I really appreciated it while driving through a summer thunderstorm.

Also new for the year is standard Second- and Third-Row Seat Belt Reminder, which detects the presence of a passenger in a rear seating position and gives an audible and visual warning if their seatbelt has not been fastened as the vehicle accelerates from a stop.

This may be the time to rediscover Subaru and their big Ascent crossover.  It may turn out to be a very pleasant surprise.