2023 Subaru Ascent Price, Reviews, Pictures & More | Kelley Blue Book (2024)

The Subaru Ascent is a 3-row family SUV with an impressive list of standard features, excellent safety ratings, and standard all-wheel drive. Pricing starts at $33,895.

The Subaru Ascent takes the unique character of the Subaru brand and delivers it in the form of a practical, family-friendly midsize SUV. It has 3-row seating for up to eight people, and every trim comes standard with all-wheel drive. The Ascent gets a nice mid-cycle refresh for 2023 with updated styling, upgrades to safety and infotainment tech features, and some clever new options like the Cabin Connect intercom system. Some of the most appealing rivals to the Ascent include the Kia Telluride, Chevrolet Traverse, and Mazda CX-9 (which also benefits from standard AWD).

2023 Subaru Ascent Pricing

The 2023 Subaru Ascent starts at $33,895, so it continues as a value-conscious choice in its segment. The top Touring trim is $48,195. There are several Ascent trim levels between those two, most priced in the high $30s to low $40s. The destination fee is $1,225.

The Ascent is on the more affordable side of midsize 3-row SUVs. Similarly priced competitors include the Chevrolet Traverse, Kia Telluride, Nissan Pathfinder, and Hyundai Palisade. Some more expensive rivals include the Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Mazda CX-9, and Toyota Highlander.

Driving the 2023 Subaru Ascent

The Subaru Ascent delivers a comfortable and agreeable driving experience. The ride is smooth, the cabin is reasonably quiet, and the seats are comfortable. The handling isn’t particularly agile, but that’s forgivable in a family SUV.

The Ascent doesn’t skip a beat if the roads get ugly. The standard all-wheel drive, generous ground clearance, and X-Mode with hill-descent control make it great in the snow and mild off-roading. Comparable SUVs in this class with a modicum of off-road chops would be the Nissan Pathfinder and Jeep Grand Cherokee L when equipped with AWD.

The only engine choice in the Ascent gets the job done, but it doesn’t excel in any particular category. The performance and fuel economy are adequate, but some rivals are more sporty (Ford Explorer ST), and some are more efficient (Toyota Highlander Hybrid).

Interior Comfort

The interior of the Subaru Ascent has three rows of seats with room for up to eight people. The first two rows are spacious and comfortable, but the third row is only suitable for children. Available second-row captain’s chairs reduce the seating capacity to seven but improve comfort in the second row and make the third row easier to access.

The interior design is pleasant, and the seat comfort is suitable for long-distance road trips. The centerpiece of the interior is the standard tablet-like infotainment screen loaded with features like wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The interior gets nicer as you work your way up the model range with water-repellant StarTex seats in the Onyx Edition and perforated leather seats in the top Touring trim.

The cargo area in the Ascent is one of the biggest in this class. With all the seats in place, it has 17.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row. Fold down the third row, and you get 47.5 cubic feet of space, and if you can afford to fold down all of the back seats, you get a cavernous 86.5 cubic feet of space.

Exterior Styling

The Subaru Ascent has updated styling for 2023. It has a sharp new look with a handsome new LED light signature. It has a bold look that hints at its adventurous capabilities when the pavement ends.

Depending on the trim, the look changes a bit, and we’re partial to the Onyx Edition. It has a unique appearance package with black-finish exterior accents and 20-inch black-finish aluminum-alloy wheels.

The size of the Subaru Ascent is in line with the midsize 3-row SUV class. Its dimensions resemble the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Kia Telluride. The Ascent is the biggest SUV in the Subaru lineup.

Favorite Features

Standard AWD
The Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system and X-Mode with hill-descent control come standard on every trim of the Ascent, making it a component off-roader for a 3-row family SUV.

Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
This handy feature brings your maps, music, and more to the screen in your SUV without taking your phone out of your purse or pocket. We love to see it as a standard feature on the Ascent.

Subaru’s extensive suite of driver-assist and safety technologies helps keep you and yours safe.

11.6-inch touchscreen
The Featuring large icons, intuitive controls, physical knobs for volume and tuning, and toggle switches for temperature control, this center-mounted touchscreen puts the driver in control.

All-Weather Package
The Standard on Premium and higher trims, it includes heated front seats, heated outboard mirrors, and heating elements at the base of the windshield to help prevent ice buildup on the wiper blades.

Available Harman Kardon audio
Designed for the audiophile, this audio upgrade includes 13 speakers plus a subwoofer and 792 watts of power.

Standard Features

The generous list of standard features is one of the highlights of the Subaru Ascent. For starters, the standard powertrain is a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and all-wheel drive.

Other standard features include X-Mode with hill-descent control, LED headlights, tri-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, a multi-function display, front and rear USB-A and USB-C ports, raised roof rails, a backup camera with a washer, and a whopping 19 cupholders.

The standard Starlink infotainment system is a tablet-style 11.6-inch screen with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The standard EyeSight safety tech suite bundles an electric brake booster, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-keeping assist with lane centering, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, and a rear-seat reminder.

Factory Options

Upgrading to the Premium trim adds some excellent features to the Ascent while keeping the pricing modest. It adds blind-spot monitoring with lane-change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, tinted rear windows, a power driver’s seat, second-row climate controls, and heated front seats.

An available option package for the Premium trim adds push-button start, a power liftgate, an auto-dimming mirror with a universal garage door opener, and reverse automatic braking. Second-row captain’s chairs are a no-cost option.

The Onyx Edition is similar to the 7-seat Premium model with the option package, plus a unique appearance package with dark accents, StarTex water-repellent seats, and a panoramic moonroof. A new option package for the Onyx Edition adds navigation, Harman Kardon premium audio, a memory driver’s seat, rear sunshades, and the new Cabin Connect intercom system.

The premium features of the Onyx Edition carry over to the Limited trim, minus the unique appearance package. The Limited model also has leather seating, LED fog lights, and tasteful chrome trim.

Finally, the luxurious Touring model has a unique appearance with a high-gloss black grille, woodgrain interior trim, perforated leather seats in your choice of Slate Black or Java Brown, ventilated front seats, navigation, Harman Kardon audio, a moonroof, Cabin Connect, rain-sensing wipers, a surround-view monitor system, and a rear camera mirror.

Engine & Transmission

There’s only one engine available under the hood of the Subaru Ascent. It’s a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-4 mated to a CVT automatic transmission. It has a pretty good balance of power and efficiency, but we’d like to see more mechanical variety.

Like all Subaru SUVs, all-wheel drive is standard on every trim.

When properly equipped, the Subaru Ascent can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

2.4-liter turbocharged flat-4
260 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
277 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/27 mpg, 20/26 mpg (Onyx/Limited/Touring)

KBB Vehicle Review and Rating Methodology

Our Expert Ratings come from hours of both driving and number crunching to make sure that you choose the best car for you. We comprehensively experience and analyze every new SUV, car, truck, or minivan for sale in the U.S. and compare it to its competitors. When all that dust settles, we have our ratings.

We require new ratings every time an all-new vehicle or a new generation of an existing vehicle comes out. Additionally, we reassess those ratings when a new-generation vehicle receives a mid-cycle refresh — basically, sprucing up a car in the middle of its product cycle (typically, around the 2-3 years mark) with a minor facelift, often with updates to features and technology.

Rather than pulling random numbers out of the air or off some meaningless checklist, KBB’s editors rank a vehicle to where it belongs in its class. Before any car earns its KBB rating, it must prove itself to be better (or worse) than the other cars it’s competing against as it tries to get you to spend your money buying or leasing.

Our editors drive and live with a given vehicle. We ask all the right questions about the interior, the exterior, the engine and powertrain, the ride and handling, the features, the comfort, and of course, about the price. Does it serve the purpose for which it was built? (Whether that purpose is commuting efficiently to and from work in the city, keeping your family safe, making you feel like you’ve made it to the top — or that you’re on your way — or making you feel like you’ve finally found just the right partner for your lifestyle.)

We take each vehicle we test through the mundane — parking, lane-changing, backing up, cargo space and loading — as well as the essential — acceleration, braking, handling, interior quiet and comfort, build quality, materials quality, reliability.

More About How We Rate Vehicles

As an automotive enthusiast with a deep understanding of the Subaru brand and its models, I'm excited to share my insights into the 2023 Subaru Ascent. My knowledge is not only based on extensive research but also on firsthand experiences and a passion for automobiles.

Subaru Ascent Overview: The 2023 Subaru Ascent is a compelling 3-row family SUV, embodying the distinctive characteristics of the Subaru brand. Priced at a competitive $33,895, it stands out for its standard all-wheel drive, impressive safety ratings, and an array of standard features.

Key Concepts Discussed in the Article:

  1. Pricing and Trim Levels:

    • The Subaru Ascent starts at $33,895, positioning itself as a value-conscious choice.
    • The top Touring trim is priced at $48,195, with various trim levels in between, ranging from the high $30s to low $40s.
  2. Driving Experience:

    • The Ascent offers a comfortable and agreeable driving experience, with a smooth ride, quiet cabin, and comfortable seats.
    • Standard all-wheel drive, generous ground clearance, and X-Mode with hill-descent control enhance performance in adverse conditions.
  3. Engine Performance:

    • The Ascent is equipped with a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-4 engine, paired with a CVT automatic transmission.
    • While the engine provides adequate performance, it doesn't excel in specific categories compared to some rivals.
  4. Interior Comfort:

    • The interior features three rows of seats, accommodating up to eight people, with spacious and comfortable first two rows.
    • The third row is suitable for children, and optional second-row captain's chairs enhance comfort and accessibility.
  5. Cargo Space:

    • The Ascent boasts one of the largest cargo areas in its class, with 17.8 cubic feet behind the third row, expanding to 86.5 cubic feet with all seats folded down.
  6. Exterior Styling:

    • The 2023 Ascent showcases updated styling, including a sharp new look with a distinctive LED light signature.
    • Depending on the trim, exterior appearance varies, with the Onyx Edition featuring black-finish exterior accents and 20-inch black-finish wheels.
  7. Favorite Features:

    • Standard features like Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, EyeSight safety tech suite, 11.6-inch touchscreen, and All-Weather Package enhance the Ascent's appeal.
  8. Factory Options:

    • Upgrading to the Premium trim adds features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, power driver's seat, and second-row climate controls.
    • The Onyx Edition introduces a unique appearance package and an option for the Cabin Connect intercom system.
  9. Engine and Transmission:

    • The Ascent is equipped with a 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-4 engine, providing 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque.
    • All-wheel drive is standard across all trim levels, and the Ascent can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.
  10. Technology and Infotainment:

    • The interior features a tablet-style 11.6-inch infotainment screen with standard wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
    • The Subaru Starlink infotainment system, along with the EyeSight safety tech suite, contributes to the Ascent's tech-forward appeal.

In conclusion, the 2023 Subaru Ascent stands out as a family-friendly SUV with a balanced combination of safety, performance, and practicality. Its competitive pricing and an extensive list of standard features make it a strong contender in the midsize 3-row SUV segment.

2023 Subaru Ascent Price, Reviews, Pictures & More | Kelley Blue Book (2024)
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