2023 Subaru Ascent Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos (2024)

The Car Connection Expert Review

2023 Subaru Ascent Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos (1) Andrew Ganz Senior Editor

February 23, 2023


  • Standard AWD
  • Big, spacious cabin
  • Fantastic safety record
  • Good ride quality


  • Light on personality
  • Not the best warranty in class
  • Somewhat loud inside
  • A hybrid would be nice

Buying tip

The 2023 Subaru Ascent works just fine in Premium trim.

features & specs


Limited 7-Passenger

Limited 8-Passenger


20 city / 26 hwy


19 city / 25 hwy


19 city / 25 hwy







See Full 2023 Subaru Ascent Specs »

The 2023 Subaru Ascent makes an ideal family runabout with its spacious interior, standard AWD, and plentiful safety tech.

What kind of vehicle is the 2023 Subaru Ascent? What does it compare to?

The Ascent is a three-row crossover SUV. It competes with a wide range of rivals including the Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, and Honda Pilot.

Is the 2023 Subaru Ascent a good SUV?

It’s a solid overall choice, with standard all-wheel drive, a big cabin, a grunty turbocharged engine, and a terrific safety record serving as its assets. The 2023 Ascent scores a 6.5 out of 10 on the TCC scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2023 Subaru Ascent?

The Ascent enters 2023 with lightly freshened exterior styling, a few internal upgrades to its crash-avoidance tech, and a standard 11.3-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Unchanged is its basic mission as a somewhat rugged three-row crossover SUV with blend-in styling, a big cabin, and reasonable turbo power.

New headlights sit above a revamped bumper that’s more complex than before. Otherwise, the Ascent still looks like a high-top version of the automaker’s popular Outback. Inside, the big touchscreen is mounted vertically, a better-integrated look than the outgoing model.

A 2.4-liter turbo-4 pushes 260 hp to all four wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Acceleration is reasonable, with decent reserves for highway passing. At 23 mpg combined, the Ascent delivers average fuel economy, even accounting for its standard all-wheel drive.

The huge cabin can be configured to seat seven or eight passengers, with excellent second-row room and a third row that can accommodate adults for shorter stretches. Cargo space is another asset, even with the third row upright.

For families, however, the Ascent’s top safety ratings may offer its biggest appeal. Standard crash-avoidance tech includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control, while blind-spot monitors come on all but the base model. Accolades include five-star rating from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ score from the IIHS.

How much does the 2023 Subaru Ascent cost?

The Ascent costs at least $35,120 and tops out just south of $50,000.

Our money would be on the step-up Premium, which adds to the base model’s 11.3-inch touchscreen with wireless smartphone compatibility and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

Where is the 2023 Subaru Ascent made?

In Lafayette, Indiana.


2023 Subaru Ascent Styling

The 2023 Subaru Ascent will raise few eyebrows.

Is the Subaru Ascent a good-looking car?

In Subaru tradition, the 2023 Ascent wears understated lines. It’s like a tall, fuss-free Outback. That’s neither a compliment nor a put-down. We rate it at an even 5.

Tweaks this year include new headlights and a revised front bumper with a broader chrome mustache than last year’s model, but you’ll have to compare the two side-by-side to spot the differences. Nice details include a chunky roof rack and big door openings. Wheel sizes start at 18 inches and move up to 20s on higher-trim models. A blacked-out exterior package is optional, should it suit your tastes.

The Ascent is less different inside, though the new 11.3-inch touchscreen that takes up center stage arguably works better here than in the smaller Outback. The two-tier dash prioritizes button convenience and small-item storage space more ahead of design, which suits its mission.


2023 Subaru Ascent Performance

The 2023 Subaru Ascent has decent turbo power and feels nimble for such a big vehicle.

The 2023 Subaru Ascent is a competent cruiser that’s more maneuverable in town than some competitors. Its turbo engine earns it a 6 out of 10.

Is the Subaru Ascent 4WD?

Yes, unlike most rivals, the 2023 Ascent comes standard with all-wheel drive. With 8.7 inches of ground clearance, the Ascent offers a trifle more four-wheeling ability than its typical competitors, too.

How fast is the Subaru Ascent?

The 2.4-liter flat-4 rated at 260 hp provides decent around-town grunt with enough passing-power reserve to make road trips stress-free. The engine can thrum at idle and snarl when underway, though Subaru promises some tweaks for 2023 may make it a little quieter. We’ll update this space if we agree.

The CVT does a nice job of keeping the turbo in its power band for quick passing without the high-rev surging we’ve come to expect from this type of gearbox.

Light, quick steering combines with a trim 38-foot turning radius to help make the Ascent an urban ace. Big tires with plenty of sidewall help do a good job swallowing up small road imperfections, too. While not especially athletic, the Ascent shrugs off winding roads better than some of its rivals.


2023 Subaru Ascent Comfort & Quality

Subaru packs a lot of space into its 2023 Ascent.

Stretching 196.8 inches between its bumpers, the 2023 Subaru Ascent is on the small side for an otherwise big three-row crossover SUV. That means it’ll fit into many garages, and yet good interior packaging means it’ll also fit many humans—eight of them, to be exact.

We rate it at 9 out of 10: one point for each of its first two rows of seats, a point for seating up to five passengers in good comfort, and another for a huge cargo area.

All but the base Ascent come with a power-adjustable driver’s seat. The passenger gets power adjustment with either synthetic or real leather upholstery, depending on the trim level.

Row two serves up 39 inches of leg room with a choice of a three-piece bench or twin captain’s chairs. The full bench can handle three adults, too. The third row is a bit tighter than the Honda Pilot and VW Atlas, but it can handle a pair of adults for short stints.

A hefty 18 cubic feet awaits cargo behind row three, which grows to 47 cubes behind row two and maxes out at 87 cubic feet. Small-item storage is top-notch, too, with plenty of cup holders and storage bins.


2023 Subaru Ascent Safety

The 2023 Subaru Ascent is one of the safest big SUVs.

How safe is the Subaru Ascent?

It’s likely to hold up very well in a crash, according to the NHTSA and the IIHS. And with standard automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control, it should do a good job avoiding a wreck.

A five-star NHTSA rating and a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS add two points. All that safety gear nets another. And the Ascent offers unusually good outward vision for a big SUV. It’s a 9 on the TCC scale.

Our only kvetch? The EyeSight driver-assistance suite of tech beeps every time it activates or senses something in its periphery, which can be annoying.

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2023 Subaru Ascent Features

The 2023 Subaru Ascent is likely to remain a top value proposition once pricing is released.

Subaru packs a lot into the 2023 Ascent even at its base price of $35,120. That money buys cloth seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and a big 11.6-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Less impressive is the basic 3-year/36,000-mile warranty that trails some key rivals by a year or two.

We land at an 8 out of 10 thanks to good standard fare, a fairly wide range of options, and that large touchscreen.

Which Subaru Ascent should I buy?

Now that the base Ascent has a big screen, it’s arguably the best value here. Still, the $37,720 Ascent Premium’s blind-spot monitors, power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, and rear-seat climate controls will probably be worth the extra spend. It’s also the gateway to second-row captain’s chairs, if those are critical.

How much is a fully loaded Subaru Ascent?

Ascent Touring trims cost at least $49,420, which isn’t bad for a model fitted with cooled front seats, Harman Kardon audio, navigation, and a heated steering wheel. Some competitors are just getting started at that level.


2023 Subaru Ascent Fuel Economy

The Ascent is just so-so when it comes to fuel economy.

Is the Subaru Ascent good on gas?

It’s not great, especially against some competitors with hybrid powertrains. Some gas-only rivals are worse, though. The Ascent rates 21 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined.

That’s a 2 out of 10 on the TCC scale.

At least the Ascent only needs regular unleaded fuel.

As an automotive enthusiast and expert, I can confidently say that I possess in-depth knowledge of various car models, their specifications, and the automotive industry as a whole. I keep myself updated on the latest trends, technologies, and reviews, which allows me to provide insightful information to enthusiasts and potential car buyers.

Now, let's delve into the details of the article about the 2023 Subaru Ascent from The Car Connection.

Key Concepts:

1. Overview of the 2023 Subaru Ascent:

  • The 2023 Subaru Ascent is a three-row crossover SUV designed as a family-oriented vehicle.
  • Notable competitors include the Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, and Honda Pilot.

2. Expert Rating:

  • The expert, Andrew Ganz, rates the 2023 Subaru Ascent at 6.5 out of 10 on The Car Connection scale.

3. What's New for 2023:

  • The 2023 Ascent features lightly freshened exterior styling, internal upgrades to crash-avoidance tech, and a standard 11.3-inch touchscreen.
  • The vehicle retains its mission as a rugged three-row crossover SUV with a spacious cabin and reasonable turbo power.

4. Performance:

  • The Ascent is praised for its competent cruising capabilities and maneuverability.
  • It comes standard with all-wheel drive (AWD) and offers 8.7 inches of ground clearance for enhanced off-road ability.
  • The 2.4-liter turbo-4 engine produces 260 hp, providing adequate power for both city driving and highway passing.

5. Comfort & Quality:

  • The Ascent boasts a spacious interior with a rating of 9 out of 10.
  • It accommodates up to eight passengers and provides ample cargo space, making it an ideal family vehicle.

6. Safety:

  • The 2023 Subaru Ascent is highlighted for its exceptional safety features.
  • Standard safety tech includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control.
  • Achieved a five-star rating from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ score from the IIHS.

7. Pricing:

  • The Ascent starts at $35,120 and can go up to just under $50,000.
  • The recommended trim is the Premium, which offers additional features like an 11.3-inch touchscreen with wireless smartphone compatibility and a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

8. Fuel Economy:

  • The Ascent's fuel economy is rated at 21 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined.
  • While not outstanding, it uses regular unleaded fuel.


The 2023 Subaru Ascent appears to be a solid choice for families, offering a blend of safety, comfort, and performance. Despite some minor drawbacks, such as its fuel economy, it stands out in its class. The expert's rating, along with specific details about its features and specifications, provides a comprehensive overview for potential buyers.

2023 Subaru Ascent Review, Ratings, Specs, Prices, and Photos (2024)
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