Subaru has built its reputation on generations of vehicles that are tough and spunky and are not afraid to boldly go where many men are indeed afraid to go. To do that effectively, you have to be agile and not terribly bulky, but in the American car market, you also have to occasionally offer buyers some girth (well, as bears, we do understand that!). New for 2019, here comes the Subaru Ascent, a sort of phoenix of the old Subaru Tribeca which disappeared into the dust a few years back.
This car is aimed directly at the 21stCentury family market: that’s all you queers and steers with humans or animals who have names who take up a fair amount of your monthly paychecks (those of you who in America are still getting paychecks, that is). The pitch for the Ascent has been mostly centered around the fact that there is a third row of seating, meaning that you can hold (in theory) seven adults comfortably in the car. It’s also a Subaru, so you also get all the sportiness and ruggedness you’ve come to expect (read: All-Wheel Drive). It’s just a smidge bigger (sorta) than the Forester and the Outback, but this one has more room for your growing needs and growing responsibilities. Starting at $31,995, it hopefully is in lockstep with your growing career and pay scale.
Indeed, everything you’d expect from a Subaru is here. AWD tops the list here, and while this is not urgent everywhere on the planet, it is important in many areas, and especially as global warming is being denied at the top echelons of government across the globe, get ready for more adverse weather. Subaru to the rescue!
The base engine is a 2.4-liter turbo engine that is a “horizontally-opposed boxer” (goodness, that does sound gay) and it really does handle well, even for this big boy (me). Horsepower is 260 and torque is 277 pound-feet. Curb weight (strap in, fellas) is 4,603 pounds, or 328.7 stones. You can tow up to 5,000 pounds, and that’s the most you’ve ever been able to tow with a Subaru.
Inside, with both the rear seats folded, you get 86 cubic feet of room, decent enough to carry most of your equipment and stage props for at least one afternoon of show and tell at the fetish club. At a length of 16 feet (almost five meters), this baby ain’t as easy to parallel park as a Bird or a Smart Car, but it’s still very maneuverable.
Perhaps my only note of caution is the gas mileage, which is 21 city / 27 highway. There is some better mileage to be had in the class, but again, if cost is concern, you’ll want to look at getting a much smaller vehicle. (And if cost really is a concern, you should have thought of that before deciding to become parents. Just saying….)
Reviews to date of the Ascent have been positive, so the future looks brighter for this big boy of the Subaru legacy. When the automaker killed off the Tribeca, lackluster sales and an inability for the model to catch on with buyers convinced the powers-that-be to pull the plug and regroup years later. The end result is this year’s Ascent. There hasn’t been a lot of wow-factor press to date but the professional press is giving it a thumbs-up.
Generally speaking, if there is a third row, it’s a great car for four bears and a fair amount of snacks, gear and baggage. That’s definitely the case with the 2019 Subaru Ascent.
Now all we need is a car with a wet bar and an interactive play room….