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2020 Subaru Ascent

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Expert Rating
3.5 (Good)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2020 Base 8-Passenger 4dr All-Wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $31,995
2020 Premium 8-Passenger 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $34,395
2020 Limited 8-Passenger 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $39,345
2020 Touring 7-Passenger 4dr All-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $45,045


Back for a second go-round, the 2020 Subaru Ascent continues as the brand's largest vehicle. This three-row crossover SUV features a spacious interior, a plethora of driver-assist safety technology, and a peppy 2.4-liter turbocharged engine. Available in seven or eight-passenger seating and four trims, consumers shopping for a mid-size utility vehicle will find the Ascent an alluring option.

What's new for 2020

The Subaru Ascent receives two minor enhancements in its second production year. All trims feature a Rear Seat Reminder alert system that helps to combat leaving a child or pet in the rear seat and a power liftgate lock.

Choosing Your Subaru Ascent

If flexibility in choosing seating and trim configurations is important to you, the Subaru Ascent should be on top of your list. This crossover offers nine unique configurations, with an available captain chair or 60/40-split second-row seating.

Built on the Subaru Global Platform, the Ascent is powered by a 2.4-liter turbocharged BOXER engine that supplies 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque to the standard all-wheel drive via a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The setup achieves an EPA-estimated 21 miles per gallon city, 27 mpg highway, and 23 combined.

The Ascent offers 86.5 cubic feet of cargo space, and comes with standard roof rails for loading bicycles, kayaks, and cargo. Like all Subarus, the Ascent is suitable for light off-road adventures. It features a ground clearance of 8.7-inches. With the inclusion of a four-wheel independent suspension system and Active Torque Vectoring, it delivers a rather smooth ride.

The Ascent is available in four trims:

Subaru Ascent


The base Ascent begins at $33,005 (all prices include a $1,010 destination charge) and is a rather impressive entry crossover. It rides on 18-inch alloy wheels and includes Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology suite of safety features, which includes lane departure warning, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking, It also includes an Auto Vehicle Hold system, which keeps the crossover in position while at a stop, removing the need to continually depress the brake.

On the inside, consumers will enjoy the three-zone climate control system, and a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system that includes HD Radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a SiriusXM subscription.

There are no packages offered on the base Ascent.

Subaru Ascent


Upgrading to the Premium costs $35,405 to start and adds extra driver-assist features like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change assist. Additional standard features include a power driver seat, spill-repellent cloth upholstery, privacy glass, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and rear seat climate controls. The infotainment screen is enhanced to 8 inches.

Two packages are offered, and each is available for the same price with a seven- or eight-passenger layout. The Convenience Package ($1,460) brings reverse automatic emergency braking, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power rear liftgate, and keyless access. The Sporty Package ($4,260) brings the features from the Convenience Package and a moonroof, 20-inch wheels, a cargo area cover, and navigation.

Subaru Ascent


The penultimate Ascent is the Limited, which starts at $40,355. It's available with seven or eight-passenger seating and adds leather upholstery, adaptive LED headlights with high beam assist, LED fog lights, and 20-inch wheels. Additional enhancements include keyless entry with push-button start, two extra USB ports, a rear power liftgate, second-row sunshades, and chrome exterior accents.

The Technology Package ($2,950) adds a 14-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, a moonroof, navigation, and cargo area cover.

Subaru Ascent


The range-topping Ascent Touring costs $46,055 and is only available in a seven-passenger configuration. The Touring includes chrome exterior enhancements, a front under-guard, a rear bumper protector, and new power-folding exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals.

On the inside, a moonroof, navigation, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a surround-view camera system, unique upholstery, ventilated front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a heated steering wheel, and eight USB ports come standard.

There are no package upgrades with the Touring.

CarsDirect Tip

The flexibility to configure an Ascent to personal preferences is an exceptional benefit. Arguably the best attribute is that there are no charges for seven- or eight-passenger configurations. If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, the 2020 Subaru Ascent Limited with the Technology Package is our leader in the clubhouse.

Get your price on a Subaru Ascent »

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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

  • Top marks for cargo space
  • Standard automatic emergency braking
  • All-wheel-drive comes standard
  • Struggles under acceleration
  • Fuel economy isn't great
  • Base trim only comes in 4 colors
Expert Rating
3.5 (Good)

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

Space and versatility. The 2020 Subaru Ascent, the brand's mid-size crossover, is relatively new to the market after a 2018 debut, but it's quickly become a recognizable name.

The Ascent combines typical Subaru ruggedness with crossover utility and capacity – and that capacity is considerable. Cabin space is generous, with firm and comfortable seating and plentiful head room.

Even better, the seating arrangements are flexible. The second row slides back and forth with the tug of a lever, increasing cargo flexibility and making third-row access easy. That third row can seat three, although it’s best if passengers are small or skinny. On all except the base model, second-row captain’s chairs are a no-cost option – an unusual and welcome advantage over rivals.

Cargo capacity is excellent as well. The Ascent can hold 17 cubic feet even with the third row in place, or 47 cubic feet with the third row removed and 86 with everything folded. Even against spacious rivals like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, the Ascent stacks up well.

Limited (but adequate) options. Subaru’s option configurator follows the “less is more” philosophy, largely confining options to a few well-structured packages. All Ascents get the essentials, starting with a 6.5-inch infotainment touchscreen, plenty of USB ports, and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Better still is the next step up from base, the Ascent Premium, which adds a power-adjustable driver’s seat, an 8-inch touchscreen, heated front seats, and blind-spot monitoring.

Speaking of active safety tech, Subaru’s is good. Both automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control are standard across the lineup, along with lane keeping assist.

However, the minimalist attitude is off-putting at points. The base model, for instance, is only available in black, gray, silver, or white – anything else requires a trim upgrade.

Subaru Ascent

Petite but feisty engine. In contrast to the V6 engines employed by many of the its competitors, the Ascent sticks to Subaru’s heritage with a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

That’s a small engine for the class, and it’s a little down on power – 260 horsepower against the 280 hp or 295 hp of the Pilot or Highlander, respectively. The Subaru also gets a continuously variable transmission (CVT) instead of a conventional automatic. It’s not the most refined package, especially under hard acceleration.

But the little engine keeps up better than expected. That’s thanks in part to a healthy torque figure of 277 pound-feet. The torque also helps the Ascent to a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, which is good for the class.

The CVT is in place to help fuel efficiency, but the Ascent isn’t particularly thrifty. With the standard 18-inch rims, it gets an EPA-estimated 23 miles per gallon combined, which is adequate but unexceptional for the class. Top honors here still go to the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

Adventurous as always. Subaru has built its reputation on rugged and adventure-ready vehicles. The Ascent continues that ethos. All-wheel drive is standard, with minimal penalties on either fuel economy or price. The Ascent has 8.7 inches of ground clearance, and with the capable all-wheel drive system, it’s competent away from the pavement.

The usual unpainted cladding gives the exterior a venturesome edge, but we appreciate the interior upgrades even more. The Ascent starts with tough-wearing cloth upholstery, and the top trim Ascent Touring boasts charming and durable saddle leather. Plus, the cabin has no fewer than 19 cup holders, so no one has to argue over beverage space on road trips.

Final thoughts. Standard AWD and excellent versatility make the 2020 Subaru Ascent a promising adventure vehicle. The powertrain isn’t refined, but it’s punchy enough to keep up with the competition. Feature selection isn’t always flexible, but thoughtful standard features like the captain’s chairs and adaptive cruise control should win the Ascent its fair share of showroom victories.

The Ascent is far from the most polished crossover on the market, but it puts together enough of the right pieces to be worth your consideration.

Check prices for the 2020 Subaru Ascent »

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.4L H-4 / 260 HP / 277 ft.lbs.
Lineartronic 8-spd sequential shift control CVT w/OD
Drive Type
Full-time All Wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
21 / 27 / 24 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
2.4L H-4 / 260 HP / 277 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Full-time All Wheel
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
21 / 27 / 24 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Double Wishbone
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
19.3 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
86.5 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
153 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
196.8 "
Exterior Width
76.0 "
Exterior Height
71.6 "
Front Headroom
41.3 "
Rear Headroom
40.0 "
Front Legroom
42.2 "
Rear Legroom
38.6 "
Front Shoulder Room
61.1 "
Rear Shoulder Room
60.3 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
4,430 Lbs.
Wheel Base
114 "
Turning Radius
19.0 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
18.0 " Silver Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote
Body-colored / Front Body-colored With Metal-look Insert / Front Body-colored With Chrome Insert
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Surround
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/hd/satellite, Seek-scan
6 / 6 Rockford Fosgate
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
Day-night / Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Driver And Passenger
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Eyesight Pre-collision Braking Forward Collision Mitigation
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Eyesight Lane Keep Assist Lane Departure
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Eyesight Pre-collision Braking Front Pedestrian Detection Prevention
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles

Used 2020 Subaru Ascent for Sale

4 vehicles found within 50 miles of your area
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Puente Hills Ford (29 mi)

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Ocean Subaru of Fullerton (27 mi)

Phone: (888) 428-2419
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