In the Driver’s Seat:
Mom’s View

2019 Subaru Ascent

Jen Fischer

Subaru offered me the opportunity to spend a day test driving the all-new, three-row 2019 Ascent Touring model – the top-of-the-line trim – along the twisty, turning roads of the scenic Oregon coast. 

From the moment I buckled into the sumptuous leather driver’s seat, this highly anticipated Subaru 3-row SUV exceeded all of my expectations. A mother of four, I drove two minivans back to back over a ten-year span. Both were nicely equipped, but light years behind this luxurious vehicle in comfort, technology, and safety.

So. Much. Room.

Ideal for families who have outgrown their Foresters and Outbacks, the Ascent is the largest Subaru ever built and comfortably seats up to seven or eight passengers, depending on seat configuration. A second row bench seat comes standard with capacity for up to eight; Premium and above trim levels offer second-row captain’s chairs as a no-cost option with seating for up to seven. A wide rear door opening at 75 degrees and a comfortably lower step-in creates an easy entry point to the third row.

Its 153.5 cubic feet of interior passenger volume and cargo space allow plenty of room to carry big and little travelers, and all their stuff. Fold down the rear seats for an impressive 86 cubic feet of cargo space – that’s more than enough room for moving a college-bound kid to the dorms or a bountiful trip to IKEA.

Convenient Touches Everywhere


Did somebody say cupholders? The Ascent comes standard with 19 of them. That means there’s room for everyone’s beverages and must-haves along the way – raisins, sea shells, Legos – you get the idea.

Say goodbye to squabbles over cabin temperature with the Ascent’s automatic climate control and large air vents for all three rows. 

Up to eight USB charging ports are available throughout the cabin and a 120-volt power outlet in the rear of the center console allows charging for multiple electronic devices.

Up to eight USB charging ports are available throughout the cabin and a 120-volt power outlet in the rear of the center console allows charging for multiple electronic devices.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

For the first time, Subaru offers available built-in 4GLTE Wi-Fi connectivity, which is a game changer for kids and teens with smart devices. Data plans are available by subscription or amount, and utilize a data connection in the Ascent to connect any Wi-Fi compatible device to the vehicle’s network connection.

My Ascent had the latest SUBARU STARLINK multimedia system with an 8-inch, multi-touch, high-resolution display screen that features smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay™ and Android® Auto, Bluetooth® hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, rear vision camera and more.

Also available SUBARU STARLINK Connected Services offers all-new remote engine start via your smartphone, a concierge service, an anti-theft vehicle immobilizer, and some new features I find especially appealing with two teen drivers in the house: geofencing, speed alert and curfew functions that alert your smartphone when the vehicle has been taken “out of bounds.” (Mom may not be cool, but she’s still the boss.)

Most Ascent models offer the STARLINK version with a large, 8-inch display screen and 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity.

Safety First

We trust our vehicles to protect those we love. Ascent delivers on the Subaru commitment to safety with its standard Subaru EyeSight Driver Assist Technology system. Two cameras mounted on either side of the rear view mirror monitor traffic movement and potential obstacles, optimize cruise control, and warn you if you sway outside your lane. It can detect another vehicle or pedestrians in the oncoming path and immediately engage the brakes to avoid or minimize a collision, depending on your vehicle’s travel speed. 

My Touring model added standard Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Reverse Automatic Braking, and Steering Responsive Headlights that turn with the steering wheel.

Our family loves the outdoors and we load our vehicles to the roof with camping gear, ski equipment, our dog kennel – you name it. Unique to the Ascent Touring model is a video rearview mirror that provides a completely unobstructed rear view, regardless of how much gear you’ve packed in the cargo area. 


The Drive

From smooth, paved roads to loose gravel, the Ascent was surefooted and performed flawlessly. The ride was quiet and acceleration excellent, thanks to the new 2.4-liter flat-four turbocharged SUBARU BOXER® engine generating 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. Those who tow RVs and boats will appreciate the available 5,000-pound towing capability.

Crazy in Love

It seemed fitting when this Beyoncé hit came on the radio as my drive came to an end. (Sidenote: Queen B sounds amazing coming from the 14-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system, which I suspect would also do a fine job muting sibling wars in the back rows.) It delivers on all fronts – comfort, technology and safety. 

There is so much to love about the 2019 Subaru Ascent, expected to show up at Subaru retailers this summer. In this busy mom’s opinion, it’s the best family-minded SUV yet.

At the push of a button, Subaru X-MODE with Hill Descent Control delivers sure-footed traction on extreme terrain.
At the push of a button, Subaru X-MODE with Hill Descent Control delivers sure-footed traction on extreme terrain.