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The 2023 Subaru Ascent Gets A Significant Upgrade For Active Families

The 2023 Subaru Ascent gets one new improvement that will make a difference for active families who want to get away from the city. The upgrade makes Ascent better for off-pavement adventures.


Subaru announced that the refreshed 2023 Ascent 3-Row family hauler now has one new feature that improves the SUV over the outgoing model for active families. It gives the family hauler an extra level of all-weather and all-terrain performance.

A significant upgrade for the 2023 Ascent is the Ascent Onyx Edition, Limited and Touring trim levels is its newly-added dual-function X-Mode with Hill Descent Control. Dual-function X-Mode capabilities include Snow/Dirt and Deep Snow/Mud settings to optimize all-wheel-drive performance for the enhanced all-weather, off-pavement trail, and beach-going ability.

2023 Subaru Ascent features, upgrades, pricing

Do you need Dual-function X-Mode?

The 2023 Subaru Ascent Base and Premium trim levels come with standard X-Mode. The refreshed SUV comes with 8.7-inches of ground clearance and Subaru's excellent Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. The Japanese automaker adds X-Mode for additional all-weather performance in snow and mud. It's more than enough if you live in a moderate climate and don't use the family hauler for more adventurous off-pavement excursions.

What is the benefit of Dual function X-Mode?

If you live in a northern climate or near the coast where you'll encounter deep snow, mud, or sand, you'll want Dual-Function X-Mode with deep snow and deep mud settings. Dual-Function X-Mode adds additional capability when you get into more extreme conditions if you drive on mountain trails or a sandy beach.

2023 Subaru Ascent features, upgrades, pricing

How does Dual-function X-Mode work?

Dual-Function X-Mode changes the Ascent SUV's brakes by locking up one wheel if it senses spinning. The system knows it needs extra grip instead of letting the wheel spin. The 2023 Ascent also comes with Hill Descent Control. It ensures the SUV's speed doesn't increase when descending a hill, managing the braking to provide a controlled, smooth and safe descent.

Is X-Mode easy to engage?

Dual-Function X-Mode is controlled by a knob on the Ascent's console, allowing you to switch from Snow and Dirt mode to the new Deep Snow and Deep Mud Mode. This mode lets the 3-Row SUV maintain momentum when you get off the beaten path and in more extreme snow, mud, and deep sand situations.

What is the 2023 Ascent towing capacity?

This 2023 Ascent 3-Row Suv allows up to 5,000 lb. towing capacity with standard Trailer Stability Assist.

Subaru of America now offers dual-function X-Mode on the 2023 Ascent Onyx Edition, Limited, and Touring trim levels giving the family hauler an extra level of all-weather and all-terrain performance.

What is the price of the 2023 Subaru Ascent?

The newly-refreshed 2023 Subaru Ascent arrives in Subaru showrooms this Fall. Pricing will be announced closer to the retail launch, but expect a price increase with its new features. Check out all the new upgrades below.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


James Reynolds (not verified)    August 29, 2022 - 7:16PM

In this article you state several times the 2023 Ascent Limited trim comes standard with Dual Mode X-Mode. Can you confirm this? The dealer is thinking it is only included on the Onyx