2018 Subaru Ascent, New Subaru 3-Row SUV, NYIAS
Denis Flierl's picture

3 Mistakes Subaru Made with Tribeca they Won't Make with New 3-Row Ascent

Subaru learned three valuable lessons from the discontinued B9 Tribeca they will change with the new 3-Row Ascent. Will Americans buy it?

Subaru of America won’t make the same mistakes with the new 3-Row Ascent Crossover they made with the discontinued B9 Tribeca. Subaru learned three valuable lessons from the Tribeca as Americans won't buy the same vehicles as consumers around the globe. Subaru Corporation is designing the Ascent for American families and it won’t be sold anywhere else. U.S. buyers want big, comfortable and powerful when it comes to their SUVs which Tribeca was not.

What was wrong with Tribeca?

Tom Doll, COO of Subaru of America (SOA) told Automotive News recently they know they made mistakes and they aren’t about to repeat them with American SUV consumers. He said the Tribeca was too small, it was underpowered, and it’s styling was too different from the rest of the Subaru lineup.

The new 3-Row Ascent will be very different from the discounted Tribeca and they expect it to be a game-changer. It will feature all-wheel-drive as standard equipment, but that will be the only similarity. Doll told AN the new Ascent will look a lot like the three most-popular vehicles that are their lineup. It will resemble its stablemates, the top-selling Outback wagon, Forester SUV and Crosstrek crossover. Doll says, “It's got the family resemblance, in a good way.”

The other lesson SOA learned is the new Ascent will be much bigger and will be a true 3-Row vehicle for families in America. It will be a 7-seat crossover and the interior will be more upscale than the Tribeca. When Subaru brought the Ascent Concept to the New York International Auto Show earlier this year, it was unveiled with bigger exterior dimensions and interior volume was increased considerably from Tribeca.

The new 2018 Subaru Ascent won’t be underpowered like the smaller Tribeca. The new 3-Row vehicle will be powered with an all-new turbocharged fuel-efficient Direct Injection Boxer engine. Subaru has not revealed the exact size of the new powerplant, but it will be a new engine specifically built for the Ascent.

Subaru enters a new segment for the brand

Subaru is expecting some current Outback customers to move up in size, but the majority of Ascent buyers will be conquests from other brands like the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Chevy Traverse, Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee. The new 3-Row Ascent allows Subaru to enter a whole new segment the’ve been missing until now. It also allows their current customer base of young millennial families to move up in size as their family grows.

Doll says Subaru dealers are more than excited about the new Ascent. He says, “This helps us in a lot of different areas. It helps us with legitimizing us in that three-row segment. And it's a beautiful execution.” Go to Page 2.

This will be the first new vehicle from Subaru since they launched the Crosstrek crossover in 2012. Subaru of America learned their lesson with the smaller Tribeca that was too small, underpowered and it didn’t have the family resemblance and they won’t make those mistakes again. The new seven-passenger Ascent production vehicle will be larger and designed for families with active lifestyles. The new 2018 Subaru Ascent will expand the brand’s lineup to include a true seven-seat SUV they bring to dealerships in 2018, Stay tuned.

Photo credit: Subaru

Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.


Take My Money!!... Please since it's going to be a 4cyl. make it at least a 2.5L with at minimum 285 hp. Of course a turbo would be much appreciated!! Thx for the article.
"The new 3-Row Ascent will be very different from the discounted Tribeca" but is it very different from the Tribeca without a discount?
Our Tribeca has a 3.6 making like 260 hp. Never feels underpowered. Not sure why this article says that. Now the 2.5 outback is somewhat underpowered I might agree.
The 3.6 Tribeca does not feel underpowered like this article says.