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The Aging Subaru Ascent Is Now Making A Comeback With Families

Is the 2022 Subaru Ascent a good family SUV? Even though it's aging, the 3-Row SUV is making a comeback. Check out the four features that set the 3-Row family hauler apart from the crowd.


Even though the 2022 Subaru Ascent received no upgrades, except for the Onyx Edition, and is showing its age, the 3-Row SUV is now coming back with families. The Ascent has been down in sales but comes roaring back in February. During new model shortages and supply chain issues, the Ascent 3-Row family hauler sales for January increased the most of any Subaru of America SUV carline (15.3%) and continued an upward trend in February. Last month Subaru of America reported the Ascent was up again with a 12.2 gain in sales over February 2021.

Subaru of America delivered 5,181 Ascent 3-Row SUVs to customers compared with 4,619 in February 2021. The Ascent is up 13.8 percent year-to-date, while the Forester (-7.1%) and Outback (-21.6%) are down to start the year. Subaru has sold 10,651 family haulers to its U.S. customers in the first two months. Ascent is the brand's fourth best-selling model.

2022 Subaru Ascent pricing, features, safety, fuel mileage
photo credit: Schumacher Subaru of West Palm Beach

What sets the Ascent apart?

Ascent offers cargo space, top safety scores, all-weather, all-terrain capability, and good fuel economy. The Ascent features 8.7-inches of ground clearance (more than other SUVs) and comes standard with Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system. All Ascent trims come with X-Mode for all-weather and off-pavement capability.

What is the price of the 2022 Ascent?

The 2022 Subaru Ascent base starts at $33,420, and Premium trims begin at $35,920. The new Ascent Onyx Edition starts at $39,120. The upper Limited trim level starts at $40,720, and the top-trim Touring has a starting MSRP of $46,570. Pricing includes destination fees.

2022 Subaru Ascent pricing, features, safety, fuel mileage

What is Ascent's fuel mileage?

The 2021 Subaru Ascent base and Premium trim levels get an EPA estimated 21/27 city/highway mpg and 23 combined mpg. Because they are slightly heavier, the Ascent Limited and Touring trim levels get an EPA estimated 20/26 city/highway mpg and 22 combined mpg.

What are the Ascent's safety scores?

The Ascent achieved the highest Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The 2022 Ascent comes standard with EyeSight driver assist technology and earned a "Superior" rating in front crash prevention. All 2022 Ascent trims now come with the highest-rated LED projector headlights.

Ascent awards

The 2022 Subaru Ascent scores number one of twelve in Motor Trends 3-Row SUV awards. Motor Trend says the pros are a strong engine, sliding second-row seats, and off-road capability. The cons are bland exterior design, small third row, and the base trims 6.5-inch touchscreen.

M/T says, "The three-row SUV offers plenty of cargo space, seating for seven to eight passengers (depending on the configuration), and a whopping 19 cupholders. The Ascent is a competitive player in its segment keeps more established rivals such as the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, and Toyota Highlander on their toes."

What's next for Ascent?

For the 2022 model year, the Ascent 3-Row family hauler remained unchanged with no upgrades; it's showing its age and is due for a refresh.

The 2023 Subaru Ascent 3-Row SUV is scheduled to refresh and arrives in the second half of 2022 as a 2023 model. The family hauler will get a new front fascia outside (headlights, bumper, hexagon grille), unique interior upgrades with fabric changes inside, and a new exterior color. Reports not confirmed by Subaru say the Ascent could get a Wilderness trim level but would arrive after the 2023 model year.

The 2022 Subaru Ascent starts the new year with positive sales results. The Ascent is making a comeback with families looking for a 3-Row SUV that offers cargo space, top safety scores, all-weather capability, and good fuel economy.

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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: main image Maita Subaru