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New Subaru Ascent 6-Month Review; Has It Lived Up To Expectations?

The all-new Subaru Ascent has reached its six month anniversary. How is the new 3-Row family hauler doing?


Subaru needed a replacement for the aging Tribeca 3-Row family vehicle because it was too small, sales were lagging and Subaru dealers in the U.S. were asking for a new bigger model. Subaru Corporation listened and designed the new Ascent. Subaru needed a mid-size SUV because they were losing customers with growing families wanting to move up from the Forester SUV, Outback SUV/Crossover and Crosstrek small SUV. The new Ascent went on sale starting in June and it was a big hit with customers.

How is Ascent doing after the six-month mark?

5,890 of the all-new 3-row Ascent SUVs were delivered in November, SOA sold 6,008 new Ascents in October, making it the best month ever for the new 3-Row family hauler. Subaru sold 5,859 of the large SUVs in September to help the brand record their best September ever. The Camden N.J. automaker sold 4,235 of the all-new 3-row Ascent SUVs in August, 4,589 in July, and 1,897 in June for a total of 28,478 in six months this year.

These numbers are about what Subaru of America was hoping for. Before the new Ascent family hauler launched in June, Subaru execs were expecting the new Ascent to be a big hit with North American families and they could sell more than 60,000 of the new family-sized SUVs in the first full year alone. After the 6-month mark, SOA is right on track to deliver around 64,000 Ascents to customers. Ascent arrived in mid-June and it was not a full month.

Subaru’s new 2019 Ascent competes with Japanese rivals Toyota Highlander, Nissan Pathfinder, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, and American entries like the Ford Explorer, Chevy Traverse, Dodge Durango, and Jeep Grand Cherokee. Ascent’s 4-cylinder 2.4-liter turbo Boxer engine compares favorably with the competition’s V6 power but gets better fuel economy.

Subaru figured to cash in on the SUV/Crossover craze that is driving their sales to new records every year, and Ascent has been exactly what the Camden, N.J. automaker expected in the first 6 months. Subaru will sell more Ascents than their Legacy sedan and could sell as many as the new-generation Impreza compact and that is also built at their plant in Indiana.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Tyson (not verified)    December 6, 2018 - 12:30PM

I'm pretty sure that the photo that you used for the Ascent article is actually a 2019 Forester. The front end is a bit different between the two.

Tyson (not verified)    December 10, 2018 - 7:59PM

In reply to by Jim B (not verified)

Jim, it was an image of a Forester before it was changed. See the comment above mine as well. It would have been nice to hear from the poster acknowledging his slip up and thanking us for pointing it out shortly after the article was posted.

Chris (not verified)    December 7, 2018 - 9:56AM

Thought you were going to tell us if it “held up” to expectations. As a 6 month road review. Another sensational head line with no “meat” or substance in the article. Just regurgitated information.

Ed B (not verified)    December 18, 2018 - 3:31PM

I've heard minor items so far: 1) CVT too punchy off the line (power ban adjustment may be necessary. 2) Too much play in the steering. 3) Infotainment screen slow at times. 4) Panoramic roof cover (flimsy).