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New Subaru Ascent Is Already Outselling Two Popular Nameplates But Not Crosstrek

The new 2019 Subaru Ascent is outselling the Impreza compact and Legacy sedan. Can it catch Crosstrek?

Thought the first 7 months of 2019, Subaru of America has delivered 47,404 of the all-new 2019 Ascent family haulers putting it on pace to sell over 80,000 units for the year. It’s already selling better than the Impreza compass sedan and 5-door hatch and the Legacy sedan. The 2020 Ascent models are arriving now with a few new upgrades. Can the 3-Row vehicle catch the popular Crosstrek SUV?

The Subaru Crosstrek is the number three selling vehicle in the Subaru stable with 70,742 units deliver this year behind the Forester SUV (100,950) and number one Outback SUV/Crossover (112,139). Subaru executives originally forecast 60,000 Ascent sales per year, but that number will be shattered by October.

2019 Subaru Ascent

Subaru needed the new 3-Row vehicle to be successful right out of the gate and it's delivered more than expected. Tom Doll said recently they could sell more Ascent SUVs if they had them. "I can't tell you what the top is for Ascent because we don’t have the inventory levels.” Dealers want more but they can’t produce enough.

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 comes with 86.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the seats down making it a capable sleeping mobile and cargo-hauling vehicle.

Subaru Ascent Cargo

Doll went on to say, "We just don't have the inventory to get there, which is good because, in our business, one less is always better than one more, although I'd like to have a few more.” Ron Owens, general manager at Wilsonville Subaru in Portland, Ore., told AN, "We can't stock enough Ascents.”

The all-new Subaru Ascent has been exactly what the Camden, N.J. automaker needed. Subaru Corporation made the right decision when they axed Tribeca and delivered the new Ascent family hauler to North America.

The new Ascent is built in Lafayette, Indiana where production is at its peak. Crosstrek is built in Japan where the Japanese automaker can produce more Crosstreks. It's unlikely the 2020 Subaru Ascent family hauler arriving this summer can catch Crosstrek and move into the number three spot in the all-wheel-drive lineup.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Digitaldoc (not verified)    August 23, 2019 - 1:15PM

The Ascent outselling potentially both the Impreza, and the Crosstrek is not really a great success story, but points to the deficiencies of both the Impreza and the Crosstrek to me.

Maybe if they learn from the Ascent, and give both the Impreza and the Crosstrek a decent powertrain upfront, rather than leaving them so slow from being underpowered, perhaps their sales would improve.

Not everyone wants or needs a 3 row CUV, and would welcome some better non-luxury subcompact and compact CUV offerings. So far Subaru, and other manufacturers have fallen short in my opinion.

Digitaldoc (not verified)    August 24, 2019 - 12:24PM

The CVT that most folks get with their Crosstrek magnifies the lack of power. Here is what Car and Driver says about the Crosstrek powertrain:

"The Crosstrek's base 152-hp four-cylinder engine makes a lot of noise but doesn't offer a lot of motivation. As with many of its competitors, getting up to highway speeds can be a bit painful, no matter whether you choose the standard manual transmission or the optional automatic. An automatic model needed a leisurely 9.2 seconds to reach 60 mph in our testing."

I think there are better options out there, and Subaru should address this lack of power if they want to increase sales.