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New Subaru Ascent Report Card-The 3-Row SUVs Strong Points And Weak Spots

The 2020 Subaru Ascent is already two years old. How is it doing? Here are its strong points and weak spots.

Consumers shopping for a 3-Row SUV have lots of choices and you may be considering the 2020 Subaru Ascent family hauler. It excels in some areas and has a few weaknesses too. The Ascent is already having its two year birthday this year. The all-new Ascent replaced the outgoing Tribeca because it was too small and customers wanted a 3-Row model that would better fit their needs. How well is it doing? Here’s a year two report card on the 3-Row SUV.

The 2020 Subaru Ascent has strong points that set it apart from the other 3-Row SUVs. The Subaru brand is strong on safety and the Ascent 3-Row SUV excels, getting five stars from the NHTSA and earns a Top Safety Pick from IIHS. All Ascent trims come standard with Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assist technology.

2020 Subaru Ascent, New Subaru SUV, 3-Row SUV, best family 3-Row SUVSubaru Ascent excels in safety and all-weather capability

The Ascent also excels in all-weather capability with Symmetrical all-wheel-drive standard on every trim level. It comes with 8.7-inches of ground clearance and X-Mode for off-pavement adventures. It’s a good pick for active families. According to Consumer Reports, 82 percent of owners said they would buy the Ascent again.

Consumer Reports scores the new Ascent family hauler a number six out of 23 mid-size SUVs. It scores high in owner satisfaction, ride quality, rear-seat comfort, and scored high in the road test. Its weak spots are in predicted reliability which is typical of an all-new model. It has a number of recalls that are covered under Subaru’s new vehicle warranty.

2020 Subaru Ascent, New Subaru SUV, 3-Row SUV, best family 3-Row SUV2020 Subaru Ascent

Ascent also scores a 3/5 for fuel economy. Consumer Reports performs its own fuel-economy tests, independent of the EPA’s (21/27 city/highway 23 combined mpg) figures. CR uses a fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, and run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption. CR comes up with 14/32/ city/highway and 22 combined mpg, which is considerably less in city fuel mileage but higher highway mpg.

Ascent problem areas

Some owners have reported a problem with the Ascent battery draining when the tailgate is left open for 2 hours or longer. Many owners take their vehicle camping and leave the gate open while setting up the campsite or while tailgating. Multiple reports say there is a sensor in the power tailgate that does not time out draining the battery. Subaru is aware of the complaints but has not been able to fix the problem yet. Look for the automaker to address this in 2021 models.

What trim should you choose?

The 2020 Subaru Ascent comes in Base ($33,005), Premium ($35,405), Limited ($40,355), and Touring ($46,045). The Premium and Limited trims offer the best value. With the Premium, you get the choice of second-row bench or captain’s chairs, 5,000 lb. towing capacity, all-weather package, and rear climate control. With the Limited it adds leather, heated front, and second-row seats, a power tailgate, push-button start, 10-way driver's seat, and more exterior color choices. Our pick would be the Limited trim with its extra features.

As with any all-new model, there have been growing pains with the Ascent family hauler, but largely, the all-new 3-Row SUV is a good choice for active families. Subaru is offering special no-interest financing on all 2020 Ascent trims and you could get additional incentives now as dealers try to ramp up sales.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!

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Photo credit: Subaru USA, subaruascentfanpage