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The Subaru Ascent Is Not Broken But Sounds Like It

The 2024 Subaru Ascent 3-Row SUV needs something to get it moving. Where is the family hauler now in sales performance, and where is it going? A remodel is in the works, but what changes will it get? I'll answer all these questions and more. 

Subaru Ascent needs something. 

American families have an excellent choice in the 3-row SUV category with the 2024 Subaru Ascent. Subaru had a great idea in 2019 when it offered a new family hauler to its U.S. customers. If it's so good, why are sales so dismal? Before I answer why, let's check Ascent's recent sales performance.

Subaru Ascent is not broken, but sounds like it. 

June's sales performance of the Subaru Ascent midsize 3-Row SUV declined again. The family hauler has declined for twelve consecutive months. Is Subaru of America (SOA) worried? They aren't concerned at all. Read my report here on the interview with Jeff Walters, Subaru of America's President and COO, To find out why. 

Subaru of America reports that the 2024 Ascent's June sales decreased by 14.8 percent compared with the same month in 2023. SOA delivered 5,020 models to customers in June, compared with 5,889 in June 2023. 

In the first six months of 2024, 27,955 Ascent models were delivered to customers, down 15.7 percent for the year. Still, the Ascent midsize SUV remains SOA's fourth best-selling model. Read my Ascent performance report here.

It's about perspective.

If we project Ascent sales to the end of the year, SOA will sell approximately 56,000 Ascent 3-Row SUVs to families in 2024. It may seem low, but that's a good number for Subaru of America. 

Subaru of Indiana Automotive manufactures the Ascent, and the factory just took on building the new Crosstrek subcompact SUV. It's one of the automaker's most prolific models. However, they only have so much manufacturing capacity and are building the right number of Ascent SUVs for Subaru retailers. 

There are enough sitting on retailers' lots to meet customer demand. Sales have slipped, but this is also partly due to the economy's weakness. 

Jeff Walters, Subaru of America's President and COO, says, "So it's the right product at the right price, and we try to be reasonable regarding (manufacturer) incentives for the customer. We are reasonable with the number that we are going to build. If we get anything out of sync, you'll run into problems." 

"Then we have to resort to incentives we don't want to use, we have to fleet the car, and we hurt our retailer's profitability, and many things start to break. So, we talk about sales value, which is a part of the process. That's what we spend a lot of time thinking about." 

An all-new Ascent is coming.

The Ascent is in its sixth year of model life cycle and is due for a complete remodel. Unless Subaru throws a curve ball, the 2025 Ascent should get a redesign from the ground up says Automotive News. This upcoming model holds a lot of potential and could be a game-changer for Subaru. 

Subaru has been silent as usual on the upcoming Ascent changes. I expect Subaru to give an announcement this fall.  

Let's get comfortable.

The Ascent is still an excellent vehicle for families. In my recent report, Consumer Reports says the Ascent is the most comfortable midsize 3-Row SUV you can buy today. Read my updated Ascent report here

The 2024 Ascent offers exceptional value for its price point. With a range of trim levels and features, it caters to a wide variety of needs and preferences, making it a smart choice for families and individuals alike. 

2024 Ascent pricing is here.

The 2024 Subaru Ascent has six trim levels: the base trim starts at $35,490, and the Premium trims begin at $38,090. The Ascent Onyx Edition starts at $42,890, the upper Limited starts at $43,190, the Ascent Onyx Edition Limited is priced at $47,890, and the top-trim Touring has a starting MSRP of $49,790. Pricing includes destination and delivery fees ($1,295).

You can find more information on SOA's Ascent online tool, where you can check each trim level with standard features, color selection, packages, accessories, and images of each 2024 model change. Check my online configurator tool report here for additional information. 

The Ascent is an excellent vehicle for Subaru's most active customers. It has the automaker's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive for all-weather performance and X-Mode and dual-function X-Mode for extreme weather and all-terrain performance.

Are you shopping for a 3-Row SUV? What do you like about the Ascent? Will you wait for the remodel? We'd like to hear your thoughts. Click the red Add New Comment link below and let us know. Your feedback is valuable to us and the automotive community.

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Adventure Subaru

Comments

hw (not verified)    July 7, 2024 - 1:10PM

Sat in 2nd row bench seat of 2024 Ascent and it is definitely not comfortable for 3 people. Outboard riders lack back support near the doors and have side bolsters digging into your back. A Forester or Outback is much more comfortable for 3 in 2nd row.

John Baker (not verified)    July 7, 2024 - 2:33PM

You promised to say what changes were coming and failed to deliver on that promise. I'm fact, there was very little content at all. How about writing fewer articles but with some real content? Thank you.

Diego Castaneda (not verified)    July 12, 2024 - 9:47AM

In reply to by John Baker (not verified)

Unfortunately we're all just speculating for 2025 model features, since Subaru is doing a good job of keeping info from leaking. A hybrid would be an interesting suprise. I'm glad I don't actually need a 3rd row until early January, this will allow me to decide between the 2024/2025.

Diego Castaneda (not verified)    July 12, 2024 - 9:50AM

In reply to by David Rodriguez (not verified)

I've read that the 2024 feels smoother than older models, but sure what technical differences or refinements could have been made. I can't imagine being worse than the engine issues on my Kia Sorento GDI engine. I'm pretty convinced on the Ascent, just waiting for a 2025 announcement to determine if going with 2024 or 2025 model.

Leanid Ustsinovich (not verified)    July 7, 2024 - 2:50PM

I have an ascent touring 2022, and I would like get in new model when car started engine it takes long time to get idle RPM, to reduce somehow this time. All during this time, revolution about 1700 per minute. It's really annoying.

Nissa Chichester (not verified)    July 7, 2024 - 4:23PM

I bought my 2024 Ascent last February and I Love my car. I love the comfort, the control, the safety you feel. My family is split, pretty much down the middle, Toyota and Subaru, but everyone agrees the Ascent wins hands down for the best comfortable ride.
I was also pleasantly surprised with my gas mileage. It has power enough to get me around slow moving vehicles on two lane highways. The gas pedal is a bit touchy so drive accordingly.
Am I sad that I didn't wait for the 2025, maybe a little, but I love my car and I'm so glad I have it!!!

Diego Castaneda (not verified)    July 12, 2024 - 9:53AM

In reply to by Nissa Chichester (not verified)

Always an ease of mind to read positive reviews. I've read the 2024 has been refined well. I have time to wait for 2025 announcement, but I can see myself also going for the 2024 model as well. The premium trim with 2nd row bench, black cloth is the one i'm considering, currently no preference on the exterior color, maybe the silver or white; but the other colors are also nice.

Bruce Bennett (not verified)    July 7, 2024 - 6:50PM

My wife is waiting for the 2025 model to become available. Our sales person is also waiting for details so that we can place an order. Not worth getting a 2024 at this point and we’d like to find out something sooner than later. I own a 2022 Outback touring model and am very pleased with it. Is there any timeframe when we can order?????

Diego Castaneda (not verified)    July 12, 2024 - 9:13AM

In reply to by Bruce Bennett (not verified)

I'm on the same boat, waiting for info on the 2025 model to purchase early next year, when I actually need the 3rd row. Hoping for some good upgrades over the 2024, but if no significant differences, I'll take a discounted 2024. This will be my first Subaru, coming from a Kia Sorento, so looking forward to it.

John Henz (not verified)    July 7, 2024 - 9:53PM

In past 4 yrs I almost bought an ascent twice but low mileage stopped. Ascent screams for a hybrid engine not an electric one. Toyota highlander hybrid isn't as nice a drive or interior but its mpg gives it a huge edge. Check the Fuelly.com numbers. Ascent's excellent IIHS safety scores are tops with only Ford Explorer competitive. Families notice this. A newly designed front would clinch the Ascent's ascent in the 3 row market.

Diego Castaneda (not verified)    July 12, 2024 - 9:58AM

In reply to by John Henz (not verified)

I agree, a hybrid model would definitely catch my attention; I wonder what challenges come with keeping CVT and adding hybrid functions; and also at what price 5k vs 10k difference for example. Seems Subaru is depending on Toyota for EV options, hoping 2025 Ascent model will have hybrid option and for 2026 the they can shoose to create a model non-Ascent SUV model for a 3 row EV SUV.

Dan Acosta (not verified)    July 7, 2024 - 10:46PM

Part of the problem is for the last two years Subaru has mistakenly published on their website that the Ascent has the same cargo capacity as the Outback. To make matters worse, every magazine and online review pulls that data from Subaru’s website and tells the world the Ascent only has 75.6 cu ft instead of the actual 86.5, so many buyers never even look because they think the Ascent is smaller than it really is. This error has been reported to Subaru many times, but the misinformation on their website continues.

John Dunlop (not verified)    July 8, 2024 - 4:26AM

I have a moderate mileage 2020 Forester Premier (Canada). I shall either purchase a new designed 2025 Ascent or a 2026 Ascent hybrid. Happy to wait..

Diego Castaneda (not verified)    July 12, 2024 - 10:01AM

In reply to by John Dunlop (not verified)

I'm surprised the article says the 2025 will be a new design, since other comments say that is likely not happening until 2026. I guess nobody knows for sure at this point. If Subaru can pull off a hybrid model for 2025, that will be interesting since the competition is already there for at least 1-2 years.

Tommy Wei (not verified)    July 12, 2024 - 7:56PM

It came down to a telluride and the Aspen and I went with the Telluride and one reason only. The Aspen needs a 6-cyl engine. Forget the 4-cyl/turbo, that’s a joke, especially for heavy hauling. I traded in my Cadillac xt5 for the Telluride. The xt5 is garbage.