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Subaru’s New High-Riding Ascent SUV Cabin Is Quieter Than You Think

If you are looking for one of the quietest SUVs, how do you know by taking a test drive? Consumer Reports says the 2020 Subaru Ascent is one of the six quietest mid-size SUVs. Check out the whole list.


The problem with most mid-size SUVs is they are loud inside the cabin because of their boxy shape, they ride higher off the ground letting road noise bounce off the underside, and some are powered by smaller four-cylinder engines that have to work hard.

The new 2020 Subaru Ascent has the tallest ride height of any mid-size SUV with 8.7-inches of ground clearance, it’s the largest SUV Subaru has ever built, and it’s also powered by a new 2.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that has to work harder than a larger V6 engine. It's not a good combination for a quiet ride.

2020 Subaru Ascent2020 Ascent filled a big void in the Subaru lineup

If you are buying a new mid-size SUV, it’s hard to tell from the test drive if the vehicle is going to be quiet inside. There are many distractions, and you are paying attention to other things. So you don’t really know until you get your new SUV home and live with it for a few weeks.

That’s where Consumer Reports (by subscription) can help. They came out with the new mid-size SUVs with the quietest cabins by evaluating interior noise as part of more than 50 objective and subjective tests. CR checked out wind, road, engine, and tire noises that often penetrate the cabin.

2020 Subaru AscentHow does the new Ascent cabin rate in interior noise?

CR says the six quietest mid-size SUVs are the 2020 Kia Telluride, 2020 Hyundai Palisade, 2019 Toyota Highlander, 2020 Ford Edge, 2020 Subaru Ascent, and 2020 Mazda CX-9.

Subaru has taken what used to be a weakness and turned it into a strong point. Subaru interiors were once rated the worst, but that has changed. CR rated the new Ascent family hauler one of the best for its smooth ride, functional interior, and the new FA24 2.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine is also quiet.

Consumer Reports says, “The Ascent is very quiet for such a large vehicle, with very little wind and road noise penetrating the cabin. The engine emits a pleasant-sounding hum when around town or cruising at a steady speed.”

The 2020 Subaru Ascent is the largest vehicle the brand has ever built and fills a big void in the Subaru lineup. Customers who had growing families trading in their Forester or Outback had to leave Subaru and go to the competition. The 2020 Subaru Ascent is built for North American families and is a big success for the Japanese automaker.

The new Ascent 3-Row family hauler comes with Subaru’s excellent Symmetrical all-wheel-drive as standard equipment, standard EyeSight driver-assist safety technology, and 8.7-inches of ground clearance for more active families. In addition, it’s now rated one of the quietest mid-size SUVs.

You Might Also Like: New Ascent Touring: Subaru Turns Their Weakness Into A Strength

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 FacebookTwitterInstagramSubaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


Patty Wood (not verified)    January 27, 2020 - 11:52AM

Why doesn’t a navation system come automatically on the different styles of Ascent! The one we liked didn’t have it and the salesman said just use your phone! Really? Ir is a good car but we want one that comes with navigation standard. Other brands have it standard.

Raymond Johnson (not verified)    April 16, 2020 - 11:09AM

I drove one when my Forrester was in the shop, and I thought the noise was too
much. It was worse than my Forrester.

Michael Masteller (not verified)    September 7, 2022 - 5:40PM

The Ascent Limited is not quiet. Highway road noise is awful for such a nice vehicle. It might be the OEM Falken tires and I hope it is. I plan to replace the tires sooner than later hoping this will help with the terrible road noise. My old Jeep was quieter than my new Ascent.