2019 Subaru Ascent, New Subaru SUV, 3-Row SUV, fuel mileage, towing
Denis Flierl's picture

Subaru Tribeca Had 5 Major Problems; New Ascent Fixed Them

Subaru Corp fixed five Tribeca problem areas with the all-new 2019 Ascent family hauler. Here are the five areas where Tribeca failed.
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Subaru had big problems with the Tribeca SUV and they fixed it. They axed the vehicle and started over. Tribeca had cramped third-row seating, limited cargo capacity, it had an aging design, poor fuel mileage, and it could only tow up to 2000 lbs. The Japanese automaker couldn’t compete in the competitive 3-Row segment with the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Nissan Pathfinder, Mitsubishi Outlander, Toyota Highlander, and Honda Pilot. Tribeca’s five problems have been addressed with the all-new 2019 Ascent 3-Row family hauler.

Edmunds just released their 10 notable new cars list for 2019, and they say the new Subaru Ascent is an excellent choice for families. It checks all the right boxes that the discontinued Tribeca did not. Ascent comes with seating for up to eight, a bigger cargo space, it comes with 8.7 inches of ground clearance, and standard all-wheel-drive giving the 3-Row vehicle the same “go-anywhere” off-road capabilities as the Outback, Forester, and Crosstrek stablemates.

The fuel mileage issue

The discontinued Tribeca SUV was powered by a 3.6-liter 6 cylinder boxer engine that was aging, and got an EPA-estimated 16/21 city/highway mpg and 18 combined mpg. The new Ascent gets the brand’s new FA24 Boxer powerplant with the latest direct injection and other internal upgrades for the best power and towing vs fuel efficiency.

Subaru addressed fuel mileage with their new 3-Row Ascent. The Ascent 2.4-liter twin turbo four cylinder is their new-generation boxer engine developed specifically for this vehicle that’s built at Subaru’s U.S. factory in Lafayette, Indiana. It gets an EPA estimated 21/27 city/highway mpg and 23 combined mpg. The new 2.4-liter boxer engine offers drivability, power and fuel economy equal to or better than that of the competition’s 6-cylinder engines.

The towing issue

The most important spec is not the 260-horsepower at 5,600 rpm the new FA24 engine develops, it’s the broad peak torque band of 277 lb-ft between 2,000 and 4,800 rpm. This is what will get the new 2019 Ascent moving from a start, power it at altitude up steep mountain passes, and it will allow the largest vehicle Subaru has ever built to tow up to 5,000 lbs vs 2000 lbs for Tribeca.

Subaru addressed five problems they had with the aging Tribeca. The 2019 Subaru Ascent checks five boxes that the discontinued Tribeca did not.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


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Comments

You're correct Denis, good points. However, those were pretty obvious fixes to make and considering Subaru was out of the big SUV market for quite some time, they had plenty of time to size up their competition and use Honda, Toyota and Mazda as benchmarks. I just hope they don't rest on their laurels and actually make incremental improvements to the next gen Ascents. Granted, this is the first year of production. However, they should have provided sport mode options like the Forester and exterior styling could have been a tad more attractive. I'm also curious as to why they didn't include their new facial recognition technology - which for the price of the Limited option should have been standard. I'll test drive in the coming year before I draw any conclusions. I've read all the reviews and it's time to get behind the wheel and test drive one myself.
I concur, but the fixes were blatantly obvious and relatively easy to do. They simply benchmarked Toyota, Honda and Mazda. In addition, they were out of the market segment long enough to see what was out there. I just wished they would have done a bit more on the exterior styling and added drive selection modes like the Forester. Hopefully, next gens get subtle enhancements. I'm curious as to why DriverFocus wasn't added to the top of the line Ascent. You would think distracted driving would be an issue hauling a family and all the activity that occurs in a cabin loaded with kids.