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Why the New Subaru Ascent 3-Row SUV Will Be a Game-Changer

The new Subaru Ascent 3-Row SUV could be a game-changer for the brand. Can it compete with Toyota, Ford, Chevy, Dodge and Jeep?

Subaru learned their lesson with the discontinued Tribeca 7-seater that never really caught on with families in the US. It was too small for the North American market, and the styling was boring. SUV buyers wanted something bigger for their families and Subaru of America listened. A new bigger Subaru Ascent 3-Row SUV is coming late next year to fill the spot vacated by Tribeca. Could it be a game-changer for the brand?

The new Ascent 7-passenger crossover will come standard with Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system, it will be the largest vehicle Subaru has ever built, and it will have the same “go-anywhere” attitude like its all-wheel-drive stablemates Outback, Forester and Crosstrek. The new Subaru 3-Row SUV will be built specifically with North American urban-adventurers who lead active lifestyles.

Families will haul the kids to school and to sporting events during the week, and use the vehicle for weekend excursions to the mountains for activities like biking, hiking and skiing. Subaru designed the new larger Ascent with young families in mind, and grandparents who need to transport the grandkids.

Ascent will be a conquest vehicle for Subaru

Just like the rest of the Subaru lineup, the Japanese automaker could get new Ascent buyers defecting from other Japanese and domestic brands. Subaru is currently selling vehicles in their lineup at a rate of 60 percent to buyers who have never purchased a Subaru vehicle before, and Ascent will be a conquest vehicle for Subaru. The 3-Row SUV will compete with the Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Chevy Traverse, Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

This could be an unprecedented opportunity for the niche brand to break out of its comfort zone and make significant in-roads with new customers who have never considered buying a Subaru. The new 2018 Subaru Ascent will come with an all-new turbocharged fuel-efficient Direct Injection Boxer engine, a special “modified” version of the new Subaru Global Platform, and a new modern upscale cabin for American families. Go to Page 2.

It’s an idea whose time has come for Subaru, which finally gets the Japanese automaker back into the three-row sport-utility game after the failure with the slow-selling B9 Tribeca a decade ago. The new 2018 Subaru Ascent further refines the seven-seat SUV full-size SUV that the brand will be bringing to dealerships for 2018. Subaru will attempt to take Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, Chevy Traverse, Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee buyers away from those brands. It could be a game-changer for Subaru.

Photo credit: Subaru


Peter (not verified)    May 18, 2017 - 6:20PM

From the spy photos, the production version looks quite a bit different than the prototype. It will probably be another teapot SUV from Subaru.