Already a top family pick, the 2021 Subaru Ascent three-row crossover announced Friday is aiming for a Top Safety Pick and more.
The automaker announced the 2021 Ascent crossover will add adaptive cruise control and active lane control as standard equipment in addition to its automatic emergency braking. What's more, all trims of the 2021 Ascent will get standard adaptive LED headlights, which the IIHS rated last year as "Good." The combination of the Ascent's top crash-test scores from the IIHS, standard adaptive LED headlights, and automatic emergency braking system that was rated "Superior" last year should qualify the family hauler for a Top Safety Pick+ nod from the insurance industry-funded group when those ratings are released.
The base 2021 Ascent costs $33,345, including mandatory destination charges, which is $340 more than the outgoing 2020 version. For that much, buyers get three rows of seats for up to eight people, 18-inch wheels, cloth upholstery, four USB ports, a 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, active safety features, and a 3-year/36,000-mile comprehensive warranty.
Our pick for value last year was the Ascent Premium, which costs $35,845 for 2021 and is an increase of $440 over the 2020 version. We still think it's a good value this year and the Ascent Premium adds blind-spot monitors, upgraded cloth seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, power-adjustable driver's seat, rear climate controls, and heated front seats. More options are available for the Premium version as well, including a power liftgate, second-row captain's chairs, 20-inch wheels and an upgraded 8.0-inch infotainment system.
The 2021 Ascent Limited costs $40,645 and can be configured to seat seven or eight for that much—second-row captain's chairs are a no-cost swap. The Limited trim level adds a power-adjustable front passenger seat, 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated second row seats, and the trim offers a spend-up package that adds premium audio, a panoramic moonroof, and an 8.0-inch infotainment system.
At the top end, the 2021 Ascent Touring costs $46,495, which is $440 more than the 2020 version, and adds leather upholstery, cooled front seats, a front camera system, and premium audio.
2021 Subaru Ascent
All Ascents are powered by a 2.4-liter turbo-4 that makes 260 horsepower sent through a continuously variable automatic transmission to all four wheels. It's rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds. The Ascent competes against other popular three-row family crossovers such as the Ford Explorer, Chevy Traverse, Honda Pilot, and Toyota Highlander.
The 2021 Ascent goes on sale later this year.