- Fine interior room
- Standard all-wheel drive
- Composed ride
- Excellent crash-test scores
- A great value
- Turbo-4 can be thirsty
- Third-row space is slimmer than rivals
- Standard touchscreen is small
- Average warranty
features & specs
The 2022 Subaru Ascent sets up a great basecamp for any active family, even sedentary types will approve of its safety and value.
What kind of car is the 2022 Subaru Ascent? What does it compare to?
The 2022 Ascent is Subaru’s largest crossover SUV, with seating for up to eight people and standard all-wheel drive. Rivals include the Kia Telluride, Ford Explorer, and Honda Pilot.
Is the 2022 Subaru Ascent a good car?
Sold in base, Premium, new Onyx, Limited, and Touring trim, the 2022 Ascent earns a TCC Rating of 6.7 out of 10, behind a near-perfect score in safety. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
What’s new for the 2022 Subaru Ascent?
A new Onyx trim level takes the Premium trim and applies dark trim, synthetic leather seats, and straps on 20-inch wheels. That’s about it, other than $75 more in destination fees.
The Ascent has the lofty ambition of displacing drivers from Explorers and Pilots. It’s the biggest Subaru, and it looks an awful lot like other Subarus—the Outback in particular. Nothing’s shocking about its tall front end, simply styled headlights and taillights, and fuss-free body. Inside the Ascent’s big vertical vents and smattering of woodgrain trim on top models dress it up, but it’s still the hiking boot in a class of crossovers that dress more like bougie influencers.
Power comes from a 260-hp turbo-4, and the moderate acceleration it issues is sometimes accompanied by graunchy noises. It’s quick enough to be a non-issue, and the Ascent rides very well despite 8.7 inches of rock-straddling ground clearance. Those rival crossovers can barely climb a curb without a scrape; the Ascent has more clamber in its coffers.
With the Ascent, Subaru can say it sells an eight-passenger crossover, but the people should grow smaller as they move further back in its seating rows. Three adults can fit in the middle, but only three small people will tuck in back. Behind the front seats, the Ascent’s as spacious as other three-row crossovers.
How much does the 2022 Subaru Ascent cost?
Base $33,420 Ascent SUVs have automatic emergency braking, cloth upholstery, 18-inch wheels, a 6.5-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. We like the $35,920 eight-seat Ascent Premium and its standard blind-spot monitors, power driver seat, and 8.0-inch touchscreen; a seven-seat version costs $37,380.
Where is the 2022 Subaru Ascent made?
2022 Subaru Ascent
It’s a wrapper, not a rapper.
Is the Subaru Ascent a good-looking car?
Nearly bling-free, the Subaru Ascent plies a traditional family-wagon exterior and a simple and effective interior right down the middle. It’s a 5 for styling.
Drawn for a purpose, not for attention, the Ascent has tall windows and a low beltline. The grille’s borrowed from the Outback, and grafted on a taller front end, but it reads the same. If functionality could be trademarked, this would be the filing paperwork. It’s more Outback down the body sides, too, with a minimum of fuss and detail, all the way around the Ascent’s ascetic rear end where Forester-style taillights change things up ever so slightly.
The interior’s a study in functionality, with a dash skewed in the driver’s direction and big vents and controls aimed at the person in charge. Subaru studs the cabin with lots of cupholders, storage bins, and cubbies, which doesn’t do much for continuity but does wonders for usability. It cleans up nicely with the leather and woodgrain trim on top models, but we like our Ascents with the dressing set aside.
2022 Subaru Ascent
The well-tuned Ascent has just enough power.
Subaru strikes the right note in ride quality in the Ascent; its turbo-4 does the job adequately. We give it a 6 for performance.
Is the Subaru Ascent 4WD?
Every Ascent comes with all-wheel drive.
How fast is the Subaru Ascent?
Every Ascent is powered by a 2.4-liter turbo flat-4 that makes 260 hp and powers all four wheels via a CVT. It works hard to keep the Ascent plugging away at highway speeds, and it’s not the quietest powertrain under full throttle. It’s still sufficiently powerful to move the two-ton crossover with reasonable authority, and in city driving it settles into a comfortable lope.
The Ascent’s ace in the three-row crossover card game is its standard all-wheel-drive system. It scrambles easily up dirt roads and trails with always-on traction, and can tackle weekend to-do lists and tougher terrain with equal talent. The Ascent has 8.7 inches of ground clearance, enough to clamber over railroad ties and jutting rocks, if not enough to go rock-crawling.
On pavement, the Ascent has feather-light steering and a tight 38-foot turning radius, so it’s a faithful weekend-errand companion, maneuverable and easy to park. It’s also blessed with good tire choices, even on big 20-inch wheels, for clean tracking down interstates, where it shows off its best performance trait: ride quality. It’s absorbent and calm, not jittery as a performance-flavored crossover might be.
2022 Subaru Ascent
Comfort & Quality
The Ascent’s cavernous interior hosts up to eight.
Subaru carves out enough space for seven or eight people in the Ascent, and leaves room for cargo too. It’s a relatively plain environment, unless you’re counting the 19 cupholders, which seems like Subaru is just trolling us. We get to a 9 here for first- and second-row seat comfort, cargo space, and the ability to carry five adults minimum.
The interior’s a boon from the front row on back. The Ascent’s front seats have lots of adjustment, durable cloth or synthetic or real leather covering, and all-day comfort. Buy more than a base Ascent and it’ll come with a power driver seat; Limiteds and Tourings have a power front passenger seat, too. We do wish Subaru would add height adjustment, though.
Second-row passengers have either a bench seat with about 39 inches of leg room and lots of head room, or a pair of captain’s chairs that cut net seating to seven on Premium, Limited, and Touring editions. No complaints from this row, even when we jammed all our editors inside; the Ascent’s not only high enough, but broad enough to fit three across.
Row three’s big enough for medium-sized passengers, and not more. It’s smaller in back than cars like the VW Atlas and Honda Pilot, with 31.7 inches of leg room.
Cargo space measures about 18 cubic feet behind the third row, and 47 cubic feet behind the second row. Fold down everything behind the front seats and the Ascent can tote about 86 cubic feet of gear.
The Ascent won’t go down in history as the quietest or plushest three-row SUV, but it abounds in bottle and cupholders, small-item storage, and USB charge ports. Durability is its vibe. We wouldn’t hesitate to muddy one up.
2022 Subaru Ascent
The Ascent scores top safety ratings.
How safe is the Subaru Ascent?
It’s exceptionally safe. With a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA, and a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, the Ascent could only do better in rollover resistance, where it earns four stars due to its tall wagon body. The rear roof pillars could be thinner for better outward vision, too.
All Ascents have automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams, as well as active lane control and a rear-seat reminder.
2022 Subaru Ascent
The Ascent peaks in value, and drops off in warranty coverage.
Standard features make even the base Ascent an excellent SUV starting point for any family, and that doubles as a great value. But Subaru’s basic 3-year/36,000-mile warranty doesn’t come close to that of its South Korean rivals, and its standard infotainment system and options list lag, too. It’s a 7 here.
Base $33,420 Ascent SUVs come with cloth upholstery, automatic emergency braking, 18-inch wheels (at a minimum), and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The base touchscreen measures just 6.5 inches, and renders those simpler smartphone interfaces tougher to use.
Which Subaru Ascent should I buy?
We’d pick the Ascent Premium, which gets heated front seats, blind-spot monitors, a power driver seat, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen. It’s $35,920 in eight-seat mode, or $37,380 as a seven-seater.
This year’s new Onyx edition takes the Premium edition and wraps its exterior trim in a dark finish, adds 20-inch wheels and synthetic leather upholstery to the seven-seat configuration, and tops it off with keyless start, a power tailgate, and a heated steering wheel.
How much is a fully loaded Subaru Ascent?
The $46,570 Ascent Touring piles on 20-inch wheels, leather upholstery, cooled front seats, Harman Kardon audio, and a panoramic sunroof. Captain’s chairs are standard, too. It’s a nice place to be; too nice, maybe, for the rugged pose?
2022 Subaru Ascent
The Ascent’s EPA numbers are average.
Is the Subaru Ascent good on gas?
It’s OK. Subaru doesn’t offer a hybrid edition like that in the Toyota Highlander or Ford Explorer, and its turbo-4 works hard to issue real-world performance. Big SUVs aren’t the best at sipping fuel anyway, so the Ascent’s EPA ratings of 21 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined don’t come as much of a surprise. They earn a 4 here.