Everyone loves crossovers, or so we're told. When Subaru announced the all-new Ascent though, it's like everyone forgot about the B9 Tribeca.

Our episode of TestDrive Spotlight is on the 2019 Subaru Ascent Limited. This near-top trim mid-size 8 passenger crossover is built in the United States and uses Subaru's Global Architecture much like the 2019 Forrester and 2018 Impreza we featured. Our full tour and in-depth review of this vehicle goes over everything a potential buyer should know if they're in the market for a sub-$50,000 crossover.

On the exterior of the Ascent we talk about the LED adaptive headlights with LED high beam assist and LED fog lights, along with the standard EyeSight package which adds adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, and forward collision avoidance. This Limited trim also has blind spot monitoring, a high-definition backup camera with automatic rear braking, and rear parking sensors.

We jump inside the 2019 Ascent to find the black leather seats with space for 8 passengers across it's 3 rows. The Ascent comes with an 8" infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM Radio, and Subaru's navigation. Heated driver's steering wheel, heated front seats, and heated outboard second row seats are also found, along with 6 USB 2.1A charging ports, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a generous panoramic sunroof. Additional features include rear window sun shades, plenty of cup holders throughout, leather-trimmed materials, and a power adjustable rear lift-gate.

We then take the 2019 Subaru Ascent Limited on a winter road test with it's 20" Toyo Observe GSi5 245/50R20 winter tires. We discuss some of the similarities and differences between this and the 2019 Mazda CX-9 Signature, along with our experience with how the Ascent performs and handles on the road with it's turbocharged 2.4L horizontally opposed engine and Linerartronic® CVT.

We also do a quick test on a relatively icy surface to see what X-Mode can do with the Ascent, and see if it can help on low-traction situations. We wrap up our episode of TestDrive Spotlight on the 2019 Subaru Ascent Limited with our likes and dislikes about this new entrant in the mid-size crossover segment, and what we hope to see for the future with this vehicle.

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Comments

    • T Ritchie
      T Ritchie

      If they put both back rows down would their be enough room in back for an adult male under 6 ft tall to sleep? If somebody wanted to car camp would this be big enough? Or would you recommend something different? I'm not planning on doing any hard off roading. But some day I might go just abit of the beaten path and car camp. Maybe! Although the older I get the more aches I get and the more I like my comforts. I'm not dead yet though.

      about 1 day ago
    • Ju M.
      Ju M.

      Hows does that leather look jacked already ?

      about 2 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Ju M.

      Sometimes these press cars are over-abused beyond typical wear-and-tear, which could be why it might look a little strange.

      about 10 hours ago
    • Andre Helmstetter
      Andre Helmstetter

      LOL. Comments. I've had a Touring for about a month now. Put about 1400 miles on it. Where I live it's all hills and we've been getting snow dumped on us for the past two weeks. I've also driven it out to the mountains for skiing every weekend that I've had it. Yes, I have all the concerns about the new engine (4cylinder) and all of the CVT complainers. This is my experience so far. Interior is great. Comfortable, solid and safe feeling (Dry road, wet road, icy road, city and highway). Tech is modern and useful. All of the media (didn't want screens for the kids anyways) and the whole Eye Site system is super cool. Rearview mirror camera is Tre cool. Driving. Plenty of power for around town, on the highway and basic off road activity in rain, mud and snow. Maintaining speed and accelerating on flat and hills is fine to better than fine. Car feels quick off the line and handles way smaller than it is. There is plenty of space. No problem with the CVT. I like the flat power curve. Doesn't feel louder than other cars. It's supposed to be able to tow 5000lbs. Drive it for a while and you'll feel like that should be no problem. If this thing holds up as well as my old Outbacks, then it's a definite winner. I wouldn't trade with any of my friends whose three row SUV's I've driven (Highlander, Pilot). Take a decent test drive and play with all of the gadgets. If you like it, get one. Just one last note. The CVT is a new improved version designed to handle the towing. I plan to tow with it. I have no reason yet to be worried. There are some good youtube reviews where they actually tow stuff. Check them out.

      about 3 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Andre Helmstetter

      I think a lot of the people who complain about the CVTs or engines in the new Subarus aren't actually driving them, but get worked up on their keyboards about it. We think that the Ascent as plenty of power for what most people need out of a mid-size crossover on a daily basis.

      about 10 hours ago
    • silversurfergw
      silversurfergw

      A Tribeca sure comes in handy for Samwell Tarly.

      about 3 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to silversurfergw

      We don't follow GOT so we'll have to take your word for it!

      about 3 days ago
    • Umer Selod
      Umer Selod

      Good video can do better, what can you do?? Lol

      about 4 days ago
    • UrbanFarmDweller
      UrbanFarmDweller

      How tall are you? Looks like you have decent headroom etc.

      about 5 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to UrbanFarmDweller

      6 foot! Headroom was very good on this, I think I mentioned in the interior segment that I had about two inches of solid head room.

      about 5 days ago
    • キム
      キム

      Good-Bye Tribeca.

      about 6 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to キム

      Gone, and hopefully forgotten!

      about 5 days ago
    • Alex Lin
      Alex Lin

      I have ridden and test driven multiple Ascents of different trims. The leather stitching and stretching of the leather for the seat is not the same across models. Even the Touring model has questionable quality as well. This is what the Tribeca should've been at the time. However it wasn't right for the time. I've spoken to a number of dealerships and they said everything is going for MSRP since its such a popular vehicle now.

      about 6 days ago
    • Alex Lin
      Alex Lin In reply to Alex Lin

      +PRN_TestDrive The aggressive pricing should not be a cannon for cheap quality of workmanship on the seating though. I worry for early adopters. I hope Subaru of America takes a closer look at quality assurance for fit and finish.

      about 5 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Alex Lin

      It's certainly priced very aggressively, that was the one thing I noticed as soon as I got the spec sheet for this one.

      about 5 days ago
    • NO_EYES_ON_ME
      NO_EYES_ON_ME

      The new 2020 Subaru Legacy that was shown at the Auto show had this massive new touch screen...sucks that this doesn't have it.

      about 6 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to NO_EYES_ON_ME

      We didn't get a chance to see what Subaru brought to the Montreal Auto Show this year, but we're hoping to see it in Toronto this week.

      about 6 days ago
    • Paul henry
      Paul henry

      The unfair and incomplete reviews continue for Subaru. Dual mode X-Mode is nothing more than disabling TC when using X-Mode. The car is very quiet. Car and driver tested it at 64DBA at 70mph. It handles fantastic for it's size. Why would you think the substantially larger Ascent would be as nimble as a Forester in turns? This is the best SUV in the class for under 40k(US) IMO.

      about 7 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Paul henry

      Nice giving your own comment a thumbs up. So what's your problem here? You own one so you're going online and looking at every single video and policing it? You're the Ascent Police? We had very little that was negative to say about this first year of production vehicle, but it seems like you went out of you way to only listen for the negative, so you could in turn be negative.

      about 6 days ago
    • Richard Shelton
      Richard Shelton

      I really appreciate your honest opinion. I've driven an Ascent, have yet to look at Mazda. But I will, thanks to you.

      about 9 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Richard Shelton

      Thank you! We work hard to present each car with an un-biased eye. The Ascent definitely has a lot going for it, ends up coming down to what you ultimately need out of a crossover!

      about 9 days ago
    • Huss Salman
      Huss Salman

      Thanks Nile your really deserve more subscription.. that's a very good looking car exterior and interior ... thanks again mate.

      about 11 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Huss Salman

      We're hoping others take notice of our channel and help to grow our numbers. Thanks for always checking out our latest episodes!

      about 9 days ago
    • Merdad Rezai
      Merdad Rezai

      Been waiting for this one Nile, great review.

      about 11 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Merdad Rezai

      It's been on our list ever since it was announced!

      about 9 days ago
    • Colin Stuart
      Colin Stuart

      My favorite snow tires have been Michelin X-Ice Xi3.

      about 11 days ago
    • Merdad Rezai
      Merdad Rezai In reply to Colin Stuart

      I run my wife's Mazda CX5 with Michelin Xice and am very pleased with them, until I decided on a set of Nokian Hekkapelliita SUV R2s for my Forester, and honest to goodness, with the Hekkapelliitas, it's like comparing Gretzsky's stats to rest of the NHL greats, no comparison.

      about 11 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Colin Stuart

      They seem to be up there too for a lot of people. So far we haven’t had any press cars outfitted with them this year.

      about 11 days ago
    • Juan Seaforth
      Juan Seaforth

      Great review very informative!!

      about 11 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Juan Seaforth

      We’re happy to hear that, thank you!

      about 11 days ago
    • gene978
      gene978

      I know what I think don’t matter but I wish Car reviewers would test these vehicles with the max capacity of load to see how they behave. If you can’t find people for each seat I am sure there is something that can substitute for the weight of the average human and the cargo area for max hauling load. Especially in a vehicle like this one that is between the average vehicle horsepower in segment. My 2 cents

      about 11 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to gene978

      That’s certainly an interesting point you bring up. I know there are some channels that do ‘buddy reviews’ where they’ll have 3 or 4 adults in something like this, but to be honest I haven’t seen any videos showing max capacity for anything, TFLtruck has done some max towing tests with pickup trucks, but that’s about the closest I’ve seen. Certainly gives us something to think about.

      about 11 days ago
    • Merdad Rezai
      Merdad Rezai In reply to gene978

      Good point, but realistically and i leave you to be the judge, how often do you see these cars on the road with 5 or 7 passengers in them with the back full of stuff? Personally, at best, I have on occasions seen these cars with a couple and a kid or two in them, but mostly they are on the road with may be one passenger. So in my humble opinion a single driver test with say 20 to 25 kilos of anything in the back is more realistic and applicable to most of our lives. Having said that, I by no means dismiss your sense of curiosity.

      about 11 days ago
    • Vladimir Petrov
      Vladimir Petrov

      Thanks for this Nile

      about 11 days ago
    • PRN_TestDrive
      PRN_TestDrive In reply to Vladimir Petrov

      It’s been on our list for a while now!

      about 11 days ago