2021 Subaru Ascent

#9
in Midsize Suvs
2021 MODEL
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8.3

Overall Rating

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2021 Subaru Ascent Price, Review and Buying Guide

Updated on: October 14, 2020

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S. Kumar

Editor


As the all-new Subaru Ascent goes into its third year of production since its inception in 2019, we are not expecting any significant changes. Perhaps we shall see some minor shuffling in the features from optional list to standard list. The price for the 2021 Subaru Ascent is in the range of $32,295 and $45,445. The powertrain fitting powering the 2021 Ascent is the same as its predecessor’s 2.4Liter turbocharged H 4 engine that propels 260 hp and 277 lb-ft. The engine is mated to a CVT that sends power to all four wheels.

See detailed review »

Pros

Tweaked and upmarket interior

Spacious car with impressive driving dynamics

Good crash test ratings

Lots of standard safety features

Amazing towing capacity of 5000 pounds

Cons

Limited space in third-row seating

No hybrid or V6 engine option available

Noisy engine during high rev

What's New?

Standard steering-responsive headlights with automatic high beams

Updated driver assistance package

Second and third rows get seat belt reminder


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Pictures & Videos

Videos
2021 Subaru Ascent Review video

Colors and Styles

2021 Subaru Ascent in Cinnamon Brown Pearl color 2021 Subaru Ascent in Abyss Blue Pearl color 2021 Subaru Ascent in Crystal Black Silica color 2021 Subaru Ascent in Crimson Red Pearl color 2021 Subaru Ascent in Crystal White Pearl color 2021 Subaru Ascent in Ice Silver Metallic color
Cinnamon Brown Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing And Features

8.5

Engine And Performance

8.1

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

8.3

Exterior

7.5

Safety

9.9

Competition

8.0

8.3

OVERALL RATING

Similar Cars

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Subaru Ascent Base

Base

power
260 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
22 combined

$32,295


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr SUV AWD w/8-Passenger (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $32,295 MSRP (21/22/27) 260 hp @ 5600 rpm, 2.4 L, Flat 4, Regular unleaded
Lineartronic CVT all wheel drive 8

2021 Subaru Ascent Premium

Premium

power
260 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
23 combined

$34,795 - $36,255


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Premium 4dr SUV AWD w/7-Passenger (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $34,795 MSRP (21/23/27) 260 hp @ 5600 rpm, 2.4 L, Flat 4, Regular unleaded
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT) all wheel drive 7
Premium 4dr SUV AWD w/8-Passenger (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $36,255 MSRP (21/22/27) 260 hp @ 5600 rpm, 2.4 L, Flat 4, Regular unleaded
Lineartronic CVT all wheel drive 8

2021 Subaru Ascent Limited

Limited

power
260 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
22 combined

$39,595


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited 4dr SUV AWD w/8-Passenger (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $39,595 MSRP (20/22/26) 260 hp @ 5600 rpm, 2.4 L, Flat 4, Regular unleaded
Lineartronic CVT all wheel drive 8
Limited 4dr SUV AWD w/7-Passenger (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $39,595 MSRP (20/22/26) 260 hp @ 5600 rpm, 2.4 L, Flat 4, Regular unleaded
Lineartronic CVT all wheel drive 7

2021 Subaru Ascent Touring

Touring

power
260 hp @ 5600 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
22 combined

$45,445


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Touring 4dr SUV AWD w/7-Passenger (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT) Starting at $45,445 MSRP (20/22/26) 260 hp @ 5600 rpm, 2.4 L, Flat 4, Regular unleaded
Lineartronic CVT all wheel drive 7

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.3

Overall Rating


Subaru’s first shot of entering into the SUV market ended up in a failure. The launch of their B9 Tribeca disenchanted many audiences with its egregious design, the car was also very tepid and failed to attract many buyers which finally made Subaru elusive to gain back their trust. Finally, after the launch of Subaru Ascent is what diametrically changed their game, many buyers started to like it and several models flew out of dealerships.

It took Subaru 11 long years to reveal an SUV which finally sways a lot of customers to their brands, so let's see if the 2021 model year lives up to its name. Starting from $32,295, the Ascent makes sense for big families upgrading for a spacious car. We see the best value in the Ascent Premium, which costs $34,795 and adds an 8.0-inch touchscreen, cloth upholstery, and multiple cubbies and volume for up to eight passengers. Its rivals include Mazda CX-9, Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer.

2021 Subaru Ascent third quatar view
2021 Subaru Ascent rear third quatar view

8.5/10
Pricing and Features

8.1/10
Engine and Performance

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

8.3/10
Interior

7.5/10
Exterior

9.9/10
Safety

8.0/10
Competition


2021 Subaru Ascent Pricing and Features

8.5/10

Subaru’s are known to offer lots of features even to base variants, and so does the Ascent live up to that. The base model of the Ascent gets a standard AWD and a slew of other features that make it a steal deal, the base price starts at $32,295 and goes all the way up to $45,445 which makes it the most expensive Subaru ever.

Subaru doesn’t mess around with complicated trims, it likes to keep it simple and for the 2021 model year, the Ascent gets five trims on offer; Ascent, Ascent Premium, Ascent Limited, Ascent Touring and all of them come with the standard AWD system.

Model

Ascent

Ascent Premium

Ascent Limited

Ascent Touring

MSRP AWD (CVT)

$32,295

$34,795

$39,595

$45,445

Key Features

 

Adds to Ascent features

Adds to Ascent Premium Features

Adds to Ascent Limited features

 

Apple Carp and Android Auto

Cloth Upholstery

Leather upholstery

STARLINK Multimedia Navigation

 

18” Alloy Wheels

Optional second-row seats; Captain or bench

20” Alloy Wheels

Ventilated Front Seats

 

EyeSight Driver Assist Technology

Remote Engine Start

Keyless Entry and Push a\Button Start

Panoramic Moon roof

 

Tri-Zone Automatic Climate Control

Rear Climate Control

Power Rear Gate

Ambient Lighting

The base Ascent trims get standard AWD system and EyeSight on offer. EyeSight includes a plethora of standard safety features which include forward automatic emergency braking, pre-collision throttle management, adaptive cruise control, lane departure, and sway warning, and a head-up display.

2021 Subaru Ascent side view

The Ascent Premium trim gets other subtle features like rear climate control and remote engine start.

The Ascent Limited has more convenience features like keyless entry, push-button start, power read gate and it is not up to this level that you get leather seats, the Limited model also gets updated rims which do look good.

The top of the line Touring model is what you need to choose if you want a sunroof just like every other SUV in the segment. In addition to heated seats, you also get ventilated seats at this trim level.

2021 Subaru Ascent Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

Subaru’s are the most expensive non-luxury car brand to maintain. Although being a Japanese manufacturer, you might think that the maintenance would be cheap, but it totally contradicts your thoughts. Compared to its competitors like the Honda and Toyota, they cost way less.

Reliability and Ownership Costs

With great standard features like AWD, Apple Carplay and Android Auto and etc the Subaru might be a great deal, but the cost to maintain a Subaru Ascent is high, the cost to maintain a Subaru during the first five years is $267 and with a 10-year cost of $500. However, Subaru has the best resale value according to KBB and KBB isn’t the only one giving awards to Subaru, ALG also gave Subaru an award of the best automaker to hold its value.

But again, Subarus are one of the worst in reliability, they barely fall above the industrial average. According to 2018 J.D. Power VDS, Subaru ranked 26th out of 32 in terms of dependability, and yes, we had to count from below to know their rank, and in 2019, they barely made it above industrial average ranking 14th out of 32 in terms of dependability. Overall, reliability and maintenance are such parameters where Subaru doesn’t excel.

Warranty

Subaru offers a standard 3years/36,000 mile (whichever comes first) standard warranty, this is nothing outstanding and all other competitors offer the same warranty, however, road-side assistance of Subaru only lasts as long the standard warranty lasts while on the other hand its rivals, Ford offer a much better deal.

Criteria

Period

Limited warranty

3 years/ 36,000 miles; whichever is earlier

Powertrain warranty

5 years/ 60,000 miles; whichever is earlier

24-hour roadside assistance

3 years/ 36,000 miles; whichever is earlier

Standard warranty of every other rival in this segment is the same however, In terms of roadside assistance, Toyota is the worst which offers a roadside car of 2years/unlimited miles (whichever comes first). Subaru warranty is on par with its rivals and nothing outstanding to see here. Mazda however, offers the best powertrain warranty of 9years/100,000 miles (whichever comes first).

2021 Subaru Ascent Buying Advice

The base variant of Subaru Ascent comes with a feature loaded right off the box. However the Ascent Premium trim level would be the better choice as it improves interior comfort with added heated seats, also with the addition of extra safety features to the already feature-loaded car makes it even more enticing, overall the Premium trim level strikes the perfect balance of price and features.

Is buying a used Subaru Ascent a good idea?

Buying a used Subaru can be a good idea however bear in mind that their reliability is one of their weakest points. Subaru’s are high in demand hence they hold their value excellently well, in-fact Subaru is of the best non-luxury brand to hold their value. Subaru’s are known for their standard tech on offer and used Subaru should be just fine, however, getting a car checked before buying it is more advisable.

2021 Subaru Ascent Engine and Performance

8.1/10

The 2021 Ascent gets the same engine as before, the 2.4L turbocharged H 4 engine. Subaru is the only manufacturer on earth that uses a boxer engine. Boxer engines outweigh typical V or In-line engines in many ways, but for now, let's just know that because of a Boxer engine the Subaru handles much better than other family SUVs.

2021 Subaru Ascent engine

Performance is great, for a family SUV, the car pulls very well, the turbos, once charged up, do pull the massive weight hard and fast which is enough to merge with oncoming bursts of traffic on the freeway.

Models

2021 Subaru Ascent

2020 Toyota Highlander

2020 Ford Explorer

2021 Mazda CX-9

MSRP

$31,400

$34,600

$32,765

$33,890

Engine

2.4L Turbocharged H4

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

2.3L Turbocharged EcoBoost In-line 4

2.5L turbocharged I-4

Drivetrain

AWD

FWD

RWD

AWD

Transmission

CVT

8-Speed Automatic

10-Speed Automatic

6-Speed Automatic

Power

260 hp @ 5,600 rpm

295 hp @ 6,600 rpm

300 hp @ 5,500 rpm

250 hp @ 5,000 rpm

Torque

277 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm

263 lb-ft @ 4,700 rpm

310 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm

320 lb-ft @ 2,500 rpm

The Ascent does not appeal as the most powerful in the segment but the performance totally contradicts the power figures on paper. The Ascent feels the fastest in the segment and also the best handling. Ford Explorer on the other hand with its infamous EcoBoost engine is a lot slower than the Ascent.

2021 Subaru Ascent Acceleration and Braking

The 2021 model year comes with the same 2.4L 4 cylinder boxer engine which goes from 0 to 60MPH in just 7.0 sec flat which is literally the fastest in the segment, Subaru’s are known from their value for money offering a lot of features at a relatively low price and this value for money aspect shines even in the performance department as well.

2021 Subaru Ascent accelerate 0-60 mph just in 7 sec

Having great acceleration is not the only thing which you should look for, brakes are equally important as well, and stopping a car that weighs over 4,000 lbs is no joke. Subaru shines equally well in this department as well with a 60MPH to 0MPH at a distance of 117ft.

Models

2021 Subaru Ascent

2020 Toyota Highlander

2020 Ford Explorer

2021 Mazda CX-9

0-60 MPH

7.0 sec

7.2

8.2

7.1

Quarter Mile

15.5 sec

15.2 sec

15.3 sec

15.5 sec

Top Speed

130 MPH

132 MPH

143 MPH

130 MPH

60-0 MPH

117 ft

116 ft

121 ft

123 ft

The Subaru Ascent and Toyota Highlander outshine every other car in this segment with their class-leading acceleration and braking. Although the spec on paper for the Ascent looked very average, the car however outshines every other SUV in the segment with its outright acceleration.

2021 Subaru Ascent Fuel Economy

8.0/10

Ascent, although is the most frugal return one of the best mileage in its class with 21 MPG in the city, 27 MPG on the highway, and combined mileage of 23. For more details on how the car fares against its competition, refer to the table below.

Model

2021 Subaru Ascent

2020 Toyota Highlander

2020 Ford Explorer

2021 Mazda CX-9

MPG (City)

21

20

21

22

MPG (Highway)

27

24

28

28

MPG (Combined)

23

22

24

24

Fuel Capacity

19.3 gallons

17.9 gallons

19.2 gallons

19.0 gallons

Range (City/ Highway/Combined in miles)

409/533/458

375/519/393

403/538/460

418/532/456

Mazda CX-9 being the most tepid in terms of performance returns the best-combined mileage of 31 MPG which is excellent and class-leading. Subaru and Ford Explorer, on the other hand, return a similar mileage of 23MPG and 24MPG combined respectively with the Highlander being the last

2021 Subaru Ascent Interior

8.3/10

The 2021 model year gets a new leather upholstery for the touring trim as an option; Slate Black with silver stitching and the rest remains the same as its previous model year. The interior quality is nothing great but good, there are soft-touch materials on doors and steering wheel offering nice touch but other places are fitted with cheap scratchy plastics. The car, however, comes with tri-zone climate control as standard.

2021 Subaru Ascent front seats

In terms of practicality and storage places, nothing can beat this car, it gets 19 cup holders which is segment-leading and lots of cubby spaces across the cabin. You even get second-row heated seats with two levels of heating unlike three in the front, the second-row seats also slide back and forth but lack tilt adjustment.

Model

2021 Subaru Ascent

2020 Toyota Highlander

2020 Ford Explorer

2021 Mazda CX-9

Seating Capacity

7

8

7

7

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

41.3/61.1/42.2

39.9/59/40.4

40.7/61.8/43.0

39.3/57.9/41.0

Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

40/60.3/38.6

39.4/58.7/41

40.5/61.9/39.0

38.5/58.1/39.4

Third Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

36.3/57.2/31.7

36.1/55/27.7

38.9/56.4/32.2

35.4/53.1/29.7

The front seats provide a commanding view of what's in front. The second-row seats are excellent which offer a flat floor for better comfort, overall the car is great with great visibility and very few blind spots.

The Subaru Ascent offers one of the most cargo spaces in the segment of 17.8 cu-ft and the Ford Explorer (18.2 cu-ft) offers the most cargo area in the segment followed by the Highlander and then the Mazda CX-9.

2021 Subaru Ascent Infotainment System

The infotainment system of the 2021 model years remains more or less the same as its previous model year and one of the main quirk is that the car wishes you on your birthday. The infotainment screen comes with a standard 6.5-inch unit which can be upgraded to an 8-inch unit as an option. The resolution is crisp and everything on the overall feels crisp.

2021 Subaru Ascent infotainment system

Physical dials make the task even simpler, simple tasks like radio, etc are done with ease thanks to the responsive touch screen however, few other tasks might be cumbersome. On the overall, the screen isn’t as intuitive as the one offered in the outback which is cheaper than the Ascent.

2021 Subaru Ascent basic SUV front seats
2021 Subaru Ascent basic SUV front seats
2021 Subaru Ascent basic SUV rear seats
2021 Subaru Ascent basic SUV rear seats
2021 Subaru Ascent basic SUV sunroof
2021 Subaru Ascent basic SUV infotainment screen
2021 Subaru Ascent basic SUV cup holder

2021 Subaru Ascent Exterior

7.5/10

For the 2021 model year, the car gets LEDs that turn according to your steering wheel inputs, the design language however remains the same. After the failure of Tribeca, the design language for the Ascent, and Subaru has hit the nail at the right spot by introducing a good looking family SUV which fairly looks conservative.

2021 Subaru Ascent third quarter view

The design is not outstanding or eye-popping but it sure does come as an attractive car and miles ahead than the Tribeca.

Model

2021 Subaru Ascent

2020 Toyota Highlander

2020 Ford Explorer

2021 Mazda CX-9

Curb Weight

4430

4465

4345

4317

Length

196.8

194.9

198.8

199.4

Width

76

76

78.9

77.5

Height

71.6

68.1

69.9

69.0

Ground Clearance

8.7

8

7.9

8.8

Wheelbase

113.8

112.2

119.1

115.3

The Ascent is one of the lightest in the segment, and that coupled with the boxer engine helps it stay composed around corners even with longest ground clearance on offer. Ascent also comes as the tallest in the segment and despite that, the third-row suffers from bad headroom.

2021 Subaru Ascent basic SUV three quarter view
2021 Subaru Ascent basic SUV rear three quarter view
2021 Subaru Ascent basic SUV left side view
2021 Subaru Ascent basic SUV right side view
2021 Subaru Ascent basic SUV three quarter view
2021 Subaru Ascent basic SUV three quarter view

2021 Subaru Ascent Safety

9.9/10

For the 2021 model year, the EyeSight suite of driver assistance gains lane-keeping assistance and lane-centering for the adaptive cruise control system and also you get seat belt reminders for second and third-row seats so you don’t always have to take your eye off the road to check on your kid's seat belts.

The 2021 model year has not been crash-tested by either NHTSA or IIHS, however, for the 2020 model, the Ascent gets 5 out of 5 stars in its overall safety ratings and maximum possible score on almost every other parameter according to IIHS, the Ascent has also been awarded as the top safety pick+ by IIHS.

Few standard imperative safety features include: EyeSight; forward automatic emergency braking, pre-collision throttle management, adaptive cruise control, lane departure, and sway warning, and a head-up display.

2021 Subaru Ascent Competition

8.0/10

Subaru Ascent vs Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander has been the most formidable rival in the segment by being the most selling SUV of the year and it sure does live up to that. Subaru is the most feature-loaded in the segment and also the fastest although, both the cars are very similar in terms of performance.

Toyota Highlander

If you want an SUV with better practical interiors, standard AWD and a plethora of safety features then the Ascent outshines Highlander, however, Subaru Ascent is a bit expensive to maintain.

Subaru Ascent vs Ford Explorer

Ford Explorer has been in this game way before then the Ascent or even the Tribeca. The Ford EcoBoost engine fails to live up its big power figures however the sportier version of the same, the Explorer ST is supremely quick.

Ford Explorer

However, for the regular variant, the Subaru Ascent outshines the Explorer in terms of acceleration, handling, and also in terms of standard equipment on offer.

2021 Subaru Ascent Final Verdict

After being parodied at their B9 Tribeca, Subaru has finally come up with the Ascent and it sure did live up to its expectations and delineated that they are capable of making better SUVs. With Great practical interiors, enthusiastic engine, and laudable amounts of standard equipment on offer makes this car extremely value for money. The only thing which puts the Ascent at a disadvantage is due to Subaru’s unreliability and the expensive cost to maintain it. Overall, the Ascent is a steal deal and would do much better in the market if Subaru addresses these issues.

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2021 Subaru Ascent Overall Reviews


JJ

Jack

2021 Subaru Ascent

Touring 4dr SUV AWD w/7-Passenger (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)

5

User Overall Rating

Posted On: January 5, 2021

Subaru have to get a stick!

Pros - Everything

Cons - No options for stick shift, can do better with more power.

Overall Review

5 /10 Overall Rating

It's only goung down from here I guess

6/10
Features
6/10
Interior
5/10
Design
5/10
Safety
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Deal Value
1/10
Dealer Review

ph

Pragad heeshwari

2021 Subaru Ascent

Limited 4dr SUV AWD w/7-Passenger (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)

8

User Overall Rating

Posted On: January 5, 2021

Subaru's are advanced

Pros - Decent passive safety features, pin code feature, electronically adjustable seats

Cons - Remote start costs $370, poor third row ventilation

Overall Review

8 /10 Overall Rating

Reliability would have been an issue if I was not able to drive it around efficiently or I didn't have enough space to haul things up.

7/10
Features
8/10
Interior
8/10
Design
8/10
Safety
8/10
Reliability
7/10
Deal Value
10/10
Dealer Review

TS

Travis Salmons

2021 Subaru Ascent

Premium 4dr SUV AWD w/8-Passenger (2.4L 4cyl Turbo CVT)

9

User Overall Rating

Posted On: January 5, 2021

Budget suv from Subaru

Pros - Smooth driving, budget friendly, rear camera

Cons - Not a lot of cargo space if all three row seats are in place, looks a little dated, no usb ports at back

Overall Review

9 /10 Overall Rating

All things considered, I'm looking at an suv that checks most of the right boxes. Ofcourse not all of the

9/10
Features
9/10
Interior
9/10
Design
9/10
Safety
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Deal Value
9/10
Dealer Review

Read all Reviews

Used Subaru Ascent for Sale

Car Name Deals Starting Price Number of Listings
2021 Subaru Ascent 1 $30,777 68 Listings
2021 Subaru Ascent 0 $32,777 55 Listings
2021 Subaru Ascent 4 $30,229 5334 Listings
2020 Subaru Ascent 0 $29,690 524 Listings
2020 Subaru Ascent 4 $24,500 443 Listings
2020 Subaru Ascent 3 $26,500 57 Listings
2019 Subaru Ascent 3 $26,250 249 Listings
2019 Subaru Ascent 9 $23,000 639 Listings
2019 Subaru Ascent 0 $36,120 7 Listings

Top User Reviews

5

User Overall Rating

Subaru have to get a stick!

It's only goung down from here I guess

by Jack

8

User Overall Rating

Subaru's are advanced

Reliability would have been an issue if I was not able to drive it around efficiently or I didn't have enough space to haul things up.

by Pragad heeshwari

9

User Overall Rating

Budget suv from Subaru

All things considered, I'm looking at an suv that checks most of the right boxes. Ofcourse not all of the

by Travis Salmons

8

User Overall Rating

Basic family suv

Gas mileage isn't as good as I thought it would be. Also, towing numbers are quite mediocre if not worse.

by Jennelle Perry

9

User Overall Rating

It is good for daily commuting drives.

It drives smoothly and calmly on the road. I wish it had a bit more power to accelerate and receive satisfactory economical mileage which gets to poor when all wheel drivetrain comes into play.

by Peter L. Gonzalez

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