By on November 15, 2017

2019 Subaru Ascent

Subaru has talked about re-adding a large-ish machine to its lineup for the better part of a year, starting with a concept at this year’s NYIAS and culminating in a Twitter tweet announcing the model’s debut in L.A. on November 28th.

The name “Ascent” is apropos, accurately describing Subaru’s sales fortunes here in America. Having recorded a half-percent increase in year-over-year sales in October, Subaru can lay claim to 71 consecutive months of yearly month-over-month growth.

The teaser shot doesn’t show us much, save for an upright hatch and brightwork on the rear bumper’s surface — which is surely designed to imply an increased level of ruggedness over its plebeian three-row competitors.

In preparation for the Ascent’s production, the Pleiades brand needed to secure new permits for its Lafayette plant, which was originally constructed to annually produce slightly more than 300,000 vehicles. With the new Ascent factored into the mix, that allowance rises to just over half a million units annually.

Subaru’s expectations for the Ascent are modest, evidenced by statements alluding to the fact it believes the Ascent will likely capture current customers of the brand who choose to migrate into the larger vehicle, rather than leave the brand once they outgrow their Forester.

Still, extra metal in a showroom that’s experiencing increased traffic is never a bad thing, especially given America’s infatuation with all-wheel drive crossovers. Subaru touts the Ascent as its “biggest SUV yet,” pointing to dimensions exceeding the departed Tribeca. It is possible we will find a turbocharged 2.4-liter flat four under the hood, but powertrain details remain scanty.

The brand as a whole is up 6.4 percent compared to this time last year. Extra Impreza, Outback, and Crosstrek sales account for pretty much all of that difference, making up for an underperforming Legacy (as consumers continue to run away from sedans faster than Usain Bolt in a 100m race).

Subaru of America recently announced the return of its annual Share the Love event for 2017, where $250 is donated to a charity for every Subaru sold or leased during the program. Given its expected dimensions, the company’s new seven passenger ride will provide the biggest love of all. Production is expected to begin early next year.

[Image: Subaru]

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20 Comments on “Three-row Subie: 2019 Ascent to Debut at L.A. Auto Show...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    In addition to retaining current customers, this will actually bring in a lot of new customers. Because love.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      I think the Tiguan/Atlas already beat them to the punch. Those two in combined sales will top this, for sure.

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        After checking GoodCarBadCar I see that the Forrester (similar to the Tiguan) alone outsold these two VW SUV products combined by 4665 units in the US in October of this year. Using the NormSV650 logic, Subaru can sell 0 units of this new Ascent combined with Forrester sales to outsell the Atlas/Tiguan combination. In reality, Subaru need sell only 3700 to 4000 units monthly of the Ascent to outsell the VW Atlas, a figure that is probably achievable with just sales to existing Subaru customers. In other news, the Chinese-made Buick Envision sold 2298 units in the US in October of 2017.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        I’m going to have to go ahead and disagree with you there, Norm. The Ascent will likely leave any VW SUV offerings in the dust, just like any of the other Subarus that compete with VW’s cars.

        Doesn’t matter if the VW has more power or a better warranty. Subarus sell themselves with the promise of not dying due to AWD and the love.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          I’ve been hearing mixed things about the Atlas. Excellent interior room and packaging as far as a livable third row goes, but mediocre just about everything else including ride, acceleration, fuel economy, etc.

  • avatar
    gtem

    My wife and I are excited to go test drive one when they come out. We really like the Outback, but it’s a tight fit for 2 adults, a hypothetical newborn, and 2 larger dogs (plus luggage). The Ascent seems like it’d be a good fit. I’m curious to see how well the AWD system performs, it seems that recently Subaru has been shifting in the direction of prioritizing fuel economy over a true full-time AWD system with a good amount of torque always being shuttled rearwards. I’m happy that Subaru is expanding their US based production, I recently toured the Lafayette site and it’d be a bonus knowing that a car purchase supported local families.

  • avatar
    djsyndrome

    Glad Subaru will finally be able to stop the bleeding from folks that need a third row. Do we know what will be powering this yet? Remember reading somewhere that a new 2.5L turbo would be debuting for the Ascent.

  • avatar

    This just in:

    Subaru displays money machine at LA Auto Show in November.

    Seriously now, they’ve got all CUV bases covered with a 3-row like this. Watch the dough roll in.

  • avatar
    thegamper

    Was thinking that the “Ascent” name was maybe recycled from another 4×4 of yore but figured out was thinking of Isuzu Ascender. So I will throw my first lob of criticism and say the name is sort of blah. Wondering how possible it would be to source Toyota V6 for this vehicle, Not sure boxer engine would be great fit even with turbo.

  • avatar
    notapreppie

    I can’t decide if I’m hoping for against a repeat of the Tribeca… I mean, yah it was ugly, but Farago’s description of it was nothing short of hilarious.

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2005/08/subaru-b9-tribeca/

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’m sure the turbo H4 will be nice, but hopefully the H6 is an option.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    This will be the classiest Pet Cargo Kennel carrier on the market. Arf Arf.

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