Three-row Subie: 2019 Ascent to Debut at L.A. Auto Show

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
three row subie 2019 ascent to debut at l a auto show

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.

Debuting November 28 at the LA Auto Show: the all-new 3-row 2019 Subaru Ascent. Love is now bigger than ever.

— Subaru (@subaru_usa) November 14, 2017

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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