With the 2020 Subaru Ascent, practicality and style is the name of the game. This seven- or eight-passenger three-row SUV comes with standard all-wheel drive and plenty of exciting premium features - especially for the price. It debuted in mid-2018 for the 2019 model year as Subaru's largest vehicle ever. Since then, it's been a rising star within its segment, taking market share from well-established midsized SUVs such as the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and Ford Explorer.


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Trims and Standard Equipment


The '20 Ascent is available in four trim levels: base, Premium, Limited, and Touring. Each of these gets its power from a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that whisks out 260 horses and 277 pound-feet of torque. It's paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and comes with an AWD drivetrain that helps maximize its off-pavement potential.


Even on the base trim, you'll enjoy power-folding side mirrors (new this year), tri-zone automatic climate control, automatic head lights, and cloth upholstery. Upgrade to the Premium trim and you'll be presented with an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, second-row climate controls, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. This trim also provides up to 5,000 pounds of towing potential (the base trim is limited to 2,000 lb.) and offers a seven- or eight-passenger seating configuration in addition to optional packages that add items such as keyless entry with push-button start and a power rear liftgate.


The Limited comes with leather-trimmed seating, heated second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, and the Premium's optional features. You also have the choice of including different seating configurations. If you crave even more luxury, you can choose to add a panoramic sunroof as part of this trim's feature lineup. The Touring adds a power-adjustable passenger seat and is only sold in the seven-passenger arrangement.



Safety & Technology


While the '20 Ascent hadn't been rated yet as of this writing for its overall safety by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), last year's model received five stars overall, so it's expected this version will be the same. For active safety features, the Subaru EyeSight driver assistance technology comes standard across all trim levels. This includes adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure and sway warning, and lane keeping assist. The Premium gets blind-spot detection with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert. As an option, reverse automatic braking can be tacked on, which the Limited and Touring versions both get in addition to high beam assist.


With the base, you'll find a 6.5-inch central infotainment screen, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth hands-free, satellite radio, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Premium and Limited get an 8-inch central display (navigation optional), 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability, and dual front and second-row USB ports. Another option for the Limited trim is a premium 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio unit, which comes standard on the Touring (the topmost trim also gets integrated navigation and a 120-volt power outlet).

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