Posted Monday, May 21, 2018 at 11:16pm

2019 Subaru Ascent First Drive

t’s been almost five years since Subaru had a midsize SUV in its lineup, creating a void for the brand’s loyal customers seeking a three-row family-friendly crossover. That’s all changed with the introduction of the new 2019 Subaru Ascent, which goes on sale this summer.
The Ascent is powered by a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 260 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) sends power to all four wheels. Based on these specifications, we were expecting to be disappointed since the power output is on the weak side for the class and CVT automatics have a reputation for being slow to respond. Fortunately, those fears were largely unfounded.
The Ascent is rated at 23 mpg combined (21 city/27 highway). Those figures drop by 1 mpg across the board for Ascents outfitted with the 20-inch wheels. Helping matters is the fact that premium unleaded is not required.