The 2023 Subaru Ascent remains part of the first-gen variant that arrived in 2019. The Ascent is Subaru’s first three-row SUV and is the largest vehicle from the brand. It enables seating for up to eight passengers (albeit in a pinch) and delivers surprising performance with its standard turbocharged Boxer engine and standard all-wheel drivetrain.
Competitors like the Mazda CX-9 and Kia Telluride have sharper styling, more room, and a comfier ride, while the Hyundai Palisade is more luxurious overall. But for the price, you’d be hard-pressed not to consider the Subaru Ascent for its punchy turbo engine, standard all-wheel grip, top-notch safety features, and enhanced infotainment system.
2023 Subaru Ascent: What’s New?
The 2023 Subaru Ascent is home to new styling features like a more prominent front grille, new LED headlights, and a more rugged bumper cover with lower-edge air ducts to improve airflow. Meanwhile, the rear gets new C-shaped Koniji taillights to round out the styling improvements.
Inside, the 2023 Ascent has an updated 11.6-inch tablet-style infotainment touchscreen with dedicated touch controls for the climate control, multimedia, and X-Mode settings. Wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto connectivity come standard with the new giant screen. At the same time, the latest Cabin Connect feature enables front passengers to speak clearly to the rear occupants via a Harman Kardon Quantum Logic surround audio system.
Powertrain & Fuel Economy
Powering every 2023 Subaru Ascent is a newly-developed 2.4-liter turbo Boxer four-cylinder gas engine that generates 260 horsepower and 277 lb-ft. of torque. The engine sends power to all four wheels using a CVT gearbox with steering-mounted paddle shifters. Subaru claims an EPA-estimated 21 in the city and 27 on the highway, which is excellent for a three-row family crossover.
Standard EyeSight Driving Aids
The 2023 Subaru Ascent comes with the latest version of the brand’s EyeSight driver assist technology. The system now has a broader field of view, updated software, and an electronic brake booster to perform better under a more extensive range of driving conditions.
Furthermore, the dual-camera EyeSight system gets an additional wide-angle mono camera to recognize pedestrians, cyclists, and road obstacles faster and more accurately than before. New for 2023 is an available surround-view monitor with four cameras to project a bird’s-eye view of the vehicle and its surroundings.
Standard EyeSight features include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear automatic braking. In addition, higher trim variants get a new automatic emergency steering feature that works with the pre-collision braking system to steer the vehicle and avoid a collision at speeds less than 50 mph.
2023 Subaru Ascent Trim Levels
The Subaru Ascent is available in five trim variants: Base, Premium, Onyx Edition, Limited, and Touring. The base model comes generously equipped with steering-responsive LED headlights, 18-inch wheels, an eight-seater cabin, tri-zone climate control, and a six-speaker audio system.
Next is Ascent Premium with an optional seven-seat cabin, better interior materials, a power driver’s seat, and heated front seats. It’s important to point out the base Ascent has a 2,000 lbs. tow rating, while the Premium and higher trims have a 5,000 lbs. towing capacity.
The Subaru Ascent Onyx Edition will carry over to 2023 with its blacked-out exterior trim, 20-inch black alloy wheels, and water-repellent star-Tex upholstery with unique green stitching. Other standard goodies for the Ascent Onyx Edition include a tilting/sliding panoramic moonroof, X-Mode with hill descent control (also standard in the Limited and Touring trim), and LED foglights.
The Subaru Ascent Limited gets leather seats, retractable sunshades, a heated steering wheel, 20-inch wheels, and chrome exterior accents. The top-of-the-line Ascent Touring has interior ambient lighting, ventilated front seats, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, navigation, and a panoramic sunroof.
The 2023 Subaru Ascent leaves the factory with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Depending on how much you drive, an extended warranty may benefit you. Before you decide, see this helpful guide to Subaru extended warranties.
2023 Subaru Ascent: Pricing & Availability
The newest Subaru Ascent will start trickling down to U.S. dealerships this fall. Pricing remains forthcoming, but we’re expecting higher MSRPs across the board typical of updated new models. The base Subaru Ascent could start at about $34,000, while the range-topping Ascent Touring could hit $48,000.
Our free and easy search tools* will narrow down which dealers in your area offer the best pricing on a new Subaru Ascent. Those search tools will also help you obtain the invoice price, which is one of the best starting points for negotiating the lowest out-the-door price.
Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog feature columnist and an expert in sports and performance cars. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine.