Like all Subaru vehicles, the 2020 Ascent comes standard with the brand’s trademark all-wheel drive system. (Manufacturer photo)

Like all Subaru vehicles, the 2020 Ascent comes standard with the brand’s trademark all-wheel drive system. (Manufacturer photo)

2020 Subaru Ascent fits up to eight passengers in comfort

New features this year for the biggest Subie boost safety and convenience. AWD is standard, of course.

The midsize Subaru Ascent SUV, the biggest Subie, made its showroom debut just a year and a half ago, so there are no major changes for 2020.

There’s a new rear seat reminder system to help protect children and pets from a driver who might otherwise forget they are there.

A new power rear lock button on the liftgate automatically closes the gate, and locks it along with all the other doors. It’s standard or optional depending on the particular model.

The 2020 Ascent is available in base, Premium, Limited, and Touring trim levels. It has three rows of seats and comes standard with a second-row bench, providing seating for up to eight people. For the Limited trim and with option packages for the Premium trim, you can choose captain’s chairs for the second row at no extra charge. They reduce seating capacity to seven, but provide easier access to the third row.

All models have Subaru’s highly regarded all-wheel drive system.

Standard features of the $33,005 (destination charge included) base Ascent version include a 6.5-inch multimedia system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, four USB ports, three-zone automatic climate control, roof rails, 18-inch wheels, and 19 cupholders. Yes, 19. Not a typo.

The Premium trim ($35,405) adds blind spot monitoring with lane change assist and rear cross-traffic alert, a power driver’s seat, rear seat climate controls, advanced multimedia with 8-inch display, Wi-Fi, and an all-weather package providing heated front seats and exterior mirrors, and a windshield wiper de-icer. Opting for the Premium model also makes more options available, such as 20-inch wheels, a power liftgate, panoramic moonroof, navigation and more.

Easy to use controls including volume and tuning dials enhance favorability for the 2020 Subaru Ascent’s multimedia system. The Limited trim’s interior is shown here. (Manufacturer photo)

Easy to use controls including volume and tuning dials enhance favorability for the 2020 Subaru Ascent’s multimedia system. The Limited trim’s interior is shown here. (Manufacturer photo)

Limited models ($40,355) include all the Premium features plus automatic LED headlights, LED fog lights, second-row retractable sunshades, and leather-trimmed upholstery.

The Touring trim ($46,055) adds a heated steering wheel, ventilation for driver and front passenger seats, a 120-volt power outlet, extra USB ports, a Harman Kardon premium 14-speaker audio system, panoramic power moonroof, rain-sensing wipers, smart rear-view mirror, and a 180-degree front-view camera.

Every 2020 Ascent has a 260-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with an eight-speed manual mode and paddle shifters. During my test week that included Cascades-climbing elevation gains, the powertrain conducted itself proficiently with the driver and one adult passenger on board. Our combined weight is around 245 pounds and my purse weighs about the same as a small child. Packed with seven or eight people and a bunch of gear, engine performance might be, shall we say, more like medium.

Fuel economy ratings for an Ascent with 18-inch wheels are 21 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined. With 20-inch wheels the numbers are 20/26/22 mpg.

The Ascent shines in its ability to soften the impact of bumpy roads, and to deliver a goodly amount of overall comfort for multiple passengers.

The 2020 Subaru Ascent midsize SUV is powered by a 260-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2020 Subaru Ascent midsize SUV is powered by a 260-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. (Manufacturer photo)

2020 SUBARU ASCENT LIMITED

Base price, including destination charge: $40,355

Price as driven: $43,305

Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

Talk to us

More in Life

The all-new Kia Sportage X-Pro model comes standard with all-terrain tires and 17-inch matte black off-road wheels. (Kia)
2023 Kia Sportage has two new models aimed at the outdoorsy

The X-Pro and X-Pro Prestige have all-terrain tires, all-wheel drive, and all kinds of ground clearance.

Women came from all over the Pacific Northwest to “glamp” and raise money to send girls to Girl Scout Camp from Sept. 16-18. The next opportunity to glamp at Camp River Ranch will be Sept. 8-10, 2023. (Jennifer Bardsley)
Women’s glamping retreat raises money to send local girls to camp

I’ve been the camper, the counselor, the Girl Scout leader and the mom. Now, I was the glamper.

People stroll along Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, one of Europe’s most interesting historic walks, as Edinburgh Castle looms in the distance. (Rick Steves' Europe)
Edinburgh, the cultural heart of Scotland, packs a cultural punch

Once a medieval powerhouse, it is today one of Europe’s most lively and festive cities.

Dan Neumeyer peers out the window of his Hummingbird Yurt. (David Welton)
Otherworldly structures constructed on Whidbey Island

The small buildings — yurts, with a Western twist — were built by Earth dweller Dan Neumeyer.

Abelia 'Edward Goucher' (Richie Steffen)
Great Plant Pick: Abelia ‘Edward Goucher’

This shrub blooms from summer to late autumn, which will make the pollinators happy.

Making your own WM truck costume takes only a few supplies and can be recycled when you’re done with it. (Courtesy Waste Management)
Green is the new orange: sustainable Halloween celebrations

Spooky season is here: costumes line the shelves at department stores, and… Continue reading

This quilt features an American flag with 36 stars, indicating that it was made about 1865. Most antique quilts are harder to date.
Tips for estimating an unsigned vintage quilt’s true age

If you can see dark spots in the quilt when held up to a strong light or sunny window, they may be cotton seeds. Some collectors claim that this means the quilt was made before the invention of the cotton gin in 1793.

Even if you haven’t watered your landscape in the past 100 days, or watered very little, get outside and give your plants a good soak. (Getty Images)
It’s dry out there, so water your yard — please!

After 100 days of no precipitation, your garden badly needs a drink. So grab a hose and get to work — it’s well worth the slightly higher water bills.

Mark Hall, center, and Casting Crowns perform during the Dove Awards on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo / Mark Humphrey)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

Casting Crowns performs in Everett, while Graham Nash drops by Edmonds.

Most Read